From l-r David Cunningham, Sharon Douglas, John Sparkes, Prof Andrew Walton, Lee Ali
Following rapid growth, including increasing its workforce by over a third in the last year, Connect Health, the largest, independent provider of integrated community MSK (musculoskeletal) services in the UK, has agreed plans with North Tyneside Council to double its head office space at Quorum Business Park.
Connect Health now employs over 675 team members across 300+ locations, including 260 of its workforce in the head office in North Tyneside. The appointment of 74 new staff from the North East in the last year and planning for substantial growth in resources, people and infrastructure over the next five years, led to an extra floor being taken within Quorum’s Lightbox building.
The head office houses multi-disciplinary teams of HR, Estates and Facilities, Information Management and Technology, Support and Customer Service professionals. Together, these teams recruit and develop the best people, manage patient journeys, support Connect’s clinical teams, all while ensuring the right premises and technologies, processes and reliable systems are being used and are in place to effectively meet the organisation’s high and exacting professional standards.
Refurbishment work will begin shortly and is due to be completed next spring. As a result, Connect’s team will benefit from more space, enhanced staff facilities, a modern working environment with improved aesthetics and dedicated training facilities. Environmental improvements will incorporate energy saving measures such as the installation of LED lighting throughout and better shower facilities, to encourage staff to take sustainable methods of transport to work.
Prof Andrew Walton, Founder and Executive Chair of Connect Health said:
“I founded Connect Health 30 years ago in Hebburn. We worked out of a GP practice in the evenings and weekends for the first few years. Now we operate in 300+ premises throughout the country, employ over 675 colleagues and are expanding further to support our continued growth. Interestingly, until eight years ago, 98% of our workforce were clinical, with no head office. Now over 40% of our teams are non-clinical, with an expanding head office. This is because we realised that in order to deliver better outcomes for patients, our clinicians need a strong, efficient and modern support infrastructure to optimise patient care.”
John Sparkes, Head of Regeneration and Economic Development at North Tyneside Council said:
“It’s extremely gratifying to see such a positive story. Connect Health is one of the fastest growing employers in the North East and is now expanding its head office in North Tyneside. The business was born and bred in the North East, founded by local clinicians, working with local authorities, the NHS and local businesses. Connect’s services complement and support what the public sector does and it’s great that they are able to keep investing in the locality.”
Lee Ali, Chief Financial Officer, Connect Health concluded:
“We’re really excited to be continuing to invest within our region in our 30th year, creating a larger office space with improved facilities for colleagues to thrive. Doubling the size of our head office space, allows us to significantly increase our support infrastructure over the next five years to ensure we continue to provide our high levels of service and quality with the additional demands generated from our NHS and occupational health partners.”
The investment Connect Health has made in its infrastructure and non-clinical teams will result in better outcomes for its patients. Systems are configured to enable the collection of unique types and quantities of data so that as a small business founded in Hebburn 30 years ago, it now has more MSK data than anywhere else in the UK and that visibility of performance has allowed Connect Health to significantly change what its teams do in order to further improve patient care.