2021 CEO of the Year

28 CEO MONTHLY / 2021 CEO OF THE YEAR 6 CEO MONTHLY / ISSUE 1 2022 , Oct21492 Medical Marvels Secure Success When it comes to transport within the healthcare industry, there are few services finer than those delivered by ERSMedical. Their incredible team supports over 250 NHS Organisations , freeing frontline NHS staff to provide vital healthcare at all times. Their CEO, AndrewPooley, has guided ERSMedical through troubling times and in CEOMonthly, he has won the award for CEO of the Year, 2021 - United Kingdom. We take a closer look to discover how. ERS Medical is now one of the most successful medical transport organisations in the UK, employing 1,200 colleagues across 25 sites to provide the ultimate in healthcare transportation. For over a quarter of a million patients every year, ERS Medical is a vital link in the healthcare chain that gets them where they need to be. Their mission to provide a reliable, caring service that puts people at the heart of what they do sounds simple enough, but it wasn’t always like this. When current CEO Andrew Pooley arrived at ERS Medical, it was a very different organisation. Having left his position in the Army Reserves in 2013, he had built his name as a force to be reckoned with when it came to successfully mobilising and improving large, complex healthcare services. The bureaucracy of healthcare systems has halted the progress of many over the years, but Andrew was not deterred. In 2016, he joined the board of First Care Ambulance Ltd as the Operations Director where he oversaw rapid expansion, increased revenue and raised standards so that the business could achieve a good CQC rating in less than 18 months. The business model was one which was focused on quality, compliance and scalability, all within a heavily regulated sector. In 2017, Andrew had gained enough experience in all aspects of the healthcare sector to lead a complex acquisition bid for the trade and assets of ERS Medical alongside his fellow First Care Ambulance directors. ERS Medical was far from a success at this time, incurring significant losses and failing to live up to expectations. Over a period of six months, the team used the business model developed at First Care Ambulance to transform the performance of ERS medical. Over 850 staff, the premises and assets were transitioned to a new business, ERS Transition Ltd (still trading as ERS Medical), which formed the basis of the firm’s current success. As CEO of ERS Medical, Andrew has been able to watch the fledgling organisation fly. Much of his approach is inspired by the skills acquired through his military training and this has proven to be vital to his success as a leader and manager. The clear vision, complete with annual missions and tasks, company values and comms plan, alongside a detailed ‘Directive’, have been vital to ensuring everyone in the company is working on the same page, and towards the same aims. This strategy is a part of the implementation of a large Mission Leadership model. This empowers managers at all levels to creatively solve problems within a senior manager’s intent. It provides an integrated way of working within a clear framework. Through freeing people to think for themselves and find solutions, ERS Medical has become an agile business which makes decisions and is led by the operations team. Every part of the service is built around ensuring that the ambulance crews can do their job as quickly and efficiently as possible. Thanks to incredible leadership from the top of the organisation, ERS Medical has gained a reputation that is unparalleled within the industry. The team’s vital services are used across both primary and secondary care. The patient transport service, for example, can pick up patients from hospitals and take them home or to a hospital or an alternative place of secondary care. Similarly, the team’s medical courier service can distribute medicines and vaccines to GP Practices and pharmacies as well as collecting pathology samples and transport them to a hospital lab. During these most difficult of times, particularly for the NHS, the ERS Medical team have gone above and beyond to support their customers. No matter what the challenge, the team have been proud to adapt to changing needs at remarkable pace with an openness that reflects their determination. Whilst the healthcare industry was knocked by waves of COVID-19, the ERS Medical team made it their mission to help the wider sector transport patients suspected of or positive with COVID-19. More recently, they have played an essential role in the regional roll out of COVID-19 vaccine doses in the North and South of England. Today, hundreds of thousands of doses of the vaccine have been safely delivered thanks to their care and ability. The last eighteen months have been difficult for all in the healthcare industry, with numerous challenges both for the operation of the company and for maintaining morale in a pandemic. To support them, Andrew has overseen the expansion of internal support mechanisms for colleagues so they can access one of the country’s leading Employee Assistance Programme and its services. The firm has established and trained Mental Health First Aiders at sites and regularly roll out Mental Health First Aid training to all managers, so they are better equipped to recognise and support with the first signs of stress. Looking forward, it’s clear that ERS Medical is well on the way to becoming one of the leading health and social care transport