Get to Know Our Experts: Tony Stubbs

Next in our Q&A series, we speak to Tony Stubbs, Business Development Manager (BDM) – Healthcare about his role, experience and the issues currently facing the sector.

Tell us a bit about your role at VWT UK?

I am a Business Development Manager (BDM) for Healthcare, focussing on the needs of customers in the north of England. I joined VWT from Biochemica Water Ltd. in February 2020 when the company merged with VWT UK. 

I have been in my current role since October 2021 and this primarily involves meeting with key people from various hospital departments, such as endoscopy decontamination, renal dialysis and sterile services, at both NHS Trusts and private hospitals to understand their needs and demonstrate how we can help. I also work in collaboration with the manufacturers of equipment such as Automated Endoscope Reprocessors (AER) and Washer Disinfectors (WD) to ensure our water treatment systems and their equipment integrate seamlessly for our clients.

Can you explain a bit about your background? 

I have been involved with water treatment for most of my career. When I left school, I joined the Royal Navy and studied marine engineering at the Royal Naval Engineering College. I spent the next 15 years serving on nuclear submarines where I specialised in technology very similar to industrial water treatment processes. 

Following this, I joined the water treatment sector and eventually moved to Biochemica, where I became the Director of Water Treatment Services. When Biochemica merged with VWT in 2020, I moved into a technical manager role, assisting with system specifications and customer enquiries. In 2021, I was eager to take on a new challenge and the healthcare sector represents an exciting opportunity for me. My experience with different types of water treatment over the years will allow me to offer valuable guidance and assistance to our healthcare sector customers. 

What are you looking to achieve over the next year at VWT UK?

A big part of my focus is meeting with as many new and existing customers as possible and ensuring they understand what VWT can offer. When hospitals and other healthcare facilities have a water treatment requirement, it is important for them to know who to speak to for guidance and support. The level of reputation and respect that VWT’s technology has in the healthcare sector certainly makes introductions to new clients easier.

One of the key areas for me in the next year will be introducing clients to the digital services packages we can offer. This ranges from remote monitoring of systems to advanced analytics and optimisation.

What do you think are the biggest challenges faced by the healthcare sector?

Financial constraints will always be an issue for healthcare facilities. Hospitals are, of course, focused on ensuring that its resources are used in the most effective way to help as many patients as possible and deliver the highest level of care. At VWT we are able to assist with this by helping hospitals to optimise the performance of their systems and minimise costly issues through effective service and maintenance.

In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have impact in all areas of the country. The ongoing pressure on resources and the backlog of procedures means that ensuring high levels of reliability and avoiding downtime in critical services, such as decontamination, is essential.

What will be the key issues going forward?

As with the rest of the public sector and the country as a whole, environmental issues will be key for the healthcare sector in the coming years. The Government’s pledge for the UK to achieve net zero by 2050 has set a long-term aim, with the recent UN Climate Change Conference COP26 further focusing the country’s attention on the issue. The NHS has already committed to achieving net zero in its scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by 2040 and by 2045 for its scope 3 emissions. 

With the UK population growing and climate change making water scarcity more likely, reductions in water usage in all sectors will also be a focus. By the nature of their work, hospitals generally use very large quantities of water and therefore will likely be called on to reduce their demand. While the NHS did cut water usage by more than 20% from 2010 to 2017, there is still more to do. Optimisation of water systems and processes has a key role to play in achieving these goals.

What are the key technologies or services that VWT UK offers to the healthcare sector?

We have a wide range of high performance reverse osmosis systems for renal dialysis water, such as HemoRO, Modula™ and Nephro units, as well as for decontamination, including our OSIRIS and Thermapure™ systems. However, one of the key VWT services that those in the healthcare sector should know about is our Hubgrade suite of digital services.

The restrictions put in place as a result of the pandemic have demonstrated the value of remote access to data about the performance of the system. The move towards greater connectivity in building systems is something that has already been embraced by some hospitals, including for water treatment. However, using the data collected more strategically can be of real value for healthcare organisations. The advanced analysis and optimisation available through our Hubgrade Performance package helps ensure the highest level of performance from existing assets.

Lastly, tell us a fact about yourself.

I am proud to say that since May 2021, I have been an elected County Councillor for the Aycliffe North and Middridge ward of Durham. I have always been passionate about working in the local community having coached youth football teams for 15 years. When I moved on from this, I looked for the next challenge and running for the council seat seemed like a natural step for me.

Click here to find out what we offer to the healthcare sector.

 

Tony Stubbs

About the Author

Tony Stubbs

A mechanical engineer with over 25 years experience of industrial water treatment in many market sectors, Tony has a proven track record of delivering on quality, service and value to customers