Matt Lovesy – A People Person
Matt Lovesy, originally from Northampton, has been a training and development officer at Devon Doctors for two years. But it wasn’t in education or training that Matt honed his people skills. For 15 years he worked for Her Majesty’s Prison Service in several different institutions including HMP Wandsworth, Exeter and Broadmoor. Over the years Matt Lovesy has garnered experience working with many different people, some of whom, he admits, were challenging to get on with.
‘Now I’ve got a job where no one wants to fight me’.
Matt grasped the opportunity to head to the South West back in 2012. It was a big adventure for him, his wife and their two children as they knew nobody in the area. They felt compelled, however, to move away from the rat race of London. Matt said,
‘We only have one life, so it’s about living it,’
Wanting to follow his dream and leave behind the stresses of his role in HMP Exeter (which included implementing a ‘no smoking’ rule amongst roughly 500 offenders who smoked) he landed his current role at Devon Doctors.
Here his role has been a developmental one, from inducting new staff into the service to evolving an out-of-hours GP Service, and he trains both clinical and non-clinical staff. Devon Doctors, is a social enterprise which works with the NHS. It employs 640 people – a mix of drivers (who drive the GPs and nursing Staff around), call handlers, dentistry staff and manages eight GP surgeries.
The Call Centre in Sowton, handles all the out-of-hours 111 calls for Devon. Devon Doctors also has a similar call centre in Somerset. Matt explained:
‘In total, we process a staggering 200,000 out-of-hours calls each year, which lead to 6,500 out-of-hours appointments.’
Once a call has been received and assessed, Devon Doctors may direct the caller to one of the nine treatment centres across the region, where they see a GP. Alternatively, the GP may do visits in the community using a Devon Doctor’s vehicle. The social enterprise is owned by every GP service in the county. It is commissioned by Devon CCG to provide out of hours GP care to 1.2 million people across the county.
Given the stressful nature of his role, Matt, who lives near Ottery St Mary, likes to unwind by playing rugby during the colder months. The Exeter Saracens front-row says that rugby is in the blood and is, ‘a part of his DNA make-up’.
And, perhaps not satisfied with the mud that he picks up on the rugby field, Matt enjoys the odd Bootcamp and recently took part in a mud run.
‘They put me on the most difficult obstacles because it’s all about talking to people and coaching them to succeed which is a lot like my job role. It’s about trying to empower people – providing a little bit of guidance and knowledge to help them over and catch them if they fall’.
There’s something comforting about the fact that a service like Devon Doctors exists. Equally as comforting, is that someone with Matt’s skill set and passion is there to train and develop the staff. In a health system challenged by the moving chess pieces of politics and government funding, Devon residents (and their physical and mental health wellbeing) rely heavily on individuals like Matt to grease the wheels and make sure that positive outcomes are delivered as often as possible.
Written by Joff Alexander-Frye
Images supplied by Matt Lovesy
Exeter Saracens image by Bridget Bachelor