Developed by nurse Jane Lambert out of her nationwide ECG pharmacist training company, plans for Milton Keynes-based Makewell were well advanced be
Developed by nurse Jane Lambert out of her nationwide ECG pharmacist training company, plans for Milton Keynes-based Makewell were well advanced before the pandemic and stayed on track despite the new challenges. “We went ahead with the opening because we realised the potential we had as clinicians to contribute as the situation changed. We were in the right place at a dreadfully difficult time,” Lambert explains.
“We’ve been able to support the NHS and, because we are very familiar with its systems and restructures, we’ve slotted easily into whatever has been required. Now our team will support our local hospital with the Covid vaccination roll out.”
Her concept for Makewell as a bridge between public health and high end private care grew out of seeing more people want to take responsibility for their own health.
“Our solution for them is a safe, one-stop shop where the local community can find medical professionals offering multi-disciplinary, affordable and accessible healthcare services,” says Lambert who is on course for a £1 million turnover and 40 per cent growth this year.
A career changing Business Growth Programme course she took at Cranfield University a couple of years ago led to the business radically restructuring and re-branding.
This also helped her digitise the training when the face-to-face side had to pause last year.
Cranfield’s support played a key role in enabling her to come through the tough times having already taught her a key lesson: the importance of having the right people doing the right jobs.
Lambert put that into practice when Makewell faced the challenge during lockdown of gaining Care Quality Commission regulatory approval.
“It was the priority, and Cranfield had made me realise how critical it was to get the strategy right,” says Lambert. “I committed our clinical operations manager Jane Charman to working on the project for over six months and it has been achieved. Getting the right person has paid off.”
The team has now grown to 17 staff and 80 freelance clinicians and the clinic, set on a picturesque 800-year-old site in a leafy corner of the town, has room to expand.
Alongside its Covid services, Makewell is offering weight loss help including prescription-only treatments, 10 other vaccinations and blood and allergy testing. In the pipeline are a host of other services from health MOTs, treating acid reflux and back pain to cutting down on alcohol and facial hair removal.
Re-investing profits remains Lambert’s preferred investment strategy. Longer term “I see our model as one fitting well with franchising,” she adds.
It was an unforgettable incident she witnessed as a 12-year-old, when her grandmother suffered a cardiac arrest, that triggered her passion to improve resuscitation skills, become a nurse and then an entrepreneur.
Makewell marks an important return, she says. “I missed frontline nursing and wanted to bring it back into the business. This way we aim to give people more healthcare choices, make living easier for them and I’m delighted to be going back to my roots.”