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interview
industry, and we believe it will help us Nuffi eld Health Wellbeing will trial says Doyle, stressing that this will benefi t
retain our staff.” some of its ‘version 2.0’ services at the customer as well as Nuffi eld Health.
“From a customer perspective, we the new pilot site in Nottingham Mobbs agrees: “This isn’t about getting
believe a broader range of people will be to a point where you ratchet up the price
interested in engaging with our wellbeing assessment or post-surgical rehab, right because you have a waiting list. Apart from
advisers than with, for example, a for the relaxation area, and go straight the commercial imperative, as a charity we
personal trainer. We also believe our ahead for a swim or a gym workout.” also have a public benefi t imperative – we
approach will appeal to a broader range Mobbs continues: “This is where it want to provide a degree of accessibility
of people by moving away from running gets very exciting, because it pulls the to these services. What you do have to
on treadmills that never actually get you whole business together. We’ll be able do is manage yield, offering differentiated
to where you wanted to go.” to offer health maintenance programmes propositions and segmenting them to
that relate to a specifi c lifestyle issue or maximise your capacity. The industry is
outcome-based approach disease. Rather than selling an annual not good at this at the moment.”
“We’ve started talking about our product membership, people will buy a health
evolution almost in software terms,” says maintenance programme that includes a adding value
Doyle. “What launched on 1 December membership component. Do they think other operators will follow
was version 1.0. Version 2.0, which will “In tandem with that, we’ll be looking their lead, perhaps by partnering with
be launched mid-2009, will include access at predictive screening. We may be medical or other healthcare providers?
to the core competencies that exist able to identify if someone has a “When you look at the other health
within the old Proactive business. predisposition to a particular health risk, club operators, they’re all venture
“We have a new site in Nottingham, and we will then look at what they must capitalist backed, very highly leveraged
which opened on 15 December, do – through fi tness, nutrition and so on with lots of debt, and none of them
where we plan to pilot some of the – to avoid that risk being triggered. We think suffi ciently long term,” says Mobbs.
services I would call version 2.0. may well be able to offer programmes “This isn’t something you can achieve
We’ve designed the space to offer our across the whole of the Nuffi eld Health within three years and get an exit. This
medical, relaxation and fi tness facilities platform, combining health clubs with is a very long-term strategy and might
in a joined-up manner. There are no hospitals and diagnostics.” not appeal to some operators.
entrance barriers – we hope to attract a Doyle adds: “There’s a long way to go, “We’re probably the best capitalised
wider audience than just members – and but the platform is in place to allow us business in the industry, and I think
you come in and turn left for a health to look at these kinds of services. we’re in a strong position to hold our
“But we have to be very careful about nerve in the current conditions and
how we get there, as we don’t want to focus on the product and the service
disenfranchise existing members. Quite offering for the consumer.
the opposite – we want to reward their “In general, I’m concerned by the way
loyalty. And so, if they commit to us, for the market is reacting to the economic
the next 12 months they’ll enjoy all the pressures at the moment. I hope, in
benefi ts coming down the track for no 2009, people start to make decisions
extra cost. Even for new joiners, the based on the added value our sector can
increase in fees will simply be along RPI offer, rather than discounting. All the
levels, in line with the competition.” research shows that companies which
So how will Nuffi eld Health recoup its are successful during a recessionary
costs? – in its fi rst year of ownership, it period, and which emerge stronger
doubled the investment in the Cannons during the recovery period, have
estate compared with recent years. developed propositions that add value to
“Having defi nitive outcomes data means the consumer. That’s what we’re doing.”
we’ll be able, as appropriate, to offer
The Allen & Overy site will serve as customers direct referrals for further kate cracknell
a role model for the consumer clubs diagnostic, hospital or wellbeing services,” healthclub@leisuremedia.com
36 Read Health Club Management online january 2009 © cybertrek 2009
healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital
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