Welcome to the second in our brand-new series of interviews called,’ Ten Minutes With.’ Now more than ever
it’s important to talk so we wanted to give businesses the opportunity to do just that.
In our new feature we’ll be asking businesses all about them, asking them to share what they’re doing during lockdown and what their plans are for when this is all over.
This week we’re talking former Royal Navy nurse, owner and founder of Phoenix Occupational Health Lyndsey Marchant based in Tunstall.
How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
I’m straight talking, have a no-nonsense approach, am professional with a caring side and throughout
everything I do I instill military values.
Tell us about your business?
It’s a family run business which I launched in 2011 and we provide all aspects of occupational health services across the country but predominantly in the Midlands.
Our services include management referrals and sickness absence management support, health surveillance (as governed by the Health and Safety Executive), staff health checks and health promotion including things like blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as practical advice and support to help keep staff in work and healthy.
What did you do before launching your business?
Immediately before launching the company I was a nurse working in the Prison Service, but I have a military
background which is something I’m very proud of. I am a Queen Alexandra Royal Navy Nurse and was
medically discharged in 2004 because of a musculoskeletal injury.
When I left the navy, the support I got from Occupational Health was fantastic. They made me see that there
were alternatives to doing the role that I had always loved, and as a result I wanted to give something back.
My role has the ability to make a real difference to someone. We can help people back into work when health
problems have meant they didn’t think it was possible or we help support them with options if a change in
circumstances means their previous role is no longer an option.
Why do you do what you do?
I want to help my clients achieve something special and I believe the business owners I work with have the talent to do that. A measure of success for me is at least one of my clients achieving something truly extraordinary within the next five years.
Many small business owners are creative and entrepreneurial but can struggle with the planning side. I can help them with the challenges that growing a business brings, like taking on staff. Creating an environment where you can bring the best out of people will deliver success. Seeing clients achieve their goals is one of my key drivers.
What advice do you have for companies during this time?
Obviously, we’d advise following government advice, washing your hands, the two meter rule, not touching
your face and making sure staff self-isolate at home if they have symptoms, or have an underlying health
conditions which means they have to shield.
For those businesses where staff have to be at work it’s about employers making their specific environments
as safe as possible, heightening cleaning regimes especially in communal areas, and taking steps such as
asking staff to stand or sit back to back rather than face to face.
I think there’s a risk that some businesses will push ahead without getting the right advice and support needed because they maybe feel they don’t need it.
Occupational Health is all about supporting employers and employees. In fact, it’s the only branch of medicine to support work-place health. It’s what we do every day and we are here to help so if companies aren’t sure as lockdown eases I’d say just ask. My degree was actually in public health, so my training is invaluable at the moment.
I think businesses will need advice and help more than ever, once they re-open and staff go back to work as
there will obviously be worries to address.
How are you coping in lockdown?
We’ve adapted and shaped the business around what’s been needed including advice, reassurance and
counselling as understandably this is a very stressful time for employers and their staff.
At the start of lockdown, we offered our help to the NHS and have been working to support them with
occupational health services, and Covid related advice at The Christie, Leighton and Macclesfield Hospitals.
From a personal perspective I’ve tried to focus on each individual day and not look too far ahead. I’ve
exercised and have been crocheting to relax which I think is important at times like this.
Have you learnt anything about yourself?
I am fairly adaptable anyway, but I think the lockdown has accentuated that. As a business we’ve essentially
got on with it and delivered what our clients have needed, a lot of that has involved advice and giving
Are you going to do anything differently after lockdown has been lifted?
We’ve previously done our consultations face to face at our clients’ premises because that’s what they’ve
wanted. I think that the lockdown has shown that we can give the same level of quality service with remote
case management via Zoom or video conferencing. I think any reluctance clients have had before about that,
will have gone so I think will definitely be doing more of the same going forward.
What are your plans for the future?
I think we are heading towards a new kind of normal and we’ll be adapting to that to make sure we’re
supporting our clients to the best of our ability to reflect that.
And finally, if you were down to your last fifty quid what would you spend it on?
My family and friends know me too well so there’s no point in fibbing – it would go on bottles of Baileys!
If you’d like to be one of our, ‘Ten Minutes With,’ interviewees please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll grab a cuppa over Zoom.