Evening Times profile
Dr Sheila O’Neill appeared in last week’s Evening Times (3rd October 2016) within the feature about new business start-ups called Glasgow Means Business.
You can find it here http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/14819460.Glasgow_Means_Business/ or read her answers below:
Who are you?
My name is Dr Sheila O’Neill, I am a private GP and the founder of Glasgow Medical Rooms.
What does your business do?
Glasgow Medical Rooms provides a comprehensive GP service in Glasgow city centre offering a holistic service from initial contact throughout to patients with busy and demanding lifestyles. We offer appointments to individuals and to businesses for employees at short notice.
We offer quick appointments at convenient times geared to the needs of individuals and businesses In addition, we can register patients for a modest monthly fee and this allows us to look after all of their medical care in the longer term.
Absolute confidentiality outwith the NHS GP, if required, and personal service are at the heart of the service. Our ethos is very much empathetic and patient centred, keeping in close communication at all times with patients.
We offer comprehensive medicals for reassurance if patients are worried about their health or whether just wishing a “check-up”.
Due to long working relationships with hospital consultants and key medical staff, I’m able to advise on secondary referrals to hospitals, linking in with consultants who are the best in their fields thus providing the best service for patients. This makes the process seamless for both private and NHS referrals.
Glasgow Medical Rooms offers a corporate package for businesses- the average person in the UK sees a general practitioner 6 times per year. The average monetary cost to a business due to sick leave per person is £595/year. Time to travel to and from the surgery often means a half-day away from work.
We can provide appointments to suit. There is no waiting, and the turnaround time means that the whole process – desk to desk – can take less than one hour.
The practice offers a wide range of other services including sexual health screens, help with alcohol/drug problems, well men and women medicals, travel advice and vaccinations, VISA medicals and a range of psychological and counselling services and physiotherapy. We will also do home visits and visit businesses to provide the flu vaccine in winter.
Where are you based?
At 211 St Vincent St in Glasgow city centre, just down from Blythswood Square. It is a prime central location for businesses who wish their key or regular employees and for individuals who wish assessed quickly. It’s just off the M8 motorway and is surrounded by excellent parking.
How did you get started?
I was ready to move on from my last job and with my husband and family’s encouragement, I started at 211 St Vincent St after renovating the property.
What is your background?
I obtained my medical degree after studying at Glasgow University in 1991 and then went on to obtain my diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 1994 and GP Membership exam in 1995. I had worked extensively in the NHS in different specialties before deciding that General Practice was where I could make the biggest difference to the biggest number of patients.
In 1996 I joined a GP practice as a partner and started work in a very busy inner city Health Centre. During that time, I in addition to doing my clinical work I organised and applied for the practice to become a training practice for young doctors wishing to become GPs. I was successful and then became the lead trainer for 12 years I guided young doctors in their early careers, showing them how to combine skill, compassion and confidentiality. I have also taught countless medical students and have looked after school students attending for work experience.
What is your top tip?
Take action if you’re not happy in a job – find another one and move- don’t allow yourself to get into a rut just because it’s easy.
How long has your business been running?
Has anyone helped you get started and how?
I was given a lot of guidance and encouragement to make the move and create my own business, from good friends who are expert business men – Robert Jenkins of Onestop Roofing and Tom Nolan of NCS, an international IT business. I have been given ongoing encouragement and help at low points from them and from my lifelong friends Mike Smith – Orbs MD and Denis Mone from Scottish Enterprise.
What was your biggest mistake/or what would you do differently?
I was unaware of the law surrounding commercial property and how long it would take to obtain premises and wait for planning permission to be granted. If there’s a next time, I’ll have my premises ready much earlier.
Where do you plan your business to be in five years’ time?
I plan to be offering a high end medical service to individuals with busy lifestyles and companies wishing to keep their employees well and sick leave down. I aim to be the leading private GP in Glasgow.