What’s Nuffield Health’s mission?
We’re clear on what our purpose is. We’re the UK’s largest healthcare charity and that flows through our DNA and into all of our decision-making.
We encapsulate this in a simple mission statement: ‘Nuffield Health exists to build a healthier nation’. I know that sounds like a cliché, but it genuinely is the thing that drives all of our activity, the work we do and the way we’re moving the business forward.
Sitting beneath that, we have our three guiding principles. Firstly, if we want to build a healthier nation, we need to extend our reach to improve the health not only of the patients and members who use us, but also those who live near our facilities – and even beyond.
We impacted 1.5 million lives last year and every year we challenge ourselves to go further.
Second is our concept of connected health, which Martin will tell you more about.
In brief, connected health means that – no matter where you are on your healthcare and wellbeing journey – as soon as you touch any part of Nuffield Health, we’re there with the support and advice you need.
There’s a whole loop of getting you fit, maintaining your wellbeing, then – if you do end up requiring treatment, whether that be physio or hospital treatment – putting you back together again and getting you back to fitness.
In this respect, our hospitals, clinics and gyms aren’t currently as well-connected as we would ideally like. We’re integrated as an organisation – our regional directors now look after the hospitals, gyms and clinics in their areas – and there are already some connected pathways in place, but there’s still more work to be done in this area.
Our vision is for there to be a totally integrated, seamless journey available for all our members and patients across the full breadth of our organisation.
Third, whether through our hospitals, clinical services or gyms, we strive to achieve the highest level of quality and outcomes for the patients and members who use us.
Our bigger vision is to then become an all-encompassing health and wellbeing provider catering to all stages of the healthcare journey, and to do so in a way that extends our reach beyond our members.
How will you extend your reach?
We currently have 31 hospitals, 200 corporate clinics and 112 gyms, and we’re looking to grow that number.
From a physical estate perspective, there are currently areas of the UK where we have white spaces: hospitals where there are no gyms or gyms where there are no hospitals.
For 75 per cent of our estate, there’s already a gym or hospital nearby, but we’re keen to fill in the gaps; connecting our whole estate geographically will allow us to provide a seamless member experience in all locations.
A big one will be the opening of our first London hospital in 2021, but I think it’s realistic to say that, in 10 years’ time, 85-90 per cent of the population could be served by a Nuffield Health hospital or gym within an hour’s drive.
We’ll also extend our reach digitally and we’re already working hard on that side of our offering.
1.5 million lives last year and every year
we challenge ourselves
to go further
Over the years, as our business has grown, we’ve ended up with numerous repositories of data. The 2025 vision is to bring all of that together into a single customer view.
In turn, this will enable us to support people with whatever health services they need, measure the outcomes of those interactions and then provide an even more personalised service on the back of that.
Even if you don’t live near a physical building that belongs to Nuffield, you’ll still be able to access our services digitally. You can still have a digital health assessment, interact with a virtual clinician and get the support you need.
We expect digital will mostly be used as an add-on to our physical facilities, but if we ultimately achieve our ambition – to stop being such a well-kept secret, and instead become the UK’s most trusted health and wellbeing brand by 2025 – then there’s no reason why people wouldn’t make us their first port of call digitally too.
Quite aside from the triage capability of AI, there’s a whole plethora of self-help areas where we can help, and where online is actually an appealing way for people to start.
So, that’s the long-term digital vision, but we have to start somewhere, and the starting point is that single customer view. This is the foundation that will allow us to build strong, personalised relationships with members and patients across our full physical and digital network.
What about your flagship programmes?
We’ll continue to grow our flagship programmes. These involve us going out into the community to deliver either free or highly subsidised health programmes for those might most benefit from this help, but who can’t necessarily afford or who don’t have access to our services.
This comes back to our charity status, whereby rather than just looking at things through a purely financial lens, we also measure the value of our initiatives on the basis of social return on investment. We then know where we’re having the greatest impact, whether that’s assisting those with joint pain to the point that they’re able to go back to work, working with those dealing with cancer, or helping children in schools to lead a healthier life.
It’s been a huge drive for us to extend these flagship programmes and initiatives over the last 18 months, and we’ll continue to build and build them.
We’re a charity, so we do look at things through a different lens. Our hospital business is driven by episodic revenue, but if we can get patients through physio to the point where they don’t require an operation or other such intervention, then that’s a good outcome for us.
Ours is absolutely a health and prevention agenda rather than a hospital-based agenda. People are getting older, so I can’t imagine us ever getting to the point where our hospitals aren’t required, but our focus is on keeping people healthy and out of hospital as much as possible.
Are the standalone clinics also part of your growth plans?
These are pretty much all corporate driven: we’re the largest provider of corporate wellbeing services in the UK, with 100,000 members who use corporate gyms within their places of work. Alongside this are our clinics, but again these are created on behalf of our corporate clients.
I don’t see the standalone clinic model being used to fill gaps in our consumer-facing estate. We will still be focusing on creating full-scale hospitals and, at a gym level, using a format that goes no smaller than our existing Fitness & Wellbeing Clubs. However, within that, we’re shifting our clinics out of our hospitals and into our gyms, so hospital patients will now use our gyms for their rehab and clinical activity. Ultimately, we want to use our clubs to improve the outcomes of our clinical services, which all comes back to our core concept of connected health.
Nuffield Health currently has 31 hospitals, 200 corporate clinics and 112 gyms