In conversation with Foresight portfolio company HSL

Covid-19 is testing businesses and societies globally and we’re proud to say that Foresight portfolio company, Hospital Services Limited ("HSL"), a key supplier to the health service across Ireland and the UK, is doing a tremendous job of supporting hospitals and communities during this crisis.

We speak with Dominic Walsh, Chief Executive of HSL to learn about how the HSL team have responded to the current crisis and what strategies they have put into place to manage the changes to business.

HSL is in ongoing conversation with the HSE, HSCNI and NHS about the provision of new mobile x-ray equipment and the radiology service team is preparing for a special Covid-19 breakdown response plan to greatly enhance the customer experience.
 
They have also facilitated the roll-out of a video conference technology, that will allow patients greater access to care without having to visit a healthcare facility and their team are committed to delivering a Home Reporting solution for radiologists.
 
We wish HSL all the best.

Click here to read the video transcript

Annabel:

Hello, I'm Annabel Arrowsmith and I'm on the marketing team here at foresight.

I'm back today spotlighting another one of our portfolio companies who's making a heroic effort In their work towards fighting COVID 19.

I'm joined today by Dominic Walsh, chief executive of hospital services limited HSL.

HSL is a specialist distributor of medical supplies and surgical equipment servicing hospitals in the UK and Ireland.

Thank you so much for taking the time to join me on a Monday morning Dominic.

Dominic:

It's a pleasure to see you Annabel and lovely to chat to you.

Annabel:

Absolutely. I'm going to first ask you about HSL and your team there and how you're managing during the crisis. What strategies are you employing and how are the team getting on?

Dominic:

Hospital services we supply, hospitals with a broad range of equipment, one of our busiest areas and our historically, the strongest areas as being radiology, where we supply mammography and X-ray equipment and to emergency departments.

What we're finding over the recent COVID-19 has created a massive demand for, treatment centers having radiology because chest x-ray is being used to monitor the progress of COVID 19, whenever patients are in the treatment center have seen a significant spike in demand, where we would normally sell 12, mobile x-ray units per year. We're selling 15 in a week.

It's this really big demand and if we had another 15 that we could supply, we could sell those as well. The market is reacting, everyone's being very positive. What we're finding is our engineers are full out installing, connecting. We're going into hospitals, treatment centers, which are totally ready stripped out to be treatment centers. Or you're going in with builders and with, medical staff who are setting everything up and you're getting in each other's way. It's a very busy, intense, time for everybody.

Other parts of our business we, we also supply the general wards was point of care, patient equipment with the likes of the monitoring the computers which are on carts, which wheel to the patients. All of that kitting out of a brand new ward means that the whole point of care part of the business; setting up diagnostic monitors, monitoring carts, all of that, has a, because they're new wards, all of that has to be kitted out as well. Just as we're sitting this morning on a Monday morning, I'm in Belfast and a you're in London

Annabel:

I am

Dominic:

we have a new part of our business, which we opened up, about a year ago on video conferencing and it's a very specialized video conferencing for the medical industry. We have probably seen a 300% growth in that business in a month. We are facilitating, doctors talking to doctors, medical teams, talking to medical teams.

Sometimes patients talking to consultants, well, it's mainly briefing, setting up briefing rooms and where we are different. We actually provide a hosting environment so you can have a concierge. It makes sure that everybody, they talk through they help, everybody set everything up. It's a secure environment. It's guaranteed to be secure.

What we find is that the doctors are sharing their experiences in the region to region and so any learning is being shared.

That's the 3 main parts of the business radiology point of care and video conferencing, the one part of the business, which is our fourth leg is the, surgical supplies where we supply theaters, with equipment, with the elective surgery dropping off.

We thought it was significantly reduced, but the, surgical team are now under a different, totally different type of pressure. We're being asked to provide products in quantities that we'd never thought of before. We're having to find new suppliers.

We're providing personal protection equipment, so we’re busy

Annabel:

Yeah, you sound very busy. How are you keeping the team safe?

Dominic:

Big part of the focus has been on, keeping our own team safe.

We have just over 80 people, our engineers who are in the field have to be in the field and, my praise, thanks.

Admiration goes to the team who are going into hospitals, Sterling equivalent in an environment where they know the COVID-19 virus is and they're coming home to their families, to coming home to their colleagues, back to the office of the colleagues and those who have to be in the field who have to be in the office supporting that have to be there.

Everybody else we have working from homes roughly, but about two thirds of our staff are now working from home and adjusting to the environment of being at home, which is okay for the first day, second day, the third day when you go looking for something and you don't have it, where you're, you don't have the chit chat, the banter. All of that creates a different type of dynamic, a different type of pressure.

For the people, those who are in the office, well spaced out, we have at least two meters between everyone, the social distancing. Everyone understands that we have hand sanitizer, we have, the wash everybody to keep washing our hands We keep regularly, we have the gloves for people who are taking in the post.

For example whenever the post comes in, some goods are coming in on pallets.

Everyone's having to wear a personal protection equipment to make sure that the, we minimize any chance of putting our staff at risk.

Annabel:

Fantastic.

Well it does sound like you're very busy, so I won't take up any more of your time, but thank you again very much for joining me and thank you from all of us at Foresight for all of the hard work that you and your team are doing.

Dominic:

It's a pleasure to have the support of Foresight.

They really supported us during this difficult times and, helped us, not only with the financial support, but just that, moral support, being able to say thank you.

We recognize that, but a good team and James at Foresight is a super guy.

Annabel:

Fantastic, Well thank you very much.