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We handl it all. Graham Pulford, Chief Executive Officer of handl Group, tells MLM about his hand in handl Group’s growth strategy, and what he hopes to achieve as the Group continues to expand and introduce new players.


Trust us to handl it.

We draw on an unparalleled blend of expertise and knowledge, making it easier for organisations in the legal, insurance and healthcare sectors to operate seamlessly. We add value, we innovate and we maintain the highest standards, creating disruptive ideas that shape the market. We handl it all. Call us on 03300 947 346 or email info@handlgroup.co.uk handlgroup.co.uk


Welcome …to a very special Modern Law supplement – the result of a fantastic collaboration with handl Group that presents their portfolio of businesses in the legal, insurance and healthcare sectors. Drawing on an unparalleled blend of expertise and knowledge, handl Group is dedicated to providing services that make outsourcing simple. Whether it’s managing supply chains, providing claims management solutions or improving cost efficiencies, their brands deliver bespoke solutions that make a real difference. handl is home to industry-leading independent organisations, providing them with an environment where they can flourish. It is a growing group, with new ventures always on the cards.

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A growing group

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Marketing success

Speaking to Chris Chatterton, handl Group’s Commercial Director, we hear about his role in the partnerships and acquisition strategy of the Group, and what he hopes each company will extract from being part of this portfolio of brands.

10 Introducing the brands 12 Driving operational success

Drawing on over 18 years’ experience in the MedicoLegal industry, Susan Henry, Operations Director at Speed Medical, has a wealth of valuable industry knowledge and is well-versed in the areas of service delivery and operational processes. Here she speaks to Modern Law about Speed Medical’s operational success and future plans. .

16 Going from strength to strength

Here we have a series of interviews with key players from the Group’s brands – Speed Medical, Foresight, MLA, Claimspace, Harrison Associates, Coplus, Corporé, The Treatment Network and EQL – plus an interview with Graham Pulford, Director of handl Group, and Chris Chatterton, handl Group’s Commercial Director.

The growth strategy of handl was an important element of this supplement, and both Graham, Chris and the team, told Modern Law what they hope to achieve as handl continues to expand and introduce new players, as well as their mission to add value, innovate and maintain the highest standards while creating disruptive ideas that shape the market.

Overall, this collection of service brands is dedicated to the growth of its customers, and they will be continuing to leverage the synergies across the portfolio to unlock the incremental value they can provide to handl customers.

Modern Law spoke to Graham Pulford, Director of handl Group, about his role in developing handl Group’s growth strategy, and what he hopes to achieve as the Group continues to expand and introduce new players.

As the latest acquisition of handl Group, Niccola Irwin, Managing Director at Harrison Associates, discusses her delight at joining such a strong group that shares their commitment to service excellence.

19 Claimspace

Founder and Business Development Director, Stewart McCulloch, talks Modern Law through the Claimspace software ecosystem, designed to resolve personal injury claims without litigation.

20 Foresight

Modern Law spoke to Susan Henry, Operations Director at Foresight, about the company’s exciting growth plans for this year, and how the partnership with handl Group has enabled further opportunity for investment and innovation in technology, taking the business to the next level.

22 The MLA Way

Speaking to Mike Shallcross, Head of Operations at Medical Legal Appointments (MLA), Modern Law found out about MLA’s future growth plans and why he believes MLA’s employees are their greatest strength.

25 Success for Tripp

Coplus’ Managing Director, Jason Tripp, discusses how he came to handl Group and the reasons for the company’s success now and in the future as part of the group.

27 Working together

Modern Law spoke to Mark Stirrup, Managing Director at Corporé and The Treatment Network, about the future and on-going growth plans for the business and the decisions behind their strategy.

30 Accessing healthcare should be Pete Ward Editor Modern Law Magazine 01765 600909 pete@charltongrant.co.uk

EQL to all

Laying out his vision for EQL, a start-up that is embracing emerging technologies in order to reinvent healthcare, Jason Ward, Co-Founder, told Modern Law about his journey as a start-up and what’s next for the project.

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A growing group Modern Law spoke to Graham Pulford, Chief Executive Officer of handl Group, about his hand in handl Group’s growth strategy, and what he hopes to achieve as the Group continues to expand and introduce new players. MLM: Tell us about the early Graham Pulford and what brought you to where you are now? GP: My background is IT. I’m unashamedly an IT geek. I love all things IT and technical and that’s been the basis of my career from the early days to now. I started in IT services working across a number of different companies in very different markets, from a wire manufacturer to a POS company. I joined an insurance company in a senior role, and during my time there took them through the infamous Y2K project, one of the biggest IT projects ever undertaken – which actually turned out to be one big anti-climax! MLM: What was the route into your current board level role across IT and operational corporates? GP: IT flows through everything I do and there’s nothing I enjoy more than looking at a complex or meandering problem and finding a straight line solution. But I’m also very grounded and over the years I’ve developed the ability to balance the pure IT aspects of a project or strategy with the commercial demands a business faces. So now, I’ll sit in a handl Group meeting alternating between my IT geek and uncompromising business heads. And a phrase I use all the time is about making each business in the Group the “lowest cost operator” in their different sectors, to extract maximum profitability by providing the absolute highest quality of service at the height of efficiency. And that’s key to our growth success, and it’s what excites me and makes me tick. MLM: How has the role of IT within handl, and the sector/industry in general, evolved over the last 5 years? GP: Within handl and the Group portfolio of companies there’s been significant progress, but also lots of challenges, in improving the role of technology in the Group. For example, when acquiring an established business, one of the biggest IT concerns is the constraints of legacy systems, i.e. not having a clean sheet to work with. So managing and getting the most out of inherited systems requires adapting the best of their existing systems and integrating them with the handl way of doing things, to ensure a seamless, but more efficient, transition for customers and suppliers. With our recent acquisition of Harrison Associates we’re going through that operational efficiency exercise now.

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What I love is buying a business that we’ve identified as a good business, then going through the process of integration, and it turning out better than we initially thought The customer journey is key to the systems we develop and I see ‘tech’ as an enabler. We run portals across all our businesses and all who interface with them, customers and suppliers. We’ve developed mobile apps to interface with everything we do and there are two key reasons for this. One, because people like to self-serve nowadays. For example, we all like to book our flights online rather than visiting a travel agent. And two, it drives process efficiency for people to quickly input their own data, rather than the lengthier older ways of letters, phone calls, and even more recently email. So, yes, by making that interface as simple and user-friendly as possible, it’s a win-win for us and our customers. Because we’re currently a B2B portfolio of companies we also concentrate on integrating our systems with those of our customers. For example, Speed Medical has full customer integration with its solicitor customers and Coplus with its broker customers. And the more we invest heavily in joined up systems throughout all our business operations, the efficiencies we gain from it contribute to the ‘lowest cost operator’ philosophy. MLM: Is operational resilience an IT priority? GP: This is the self-answering question, and the answer is a big ‘yes’. We’re in a world where our financial services are outsourced. We’re not a manufacturer, we have no machinery that requires maintaining. Our assets, our ‘machine’, are our technology and our people, and we have to constantly oil that through investment in our people, our processes and our


technology – and it needs to keep going 24/7 in today’s demanding business environment. So it’s crucial to continued success across the handl Group that operational resilience is spot on! MLM: You’ve been described as the visionary behind the handl Group’s growth strategy – how important has growth through acquisition been? GP: I don’t know if the visionary comment came from someone within the Group, but I’d like to give them a pay rise! Historically, we grew organically by looking at how to do things right and well. I might have wanted to acquire companies 10 years ago, but we didn’t have the money in the bank to go out and do it. So if we wanted to accelerate growth organically into new market areas it took time doing it all ourselves. Now we’re profitably trading, we’ve built up a war chest of cash, for want of a better phrase, to buy other companies. So it’s been an evolutionary process. But over the last few years we’ve been able to acquire synergistic businesses to accelerate growth.

Growth throughout next year will be about 50-50, 50% organic 50% acquisition. We are still heavily invested in organic growth as we firmly believe there are many more organic growth opportunities in the markets we currently operate in. But we’ll be adding other businesses into the portfolio during that process. MLM: How do you identify companies to add to the Group? GP: Historically, it was more of an ad hoc process and acquisitions were opportunistic in many cases. Sometimes it was simply someone who knew someone in that space and, because each of our portfolio brands are experts in their field, they knew all the key players. Now, it’s a different approach where we look specifically and analytically at companies of interest within identified market sectors who could add a lot to the Group. So acquisitions now are less ad hoc and this more formalised process is what drives handl’s acquisition growth moving forward.

The customer journey is key to the systems we develop and I see ‘tech’ as an enabler

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Our assets, our ‘machine’, is our technology and our people, and we have to constantly oil that through investment in our people, our processes and our technology – and it needs to keep going 24/7 in today’s demanding business environment MLM: Have your approaches largely been met positively? GP: Yes. there’s an interesting psychology to acquisitions. Initially, most companies love the flattery of an approach and want to be part of the handl Group – but their price expectations can be excessive, which is just the cut and thrust of business, so we probably complete on 20% of those we approach. For that reason we keep our pipeline of acquisitions quite high to ensure that only truly compatible businesses join the Group. MLM: What is your diversification strategy for handl? GP: Our diversification strategy is based on only adding companies that enhance and expand the products and services already offered by the Group. I’m not going to go out and buy a chain of Turkish barbers; that’s just too far from our core business. But, take the Corporé business we bought. They used to buy physiotherapy at a certain price, but post-integration into the Group, Speed Medical uses its buying power to provide that physiotherapy to Corporé, effectively reducing the purchase price because Speed Medical buys a lot more. It works in the same way with Coplus and Speed Medical in the supply of medical reports to solicitors. Therefore, it’s a synergistic diversification strategy to ensure that not only do we buy a great business, we then get the additional bonus of being able to reduce costs to become the ‘lowest cost operator’ for that business. MLM: When building a portfolio of brands what has been your mantra? GP: What’s interesting, to us anyway, is that as a management team we don’t only buy successful businesses. We also look at businesses that are good, or solid, but aren’t necessarily performing to their potential. What I personally also look for in a business is its core, its heart, and if that looks strong and we can identify the reasons for its lack of performance, we can fix those and create value quite quickly. And having fixed the business the next thing is to return to our mantra of the ‘lowest cost operator’ model to make it really efficient. MLM: How important is brand synergy within the growing handl portfolio ? GP: Brand synergy isn’t actually top of the list, because

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we’re a portfolio management company rather than an amalgamation. So what’s key for me in the businesses that we buy is that we’re buying specialist operators in a sector space, and it’s the portfolio brand that’s more important than the handl brand. Customers contract with the portfolio member, so we’re spending time on making their brands stronger rather than suddenly giving them a handl identity. People do buy from brands and, for example, they know who Coplus is and what they do, so if it suddenly became handl there can be negative repercussions when people are faced with brand confusion. And whilst the handl brand is important, it’s an enabler brand and I can’t really see us going out and selling anything by handl because it will always be one of the companies in the portfolio that provides the services. handl doesn’t actually do any work! I always say we rely on all these other businesses to do that, which is the key in terms of moving forward. MLM: When it comes to handl’s success what gives you the most satisfaction/are you most proud of? GP: What I love is buying a business that we’ve identified as a good business, then going through the process of integration, and it turning out better than we initially thought. And, whether luck or good management, that’s happened with most of our acquisitions. So, from my personal point of view, I say that’s what I want to do and I think it will mean ‘this’ to us, but if it then turns out be ‘this+1’ then that’s very satisfying. Also, now that we’re formalising the handl brand and its potential, we’re finding that our portfolio businesses are fully understanding the way the Group supports them and helps them to grow. And I think if you question each of our brands in a year’s time, they’ll really appreciate being part of the handl Group, both from business and personal aspects, and that gives me a lot of satisfaction. MLM: Finally… What do you see as the ‘finish line’ for handl? GP: There isn’t one at the moment. We’re at the start of a curve. We’ve got really interesting businesses in the group. We’re going to be adding more. They will grow quite significantly over the next two years. Currently, we’re looking at our next two year business plan which will reveal some really interesting initiatives. I’m not looking beyond that yet but I will do in 18 months’ time. Of course we have to deliver first but we’ve always done what we said we were going to do. We’re quite a large business now and we’re going to be double our size in a couple of years but that doesn’t faze me. And what I want to do is focus 100% on delivering that. So that’s where we’re heading.

Graham Pulford

is the Chief Executive Officer of handl Group.


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Marketing success

Speaking to Chris Chatterton, handl Group’s Chief Commercial Officer, we heard about his role in the partnerships and acquisition strategy of the Group, and what he hopes each company will extract from being part of this portfolio of brands. MLM: How did your early roles in marketing influence your career path? CC: Interesting question – how did I get into this world? As often happens in careers, my route wasn’t exactly planned. I did a science degree at university, and then spent a year on an industrial placement studying for a PhD. During that time I realised science wasn’t for me! By its nature, research tends to be repetitious and things must be proven statistically. Let’s say my work ‘lacked consistency’ and so I fell out of love with science. I then started on a graduate training scheme at Tate & Lyle, which involved a bit of everything but the thing I really loved was marketing. I stuck with that and ever since I’ve worked in and around marketing and business development. When I left Tate & Lyle, my first mainstream marketing job was with the RAC, where I worked on its key B2B offerings, including those to the motor insurance market. I then moved to become Marketing Director at Carter & Carter, and

As with any successful and growing organisation there are key commercial challenges to face when taking the business forward

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looked after their insurer consulting and outsourcing programmes with AXA, RSA and Eagle Star amongst others. From there I joined the board at handl Group and that’s how I’m here today! MLM: How has your previous experience in strategic acquisitions and developing strategic partnerships helped you accelerate the development of handl and its portfolio brands? CC: Following my time at Carter & Carter and then CCC International, a claims solution provider to European Insurers, I spent one year running a business angel investment fund. As a result, I came to understand that investing in and buying companies is not just about ideas and products and services, it’s also very much about the team of people who run the business. You need to understand how capable a management team is and how they’re able to do things differently and, importantly, you need to grow at an increased rate. To understand what you’re getting into with a business, you also need to know the dynamics of the market where they trade. We focus on markets we know and where we understand the upcoming opportunities and challenges. You always need to be mindful of what could go wrong with any investment and be mindful of the risks you are taking. So handl is a portfolio manager that’s not simply an investment company per se. We invest in businesses we understand, in sectors that are related to ours, and we apply our operational management and business development expertise based on shared customers to help the business grow. We categorise the companies in the portfolio in terms of the markets they face –

legal, insurance and healthcare, for example – and we’re planning to add a corporate arm into the portfolio in the coming year. All are independent but work collaboratively. handl’s role is to coordinate this collaboration, so the portfolio is not a group of disparate companies. handl is the glue that develops shared opportunities and integrates the portfolio of companies so they can work together as well as autonomously to achieve better outcomes for shared customers. MLM: Is maintaining a consistent trajectory of growth key to your role – and how does that impact on your day-to-day workload? CC: For us, it’s about having lots of irons in the fire but to keep the trajectory constant we have to work out how best to prioritise our objectives and where to apply our resources. Obviously, not everything works and some things work better than expected. Equally, unexpected ‘events’ happen that mean you have to re-deploy resources. Consequently, it’s a constant process of evaluating what is in front of you and being clearheaded in your decision-making. Over the last six months, I’ve spent a lot of time out in the market across the different handl Group businesses, networking and talking about opportunities, as well as gathering information on potential strategic partnerships. Consequently, we now have a strong pipeline of opportunities to pursue. Again, it’s a question of rationally prioritising the ones with the best fit and greatest likely returns. It’s an iterative process. We constantly rate and rank all our opportunities and act accordingly.


MLM: Is providing bespoke solutions critical to the success of handl brands? CC: Understanding our customer’s requirements is critical. We only think about solutions that clearly address current and future customer needs. In this regard, one of our key considerations is how we can combine offers from different handl businesses to create unique customer propositions. An example would be how we’re building a new proposition that integrates case management services from Harrison Associates with more traditional medico-legal services via Speed Medical. We can then further overlay things like digital healthcare solutions to create really interesting solutions. The focus is always trying to consistently make 2 + 2 = 5 and to offer something unique. MLM: What are the key commercial challenges to taking the handl Group forward? CC: The first I think is integrating digital solutions with more traditional supply chains. There are many situations where digital solutions in isolation are only a part answer and we need to address this. An example would be the use of self-service treatment solutions such as apps or online tools. This only really works when teamed with an effective triage of the customer in the first place, machine learning so that the solution improves how it offers services to the client based on historic outcomes - and with the back up of a physical network of medical professionals, the right support can be provided where a technological solution isn’t appropriate.

expertise where it’s needed as well as reassurance and advice. We know from our research that not every customer is convinced by digital solutions. We often come across consumers who see them as being less than what they expected to receive – particularly in claims situations. It’s essential users don’t feel short-changed and can access people-based services if and when they want to. That said, we have some terrific innovative solutions that we’re preparing to take to market later this year and the beauty of many of these systems is that they take the knowledge and expertise of a specialist and organise them into decision trees so that customers really can receive the services that they want. But the people component should never be forgotten. MLM: Would you say a product-led strategy has been replaced by a customer-centric approach to new and existing business?

CC: We combine both approaches. On the one hand, we are quite product-led, in that we take an individual idea or product and analyse the market requirements for it, then develop the product until it’s market ready. Part of this process is naturally to engage with our customers to ensure we capture their requirements. A good live example would be the development of our repair proposition within Coplus. MIM: Finally, a little bit about what makes Chris Chatterton tick outside of handl? CC: Leeds United!

(Editor’s Note: At this point both interviewer and interviewee discovered their mutual love of Leeds United and the interview concluded with a highly intellectual exchange of Leeds chat!)

Chris Chatterton

is the Chief Commercial Officer at handl Group.

We have two digital start-ups within handl Group, EQL and Claimspace both look to re-engineer traditional ways of working. In the background, handl Group will provide an integrated medical supply chain to enhance their propositions. We have a strong customer pipeline and it’s a very exciting time. MLM: As technology has taken over from manual systems, what innovations have online, digital and analytics brought? CC: Technology’s great and we’ve made great strides in its day-today use, but not everyone engages with it. We still need people and the personal touch to provide

Each operates within a coordinated structure and handl is the glue that groups and integrates our portfolio of companies so they can work together, as well as independently, to achieve better outcomes for shared customers

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The UK’s leading independent medical reporting and rehabilitation provider. With over 21 years’ experience and a diverse panel of over 5,000 nationwide medical experts, our award-winning team is committed to delivering excellence at every touchpoint with a bespoke, clinically governed service offering tailored to your unique needs.

Harrison Associates provides expert witness, case management and rehabilitation services of the highest quality. We strive to be the first choice for solicitors, insurance companies and individuals seeking these services, as well as those who wish to work in the industry.

Delivering our promise. Keeping yours. Award-winning motor, legal and property insurance distribution and claims handling. With over 30 years of experience providing 24/7, white-labelled solutions for brokers, insurers and MGAs, we know how to take care of your customers when it really matters.

Rehabilitation and injury case management specialists established in 1998, Corporé is one of the UK’s largest independent providers of rehabilitation services and absence, injury and risk management.

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Experts with Insight

Bringing you the most comprehensive panel of eminent expert witnesses to support family and criminal law cases. Foresight is an industry-leading nationwide provider helping legal professionals put forward strong courtroom cases, no matter the discipline or deadline.

Medical Reporting the MLA way. Drawing on over 27 years’ experience, MLA produces quality medical reports for RTA, Industrial Disease and Military claims – guaranteeing quality, efficiency and value for money with every medical report.

Enabling personal injury claims settlement by providing facilitation and arbitration services.

People caring about people. As one of the largest treatment and diagnostic providers in the UK, The Treatment Network gives you access to over 5,000 experts delivering a vast range of treatment and diagnostic services, including physical, psychological and hospital.

Not all ideas are born EQL. EQL is a start-up that is embracing emerging technologies in order to reinvent healthcare.

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Driving operational success Drawing on over 18 years’ experience in the Medico-Legal industry, Susan Henry, Operations Director at Speed Medical, has a wealth of valuable industry knowledge and is well-versed in the areas of service delivery and operational processes. Here she speaks to Modern Law about Speed Medical’s operational success and future plans. In 2019, the UK’s leading independent provider of medical reports and rehabilitation, Speed Medical, is celebrating 21 successful years in the industry. Continuing to lead the way by driving clinical quality, improving efficiencies and embracing the latest technologies, Speed Medical is all about delivering outstanding service.

Her experience of setting up the Expert Liaison team, being Operations Manager and now Operations Director, has given her the insights required to build and shape the products and services Speed Medical is proud to offer today.

Instrumental to that success is Operations Director Susan Henry. Responsible for everything operational, Susan has driven real improvements to processes, service levels and customer satisfaction; constantly asking the question ‘is it good enough?’, not only to drive continuous innovation but also to challenge herself and her management team into thinking about the bigger picture of the company’s long-term plan.

“But enough about me,” Susan says, modestly. “My belief is that it’s not individuals but collaboration that’s the key. My motto is ‘you are only as good as your team’, and I constantly encourage them to challenge the status quo, both as individuals and as a company, by constantly improving our product offerings and performance. By always trying to do our job that little bit better, with a keen focus on the personal touch, our customers realise how important they are, and that we care and are listening.”

After joining Speed Medical in 2004, Susan has worked in many pivotal roles across the business for the last 15 years. Her exposure to all aspects of how the company works, and what has made it successful, plus her great eye for detail and passion for delivering outstanding customer service, has seen her make a significant contribution to Speed Medical’s success.

People do business with people and having strong relationships both internally and externally is key to our success

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We operate in a highly challenging and competitive environment. To compete effectively and stay relevant to our customers’ needs, we must be constantly pushing the boundaries to improve our quality of service and commercial offerings She expands further, “By working cohesively together, sharing best practices and striving for excellence, we can design, build and implement robust operational processes across the handl Group. People do business with people and having strong relationships both internally and externally is key to our success. Everyone must listen to customers, understand their needs, and strive for the same goals.” Speed Medical prides itself on its bespoke systems, delivering customer solutions to match their requirements which, Susan claims, is very different to how some of their competitors work. She says, “Our levels of personal service set us apart. We constantly look for different and alternative solutions when working in partnership with our supply chain and our customers”. The introduction of Speed Medical into handl Group has been a part of a wider acquisition strategy, and it has brought a range of new perspectives. Susan explains, “It has been interesting to observe other companies within the Group. Their operational structures and customer relationships have enabled cross opportunities and further innovation and creativity within Speed Medical. “We operate in a highly challenging and competitive environment. To compete effectively and stay relevant to our customers’ needs, we must be constantly pushing the boundaries to improve our quality of service and commercial offerings.” Technology will play a huge part in tailoring products and services to customers’ needs, and Speed Medical has designed, built and implemented a range of interactive portals for clients, such as MyMedical.

Explains Susan, “MyMedical is our state-of-the-art client-facing application where appointments can be booked and changed, rehabilitation selfassessments can be completed, and information uploaded. Other portals provide our customers and supply chain with real-time information and interactive secure document management facilities.” One aspect of service that Susan is clearly passionate about, and subsequently made central to Speed Medical’s recent brand refresh and service offering, is a strong commitment to clinical governance. “We want to become the benchmark for quality and clinical excellence in this industry, so we’ve worked hard at building a framework and placed a clinical governance culture at the heart of our service delivery,” explains Susan. “We’ve invested heavily in the creation of our in-house Clinical Advisory Board – the first of its kind in the industry – with hand-picked, eminent experts offering mentoring to specialists, meeting regularly to review the latest treatment and diagnostic offerings and reviewing medical reports, feeding back to our experts. We believe we’re driving the industry from a clinical standpoint.” The Clinical Advisory Board (CAB) has been created to ‘develop and promote the vision value and culture of clinical governance, quality, safety and clinical standards’ with a key focus to assist the company and its panel of 5,000 nationwide experts to achieve, maintain and improve clinical quality standards. It’s an approach that won Speed Medical the accolade of ‘Medicolegal Provider of the Year’ at the Eclipse Proclaim Personal Injury Awards in November 2018. Says Susan, “We were absolutely delighted by the win. It meant so much to everybody and really reinforced that with hard work, a clear mission and a commitment to excellence you can really stand out in the industry.” And Speed Medical’s commitment to quality doesn’t stop at the expert panel and its customer service. Susan also led the company to consecutive Investors in People Gold awards, something she’s immensely proud of as are the 250 members of her loyal team.

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nd ues

Brand Values

One Team, One Vision We are one team – unified – with one vision and all work together to achieve it.

One Team, One Vision WeCustomer are one team – unifiedFirst – with one

Strive for Excellence We inspire every member of our team to go the extra mile and deliver an outstanding service.

vision and all Wework listentogether to the needs of our customers to achieve it. and always put them at the heart of what we do.

Strive for Excellence We inspire every member of our team to go the extra mile and deliver an outstanding service.

Real Relationships We nuture real relationships with honesty, integrity and transparency.

Make an Impact

We work smarter with our colleagues, our customers and their clients to leave Real a positive lasting impression. Relationships We nuture real relationships with honesty, integrity and transparency.

Susan explains, “Our people truly are our greatest asset – and in some way our greatest achievement. Whilst we’re definitely exploring how technology can further advance our service I really only see that as an enhancement to the expertise of our people.” One big change on the horizon for Speed Medical, and indeed the sector, are reforms to the Civil Liability Bill. Although less than a year away from coming into force, there is still some uncertainty surrounding what will be implemented and how it will affect the role medical agencies play. Says Susan, “We are viewing this as an opportunity

Customer First

We listen to the ne of our customers a always put them at the heart of what we do.

Make an Impact We work smarter with our colleagues, our customers and their clients to leave a positive lasting impression.

rather than a problem, and so we are currently planning around different outcomes. Further opportunities are also arising through insurer protocol schemes in both reporting and rehabilitation, with some exciting pilots of new services to the insurer market.”

With a burgeoning clinical negligence client base and a move to bolster its rehabilitation offering, there’s plenty to look ahead to. In terms of what the rest of the year holds for Speed Medical, Susan is clear, “We will continue to learn, grow and diversify. We have high aspirations for the future and that is reflected in our targets as we move forward.”

Susan Henry

is Operations Director at Speed Medical.


Going from strength to strength As the latest acquisition of handl Group, Niccola Irwin, Managing Director at Harrison Associates, discusses her delight at joining such a strong group that shares their commitment to service excellence. As well as getting to know her and the business, we found out about how handl is helping them to grow and what really goes into gaining the coveted CARF accreditation. MLM: Tell us a bit about you and your route into Harrison Associates? NI: I’m an occupational therapist born and trained in Australia and relocated to the UK in 2001. Case management was only really developing here 15 years ago, so I came at a time when the experience I had was welcomed. I met Jan Harrison, also an occupational therapist, at one of the first CMSUK events (Case Management Society UK). She offered me a job and I’ve been here ever since! We now have a national network of more than 60 associates providing expert witness and case management services to catastrophically injured clients. MLM: Can you talk through your case management services? Absolutely. Case management is the central, pivotal role in any seriously injured client’s rehabilitation. It requires highly skilled health professionals with expertise in both health and social care, to proactively design and manage bespoke rehabilitation plans and care packages. We work right across the board supporting children, adolescents, young adults, adults and the elderly who’ve experienced serious and catastrophic injuries through personal injury or clinical negligence. We work with both claimant solicitors and insurers and often the defendant’s solicitor and Deputy. Our approach to case management is a combination of client-centred goal setting from the outset, an unwavering focus on client outcomes, and respectful, open and honest communication between all parties. These are absolutely crucial elements of successful case management. MLM: What sort of opportunities do you think handl will offer Harrison Associates? NI: handl Group offers us further growth, new opportunities, operational support and strategic partnership with group companies in the shared sector. We really welcome the investment and this has terrific

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potential for both parties. We can help to enhance the handl Group’s portfolio, while they can provide the infrastructure to support and accelerate our growth. MLM: A bit more about the acquisition – how did the partnership come about how did the conversation start – is it something that you had planned for a long time? NI: Strategically, the handl Group had decided to build upon its catastrophic case management offering and of course one of the quickest ways to do that is to acquire a business that’s already got a respected brand and reputation. Harrison Associates was looking to find a home with potential to grow further but Jan Harrison, the Founding Director, wanted to make sure that our business interests were protected, alongside the associates and clients who benefit from our services. Jan was very clear that she didn’t want any obstruction to that side of the business and handl was the outstanding business fit. MLM: What do you think the ‘magic’ of Harrison Associates is that led to handl Group seeking out the acquisition? NI: I am not sure I’d call it ‘magic’, as there are no tricks about it! I think what we do extremely well is to understand the very intricate needs of any individual and – importantly – their family, following a life-changing or catastrophic injury. We’ve specialised in working with clients following catastrophic injury and illness, and in particular, where care packages are required. We have been around for over 30 years and through our expert

“We can help to enhance the handl Group’s portfolio, while they can provide the infrastructure to support and accelerate our growth”


Niccola Irwin, Managing Director, Harrison Associates

witness reporting, we understand the impact that good case management can have on the litigation process, and vice versa. In addition to the needs of the injured party, families of those affected can find the whole care regime very overwhelming – they’re not only dealing with their loved one suffering from life-changing injuries and coming to terms with that, they’re also suddenly living with a team of carers in their home – sometimes day and night. That can be traumatic for everyone concerned and needs to be handled sensitively to ensure the best outcome. MLM: The CARF accreditation – what does that mean for Harrison Associates’ customers? CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) quality standards are really the pinnacle in our world and are recognised internationally as the roadmap for client-centred commitment to excellence and conformance to their standards. Gaining the accreditation for the third consecutive time evidences that we’ve strived to improve service delivery and a solid foundation for optimum client outcomes. It’s a rigorous accreditation process that involves on-site reviews, intensive audits involving independent consultation and interviews with claimant and defendant solicitors, insurers, team members and injured clients. They leave no stone unturned and go through every policy, process, procedure and many clinical files with a fine tooth comb. When the report arrived it was fantastic to read that they’d stated, ‘the skill and expertise of the case managers is phenomenal’.

Jan Harrison, Founding Director, Harrison Associates MLM: What are your personal professional aims for 2019? NI: Being part of the board of directors of CMSUK I am looking forward to being involved in driving case management forward as an accredited profession. Case management is not yet regulated in this country so it’s a great opportunity to shape the future of this profession and industry that I am passionate about. MLM: Within the sector Harrison Associates operates in, do you foresee any major changes? NI: Our marketplace is constantly evolving with the major reforms coming down the line, we will continue to adapt and deliver the best service to our clients.

Niccola Irwin

is Managing Director of Harrison Associates.

“Our approach to case management is a combination of client-centred goal setting from the outset, an unwavering focus on client outcomes, and respectful, open and honest communication between all parties”

MLM: What are Harrison Associates goals for the rest of 2019? NI: We’ll continue to focus on delivering high quality services to our catastrophically injured clients whilst going through the exciting integration into the handl Group. Jan Harrison is still very much involved and her high standards and clinical expertise paved the way for our reaccreditation with CARF. We’re also going to focus on raising awareness of the breadth of our services – for example, not everybody is aware that we also offer an excellent independent expert witness reporting service covering care and equipment, as well occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, and nursing opinion including midwifery reports.

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Together we’ve successfully supported over 220,000 people back to optimum recovery and meaningful life.

Over 20 years ago we began our journey providing outcome focused injury management solutions. Today we pride ourselves on being the UK’s leading impartial and independent rehabilitation provider – powered by our award-winning in-house case management team.

Talk to us today.

03330 063 677

info@corpore.co.uk

Passionate people, a seamless service We are The Treatment Network We help your clients achieve faster return to function outcomes, reduced pain and suffering and better quality of life post-injury. With access to a network of over 5,000 experts, we deliver a vast range of treatment and diagnostic services, including physical, psychological and hospital.

We’d love to tell you more! Get to know us a little better at thetreatmentnetwork.co.uk or call us on 0117 962 5017.

corpore.co.uk


Claimspace, powered by verify , is a software ecosystem designed to settle claims without litigation. Fronted by Stewart McCulloch, Founder and Business Development Director, Claimspace doesn’t take sides – its only interest is being prompt and efficient when making a settlement. TM

McCulloch, a Solicitor by trade, comes from a background that started in the early 1980s working in the traditional legal profession. Working as Head of Personal Injury in a large and prominent law firm, Stewart recognised that the approach to the claims process was not working, he found it to be overly complicated with unnecessary layers of expenditure built into the process. So, for the last two years, Stewart has been looking at ways in which personal injury claims, initially motor claims, can be dealt with much more collaboratively and in a more economical way. And there born was Claimspace. Its clear aim? To act in a neutral way when drawing parties together to resolve an injury claim. Key features of the Claimspace service: • Negotiate, pay and resolve disputes all in one place • Fixed recoverable costs to claimant lawyer maintained in full • Improved customer experience • Add-on services at lower than market cost • Efficient legal alternative to MOJ Portal and MedCo Stewart wants to keep it simple, collaborative, frictionless and cost effective so all of the above are tools to help claims teams work better, streamline communications and offer a new way of working. It is Stewart’s vision that all parties will be able to use this service to collaborate more effectively by exchanging and sharing data and documents – data is the oil of the future after all. He also explained that the case will continue whether liability is admitted or not and that the parties will continue to work together to get a settlement: “Our Claimspace team will monitor and support the negotiation. If the issues have not been resolved, then we will move seamlessly into a dispute resolution process that doesn’t involve going to court but is nevertheless binding in a legal sense. A very simple arbitration process.”

We see ourselves as providing an alternative commercial onestop shop to the different forms of facilities that are going to be available through the Ministry of Justice when the reforms take place in April 2020

Simple, collaborative, frictionless and cost effective Supported Negotiations and Dispute Resolution: • Automated admissions by data upload • No stage 1 fallouts (liability disputed cases remaining on platform) • Unique 75 day disclosure and supported negotiation period • Supported negotiation by facilitators provided by Claimspace reduces disputes • Seamless route to cost-effective binding online arbitration for disputed cases • All fees recoverable as part of fixed cost regime So, how does Claimspace fit within the handl group? “I was looking for an organisation that would support me in developing this idea and I got talking to handl Group,” explained McCulloch, “they said they were really interested in presenting something to the market that would facilitate a cleaner, safer and collaborative way of dealing with claims. After a number of conversations, we agreed something between us and set up Claimspace.” Claimspace will sit within the handl Group, and once set up in a commercial capacity, it will have its own governance and reserve its independence. “We see ourselves as providing an alternative commercial one-stop shop to the different forms of facilities that are going to be available through the Ministry of Justice when the reforms take place in April 2020,” said McCulloch. Claimspace is currently going through the process of testing, with the company looking to run a proof of concept later this year.

Stewart McCulloch is the Founder and Business Development Director at Claimspace

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Modern Law spoke to Susan Henry, Operations Director at Foresight, about the company’s exciting growth plans for this year, and how the partnership with handl Group has enabled further opportunity for investment and innovation in technology, taking the business to the next level.

Foresight is an industry-leading, nationwide provider of expert witness services, providing an expert witness panel to support criminal, immigration and family law cases. Dedicated to helping legal professionals save time and work smarter, Foresight sources the most suitably qualified and relevantly experienced experts to support your case. With almost 15 years’ experience, Foresight is well-versed in the full breadth of legal cases and provides expert witnesses to criminal solicitors, family solicitors, local authorities, barristers and private clients. Drawn from all over the UK, Foresight’s nationwide panel covers a huge range of clinical and forensic medical, psychological, psychiatric, accountancy and IT disciplines. According to Foresight’s Group Operations Director, Susan Henry, “Tracking down a suitable expert witness can be an extremely time-consuming process – especially when it comes to the more obscure expert witnesses that we have in our network – so this quickly becomes a costly process for legal professionals and local authorities. Instructing Foresight minimises that process and delivers highly experienced, renowned and qualified experts, enabling clients to spend more time on other important matters.” Susan continues, “Once our clients select their chosen expert we then maintain communication, updating them on their report’s progress and managing their deadline, delivering a quality report that creates a convincing picture of evidence for their case.” Foresight was acquired by the handl Group in May 2018, and Susan says, “It has definitely been a learning curve for both Foresight and the handl Group. But not only has the Group allowed us to springboard off their business model and strategy, to take Foresight forward, the result is also well above anything we could have imagined in terms of

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progress. The power behind the Group and its aspirations for success are becoming reality, and it’s great to be seen as an important piece in the strategic jigsaw. And the belief handl has shown in us has given us the confidence to think bigger and better in every aspect of the business.” The acquisition has proved an exciting opportunity for both Foresight and handl, as Foresight looks to strengthen its service offerings assisting in the administration and the provision of quality expert witness evidence. To take Foresight to the next operational level, the company has also benefitted from additional investment into innovation across its IT platforms and systems, resulting in the technologies that are used in the civil sector also being implemented and applied to the criminal and family sector. Susan adds, “So, from the innovation and technology point of view, Foresight has not just been able to move the goalposts, we’ve actually widened them to include previously unachievable opportunities.” Equally important, according to Susan, is the synergy from the Group’s customer base. She emphasises, “One of the things that we do well is connect with our customers. The boundaries we had as a small company have been removed and we have more customer opportunities now through handl, and more doors are opening to us. The customer journey has always been central to Foresight’s operations and now, from an operational perspective, the adoption of Group practices has resulted in understanding and strengthening each part of that journey to ensure that we provide the best possible


T h e b o und a ri es we ha d a s a small c ompany have now been r emoved. We h av e m ore op p o rtuni ti es and mor e door s have opened to us. And t h e b e lie f ha nd l ha s shown i n us has given us the c onfidenc e to think bigg er a n d b e tter i n ev ery a sp ect of the business

service every step of the way. Towards that, key dates and deadlines are incredibly important in Foresight’s world and we have put new measures in place to ensure that they are never missed but instead are exceeded, which has been another substantial benefit from handl’s involvement. It’s all about best practices and sometimes it’s the little things that can make the difference.” As to Foresight’s growth plans, Susan is confidently excited. “We have a lot going on! It is definitely an acquisition with huge growth potential. We spent our first year making sure the foundations were not just right, but rock solid! Foresight has been a hidden gem, but we don’t want it to be hidden any longer! Our plans for growth are ambitious. It’s our

objective to double the size of the company and, in fact, we’re ahead of schedule regarding that. It’s our firm intention to become the market leader and the first-choice expert witness provider. We want customers to see us as their go-to partner.” Susan concludes, “Looking forward to the second half of 2019, our priorities are to focus on brand awareness across our existing and new target market areas, in order to achieve our ambitious growth plans. Foresight is a great business with sturdy foundations and, while we may be small, we have our own identity within the Group, and we intend to build on that to the benefit of both parties.”

Fo r es i ght h as been a hidden gem , bu t we don’ t want it to be h i d den any l onger

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The

MLA Way MLA is a medical reporting agency based in Liverpool. They offer a comprehensive medical reporting service, working on a nationwide scale and are renowned for exceptional delivery of service. Specialising in Industrial Disease (ID) claims, they bring over 27 years’ experience to every one of their reports, guaranteeing a quality, efficient and valuable service supported by an extensive network of specialist medical experts.

Growing in size Mike Shallcross has been a part of MLA since 2006, becoming Head of Operations in 2009. He has seen the company grow from an SME SRO to becoming the longest established MRO on MedCo. In 2013, handl Group identified MLA as a strategic acquisition, and in 2014 MLA joined the Group, bringing with it a wealth of expertise and knowledge. Mike talked us through MLA’s journey, its growth and what the future holds for them. He suggested that by being a part of handl Group it has allowed them to

raise their expectations and go for gold. “Being part of handl has really shown us that we have the capability to grow and expand and reach our number one objective of being a Tier 1 MedCo agency. “In order to aspire to be Tier 1, we have to comply with Part 2 of the Qualifying Criteria, and meet all of the extra metrics. The team at MLA has optimised our processes so that we are not just meeting those Tier 1 requirements but actually exceeding them. We are already operating at the standard of a Tier 1 so it is on the horizon, so we just need to keep working hard and hitting our targets. “We’re an ambitious company and want to continue to grow our brand and business. It is an exciting dynamic working within the Group and we are always looking to stand out and achieve more,” says Mike. “We are looking at other areas of reporting, but also working with our customers to understand what they want and need in order to develop products and services to meet those specifications. We want

STOP

PRESS

As Modern Law went to print MedCo announced that MLA has been awarded Tier One MRO (Medical Reporting Agency) status.

to continue to be the market leaders in Industrial Disease for many years to come and be the ID arm of handl Group.”

Employee excellence

Throughout Mike’s interview, he was incredibly passionate about his staff, exclaiming that “our staff are our greatest strength. I can’t praise them enough because every challenge or opportunity we put in front of them, they revel in it and deliver,” he says. “We have great retention rates in terms of our staff and that is great for customers as they get the continuity of service, build relationships and ultimately trust that every member of the team is experienced and knowledgeable.” Mike continues, “In 2016, we recruited Erin McBride who is our Supply Chain and ID Manager. A qualified solicitor, Erin really understands ID claims from the customer perspective, because she was once one herself! She has been a great asset to our business and has allowed us to

We approach every task with our company values in mind – make it happen, lead with service and always deliver 22 | handl Group Supplement


Speaking to Mike Shallcross, Head of Operations at Medical Legal Appointments (MLA), Modern Law found out about MLA’s future growth plans and why he believes MLA’s employees are their greatest strength. evolve because the knowledge that she has brought forward and shared with the team has enabled us to optimise our processes to improve the customer journey. Erin has developed software for us that sits behind our claims system and helped us to develop our screening services for NIHL (Noise Induced Hearing Loss) claims. We really value everything that each one of our team members can bring forward because ultimately it helps us to make this business the best it can be,” explains Mike.

Customer base

With a rich heritage, spanning nearly 30 years, MLA has always had RTA medical reporting at its heart, although perhaps it is best known for its work across other disciplines. Well versed in adapting to the market changes and the requirements of its customer base, Mike explained how MLA had listened and adapted its service to meet them. The rise of Military Accident claims, for example, spurred MLA’s Military Claims service, covering Military deafness, MilitaryPTSD, NFCI (Trench Foot) and Compartment Syndrome.

Mike says, “There was a definite synergy initially with our existing NIHL work and our entry into the military medical reporting space. A hearing loss report providing evidence that someone’s hearing was damaged as a result of working in a noisy factory, or from a bomb, were essentially the same. However, our military service has now expanded and our range of experts includes outdoor activity, skiing, parachuting experts and chartered engineers who provide evidence on faulty military equipment or weapons… and the list goes on.”

products and services to meet customer needs. “Providing a quality service to every customer is at the heart of all we do,” says Mike. “We approach every task with our company values in mind – make it happen, lead with service and always deliver.”

Similarly, MLA’s specialism in NIHL cases (50,000 cases to date) was developed as a point of differentiation to offer more technologically-led audiology reporting, utilising innovative CERA. MLA has also developed its own software that uses the CLB and LCB guidelines to calculate the level of NIHL and displays the LCB calculations for instructing solicitors to review, allowing them to decide on the claim’s prospects. It’s a formula that’s worked well for MLA, developing specialist

Mike Shallcross

is Head of Operations at Medical Legal Appointments.

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HELPING TO RECLAIM LIVES FOR OVER 30 YEARS Harrison Associates specialise in providing expert witness, case management, care packages and rehabilitation services for individuals with catastrophic and life-changing injuries and conditions.

EXPERT WITNESS

CASE MANAGEMENT

REHABILITATION

We prepare expert witness reports for the Court and other bodies, and accept instructions from both claimants and defendants.

Our case managers develop, deliver and monitor tailor-made rehabilitation plans and care packages for individuals with catastrophic or life-changing injuries.

Our rehabilitation services are designed to support individuals with complex injuries to achieve maximum recovery and independence.

Call us now to discuss your case: 020 8998 2992 www.harrisonassociates.org


Success for

Tripp

Coplus’ Managing Director, Jason Tripp, discusses how he came to handl Group and the reasons for the company’s success now and in the future as part of the Group.

If there’s one thing Jason Tripp, Managing Director of Coplus, is known for it’s his 100% commitment to taking the company forward. But his introduction to the insurance industry in 1997 came by accident rather than design when he leapt from running bars and restaurants in Manchester, post University, to working for an entrepreneur who had just set up a growing claims handling business. A move which led him onto the path he’s still following 22 years later.

Lots of potential

Jason explains, “I joined Chris Chatterton at handl in 2011 because I saw that he and Graham Pulford were intent on building something special and I wanted to be a part of it. In 2014 I had the opportunity to take on running the company that was then Motorplus, subsequently rebranded as Coplus.” Coplus provides legal expenses and other value add products to insurance brokers, both large household name brands like Swinton and Paymentshield and smaller independent brokers. Alongside insurance distribution, Coplus provide claims handling for around 25% of the broker market.

Legal Expenses

Jason contiinues: “That was where we started in 2014, with a strength and depth of expertise in legal expenses and claims management. It was a good place to build from.” Almost 3 million policyholders have legal insurance provided by Coplus and the company operates across landlord, motor, home and commercial markets. Add to this the other insurance products in the Coplus portfolio and it makes for a sizeable supply chain management operation. Jason adds, “Supply chain aggregation and the management of all the components is one of our strengths. Coplus is an FNOL (First Notification of Loss) provider, so we are the first people to answer the phone to what can be a pressurised call from an emotional customer. Customers need to know and understand what happens next. Not only does this involve sympathetic and efficient handling but it’s also about the brand reputation of the broker or insurer in that customer’s view which must also be protected. Our supply chain partners also take on this role, working on our behalf, and by extension that of the insurance

Almost 3 million policyholders have legal insurance provided by Coplus and the company operates across landlord, motor, home and commercial markets provider, so it’s vital that we share similar values and operating styles. Our job is to ensure this is always the case and high standards of service exist right through the claims journey.”

Extending claims services

Such a large broker FNOL operation brings Coplus into contact with several thousand motor claims and the numerous insurers who underwrite the policies. Extending services in order to assist the insurer, removing frictional costs and enhancing the customer journey has been a focus for Coplus for the last year. Jason continues, “Integration and aligning both what the broker and insurer need is the driver for how we operate. Being open and transparent has helped us develop strong strategic relationships with our partners and they can see how we can work together. When we first receive a claim we want to do everything there and then, as much as possible. This first call resolution gives customers much greater peace of mind, no wondering which supplier is doing what or when they will get their car repaired. We’ve got a whole connected supply chain ready to go. That’s good for the customer and it’s good for the broker and insurer. The broker brand is delivering a joined up claims journey and the insurer is removing additional costs from duplicating work, for example, but without losing control of the claim.”

Future

Jason sums up, “Without doubt the future is exciting, with the added handl bonus that, although Coplus has its own strategy and its own path, it operates within the context of the Group where there are other companies equally strong that fit with our claims handling skills and vice versa.”

Jason Tripp

is Managing Director of Coplus.

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Working together Corporé and The Treatment Network (TTN) combined are one of the largest rehabilitation companies in the UK. Corporé provides a range of rehabilitation case management, absence and injury management services, while TTN delivers a wide range of treatment and diagnostic services, covering physiotherapy and other related musculoskeletal treatments, psychological services, surgery, injections and medical diagnostics. Together they work to provide a seamless and efficient service for those in need. Modern Law spoke to Mark Stirrup, Managing Director at Corporé and TTN, about his determination for the businesses to become the market leaders and his aspirations for their award-winning rehabilitation work with the survivors of some of the UK’s most high-profile disasters. MLM: Tell us a bit about yourself? MS: I’m Managing Director of both Corporé and The Treatment Network (TTN) and I’ve been in post since August 2017. Since then I’ve overseen a radical rationalisation of the business including closing down loss making operations and the transfer of the business from Bristol to Liverpool. With extensive experience in sales, commercial and operations in a combination of the insurance, legal, personal injury claims and rehabilitation industries, I’m determined and committed to making Corporé the undisputed market leader in its sector. MLM: Can you talk us through your core services? MS: We specialise in the facilitation of rehabilitation and case management – including telephonic, multi-trauma and catastrophic case management – and we also provide an absence case management service. Currently we have nearly

We are part of a growing group that is well organised and strategic in its thinking in terms of the way it is acquiring new businesses and mitigating against changes in the market – Mark Stirrup

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I’m determined and committed to making Corporé the undisputed market leader in its sector

against changes in the market. It is financially strong and we work together very closely across the portfolio. For example, we are currently working with Coplus on outsourced services and with EQL’s technology, which are great examples of how we join forces. MLM: What are Corporé’s and TTN’s core values? MS: Our companies’ core values are: • Outcome focused – delivering our promise and reaching a positive result • Knowledge – with continuous investment in learning and self-development, we maintain the highest level of industry knowledge to share with our customers and clients • Innovation – we are always looking for ways to make access to the best support as easy as possible by harnessing technology with the use of digital solutions • Integrity – we believe in honesty, trust and transparency when dealing with customers, clients, stakeholders and colleagues • Trusted experts – having successfully supported over 220,000 injured parties back to optimum recovery, we are the trusted provider of choice for many

50 highly experienced, mostly employed case managers in our nationwide network covering a vast range of clinical disciplines.

• Efficiency – we take a proactive approach to getting the client back to optimum recovery both in life and at work, whilst delivering the best value outcome

In addition, we also offer an award-winning Major Incident Rehabilitation Service (MIRS) that can provide instant access to rehabilitation and support following a major disaster or incident.

• Empathy – because we really are people caring about people • Collaboration – because together, we really are better

MLM: Your MIRS service has just won “Claims Initiative of the Year - Outsourced Partner” at The British Insurance Awards at the Royal Albert Hall…

MLM: How have the needs and expectations of clients changed in recent years, and how do you plan to continue to keep up with these?

MS: That was a really proud moment for me and the team at Corporé and it meant so much to us all on a personal level, not just from a corporate recognition perspective.

MS: The market is becoming increasingly focused on the reforms next year, and therefore I think they are very receptive to new ideas and new technology. They are becoming more sophisticated as well, particularly around rehabilitation. Historically they have been much more focused on hire and repair, but rehabilitation is very much coming into the frame and we want to be at the forefront of that with our range of cost effective, innovative services.

We were presented with the award for our MIRS that provided support to the victims or witnesses of a range of disasters or incidents. We’ve worked on train derailments such as the Croydon tram crash, terror incidents including the Salisbury Novichok attack and Manchester Arena bombing, and industrial incidents such as the Didcot Power Station collapse. This award also recognised the work we’d done providing specialist treatment, rehabilitation case management, and psychological support following a very sensitive, high profile disaster that occurred in 2017. It was an unprecedented event in our country and as such we’ve really poured our hearts and souls into shaping a rehabilitation service for the survivors and their families that has been recognised as outstanding. Survivors were left with a broad range of both complex physical and psychological health conditions that we’ve addressed whilst navigating a series of non-clinical challenges, such as housing, displacement, cultural needs and language barriers. The service is testament to how we can work with insurers to deliver bespoke rehabilitation packages in extremely challenging environments following tragic events. MLM: What are Corporé’s and TTN’s future growth plans? MS: We believe we can do a lot more in our core markets direct to insurers and self-insured. For example, in the first five months of this year we have signed up five new insurers. We are currently looking at some of our aligned services, such as absence case management, and are looking more around the self-insured market where large corporates, industrial businesses, retailers and transport companies self-insure to a limit before their insurance kicks in. We are very positive about the future. We are part of a growing group that is well organised and strategic in its thinking in terms of the way it is acquiring new businesses and mitigating

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MLM: What targets do Corporé and TTN have this year? MS: Case management is not a regulated service at present so we are implementing our own case management framework standards, covering the clinical governance of what we do, our operational standards, IT, risk and security – everything across the entire business. We believe that we are already ahead of the curve compared to our competitors; we want to set the bar in the industry and make that clear to our customers and demonstrate our market leadership.

Mark Stirrup is Managing Director of Corporé and The Treatment Network


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Accessing healthcare should be EQL to all Laying out his vision for EQL, a start-up that is embracing emerging technologies in order to reinvent healthcare, Jason Ward, Co-Founder, told Modern Law about his journey as a start-up and what’s next for the project. MLM: What is EQL?

JW: EQL (pronounced equal) was born from an idea of delivering accessible and affordable healthcare anywhere to anyone in any language. The reason it’s called EQL is because in our eyes when it comes to accessing healthcare we should all be equal. Technology allows us to break barriers and change the landscape, and from our perspective we want to see how many lives we can influence using technology to improve access. Shorter term goals are, especially in the UK, to create efficiencies and lower cost and therefore broaden access using state of the art technology; I think that we can. MLM: What technology are you implementing? JW: The business is fundamentally an AI driven software house within healthcare. We are on the Google Cloud for Start-ups program, and as a result we have access to engineers at Google that show us the best and the brightest of the technology that is out there. The technology we are looking at is very human facing rather than in the background – it is all about human interactivity. We are using conversational AI for human interaction, which will ultimately evolve into NLP (natural language processing). MLM: How did you find this gap in the market that you are aiming to fill?

JW: One was from a pretty obvious state of affairs – if you are in the UK, there is a good chance you are waiting months to see a physio on the NHS. Ultimately, one of our goals is to replicate that scenario of having a physio physically next to you – essentially, a physio in your pocket telling you what to do every day, when and where, and tracking and engaging you in your rehab. MLM: How does EQL fit into handl?

JW: When we approached handl Group, what became apparent was that we had a mutual understanding of the market we were trying to target. The handl Group is incredibly forward-thinking and embraced our idea - this is the future of where this market can and should be going and rather than run away from it or blinker themselves to it, they have embraced us and so we sit within handl as a standalone Healthcare Technology business.

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One of our goals is to replicate that scenario of having a physio physically next to you – essentially, a physio in your pocket MLM: Tell us about Phio...

JW: Phio is a chatbot that acts and thinks like a physiotherapist. Our launch earlier this year was of a fully automated triage product which, via a chatbot, you can run through a triage just like a normal physio would with a patient. We have some other pretty revolutionary iterations and developments dropping into Phio later this year. It’s going to change the nature of physiotherapy – so watch this space! MLM: How would you say the industry is changing? Is it for the better?

JW: The speed at which technology is advancing is not linear, it is exponential at the moment. Technology is going through massive change but so is health care. We feel passionately about making sure we are delivering that change. MLM: Would you consider EQL to be a disruptor – and what advice would you give to others looking to disrupt the market? JW: Research, research, and research! With EQL, we had a fresh mindset that we wanted to go and find the problem and then fix it, rather than just building something that we thought was cool or that the market may want. Be customer obsessed, because ultimately, those are the people who are going to prove whether you are a success or not.

Jason Ward

is Co-Founder of EQL.


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