Interviews

Focussing on rehabilitation at the beginning of the year

5 min read

02 February 2017

Premier Medical chairman Harry Brunjes has big plans for 2017, but is not forgetting to engage with a little rehabilitation work to ensure a smooth passage.

In spite of the endless on-going problems with Southern Rail, compounded by the London Underground joining in the melee, I started this year with optimism and enthusiasm – but thoughts of rehabilitation.

The transport barriers means you have to adapt and, as yet, I have not missed an appointment. I suspect, like many, I have now become an expert into the numerous ways you can get into London. Driving in and out of London at midnight is now becoming part of my working day.

On a generic level the medico-legal sector has struggled significantly in recent years with regulatory intervention. There have been many high-level casualties, profit warnings and failures in this world. Going forward, innovative business models will have to be developed and adhered to, resulting in a new and different relationship between lawyers and experts.

There will be a need for greater synergism with mutual targets as opposed to the traditional applicant/supplicant relationship. It will be important that medicine becomes as pivotal as management in the process. IT will also be central which is why the acquisition of WARP, a medical software company, was so important to us in the second half of last year.

In the last month of 2016 several very interesting opportunities landed on the desk. Myself and the senior management team at Premier are working through due diligence on various proposals which involves providing medical resource in the personal injury sector and indeed others.

We had very interesting and (to use political speak) robust board meeting in December. Much of the conversation is confidential but will form the basis of a strategy day scheduled for after Easter.

A great deal of work has been undertaken by Bob Goodall, our medical director, in assessing our pool of medical experts nationwide. We have introduced an appraisal system which involves regular review to make sure that we have the right balance of “expert and efficiency”.

It must not be forgotten that medical experts are what we provide and it is important that we provide the best. There has been a high-profile case in regards of a medical expert recently ,and it is paramount that the medico-legal sector must display the same standards in terms of the credibility and professionalism of experts as we would in clinical practice.

We will also focus upon rehabilitation at the start of the year. In a sense, it is an adjunct to the core business however, that said, it is important to suggest the requirement for rehabilitation with a “clinical hat” firmly on. The need for rehabilitation, which in truth is clinical intervention, must be reasonable, appropriate and therefore recoverable.

It’s necessity must be commensurate with the clinical pathway you would utilise in your treating practice. As with our medical experts, we are diligently undertaking a full appraisal of all the rehabilitation experts and faculties we currently engage with nationwide. It is arduous, time-consuming but important if we are to set the benchmark and both maintain and reinforce our reputation for best practice.

To do “right’”will be a core value and very much central to the ethos of Premier Medical as we enter our second year. The diary for the first quarter of the year is solidly booked re-engaging with stakeholders, many of whom I have known for a very long time. The regulatory changes and further plans indicated by the Ministry of Justice cause concern to many. I am afraid the human species is not known to be very good with change but there is always opportunity if you look hard enough, become more agile and learn to diversify.

Like with the transport problems you just have to adapt.

This article is part of a wider campaign called Founders Diaries, a section of Real Business that brings together 20 inspiring business builders to share their stories. Bringing together companies from a wide variety of sectors and geographies, each columnist produces a diary entry each month. Visit the Founders Diaries section to find out more.