Alice Grant, Aimee Fulton and Tonichia Wilson are close-knit members of the management support team assisting in the smooth running of four practices across Kettering and Corby.
All three started their healthcare careers as receptionists and love the diversity of their roles, covering operational issues, medical placements and clinical rotas respectively.
Alice started her NHS career as an apprentice, then became a receptionist and health care assistant before joining Lakeside in 2015. She is currently studying for a diploma in practice management with ambitions to become a PM in the future.
She said: 'I support the Operations Manager with the day to day running of the surgery and to ensure we are compliant with health and safety and disability access. I also liaise with patients, both at Corby and The Headlands Surgery in Kettering if they have complaints as we always try to resolve issues quickly.
'My role can involve a lot of juggling. For example, the computers may go down, the fire alarm system won't stop beeping and you are running around trying to get things sorted! We are currently upgrading flooring and furniture in our consultation rooms, so it is a jigsaw arranging that while ensuring that we have capacity to continue seeing patients.
'Our team works amazingly cohesively and I have had some amazing mentors including Teri White, who is now PM at Stamford and Corby and Kettering Hub Manager, Emma Downs. Emma is very solutions orientated and she encourages us to look at the broader picture, in terms of projects, potential problems and, most importantly, the best solutions.'
Aimee is education co-ordinator, making sure that students on medical placements have everything they need for a positive experience in Primary Care.
She co-ordinates placements for students from Leicester and Cambridge Universities, organising accommodation and their daily activities. Aimee said: 'They need a certain amount of clinical sessions and tutorials plus key individual skills they have to learn on placement. We have such a wide variety of people who work within the Lakeside Partnership that we can usually accommodate all the clinical skills that need to be met. Sometimes it is quite full-on with 18 placements at once with all needing different things.'
She has been doing the role for over a year, juggling placements, students and co-ordinating inductions for Registrars. Students come to Lakeside for varying times and rotations, according to their study phase:
'We aim to make their time as informative and enjoyable as possible to encourage them to become GPs. We allocate them a doctor and they call patients on the list, with the GP advising and debriefing, so it is a safe process. I schedule it so that GPs won't have the same person all the time and we also get positive feedback from patients who are happy to have student involvement. It is great to promote Lakeside and the scope of specialisms and expertise that we offer the next generation of doctors.'
Tonichia schedules all the clinical rotas, making sure that there are enough GPs, nurses and pharmacists to cover all the appointments and clinics. She has only been in the role a few months and has been supported by Operations Manager, Tracey Sumpter.
She said: 'Tracey is an oracle so I can lean on her for support. I am getting a bit more used to it, but it is like a jigsaw puzzle! I deal with rotas for about 80 people so you have to be organised and I also work with co-ordinating patients who are signed up for the Lung Health project. When you are on reception it is very patient facing, but in this role you see behind the scenes, which puts everything in perspective. I definitely like the challenge and scope of the role and we all work very closely as a support team.'