Five Minute Focus: Conor Ellis, Archus
Tell us about yourself
Hi I am Conor Ellis, I live in Cork, I come from Irish parents but was brought up in the UK where I worked in the NHS and healthcare for more than 20+ years. Sadly, I’m a Stoke City supporter, which has given me the odd delight, although not many over the past 5 years. I enjoy most sports, playing tennis, running, seeing gigs and listening to music, eating out and above all travel and music. Health as an industry has been great on this basis. I have seen and worked in all sorts of places, from Australia to Canada via the Middle East, Far East. Scandinavia, countries like India, Oman, Russia, Albania to large parts of the central EU like Slovakia, Spain, France Germany and Ukraine.
Tell us about Archus
I am one of seven directors of Archus. We are a specialist Global healthcare infrastructure Consultancy. We have two offices here in Ireland, in Dublin and Cork. Both in Glandore premises. We have 6 offices all over the UK and recently opened an office in Toronto, Ontario. Our next expansion is Australia – we are working on is for the next year or so.
We have three divisions. UK Strategic advisory, which I lead up, arriving in Ireland which includes Population modelling, clinical demand, health facility and estate planning. Our technical division includes writing the Health building Notes and Technical Memorandum for the NHS, much of which is used around the world for guidance on the planning of facilities for diverse issues such as a new cardiac unit, emergency department or a new elective care site. This division also provides sustainability and business case investment. Our final division provides a programme and project management delivery which means in healthcare we can take clients from concept to concrete.
We have a wide portfolio of projects, with more than 300 between team members over the last five years that include many of the largest teaching hospitals including many major cities. The current roster includes our work on behalf of the HSE centrally alongside developing the clinical strategies for St James’s site and a wide range of inputs for strategic and project management to Cork University Hospital. We have also included a number of studies of Model 3 and Model 4 HSE Hospitals. We also do a number of private hospitals globally.
What’s your role in Archus?
I lead the advisory section, but I’m now specialising in building our business in Ireland, which is pretty fast-paced right now. I am also just starting delivering projects in Vancouver and Perth. Whilst such travel is good for the Airmiles, its less good for sleep, given the time differences. The company is now 100 strong., we are all massively passionate about improving healthcare delivery and really believe we can make a difference to the Irish Health Economy.
Tell us something about Archus we may not know
Archus staff members have been involved in not only the largest specialist centres like the Karolinska in Sweden, producing the future model for Adelaide in Australia but closer to here the 2050 Greater Glasgow and Clyde health vision. Our technical guidance and our programme team did a number of the Nightingale hospitals where we did 6 months design work and got the hospitals operational in 10 days from start to finish. We also worked on primary and community hubs like Plymouth. (Similar to the model for slanticare)
What’s next for Archus?
Every health economy has probably 7 main issues, they just present in different order of magnitude depending on the financing, government public/private structure, demographics, rural, urban splits and social economic makeup.
We hope to continue to grow organically, increase our digital provision, grow sustainability, our FM and digital services, via our three divisions.
Importantly Scotland, Ireland and Canada will be in growth mode for the next 3 years. Pleasingly we have a couple of new Irish starters in Dublin and Cork, so increasing our local delivery capability. We pride ourselves as in the largest independent practice in healthcare. And we are really caring about work we do. All our team members work exclusively in health and come from a range of backgrounds, including Doctors, Nurses, Infection control, Pharmacists, Therapists, Managers, Planners, technical backgrounds and analysts. This means we really do have a 360 degree understanding of everything that is happening in healthcare. I want all our projects to be as good as they can be outcome wise and to demonstrate leading the evidence based research for innovation.
What do you think is the future of work?
This is one of the more interesting issues. As a team we were aways adopters of smart technologies, not least because of the range of projects and geographies we served. So we’ve been doing video conferencing like skype since 2003 given the travel issues, now we use teams, zoom, webex and others with our health clients being at every level of digital platforms, some sadly are way off leading edge.
There isn’t a benefit of using offices 5 days slavishly. However, we do feel it engenders team development. It also builds collective understanding of projects and processes. It helps junior staff learn from senior people much more so then people working out of their homes. That said our working average is probably 2-3 days a week , in the office when we are not out with clients.
What do you like about being a Glandore Member?
We have a range of offices in the UK and elsewhere. And I have to say everyone that has been to our Cork office, which we took last year, has been hugely impressed. We now moved this month into Dublin (16 Fitzwilliam Place). I’ve been really impressed with not only the interior layout, service, standard but general ambiance. I have helped negotiate a number of our office deals and I think right now that our Cork office is probably the best facility I have visited. The staff, people like Alice and Dennis and all the sales support like Niall and others at Glandore make sure that the service is friendly, really attentive via being easy going people to work with. Unfortunately, we’ve missed many of the events that Glandore put on, which cover a wide variety and consequently the opportunity to meet fellow Glandore affiliated Organisations, We are hoping that in 2023, we will meet a number of our fellow office colleagues.
Friday nights in or Friday nights out?
Depends on the week I’ve had. I generally love Friday night. That said if it’s been a real humdinger of a week sitting on the sofa listening to some noisy music with a bottle of wine, and the company of my wife and the dog isn’t too bad. If it’s been an easier week, then hitting a bar restaurant or seeing a band with friends is always a kind of a justifiable reward for the hours we put in.