Physiotherapy student Claire finds a gap in the market

Claire Narborough, started a business called Bariatric Medical
Claire Narborough, is studying a BSc in Physiotherapy at the University of Birmingham.  Whilst working as a physiotherapist, she has recognised a need to provide Bariatric Medical Ltd (BML) mainly in hospitals.  BML is a business providing bariatric equipment, starting with bariatric hospital chairs and expanding into providing bariatric walking frames, toilet frames and hospital gowns.

“I decided to participate in an Entrepreneurship & Innovation programme because I needed advice and funding to allow me to develop my idea and start my business.”

TBariatric Medical company logohe aim of BML is to maximise rehabilitation of bariatric patients by providing safe and appropriate equipment and decreasing waiting times for specialist equipment, such as seating.   This will decrease the length of hospital stay of bariatric patients thereby decreasing the cost to the NHS and other services due to a timely discharge into the community.

Claire’s view

The equipment helps patients overcome set-backs, but ironically it was Claire herself who was faced with setbacks whilst setting up the business.

“I encountered problems trying to find insurance companies, eight companies stated that they could not insure Bariatric Medical Ltd due to complexity of the business.  I have now managed to secure insurance with the help of the Entrepreneurship & Innovation team.

I found that getting insurance for my business was the hardest obstacle to overcome.  I spoke to many insurance companies whom all said that they could not insure me due to the nature of my business.  I feel that this is because medical businesses are harder to insure due to the increase in likelihood of a claim being made. This created a barrier for me to be able to start the business.

Overcoming setbacks

To overcome this problem, I spoke to Entrepreneurship and Innovation who helped me find a suitable insurer and eventually I managed to secure insurance for the year.  Another issue I encountered was finding a website designer that would make my website exactly how I would like it and for the price I could afford.  It took me time to find a website designer who could match my needs but I am pleased that I have now overcome these issues and now have a great business model.

Initially Bariatric Medical Ltd will target care homes but in the long-term I would like to supply hospital trusts with medical equipment for obese people. I am also enthusiastic to try to combine my business with physiotherapy, eventually incorporating a physiotherapy service alongside the medial equipment hire and sale.

I decided to participate in an Entrepreneurship & Innovation programme because I needed advice and funding to allow me to develop my idea and start my business.  My course and experience working as a physiotherapist gave me the confidence and the know how to take my idea forward.

Key skills gained

  • Confidence in speaking with others
  • Networking – A support network of new friends who have also set up their own businesses
  • Business Knowledge
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