Simplyhealth announce Paul Schreier as new Chief Executive

Schreier will lead strategy to improve access to healthcare for all in the UK

Simplyhealth, a leading provider of health and dental plans, of which Denplan is a part, has announced the appointment of Paul Schreier as its new Chief Executive Officer to lead the organisation as it improves access to healthcare for all in the UK.

Paul will join the business in mid-May as CEO, subject to regulatory approval, taking over from Acting CEO Nicholas Potter, who will continue in his previous role of Chief Financial Officer at the company.

Paul brings with him a wealth of experience, having been the Interim CEO at the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation where the purpose is to support science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone. 

Paul led the Wellcome Trust’s efforts on Covid-19 treatments which resulted in him becoming the global therapeutics co-lead of the World Health Organisation’s accelerating Covid tools partnership, involving several other multilateral agencies. He is also a member of the investment committee that oversees Wellcome’s substantial investments’ activities.

Paul was born in Australia and came to the UK to study a BA, Masters and PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Cambridge before joining the Royal Navy, serving as a navigator and fighter controller. After commanding a ship, he left to join McKinsey & Company where he became a partner before being appointed to the Australian Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, becoming deputy secretary with responsibility for economic policy and strategy. Later, he served as deputy vice-chancellor and Chief Operating Officer at Macquarie University in Sydney, before returning to the UK to join Hakluyt, a professional services firm, in 2016 as Chief Executive. 

Paul Schreier said: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining Simplyhealth. I believe that we have an amazing opportunity to make a difference to the health of people across the UK, which is something I feel passionately about. I am very much looking forward to leading the company at this pivotal time in our country’s history, when improving access to healthcare has never been more important.”

Mike Hall, Simplyhealth’s Chairman, said:I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Nick for stepping up and taking on the role of Acting CEO over the past twelve months, and with the help of all of our colleagues continuing to transform the business to be better delivering low-cost, accessible, quality healthcare for our customers.

“Paul has a truly impressive professional background and through the recruitment process all parties agreed there was a strong strategic and cultural alignment which we believe makes him exceptionally well placed to lead Simplyhealth in delivering on our ambitious future plans.”

Denplan parent company Simplyhealth announces £60 million venture capital fund to drive healthcare innovation

Simplyhealth, parent company of Denplan, has announced the launch of its Venture Capital fund, ‘Simplyhealth Ventures’. Over the next few years the fund will invest £60 million in UK-focused, early-stage healthcare businesses to accelerate the development and adoption of predictive and preventative healthcare solutions. These investments will support Simplyhealth’s overriding purpose to improve access to healthcare for all in the UK.

The UK has a long-held reputation for innovation, R&D and an entrepreneurial mindsight. Through its Venture Capital fund Simplyhealth wants to support the Government and UK economy in these challenging times, as well as broaden its products for its customers.

Marking the launch of this fund, Simplyhealth Ventures has announced an investment in Daye – a female founded gynaecological health company on a mission to raise standards in women’s health and to close the gender gap in medical research and innovation by creating convenient products and services for period pain, at-home STI testing and the treatment of vaginal infections. This funding is crucial in enabling Daye to progress its offering from menstruation to vaginal microbiome screening and beyond. In particular, it will allow Daye to launch the world’s first ever tampon-based at-home vaginal microbiome screening kit.

Professor Sneh Khemka, CEO of Simplyhealth said: “I am proud to launch Simplyhealth Ventures, which has been a focus of mine since I stepped into the CEO role last year. We’re investing in pioneering healthcare businesses in the HealthTech and MedTech sectors and have already made significant investments this year in predictive and preventative healthcare in the UK. 

“We strive to make healthcare accessible to all and I am excited that we can financially support innovative healthcare businesses through our fund, addressing challenges in the UK healthcare system. We are a purpose-driven company with no shareholders, so our profits go to fulfilling this purpose.”

Valentina Milanova, Founder of Daye, comments“We have ambitious plans to ensure women’s health is treated with the importance it deserves, and we are delighted to have Simplyhealth join us on that journey. This funding will support Daye’s growth and the launch of the UK’s first tampon-based at-home vaginal microbiome screening kit, making vaginal testing more accessible, easy to use, and even more accurate.  

“Simplyhealth’s investment will also enable us to build a comprehensive platform for gynae health, giving more women and AFAB individuals valuable insights into their bodies.”

Simplyhealth Ventures has already invested in two innovative HealthTech start-ups. In May, the fund took a majority stake in Ocuplan, the country’s leading provider of plans to support those with chronic eye conditions. This was followed by an investment in Ampersand, a digital therapeutics platform for chronic inflammatory conditions.

Established in 1872, Simplyhealth is one of the UK’s leading health solutions businesses. Over the past 150 years it has built a solid reputation and dedicated community, offering affordable, personal and corporate health plans. To find out more, click here.

Simplyhealth Survey suggests confusion around healthcare and dental plans as up to 84% overestimate monthly cost

The subscription economy is booming, with almost four out of five (79%) adults in the UK signed up to at least one, spending on average £475 a year. Yet, while 96% of people say they are now focused on their holistic health, only 13% reported paying monthly for health benefits that could help them with everyday wellness, according to a recent survey conducted by Simplyhealth.

As one of the UK’s leading health solutions companies, Simplyhealth carried out the survey of 2000 people, aged between 16 and 82, to investigate how Covid-19 has impacted views on mental and physical health, subscriptions and spending habits.1 Findings suggest that the popularity of paying monthly for services and products is here to stay, with 1 in 5 (22%) admitting to signing up to even more during the pandemic. This upward trend was particularly prevalent in younger age groups, with almost a third (31%) of 16-44-year-olds increasing their subscription services as opposed to just 13% of those over 55.

Most popular – and where most money is spent – is entertainment; half (50%) of respondents reported paying monthly for video streaming services, followed by music and audio streaming (27%). Furthermore, 18% of people reported having food, drink and beauty subscriptions. Yet, only 13% of people reported paying monthly for life insurance, or a health or dental plan that could help them with everyday wellness, and just 12% said that they had subscriptions for fitness or wellbeing apps.

A focus on health

This is surprising given that 96% of survey respondents stated they remain focused on their holistic health, with almost half saying that the pandemic has made them care more about both their mental and physical wellbeing (44% and 45%, respectively). Again, this trend was noticeably higher in younger age groups – 53% of 16-24-year-olds said they now care more about their mental health, dropping to 37% in the 55+ category. However, the survey also showed that while 63% believed that they were aware or very aware of the benefits of health and dental plans, 45% overestimated how much dental plans can cost and 84% overestimated how much health plans can cost – some by more than 10 times as much.

Commenting on these findings, Catherine Rutland, Clinical Director at Simplyhealth, says: “Covid-19 has made us reassess many things we previously took for granted, drastically reshaping the agenda around health and wellness. It’s encouraging to see that so many people, particularly those in younger age groups, are remaining focused on their overall health, but it’s surprising that relatively few pay monthly premiums for plans that can help support and maintain this. In fact, in our experience, healthcare plans can really benefit younger, working adults with busy lives who value the convenience and cost certainty they provide.

“Our survey suggests that there are misunderstandings around healthcare plans, in terms of both costs and benefits. Rather than cover for medical conditions, health plans are designed to provide fast, accessible support for everyday health concerns. Looking after your wellbeing isn’t always easy at the moment, so it’s really important that people are fully aware of the different options open to them and their families, and the benefits these can provide.”

For more information on the results from the survey, including more information on health and dental plans, visit Simplyhealth’s blog: