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Medefer awarded £10m to disrupt outpatient model

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A virtual healthcare provider aiming to reimagine the traditional outpatient system, has announced a £10m funding round led by private investment firm Nickleby Capital.

Medefer, founded by NHS consultant Dr Bahman Nedjat-Shokouhi, says the growth funding will be used to invest in people and technology to service new contracts, enable new product development and ensure scalable growth.

Currently employing approximately 50 people, Medefer will be expanding its internal team by a further 100-150, primarily across sales and technology.

CEO of the company, Dr Nedjat-Shokouhi said: “By doing this, we can ensure that we are scaling, building and reaching struggling practices at the rate needed to help us to tackle the growing NHS waiting list crisis.

“We are excited about the work we’re doing developing our current offering and developing new products – which are nearly market ready – to streamline our service even more.”

“Our mission is to be able to reach and service as much of the NHS that needs our help. We want to speed up the patient journey, in turn freeing up NHS resources and, crucially, saving money so that it can be used more effectively.

“We are aiming to work with a multitude of NHS trusts and CCGs to help as many of the population as possible.”

Medefer is a CQC regulated digital platform that connects GPs, consultants and patients. The platform has been used by 20,000 NHS patients, helping them receive faster care.

According to Nedjat-Shokouhi, upwards of one in every 82 people in the UK is covered by Medefer’s services.

Nedjat-Shokouhi said: “Our goal is to grow this number fast and work with additional NHS trusts to give more people access to Medefer and reduce NHS waiting lists as quickly as possible.

“Medefer was born out of a desire to empower the NHS to deliver a radically faster, safer and more effective service from referral, through diagnosis, to treatment and discharge.”

Underpinned by its outpatient operating system, and a nationwide ‘grid’ of contracted remote NHS consultants, Medefer manages the entire patient pathway from referral and triage to investigation, diagnosis and discharge

This is achieved without the need for physical outpatient appointments.

Consultants are able to review cases in their own time and conduct consultations remotely rather than the patient having to wait for an in-person appointment, which Nedjat-Shokouhi says are often unnecessarily conducted at hospitals or clinics.

Through the virtual system, patient’s cases are reviewed by NHS consultants within 10 hours on average – compared to 18 weeks using traditional models.

Nedjat-Shokouhi said: “Seeing a patient in person takes much longer for the same result, so by reducing the number of these appointments, we can free up time for new referrals.

“Overall, it provides a much more efficient use of doctors’ time and, for the patients, reduces the sometimes weeks-long wait to be seen.

“An important factor to consider is that by enabling consultants to work in their own time in the evening, we are capturing capacity that previously could not be utilised. Our system also optimises how the patients are distributed amongst our consultants around the country.”

Due to an alerts-driven digital tracking process, patients cannot fall between the cracks, which is a significant problem within the NHS. For NHS Trusts and CCGs, Medefer says outpatient costs are cut by a third, and waiting lists reduced by 70%; improving consultant capacity and creating far better use of resources.

Medefer also says it is well-positioned to help tackle the estimated 10 million patient backlog that has grown due to Covid-19, as well as helping patients with chronic conditions whose care has been interrupted with huge long term impact.

Nedjat-Shokouhi said: “NHS waiting lists have been dramatically impacted by COVID-19, with a backlog of appointments missed or delayed by lockdowns.

“Our software can fundamentally transform the delivery of outpatient services. This funding round will enable us to support the NHS during its most challenging times in its 72-year history, and to continue to innovate in virtual specialist care.

“We’re pleased that Medefer is helping on the front line in the efforts to combat the pandemic and its ripple effects on the UK population.”

Marco Schiavo, managing partner, Nickleby Capital, added: “Medefer is a business whose time has come.

“They have a unique model with huge, growing, demand. They help the NHS slash waiting lists and save money, as well as improving patient outcomes. The Medefer team is outstanding and we’re very excited about working with them to help achieve their incredible vision.”









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