DRIVEN TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Welcome to our exclusive interview with Dr Keen, the CEO of nowmedical. Known for its unique approach to providing specialised medical advice to housing organisations across the UK, nowmedical has established itself as an indispensable player in the sector since its inception in 2004. This unique firm is dedicated to assisting a wide variety of clients, including local authorities, housing associations, trusts, and even government departments, with a specialised team of doctors carrying out this vital work.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us, Dr Keen. To start off, can you give us a brief introduction to nowmedical?
In a word – busy!
We provide medical advice to housing organisations across the UK – local authorities, housing associations and trusts, government departments
we provide a unique service which has improved the quality of our clients’ decision-making over many years we are the only medical company in the UK fully dedicated to this work team of doctors – GPs and psychiatrists created in 2004, now advising over 150 organisations, undertaking over 50,000 assessments each year.
How would you describe the mission and vision of nowmedical? How do these align with the goals you set for the company?
Our mission is to provide professional medical advice in a timely manner to assist our client organisations in their decision-making processes; housing organisations have to make important and sometimes difficult decisions about their applicants and tenants, and we help them do this in a professionally informed way.
Our vision is flexibility!
To offer the service flexibly to client organisations, knowing each has their own ways of working, and to work within these and to be flexible to our team of medical advisers to fit in with their busy lives and schedules.
As nowmedical’s CEO, what are some of the important decisions you’ve made that have helped shape the company?
Deciding to offer our services on a consultancy basis, which has proved very popular, allowing client housing organisations to use us when they need (and not use us when they don’t); steering clear of restrictive fixed contracts deciding to assist clients on a build or buy basis, i.e. on their terms – some have in-house medical advisers we work with to improve their service; others hand the whole thing over to us. Can you tell us more about the role of innovative technology in nowmedical’s operations and how it aids in meeting your goals, particularly with respect to patient assessments?
Just about every communication we make or receive may have some confidential information within, so we have a highly secure triple-lock system to protect these; over 20 years, we’ve had not one episode of data loss. We integrate with up-to-date medical record software so we can access and assess patient records. We use a medical transcription system to improve turnaround times. We recently wrote an article about our new IT systems – https://nowmedicalltd.medium.com/our-new-it-systems-517c315193c1
Given nowmedical’s partnerships with public sector entities such as local authorities, how do you strike a balance between achieving a robust return on investment for these authorities and addressing the urgent needs of vulnerable and homeless people?
Our role is solely advisory, to assist and inform housing organisations in their role as decision-makers regarding housing applications these are important decisions, and we take our role as advisers very seriously; that’s why we insist on a higher medical qualification as a starting point for all our medical advisers and why we have some specialist doctors on our team, for example, if we can facilitate a more prompt decision by a local authority, this means applicants are assisted more quickly, and this is also cost-effective for the council, and as such the public purse, in reducing some costs.
We’ve covered this recently in an article, too –https://nowmedicalltd.medium.com/legal-test-of-vulnerability-in-homelessness-paving-the-way-for-protective-measures-115b27e14be0
With your significant contributions to the medical field, especially in working with vulnerable patients, you’re undoubtedly making a considerable difference. What sustains your motivation in this demanding role, and how would you describe the level of personal satisfaction you derive from your work?
The best part of the job is positive feedback from our client housing organisations – but also from our team of medical advisers, when they have been able to assist in a particularly worthy or demanding case; that’s enough to keep me going.
Over the course of your career, what have been some pivotal moments that shaped you into the leader you are today?
Taking over a medical practice in London in the 1990s – learning management skills on the job.
Recognising that doctors need flexibility when taking on second jobs – probably more so than in their primary role; given the total flexibility we provide our advisers, it’s rare for a doctor to leave us.
Looking towards the future, what goals and milestones does nowmedical aim to achieve under your leadership?
Maintaining our high professional standards expansion of services into other areas where local authorities and housing organisations need medical advice this of course, leads to an expansion of the company and of our business in general: I think that most companies hope they’re going to get bigger and better, and we’re certainly hoping – and striving – for that here gaining a reputation as the premier provider of our key, critical niche services in the UK – part of our drive to gain more recognition has influenced our decision to open up our spread of digital marketing and embrace potential new audiences through a variety of means.