60 seconds with…Diane Piatek

Diane Piatek, practice manager at Hilary Cottage Surgery, explains why her dressage horse Carlos is perfect company at the end of a long day, talks about serving in the Women’s RAF and recently becoming a non-clinical partner

What do you do to de-stress after a long day?

I am an avid horsewoman and am very lucky to live in the heart of eventing country in the Cotswolds and to own my own horses (we currently have two, with a foal due in the spring which we’re all very excited about). I find riding my dressage horse, Carlos, a great de-stressor at the end of a busy day and it helps to keep me fit as a bonus! My daughter is a keen event rider but is currently having to take a sabbatical to concentrate on her second-year university studies.

Tell me something unusual or interesting about yourself

In a previous life I served queen and country as a member of the Women’s Royal Air Force. I have many wonderful memories of this time and was lucky enough, during a tour of Germany, to meet the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. I had to assist her and her aides to dress appropriately in combat uniform when they were visiting the troops on deployment out in the field…lovely lady and a great experience!

What’s been your greatest achievement at your practice?

A personal achievement was recently becoming a non-clinical partner. Taking on such a role in the current primary care climate I know is not without risk, but I do feel so very chuffed to have been asked in the first place and am looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead!

If you could visit anywhere in the world where would it be, and why?

Definitely New Zealand – my brother lives in Wellington and has done so for nearly 10 years. I still haven’t found the time to visit him!

What was the last thing that happened, professionally, that really surprised you?

How fragmented technology and communication still is today within the NHS between primary/ secondary care and other agencies. This really does need to be addressed – I’ve read about the new NHS Digital ‘GP Connect’ programme which may go some way towards a solution – but that was what the Summary Care Records programme promised so I suppose we will have to wait and see!

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What’s your favourite aspect of your job?

The diversity of my job is great, as is working with such a supportive, cohesive team of people who go the extra mile for patients. It’s a great place to work and I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.

If there was one thing about your job that you could change, what would it be?

The only thing I would change is the number of hours I work in a day – as there really is never enough time to get this job done!

What’s your favourite meal?  

I love spicy food and there’s nothing better to look forward to at the end of a busy working week than a good curry!

What’s your greatest day-to-day challenge?

Managing my hectic work/life balance and keeping all balls in the air!