Innovative hi-tech telehealth services designed by Staffordshire-based Simple Shared Healthcare are supporting patients’ health from Staffordshire to Australia.
Now Let’s Do Mentoring is ensuring the social enterprise behind the successful health applications itself is fighting fit to support patients for years to come.
Stoke-on-Trent IT innovator Phil O’Connell has spent years perfecting telehealth services supporting patients with health needs from heart problems to mental health issues. The systems, known as Flo, Annie and Nellie were developed by Phil who then assigned the Intellectual Property to the NHS.
Simple Shared Healthcare is run as a social enterprise with staff working from their own home under Phil’s guidance.
After joining Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce earlier this year, Simple Shared Healthcare was made aware of Let’s Do Mentoring and decided to take advantage of the free at the point of delivery mentoring hours available to any business in the county.
Phil, a Chartered IT Professional, was introduced to Tom Yeung, a volunteer mentor and owner of Success Management which has worked with scores of companies to help with building successful businesses, change management and strategic development.
Tom said: “Our mentoring goal was to create a successful, long-term sustainable business. I approached the mentoring with an open mind as I wanted to understand where Phil’s business needed to get to, what roles were people playing and whether there were any barriers to overcome.
“The scope of Simple Shared Healthcare is massive and we identified that we needed to get the structure right.”
Phil said: “Tom wanted me to feel like I could let go of some of the tasks within the business as we have an extremely talented team with the ability to take responsibility. We have grown organically and now needed guidance from our mentor to ensure we have the right structures to future proof the business. A focus on revenue is critical as all income generated is reinvested for the benefit of patients.
“The mentoring has emphasised where we had gaps and allowed us to consider how to fill them. I have got far more out of mentoring than I ever imagined I would and I’d certainly recommend it to any company looking to move forward.”
Phil and Tom have met regularly since Spring 2019. As the team are home workers, they have taken advantage of meeting room facilities at Staffordshire Chambers’ Commerce House, Festival Park, to hold whole team sessions with Tom.
The Intellectual Property was initially assigned to the NHS in Stoke-on-Trent and has since proved a success across the UK, the US and Australia. Examples of its use include helping children to monitor Type One Diabetes in South Tyneside and supporting the US Veterans Health Administration with self-care between hospital appointments.
Evaluation of Flo – named after nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale – for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease patients in the Scottish Highlands found evidence that the health pathway integrating Flo reduced the number of hospital admissions; reduced the total number of bed days; reduced GP appointments and reduced clinic appointments.
- Develop a clear business plan
- Define job roles and responsibilities
- Focus on marketing and sales
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