Welcome to ACES: Q&A with Gemma Hutton, NHS Partnership Executive for ACES Exeter

We had a chat with Gemma Hutton, who was recently appointed as the new NHS Partnership Executive for our ACES clinic in Exeter. Already well-established and connected within the local Devon community, Gemma brings with her a wealth of experience working with eye care providers both in the NHS and private surgery sector.

  • What were you doing previously?

Before joining ACES, I worked for the local Primary Eyecare Service as the Operations Manager. I was responsible for cataract follow-up contracts, liaising with community optometrists and Independent Sector Providers (ISPs) to ensure that the patients suitable for NHS treatment were given choice in their eye care provider and were going through the best possible journey when having their cataract removed.

This position was much supported with my knowledge from previous employment as a clinic manager within the private/NHS eye surgery sector.

  • What first attracted you to join ACES?

I am passionate about providing our local NHS patients with the best possible patient journey to having their vision restored. ACES is a relatively new provider in my area and I wanted to get on board and support the values ACES holds whilst giving our patients the best choice in their eye care.

  • Can you explain what your role with ACES will involve?

As an NHS Partnership Executive, I will be responsible for providing information to local opticians on how they can co-manage NHS patients and support them in guiding patients to receive the best available treatment. Patient choice is a big part of the NHS and it’s a fantastic opportunity for me to get the ACES name out there and showcase what we can do.

“Patient choice is a big part of the NHS and it’s a fantastic opportunity for me to get the ACES name out there and showcase what we can do.”

  • What are you most excited about?

I’m thrilled to be joining an already fantastic team. I enjoy meeting new people and networking, so having the opportunity to meet with practice managers, optometrists and even patients is a great vantage point for me in this role.

  • Is there anyone who has inspired you during your career?

I have been really lucky throughout my career to have had managers who have been able to recognise my potential and have supported my growth. I take from them the belief that if you have a great member of staff, you should do all that you can to help them flourish and move on, as opposed to putting a hold on their dreams in order to keep them somewhere they may not be able to grow.

  • What is the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received?

Always be courteous, polite and helpful, even when you might not be having the best day yourself. A smile goes along way! And always be yourself, your personality is who you are at heart, so it’s important that you stay true to that.

  • What are you most proud of?

Personally, I am most proud of my two children. They are my biggest achievement. In my career, I am most proud of my continued passion to develop my skills further and progress into more senior roles.

  • What would you do if you won the lottery?

If I won the lottery, I would buy a mega yacht and sail the world with my family. There is no better education than seeing the world through other people’s perspective and experiencing their culture. I might also treat myself to a luxury car collection…

If you are interested in referring your NHS patients to our ACES clinic in Exeter, please get in touch with Gemma Hutton on gemmahutton@aces-eyeclinic.co.uk or 07386 698 730.

If you or someone you know has an interest in a career with ACES, please send your CV to careers@aces-eyeclinic.co.uk or visit our Careers page.