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Pioneers in healthcare

Pioneers in healthcare
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Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

25 Apr 2017

One of the tricks to creating a successful business is to spot an opening before anyone else.  That’s what our Kings Hill customer Kent Medical Imaging did: they identified a need for affordable ultrasound services in the days when they were only provided through mainstream hospitals.  Their vision has led to them growing a thriving company, which has a mission of serving the local community.

Jane West and Fiona Pocock met when they were training in radiography and both started to specialise in ultrasound, which is where they got the idea for their company. Fiona explained: ‘Due to pressure in the NHS, we felt we were not giving patients the service they deserved. As we both enjoyed scanning we left in 1999 and set up the company as one of the first independent clinics in the country, when it was unheard of for ultrasonographers not to be working within an NHS or private-hospital setting.’

Churchill Square pioneers

Before they could offer their services, they had to find the right business premise. CapitalSpace Business Centre in Kings Hill proved ideal: ‘We moved into 60 Churchill Square initially in 1999. For us it was the location that was important; being close to the M20 allowed easy access. The large free parking areas were a bonus, given the higher NHS parking costs at the time.

Having been here for so long, the company has seen the Kings Hill site grow over the years: ‘In 1999 it was underdeveloped and there was a large wooded area in the centre where the carparks are now. When we initially moved in there were very few companies on the Square and we have watched it expand over the years ,which has been a bonus for us as we have been able to offer our service to a greater number of people working locally.’

‘In 2004, we moved into the newly refurbished building 40. The space was similar in size to building 60 but the layout was different and we were able to add an additional scanning room, which allowed us to offer even more appointments to our patients. One of our aims when we set up was to offer an
affordable service to the local community.Our prices range from £50-£75 for a scan, which is much less expensive than our local competitors, mainly because we do not have the overheads of other clinics. This is partly due to our rental costs, as well as us keeping the running costs as low as possible.’

Plans for the future

Looking forward, Kent Medical Imaging is planning on inspiring others to take part in the growth of the business: ‘Over the next five years we would like to encourage other ultrasonographers to take the plunge and join us (even take over some of the work we do as we are getting older and would like to retire sometime!).  Hopefully they would be able to offer services that Jane and I don’t currently provide and expand the business to offer a wider range of scans benefitting the local community.’

Word-of-mouth referrals have been key to the business growth and is one of the measures of success used by Fiona and Jane: ‘Our business success is measured by the number of patients we get through the door and the complimentary comments and recommendations we get via letters and on the internet. We do very little advertising as most of our business comes through word of mouth and via our website.’

We’re delighted to have played our part in helping Kent Medical Imaging redefine health services for the people of Kent.

To find out how Capital Space business premises could benefit your growing business,  call 0800 107 3667