With the demand for private cosmetic surgery increasing year-on-year, The Harley Street Journal asks whether having two clinics is now better than one for patient acquisition and satisfaction?
Laura Casewell speaks to Mr. Jonathan Staiano, a Consultant Plastic Surgeon with clinics based in both Central London and the West Midlands, who has made the leap to dual clinic ownership.
Talk us through when and how you acquired the London and West Midlands clinics?
I have had a private practice since 2008 and was working out of the local private hospitals, which is what the majority of plastic surgeons in this country do. However, I felt that I could not give the level of care that I would like to, because I did not have control over a lot of the experience that patients had both before and after they came to see me.
My family are in the hotel business and I was brought up living in a hotel, so I realise the importance of good customer service. I found it very frustrating if patients came to see me and did not receive a warm and welcoming reception, or if they were not kept informed of the waiting time in my clinic. Similarly, I found that the aftercare was variable in terms of the nursing staff and surgical teams and I wanted to give my patients a more personal and bespoke service.
I opened the clinic in Edgbaston, Birmingham, in 2013. We have a small team of reception and nursing staff and I feel that we offer a different level of service to our patients. We have created an environment more like a boutique hotel than a doctor’s clinic. Our focus is on looking after our small group of patients and making every patient feel special. Our priority is to make sure that each patient is given the best result possible and we will make sure that we have achieved this before we move on to the next patient.
Why did you choose to have more than one clinic?
I began treating patients from London and the South East and so I started my clinic on Harley Street at the beginning of 2015 to save my patients travelling to Birmingham to see me.
The majority of my patients are from the Midlands, but I treat patient from all over the country, and even further afield. We focus on the aftercare that we offer and I always encourage patients to come back to the clinic so that we can make sure that everything is progressing satisfactorily. I realise that patients have to travel long distances, and London seemed to be the obvious choice for the second location for my clinic.
I spent the majority of my training in London and the South East and so am very familiar with the city and the location at 152 Harley Street fits in well with our brand values as it offers outstanding facilities in a very warm and comfortable environment.
What benefits are there to owning/running two or more clinics?
The main benefit is that we can offer a better service to our patients. I always encourage patients to have treatment close to home if they can as we like to keep an eye on them, and be available if there are any questions or concerns.
Is having multiple location clinics imperative to success with the aesthetic and plastic surgery arena?
Not necessarily. The majority of doctors are sole practitioners and I would encourage them to develop a practice close to where they live so that they can develop a strong reputation in the area. Too many doctors spread themselves too thinly and work at several locations which makes it difficult to provide a comprehensive service.
I am no longer a sole practitioner and I have other plastic surgeons working with me, which allows me to expand the reach of Staiano Plastic Surgery. We have a surgeon who is based full-time in London and he can deliver the service under our brand umbrella. My aim is to develop a national brand that delivers a bespoke service delivered by the most highly trained professionals.
All of the surgeons that work with me have been hand-picked by me and are fully trained plastic surgeons. Believe it or not, the majority of plastic surgery in this country is not performed by fully trained specialists, which is why I have written a book about it: Never Accept A Lift From Strangers -how to choose the best plastic surgery for your cosmetic breast surgery.
Do you offer different services at the two clinics?
One of our unique attributes is that we specialise in breast and body contouring. We are all experts in cosmetic breast surgery and body contouring, and this is the focus of what we offer at the clinic. Too many doctors offer a wide range of treatments and are often not specialists in any of them.
Why do your patients benefit from the multiple clinics?
Now that we have a clinic in London, we are able to treat people closer to their home and this is always something that I recommend people do. We treat patients from all over the country but we always tell them to have surgery close to home if they can.
What advice would you give other plastic surgeons considering opening a secondary clinic?
I would only advise opening a second clinic if you intend to have other surgeons working with you. It would be a mistake to spread yourself too thinly. If you are successful where you are, you should build on that success and continue to give excellent service to your patients. Do not be a victim of your success and think that you can open another clinic in order to see more patients, because if you dilute the service that you are offering, you will soon find that your practice suffers.
You can find out more about Mr. Jonathan Staiano’s new book online www.neveracceptaliftfromstrangers.com
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