Dr Lizzie Tuckey joins Medbelle as Chief Commercial Officer
Lizzie has over a decade of experience in the healthcare industry. Starting out her career training to be a surgeon, she moved into senior strategic healthcare planning and has worked in prominent positions, including Medical Director at Bupa, Director of Market Access, and head of strategic planning at GenesisCare. We interviewed Lizzie to see what her insights are for the future of healthcare, her plans as CCO at Medbelle, and what advice she would give patients looking to have surgery.
Dr Lizzie Tuckey's Interview
What is your vision for the future of healthcare?
I think we’ve seen a huge transformation recently with the pandemic in terms of speed of adoption of digital technologies in the provision of healthcare, things like digital online consultations, online prescriptions and home testing. We’ve seen a huge advancement in home testing, and that’s just the beginning of a digital revolution in healthcare. We’re going to move from having the total healthcare budget being spent on secondary care to a lot more money being spent on primary care and prevention, triaging and alternative therapies. With only the right people who will really benefit from having access to secondary care, that’s the future.
The future is more primary delivered healthcare, where most of the resources are spent on keeping people well and fewer resources are spent on complex interventions in hospitals. I think that’s going to be powered by the use of digital technology, at least primary healthcare, with outreach care initiatives that intervene early and try to change people’s behaviours at the front end and can operate digitally across a wide geographical area and I think that’s what the vision is.
The future of care is remote care. We already see this in hospitals, the delivery of care with the use of robots and doctors training with robots. It’s happening more and more, so surgeons can train without operating, we can simulate using digital technology and robots can mimic both surgically and non-surgically without practising on patients, which can transform the way we train doctors and surgeons. I think it’s really exciting. Healthcare is really behind. If you think about the way that we bank and verify our identities through banking and the way we shop has completely changed, but healthcare is still very similar, I think that it’s just because it’s so hard to change, and perhaps with the combination NHS and private, there hasn’t been one uniting force to bring in change, at least in the UK. But that’s my vision; my vision is we move towards more prevention than treatment.
What motivated you to get into the strategic side of the healthcare industry?
When you operate or treat a patient, you see one patient at a time; you might do a list a day and help ten patients. You do three lists a week, 52 weeks a year; you might see a couple of hundred people a year. When you’re actually involved in the planning and organisation of healthcare, you create great healthcare pathways, and by introducing digital advancements and new technologies, you can touch the lives of hundreds and thousands of people, and I found that fascinating. My natural interests were less clinical and more in strategy and organisation. Once I was working as a doctor, you could see system problems, and you wanted to make them better and help more patients.
Lizzie's Profile page
Lizzie joined Medbelle as an already accomplished physician and innovative strategic planner. After completing post-graduate training in surgery in the NHS, she wanted to have an impact on improving patients’ lives on a larger scale. With experience as an Assistant Director...
"Medbelle ticked all the boxes, I love the principle and vision, to improve healthcare and the monitoring and measurement of outcomes"
Why did you decide that Medbelle was a good fit for the next stage in your career?
I’m at a point in my career where I wanted to get close to the action. I love the dynamism of a start-up where what you do affects both the patient experience and the running of the business, that gets me really excited. Problem-solving is so different in a start-up compared to an established company; as you grow in a company, there’s a lot more politics and that takes up your time. In our meetings, we’re at the heart of problem-solving, and it’s very much akin to being a surgeon where you operate and get something done. Medbelle ticked all the boxes, I love the principle and vision to improve healthcare and the monitoring and measurement of outcomes. I like how they provide patients with all the information they need to choose a surgeon and to know which hospital to go to. I love the use of technology that Medbelle is bringing into the fold. My career was going closer to frontline decision making and being part of a small dynamic organisation whilst utilising the experience and contacts that I have.
Which experiences and insights do you have that will be most important in your role as CCO at Medbelle?
Initially, we have some short term goals, we want to raise in the Series B funding round, and we need to demonstrate a proof of concept. So initially, I will try to secure some contracts to get some referrals through the door. I shall utilise the relationships I have within London and around both with physio groups, GP practices, and industry bodies to try and get some of those off the ground. Ultimately leveraging relationships I’ve built during my career. Once Series B lands, I want to see how I can bring my strategic brain into how we can scale and grow and prioritise what people spend their time on.
If you have patient care experience, you understand the patient journey, it helps having hands-on experience to know what good care looks like. This will support me in helping patients get the care they need as I’ve been the provider in many senses of the word.
Medbelle and Bodyset partnership
Fostering partnerships with different medical providers will be a large part of Lizzie's role. Announced in 2021, Medbelle and Bodyset partnered together to solve the disjointed connection between primary and secondary care
How do Medbelle’s partnerships with other companies support us in raising the healthcare standards?
The way we’re engaging with our partners now, we’re explaining our value proposition and how we’re trying to track and monitor outcomes. That dialogue that we have with our partners is really important and why people go into healthcare. Most people in healthcare are really caring, and that’s their driving force. So when you start talking about positive changes, it really does get them excited. In my career, everyone has always talked about monitoring outcomes, but no one has cracked it. But offering technology and a fresh pair of eyes that could potentially solve this issue is something very enticing for our partners. We’re able to tap into the patient experience and feedback, and through some of the data we collect from surgeons, I think that will raise the game of other providers in the industry.
What is your best memory with a patient?
My best recent memory was being a clinician volunteer in the first wave of the pandemic. Everyone was stuck at home adjusting to a new life on the sofa and I was able to get up and go to work to support patients and colleagues when they needed it most. I was in the community team and was often the only contact some of our patients had had with the outside world. It was very humbling.
One piece of advice you would give patients looking into having surgery privately?
I like to know practical things like how many times the surgeon has performed the operation and what the outcomes were. But I think the most important thing is to make sure your expectations are realistic. I would ask to see before and after photos so you can prepare yourself and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
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