What makes today different to any other working day at Symbios?…..well, for starters, I am sitting in front of a laptop and, where my foreground would normally be four large white surgery boards, it has transformed into my back garden. The sound of the photocopier and clanging instrumentation has now been replaced by the Dawn Chorus.  I have always dreamed of this scene, but unfortunately this has not been through personal choice. The Coronavirus pandemic has taken us all by surprise and working for a company that manufactures and supplies top quality Orthopaedic Implants and Instrumentation, we have  had to make adjustments and provisions to ensure we continue to offer the support and professional service we pride ourselves with.

My journey with Symbios started six years ago. As Senior administrator, my job role is to ensure the smooth running of the Exeter Office. Attention to detail and accuracy is paramount and I am always looking for ways that will allow us to cross check and avoid (although we are human and mistakes do happen) any mishaps…my answer to everything is Spreadsheets and filters ….. standing joke in the office, but they have certainly helped during my time at home.

We are a great team, always finding time to have a banter, but when it comes to the crux of things, we are on it. During this challenging time, difficult but necessary decisions were made by Justin, but as a team we have all been supportive and understanding, keeping lines of communication open at all times.

It was imperative that the Exeter Office was still in operation, and in order to stay on top of everything, it was necessary to make certain adjustments and provisions to enable me to work from home as well as the office. As a key worker, it was agreed that I would work from the office for 2 days and from home 3 days.

A laptop was purchased and all relevant files and programmes were installed so I could continue to access e-mails, place orders and deal with any queries.

Where my drive to work on the A303, from Somerset to Exeter, would have been scenes of tractors and number plates it was now a wide, open, long, desolate road,  almost like a scene from a supernatural film. I never thought I would have to carry a letter giving me permission to drive to work, but this is my pass and I carry it with me at all times.

Although I am a keyworker in the background, I feel truly proud and honoured that I am in a position to provide hospitals with the necessary equipment to enable them to carry out life changing surgeries.

Stay safe and do not lose that smile!

Sue Ratcliffe


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