"There’s never a dull day at DMC and it’s very rewarding."
Colin Gentle, Estates and Facilities Assistant Manager tells us about how being brought up in a business-oriented family has instilled hard work and a desire to learn, and how this has led to three promotions at DMC.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do after school”
I decided on a sports management degree at Coventry University as I liked business and loved playing football. My parents ran a newsagent which I worked in from a very early age so I’ve grown up in a hard working environment that has rubbed off on me. After university, I worked alongside my grandad in his T-shirt business, joining as a director and spent 2 years doubling the size of the company. I then decided to move on and get a career. But first I wanted to see the world. So I went travelling for a year to Asia and Australia which was amazing, doing a 2-week introductory tour and ended up getting a job as tour leader.
“I came back to the UK in June 2018”
I applied for all sorts of jobs including travel and recruitment roles and then a family member who was head of primary care for DMC at the time, suggested I apply for a role at DMC. I was successful and joined DMC in Sept 2018 as project manager in primary care.
“As project manager I learnt so much"
The role was really interesting, mainly focusing on the mobilisation of new GP practices, ensuring plans are followed and remain on schedule from project initiation to closure. Responsibilities include HR, IT, finance and assisting with the TUPE process, introducing DMC procedures and the novation of contract agreements. I’d come in and speak to the staff and get involved in marketing and compliance of local CQC guidelines. It was a great learning curve and allowed me to see all sides of the business, with the aim of delivering better care to patients.
“My advice is follow your passion”
Driven by my colleague Kerry, we have done a lot of work to improve awareness of menopause. I produced a video along with a symptom checker – it’s not just about hot flushes. Your GP is out there to help with the 100s of symptoms and the effect on people’s lives and work
“I then moved over to estates site lead”
Due to the experience gained, after a year I ended up doing a lot of work on compliance, fire safety, water safety etc and I knew the process for CQC compliance. SoI concentrated on making sure all sites were complaint with their health and safety along with procurement work for the next two years.
“From August 2021 I became Estates and Facilities Assistant Manager”
Then the company was looking for a new estates manager. I put myself forward and was successful. I currently work in a wide range of areas under the estates umbrella, ensuring smooth operations and compliance atDMC’s local GP sites and over 40 sites around the country for our dermatology and community services contracts. Six months ago, I had another promotion whereby I’m now managing the head office, with more responsibility such as rent reviews, service charges, lease agreements and the more technical aspects.
“DMC has given me so many opportunities”
I got the job with no experience of the NHS or estates. DMC has allowed me to grow into a variety of different roles. They supported me and gave me responsibilities at a young age. They stuck with me and let me train up and learn.
“I don’t think I’d be where I am today if it wasn’t for DMC”
They have given me a great opportunity to move toLondon and be an expert in estates and compliance. The opportunity to grow and learn is a big thing at DMC. The more opportunities I’m given, the better.
“DMC is a family run business and you can really feel that”
The directors and family are very personable, the support is really good and I’ve built a great working relationship with them. I’m also proud to have worked with people that have wonderful knowledge and experience, eg some great doctors and clinicians, an in house lawyer, IT programme engineers and data teams – you learn a lot from them.
“My future is to continue to grow at DMC”
The next step for me is looking to grow as an estates manager and have my own estates team. I’d love to have a mini-me. As DMC grows the team will grow. I love it here. I have a lot of friends here and I play football every Thursday in a 5-a-side team.
“My advice is to take every opportunity with both hands”
Be willing to learn. Be eager. That’s why I’ve got to where I am. If you are someone who is wanting to grow your career, you can move on quite quickly at DMC. There is never a dull day at DMC and although I’m not involved directly in patient care, having a nice, safe facility they can come in and use, and having staff coming into a nice environment gives me a lot of job satisfaction, seeing people comfortable and happy.