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Ones to Watch: Graham Stewart, Hospital Services Limited


Graham Stewart

Graham Stewart

Graham Stewart

What does your company do and what role do you play?

I am the commercial and finance director at Hospital Services Limited (HSL). Based in Dublin, Belfast and Nottingham, HSL is a specialist distributor of medical supplies, surgical equipment and healthcare IT solutions. As well as supplying market leading technologies and solutions, we provide on-going technical and clinical support to the healthcare sector.

How did the business start and how has it grown?

HSL was founded in 1962 by John Elliott and was under family ownership and management until 2015 when it was acquired with buyout capital from Foresight VCT and a new management team led by Dominic Walsh.

What is your background?

Originally from Donegal, I am a chartered accountant by profession. Having completed the training programme at PwC, I was asked to join their corporate finance team. As this was an opportunity to work with a variety of dynamic companies, I was keen to make the move. I was involved in some interesting projects ranging from business strategy development and finance raising for SMEs to business case analysis for large public sector investment programmes.

What do you do differently from your competition and what are your strengths?

HSL is not another ‘box dropper,’ but a full-service provider. We focus on finding the right solutions which exceed our clients’ needs and partner with some of the most innovative global manufacturers to deliver cutting-edge technologies to the health services on these islands. The healthcare sector is constantly evolving; we ensure we evolve with it.

Who are your main customers?

HSL primarily supplies goods and services to public and private hospitals and other healthcare settings across the UK and Ireland. We work with every acute hospital across the island of Ireland and support a growing number in GB with large medical equipment installations, video conferencing solutions, surgical instruments, and implants.

Do you have a target in mind in terms of where you want the business to grow?

As with any company backed by private equity there is an expectation of growth. We extended our workforce from 32 people in 2015 to over 80 today and have more than tripled our revenues. I look forward to continued growth over the coming years in Ireland and GB as we aim to become one of the most important supply partners for the health service.

What challenges have you faced?

Our sector is dealing with an increased level of regulatory compliance requirements including the new EU medical devices regulations and the impact of Brexit. We are fortunate to have some highly skilled and talented individuals at HSL who help face these challenges. In 2020 the challenge faced by the healthcare sector with PPE shortages enabled us to leverage our relationships to deliver a solution to hospitals across the UK and Ireland and provide much-needed PPE to keep our healthcare workers safe as they battled the Covid-19 pandemic.

Who most inspires you?

From a young age, my father influenced my work ethic and determination to succeed. This has stuck with me to this day, and I would still not ask someone else to do anything that I would not do myself.

Where do you see yourself in the next few years?

I’d love to continue my development in the healthcare sector. I really enjoy learning about the development of technological advancements, such as artificial intelligence, which HSL brings to the market and I believe there is going to be a lot a consolidation in this sector over the next few years. I’m keen to be on that journey.

Ulster Business