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NHS – Market Research and Supply

First off I want to say that the NHS is a staple of british society. It is a lasting testimony to the foresight of a number of individuals that put into place a healthcare system that much of the UK population uses annually.

While it does have its faults at times, the level of care and patience shown by the frontline staff is nothing short of amazing.

As this blog is predominantly about marketing, you are probably wondering where I am going with this.

There are two basic principles that drive product design, user need (market pull) and technology push.

The first of which simply asks the market what products they want to see and then the organisation goes on to design, manufacture and sell a product to meet these needs. The second bases the focus on having the available technology to push new innovations to market. This is often regardless of whether the customer has a need for the product or not.

There is a third aspect that needs to be mentioned. Oversight.

Back to the NHS. Having spent most of friday night (and early saturday morning) in A&E with an anaphylactic girlfriend. We saw first hand the dedication, care and attention of the NHS staff. As well as evidence of the principles above.

I am not doubting that with regular reports of overworked staff that there are some that would want to be able to shave valuable minutes from the simpler tasks throughout the day. This is despite the effectiveness of the existing methodology.

So armed with this apparent need from the market the medical supplies manufacturing company have churned out attachments for the canular that, as evident in their simplicity, are universal and easy to use.

There is one major flaw. The customers that these attachments have been churned out in their thousands for, namely the nurses, doctors and other medical staff, are unable to get them to fit the existing canulars.

Nothing like creating the market for another upsell. Right?

So while the small focus groups of medical professionals asked would have stated that ‘yes we want to simplify this’.

The fact that these ”universal” adaptors aren’t fit for purpose unwittingly means that they have been pushed to market before they are ready. And with an expectation of a predicted user base that values efficiency and simplicity over additional stages, that whilst designed to simplify and streamline the process, that forces them to revert back to the original method.

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