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Coaching & Mentoring

LOCs and Primary Eyecare Company Officers can now take advantage of accredited coaching and mentoring experts to improve the performance of key officers and outcomes for LOCs and Primary Eyecare Companies.

Following the launch of the qualification back in 2015, the group of accredited coaches now offer one-to-one support to individual LOC and PEC officers.

LOCSU is offering free coaching and mentoring where this is connected to the role of the Clinical Governance and Performance Lead. LOCs will need to sponsor each request for mentoring assistance. In non-CGPL mentoring, there is a daily charge of £312 (£41.61 per hour) to use the coaching service.

Mentoring can offer improved personal performance to new LOC officers and those involved with PECs in a range of important duties, such as finance or governance .

All those providing the service are accredited to Coaching and Mentoring Level 5 or endorsed by the UK’s largest management body, the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM). Below is a list of profiles from each of the available coaches which includes their area of expertise.

Enquiries should be made by submitting the following information to .

  • Name and contact details
  • Sponsoring LOC and contact
  • Mentoring required
  • Additional information

ILM Level 5 Accredited Coach and Mentors

Wasim Sarwar, BSc McOptom

Coaching and Mentoring specialist interests

  • Mentor new LOC Officers
  • Mentor new-to-role Clinical Governance Performance Leads
  • Coach for clinical performance
  • Coach and mentor pre-registration optometrists and dispensing opticians

Wasim is the Training and Education Officer for Sandwell LOC in the West Midlands and is part of Birmingham LOC. He is also the Minor Eye Conditions Services (MECS) Liaison Officer for the Sandwell and Birmingham areas. He is a Welsh Optometric Postgraduate Education Centre (WOPEC) Lead Assessor for the MECS and Glaucoma Referral Refinement accreditation exams as part of the enhanced services being adopted nationwide.

His current role is a Clinical Lead Optometrist for a multiple which involves supervising and training pre-registration optometrists as well as overseeing and auditing the branches’ extended primary care services. He has also coached newly qualified optometrists and dispensing opticians. To add to his passion for training and education, he has become a Clinical Optometric Demonstrator at Aston University, supervising and training optometry students in clinics.

Wasim is the co-founder of Optom Academy – a training institution primarily aimed at Pre-Registration students and newly-qualified Optometrists. The Academy has helped many students through their pre-registration year and provided CET lectures and workshops to newly-qualified optometrists.

Zoe Richmond

Coaching and Mentoring specialist interests

  • Zoe is most interested in the continued support for LOCs and Primary Eyecare Companies and in particular providing mentoring support to those new in role as Clinical Governance and Performance Leads. Zoe has recently completed a structured mentoring assignment with Primary Eyecare Lancashire

Coaching and Mentoring has always been part of her work as a Commissioning Lead to LOCSU; offering advice and support to members of LOCs and PECs and helping them to become self-sufficient in the position, whether new to post or simply extending their own expertise.

In 2016, as an experienced member of the LOCSU Commissioning Lead team, she was invited to work closely with the new commisssioning team members, acting as their mentor and fast tracking them into their new roles.  Alongside the invitation to become a mentor came the opportunity to train in the art of coaching and mentoring.

Zoe has embraced this new role and her newly-learned skills and already worked with four CGPLs new to role.

Anupa Patel, BSc (Hons), MSc, MCOptom, Dip Tp (IP), Dip Glauc

Coaching Objectives

  • Develop reflective practice
  • Develop greater self-awareness
  • Understand emotional triggers and how to manage them
  • Improve resilience
  • Improve positivity
  • Improve personal impact
  • Develop career goals

The coaching style and approach aspiring to create is:

  • Empathic, challenging, insightful.
  • Based on the needs of individuals
  • Open and honest
  • Confidential, providing a supportive space in which clients can reflect and reach decisions

Special Interests

  • Coaching for Clinical Performance

Anupa has worked as an optometrist in numerous organisations including the NHS and large optical companies and over the years her role has evolved to include supervision and mentoring of new recruits entering the organisation and those wishing to advance their knowledge.

These roles have given her great satisfaction as she feels that she is contributing and nurturing the next generation of optometrists. She has benefitted immensely from work colleagues who have taken time to coach and mentor her and it has allowed her to progress in her career far more than she would have without their input.

Anupa has discovered that coaching is a next step forward to realising someone’s potential but in a more sustained way; it empowers them to develop their own goals and helps them to tackle their issues in a safe environment. She found the coaching experience invaluable as it allows time to explore and reflect on the challenges we all face in a busy working environment. For her, it’s also rewarding as a coach to see a client fulfil their objectives and create a positive outcome.

In addition to the above, she has also been a LOC Committee member for the past three years which has allowed her to develop her coaching and mentoring skills. She would like to continue to offer coaching to others with the benefit of increasing motivation and re-energising the working environment.

Catherine Freeman, BSc, MSc, MCOptom

Coaching and Mentoring specialist interests

  • Coach for clinical performance
  • Mentor for clinical performance

Catherine has spent the last 22 years in optometric practice as an optometrist. Over the last 10 years she also moved in to a management role which involves training new optometrists to the company and then mentoring them. She also provides support to the optometry team in their professional development and training needs. In recent years, she became a member of the Berkshire LOC.

Jane Bell, BSc FCOptom DipTpIP DipGlauc

Coaching and Mentoring specialist interests

  • Coach for clinical performance
  • Coach/mentor LOC Chairs & new members
  • Mentor new-to-role Clinical Governance & Performance Leads

Jane has worked for the LOCSU in various roles since its inception in 2008. During that time Jane was involved in developing and delivering interactive training days for new LOC members and Chairs. She has been a member of the Dorset LOC for over 30 years and is a AOP Councillor representing the South West so has developed a good understanding of the issues facing LOC members and the wider optical profession. This has been enhanced by Chairing the Wessex (Hampshire & Dorset) Local Eye Health Network (LEHN) on a part-time basis since June 2014.

Jane has always had a keen interest in ongoing professional development and in supporting others within the profession with their development. She has had many health care professionals, including GP registrars, sitting in on clinics to enable them to learn more about optics and ophthalmology. More recently, Jane has used coaching and mentoring to support new members of the LOCSU team and the LEHN as well as coaching an optometrist in preparation for a GOC performance review. This proved to be very effective and illustrated the potential power and benefits of coaching & mentoring.

Jane is an independent prescribing optometrist and was awarded the Diploma in Glaucoma in May 2016. Her current clinical work is mainly in a Community Ophthalmology service located within a large GP Health Centre where she paper triages most of the referrals received from primary care optometrists and GPs enabling a good understanding and overview of referral types and quality. Jane also does a Saturday morning clinic in an independent DO-owned high street practice and has worked in all types of optical practices in the past including Specsavers and Boots as well as independents and the hospital eye service, so has a good experience and understanding of all types of practice and the pressures and challenges that can be encountered.

Jane Gray, MCOptom BSc (Hons) PG Cert Eye Care Governance Prof Cert Glaucoma

Coaching objectives

My key areas of interest within the coaching process are:

  • Develop greater self-awareness
  • Understand emotional triggers and how to manage them
  • Develop reflective practice
  • Work collaboratively within the organisation and with external agencies
  • Identify leadership and management style and its impact on others and team dynamics
  • Develop political astuteness within the professional setting
  • Develop influencing skills
  • Improve personal impact and confidence
  • Communicate more effectively
  • Develop career goals
  • Mentoring for optical professionals

Coaching style and approach

The coaching style and approach that Jane is developing and aspires to is:

  • Working in partnership with coaching clients to achieve their outcomes based on their individual needs
  • Challenging, supportive and non-judgemental
  • Encouraging open and honest dialogue facilitating robust action planning and feedback whilst maintaining a confidential environment

It is the moment that a coachee realises their inner potential for themselves that is the greatest thrill for me as a coach. Being a coach is central to my holistic approach to my professional career; it comes from my belief in lifelong learning.

I have coached a number of people of diverse backgrounds and professions both locally and nationally over the past decade.  This has enabled me to help people make changes to their performance to satisfy organisational or professional requirements; also to enhance their careers within their own profession and for some to make a significant change in their career direction. Coachee feedback suggests that I have helped them achieve their objectives and from this feedback dialogue they have helped me to develop as a coach. My involvement in the ILM Level 5 Coaching and Mentoring qualification has enabled me support trainee coaches and further promote the benefits and practice of coaching for coachees, their organisations and other organisations considering coaching.

Coaching is integral to my professional life; it does not end with each coaching session, it is fundamental to the way I, as an optometrist, operate within a hospital clinical team, run my optical practice and support students within my role as a post graduate Module Leader in Leadership at Cardiff University.

Kris Cottier, GCGI BSc (Hons) MSc PGCert (Clinical eyecare governance) MCOptom DipTP(AS)

Coaching and Mentoring specialist interests

  • Coaching and Mentoring clinical performance for LOC members
  • Coaching and Mentoring clinical performance for performance outliers

Kris is a freelance and locum optometrist working in S.E. London and Kent. He qualified in 1999 and has worked in practically every optical environment including refractive optometry, hospital, domiciliary and peer development. Shortly after qualifying he joined the Bexley Bromley & Greenwich (BBG) Local Optical Committee and has helped shape local enhanced services for diabetes, glaucoma, cataract, PEARS and MECS, and following his nomination, BBG LOC won the AOP “LOC of the Year 2012” Award.

Within BBG LOC he is ‘clinical lead for eCET’, responsible for the planning, management, writing and submission of eCET events, including the provision of peer discussion for which he’s an accredited facilitator. He is an established and prolific submission writer for eCET and CE (New Zealand) submissions for LOCs and for the College of Optometrist’s “Acuity” and “Optometry in Practice” in-house publications. He also wrote and managed the eCET for the LOCSU-led peer facilitators training and also the 2015 & 16 AOP National Optical Conference. His eCET work has resulted in the awarding of over 32,000 eCET points for optical professionals.

He is passionate about education and personal development and whilst a resident optometrist supervised twelve pre-registration optometrists and one pre-registration dispensing optician. Additionally, he is a first aid at work instructor and WOPEC examiner for PEARS/MECS and the glaucoma schemes.

He was one of the first practitioners to gain The Diploma in Therapeutics (Additional Supply), and has since undertaken an MSc in Clinical Optometry via City, a Post Graduate Certificate in Eye-care Governance via Cardiff, the ILM level 5 Coaching & Mentoring via LOCSU, the BTEC in Diabetic screening and grading, and undertaken local clinical and hospital eye service placements in diabetes, glaucoma and A&E. His 2016 PGCert “Audit on the Primary Eye-Care Acute Referral Scheme within NHS Bromley Commissioning Group” was published in Optometry in Practice providing much needed peer reviewed clinical evidence for the development and subsequent commissioning of community optometry schemes (view).

ILM (Endorsed) Coach and Mentor

Francesca Marchetti

Coaching and Mentoring specialist interests

  • Coach LOC Secretary
  • Coach for LOC Committee members
  • Coach new optical assistants gain confidence in their new role
  • Coach established optical assistants, dispensing opticians and optometrists reach their full potential
  • Coach optometrists, dispensing opticians and optical assistants on returning to work

Francesca is a self-employed independent optometrist and works in the Warwickshire/West Midland region. She works with independent and multiples practices as well as working at Aston University and the Midland Eye Hospital. She has been part of Warwickshire LOC for the last 12 years and during that time served as LOC Secretary.

In her final year as Secretary she was shadowed by the Secretary-elect for 12 months and, once appointed to the role, she was available to mentor and coach him along the way.

Francesca has also coached and mentored new optical assistants to achieve their goals which involved studying to gain certificates in optical dispensing which has subsequently led them into further education and onto the dispensing optician courses. She has coached a well-established member of an optical practice to enable her to gain confidence in her role and fully fulfil her position as a regional manager within the group of practices

She has coached and mentored optometrists to enable them to get back into the workforce and enable them to enjoy the job that they were qualified to do.