Domiciliary - Why Specsavers?

Posted on May 28, 2019
Author: Lifeatspecsavers

Hugh Loughran, Domiciliary Optometrist and Partner, tells us why patients favour home visits from Specsavers and how business ownership has transformed his career:

Tell us about your journey to Partnership at Specsavers.
This is a bit of a long story! I completed my pre-registration year at Specsavers Kirkcaldy. I had a great year there and it left a lasting impression on me.
I moved to Newcastle upon Tyne to be closer to friends and started domiciliary work soon after.

I loved the job but, after a few years, felt I needed something more than my current role was giving me. In 2012, I emailed Specsavers to ask if they were considering a move into the domiciliary world but, at that time, they were not.

It was a few years later that I was told that Specsavers were entering domiciliary by acquiring Healthcall. It was one of those moments in life when you remember where you were (Costco car park at about 5.45pm, by the way). I knew in an instant what I was going to do.

At 9am the next morning, I phoned Specsavers Recruitment Services. I had a few telephone conversations before meeting up with Specsavers. It was very relaxed as we chatted about the role and I was delighted that the company had the same ambition that I had. I had always viewed my journey to Specsavers to be my last career move within optometry.

You’ve worked for other businesses in the past, what makes Specsavers different?
We see patients in their own home, or even in their own bedroom in the case of a care home visit. Plus, when we’re visiting care homes, we only see a few patients on any one visit.

Working with Specsavers allows me to have more time with each of my patients. I believe seeing patients in their own environment puts them more at ease and is the basis for great patient interaction. It’s a far greater personal experience and truly delivers person-centred care.

There’s also the fact that we see most of our patients in store previous to their domiciliary visit from us. This gives great continuity of care that’s almost unique to domiciliary. That, coupled with the great value we deliver straight to the patient’s door, means I have a real feel-good factor about my job that I believe is unrivalled in domiciliary.

How has your personal development been supported since you started at Specsavers?
Thankfully there’s been no end of support from Specsavers. As a new director, I’ve felt at times I’ve had some support staffs’ numbers on speed dial. We have regular meetings that, with time, are becoming more and more productive. There’s always someone to give you advice.

How have Specsavers equipped you to provide high-quality eye tests on the road?
Specsavers had everything set up for us when we started the domiciliary business in 2015. Everything was set up for us to do what we should be doing, seeing patients. They are always looking at which ways we can improve and always trialling various new pieces of equipment.

How do you replicate the services of such a trusted brand in your patient’s homes?
It’s a quite humbling to see patients that have been to the local store for many years. Unfortunately, they’re now not able to get to their local store unattended but are happy for us to come to their home only because we are from Specsavers.

As time goes by, we see more and more patients from other opticians who do not offer a domiciliary service. It is testament to the great reputation Specsavers has that they let us into their homes. Our prices and offers are the same as our local Specsavers and people are impressed by our service, for often far less than they have paid before. We return to fit the spectacles in about 2 weeks’ time and the aftercare is always included - giving the patient some piece of mind. Our patients always receive a bespoke service at an affordable price.

What’s the most enjoyable thing about still being able to offer Specsavers products to your patients in their homes?
Put simply, I enjoy giving patients value for money! It gives me such job satisfaction knowing I can give an unrivalled bespoke service.

How does this role help you to maintain a healthy work/life balance?
I’ve always loved the fact that in domiciliary every day is different. Different areas, different homes, and obviously different people. Being out on the road every day gives me a great sense of job satisfaction and the constant changing of scenes makes it truly fascinating. It’s this that keeps me happy at work and subsequently happy at home.

Have you seen any advancements recently in technology or equipment?
Specsavers have never stood still on what equipment we have at our disposal. We have used the VDTM as in stores and had Thompson’s test chart added to our iPad. I have trailed various new to market devices including portable focimeters, fundus cameras, visual field screeners, to name but a few. I know there will plenty more to try in the future.

How has your knowledge expanded since being in a Domiciliary role?
I’ve been a full-time Domiciliary Optometrist for 15 years now. It’s fair to say that in this role you’ve never seen it all, so there’s always new clinical scenarios and experiences. With the help of the support team, I’ve learnt how to run my business effectively and efficiently.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Domiciliary is often dismissed before people give it a try. Perhaps people are put off by experiences of colleagues working for other providers, but I genuinely find that most people who give it a try will end up loving the job at Specsavers.

Why not join the business that patients trust time and time again? To find out more about where Specsavers could take you, speak to our careers team about opportunities near you:

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