SightCare’s Oustanding Achievement Award winners

A huge congratulations to A.J Rawling Opticians who won the Outstanding Achievement Award at the recent SightCare Conference.

A.J Rawling Opticians were selected for the Outstanding Achievement Award after a successful 100 year anniversary – meaning their practice has survived through wars, pandemics and much more. Here is to the next 100 years of independent success!

We spoke to them about their achievement:

How did you/your team feel when your practice was announced as the winner?

We were absolutely thrilled and surprised to win, as obviously we had no idea we would receive this award in recognition of our 100 years in Practice. All the team at A J Rawling are so happy and proud to be recognised for this achievement!

What was the stand out features that you believe helped you win your award?

Our dedicated team of staff both past and present. This has always been a small family practice: Christopher Sims ran the practice as the manager and optometrist for many years, with his wife Beryl working alongside him as DO, before handing over the reins to his daughter Catherine and Emma Smith, a family friend, who had worked with him since she was 18.

Most of our patients are longstanding over the years, and some families have multiple generations attending. They like the continuity of staff here and the combination of a traditional feel and look to the practice with modern testing equipment. People feel ‘in safe hands’ here – trusting us to look after the health of their eyes. We find that most of our new patients come to us via personal recommendation from our current patient base.

Does this win make you want to be more ambitious about your practice and if so how?

It certainly does! The whole conference gave us lots of important tips and helpful advice which we have begun implementing already.

It was so inspiring to bounce ideas off other practice owners and staff, and get new ideas of how to enhance our systems and the service we offer. It’s very easy to stagnate in the way you do things we’ve realised, and even though our patients and staff seem happy we feel there’s always room for improvement.

What future plans can be expected from you in terms of your team development?

We are planning to give our whole reception area a ‘refresh’ after hearing suggestions at the conference and have spoken to reception staff about new approaches to the way we arrange fitting appointments and contact the patients. We are embracing social media and technology more and now have a QR code that we will be giving to patients to ask them to give us feedback and reviews. We will be aiming more than ever to focus on quality and service to hopefully retain our existing patients, and encourage new ones.

How will you share your award success with your patients, community and staff?

We have promoted the award win on our Instagram and Facebook pages and been featured in the local newspaper.  The award is sitting in pride of place on our front reception desks for all the patients to see and we are taking staff members past and present out for a celebratory meal to thank them for all their hard work and contribution to the success of the practice.

Back to blog