Lunch&Learn: Cracking the code of working with the NHS

This week Mark Lomax, former GP and CEO and founder of healthtech company Medihome dropped into Health Foundry to run our December Lunch&Learn session. Mark started MediHome (now branded as Healthcare at Home) back in 2002. As a practising GP Doctor, Mark felt frustrated by how long recovery times were in patients and noticed how much happier they were when at home. He built the company from scratch and it is now one of the the UK’s leading clinical provider of healthcare out-of-hospital acute care.

Mark shared his first hand advice from what he learnt when setting up MediHome, where he cracked the code of how to engage and partner with the NHS as a customer saving them a million pounds a month. 

Below are our main takeaways from the talk:

Make it easy for the organisation you are talking to to understand how you can help their staff as well as the patient. Articulate the benefits of your innovation in terms of saving time or money, or preferably both. In the case of MediHome, as the patient could be cared for from the comfort of their home this not only kept them happy but they also saw quicker recovery times which meant less work for staff and associated cost savings for the organisation.

When you are selling to a Trust for example, navigate all levels of the organisation, not just the ones at the top. Mark emphasised the importance of understanding local issues and challenges when promoting your product, or service, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. This will demonstrate that you're genuinely interested and will help you build a stronger relationship. Mark shared his experience with MediHome of trying to go to the top of the Trust to get endorsements, but he found that someone important in the organisation endorsing your product or company doesn't carry that much weight for the people who will be using it. 

Healthtech startups are always told to find clinical and managerial champions for their idea to help sell it to the rest of the organisation. But rarely do people mention disruption killers. Disruption killers are those people in the organisation who won’t want you to succeed and will try to stop your product or service progressing. Mark spoke from experience when he said to focus on these disruption killers over the champions. It is important to ensure your proposal can come back from any criticisms that are thrown at you. You can read more about disruption killers in this Linkedin piece from Mark.

All in all a very positive and helpful Lunch&Learn. A big thanks to Mark for sharing his words and wisdom. See you here on the 11th January for our next Lunch&Learn with Lawrence Petalidis - Head of Innovation and Impact for CW+, the Health Charity for Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust.