Interview with Paul Ley-Pollard, Head of Healthcare UK & Ireland

Bespoke financing for the NHS and wider healthcare market

In this blog post, our Head of Healthcare Technologies, Paul Ley-Pollard, sits down to discuss how the UK healthcare team has changed since he joined, the challenges currently facing the sector, and finally, what the future might hold for the healthcare market.

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Paul Ley-Pollard, Head of Healthcare Technologies UK & Ireland

About Paul Ley-Pollard

Paul Ley-Pollard is the Head of Healthcare Technologies UK & Ireland at CHG-MERIDIAN. CHG-MERIDIAN’s specialist team helps public and private hospitals to build creative financing solutions for medical assets and equipment.

Before joining the healthcare team in 2014, Paul spent seven years within the CHG-MERIDIAN IT financing team building creative finance programmes for some of the largest IT & Telecom providers in Europe as well as being involved in developing a cutting edge iPads for students scheme for the UK education sector. 

In his spare time, Paul enjoys trying new sports (Footgolf, anyone?) and likes to test his mental skills in an escape room.

Q. You have been with the CHG-MERIDIAN Healthcare team since 2014, what are the biggest changes you have seen?

A. Quite possibly too many to mention; CHG-MERIDIAN had been working with the healthcare sector for many years, but it wasn’t until 2014 that we seriously came into this market; educating & dedicating a team of experts to developing solutions for the NHS & Healthcare providers. At that time, our focus was on providing best value leasing products to the NHS. However, the healthcare market has evolved over the last seven years and during that time it became clear that the NHS was in need of more creative financing options that could deliver far more flexibility than what was available, so the biggest change has been moving from an “off the shelf” leasing model to a far more bespoke solution led approach. We spent a lot of time and resource working with customers and researching the healthcare market to identify and address the solution gaps; which is why we retain our position on all of the requisite NHS leasing frameworks, but also deliver our creativity and flexibility through our position on the NHS Shared Business Services Managed Equipment Services Framework, where CHG-MERIDIAN are proud to be the only UK funder appointed.

Q. How would you describe CHG-MERIDIAN’s position within the healthcare market?

A. If I had been asked that question 3 or 4 years ago, my answer would have been that of a specialist NHS approved leasing and finance provider. However, the evolving requirements of the NHS and CHG-MERIDIAN’s approach to building bespoke financial solutions hand in hand with our customers, coupled with our best value proposition and simple, compliant procurement routes, drives CHG-MERIDIAN’s position in the market as a unique provider of financial solutions. The real key for CHG-MERIDIAN is listening to what our customers want or need; it is of huge importance to us that a customer has a key stake in building their financial solution. We are generally talking about equipment that will save lives; in practice, healthcare customers will always work very closely with their equipment supplier to ensure that the equipment fits their requirements. Our approach is to look to do the same thing with the finance and procurement teams, ensuring that any equipment financing/leasing/managed equipment services fits their budgeting requirements.

Q. It’s been a very tough time for the healthcare sector over the last 18 months, how has that affected the CHG-MERIDIAN healthcare team?

A. It has been an incredibly difficult period for the healthcare sector, the needs of our health service changed at a rapid pace. Our focus very quickly became one of “how can we best support our customers within the healthcare sector”? Thankfully the entire CHG-MERIDIAN team were already fully mobile with the ability to work effectively from anywhere in the country. This enabled us to develop new products, provide flexibility to our NHS customer base and even source ventilators and infusion pumps from our secondary life network. For CHG-MERIDIAN, it was important to quickly and quietly do what was needed for our customers so that they could focus on the important job of saving lives.

Q. What is the biggest challenge that the CHG-MERIDIAN healthcare team currently faces?

A. Without a doubt educating the healthcare market; Even in this day and age, a lot of public and private sector hospitals and healthcare providers are just not aware of the creative, flexible, sustainable and importantly, compliant financing solutions available to them. There really does seem to be a mindset of “capital or lease” in many areas of the healthcare sector, with little thought to investigating what other options are available from the market. We all understand the desire to utilise tried and tested methods. However, we see the potential to provide and drive far greater savings and value by introducing a collaborative process and working closely with the customer to understand their budgets and how a structured finance or managed service solution can deliver the best possible value.

Q. From your perspective, what new products or innovations could your customers have access to from CHG-MERIDIAN healthcare across the next couple of years?

A. That is one of the great things when working with CHG-MERIDIAN, we work closely with our customers and let them drive what products they need us to deliver – when you consider that we can provide financing, remarketing of existing owned equipment, a CHG-MERIDIAN developed asset and contract management system, fixed future equipment pricing, consumable and pay per use models that have all been developed hand in hand with our customers to address specific challenges that they have faced. We are however always developing and sharing new product ideas and models within the global CHG-MERIDIAN community. It has been this collaboration and our commitment to sustainable, environmentally friendly solutions that have led to CHG-MERIDIAN becoming the world’s first carbonZER0 financial solution provider. 

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We'd love to hear from you. If you would like to find out more about our healthcare finance options, managed equipment services, or any other solutions we provide, please get in touch today.

Paul Ley-Pollard

Head of Healthcare UK & Ireland

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