Dr Julian Nesbitt, CEO and Founder of Dr Julian
Continuing with the P4SY Accelerator Programme Founder interviews, the team have been talking with Dr Julian Nesbitt, CEO and Founder of Dr Julian
Hello Julian –
Can you tell me more about the Dr Julian platform and where your idea came from?
As we all know, the UK is in a mental health crisis. The NHS is overwhelmed with a major supply and demand issue for their mental health services. Working as a doctor, I have seen the impact of long waiting lists and the damage it is causing to patients and healthcare professionals – that’s why Dr Julian was created.
Dr Julian is a digital platform that connects people to vetted therapists and counsellors in a more convenient and accessible way. I wanted the platform to increase the accessibility of mental healthcare provision and improve the experience for both the patient and the therapist as well as facilitating the admin side of things.
The platform matches patients to the correct therapists based on their requirements. They can select a time suitable to them wherever they are in the world, 24/7. Patients can also access self-help tools, therapist homework, and resources ideal for them from their dashboard to give them ongoing support before, during, and after therapy.
We have found that digitising administrational tasks has vastly improved the therapist and admin team experience as it allows more time to be available for clinical sessions.
How’s business going? What scale-up success have you had since your launch?
The platform has really taken off. Over the last few years, we have achieved country-wide market adoption across the NHS, supporting 20+ NHS IAPT services in their step 2, 3, and 4 provisions. We are also working with occupational health, charities, employee assistance programmes, insurance and corporate companies providing mental health care services.
In April 2022, we won an SBRI Healthcare grant to trial our platform technology with IAPT services with their own staff and therapists using our platform to scale up this side of the business with Trent Psychological Therapies Service. We have also successfully launched and proven our SaaS platform with one of the largest UK providers of mental health, NHS Practitioner Health, and are now ready to scale up this model of the business with others coming on board.
Consequently, Dr Julian has grown very quickly over the last year, and we now have a team of over 30 exceptional people.
What’s been the feedback from patients and therapists?
We have received a lot of positive feedback from our patients and can see that the Dr Julian platform is really making a difference to many people with a 4.8 Trustpilot score. In an independent analysis carried out at the Sussex NHS Trust, we have managed to halve the under-attendance rate from 10% to less than 5% and doubled the engagement rate.
It is this response that enthuses me, as I know a lot of users would have ended up on very long waiting lists.
We are continually evolving and improving the platform based on patients, therapists and admin teams feedback. For example, we are designing the platform for different languages and cultures.
What is also exciting is the potential cost savings for the NHS through digitising the admin tasks. Kent Surrey & Sussex AHSN has shown a cost saving of £2.5 for every £1 spent. I am looking forward to seeing what other costs we can eliminate to help the NHS save money.
What connections / partnerships are you seeking to make for the next stage of your business growth?
We would like to continue our scale-up process and are looking to raise our Series A in the next six months.
We wish to scale the licensing of our technology platform as a service SAAS model through NHS IAPT services as well as other large therapy service providers in the country.
We will also continue to scale our service model providing step 1, step 2, step 3 and step 4 therapy services in PWP, CBT and counselling through NHS IAPT services as well as corporate and university institutions. We aim to formally launch a Children’s CAMHS service as well.
And finally, can you tell us about your experience of participating in the P4SY Accelerator Programme?
It has been great!
Firstly, you guys have been great, really helpful! You have put on some really interesting and valuable sessions, particularly on how to scale up a business in the NHS. I have been on a few accelerators before, but what makes P4SY stand out is that you have actually listened to us and have put in a lot of effort to help us with our individual needs.
The programme has been excellent for networking and the personal touches have made it unique.