Adrian joined the NHS in 1986, and was pathology team leader at SWift prior to joining Reality. He has been involved in the development of Reality’s widely used interfacing products, including RealLinks, Reality’s leading interfacing product. Adrian has also managed numerous projects involving porting data to new systems, converting existing healthcare systems to run on new platforms, and been prime consultant on various projects with NHS bodies including the former Connecting for Health, and has also acted as a consultant and Project Manager on a number of major NHS software implementations.
Kate joined the NHS in 1987, and was an IHCS team leader at SWift prior to joining Reality. She has been involved primarily in data porting projects (including porting to Caché), project management, development of a number of Reality’s products including RealLinks and also manages the support service for Reality’s products.
Chris joined the NHS in 1984, and was training manager and customer account manager at SWift prior to joining Reality. He has been involved primarily in numerous data porting projects for Trusts across the UK, the development of some of Reality’s products and developing and delivering training courses jointly with Adrian Bourner.
Fraser joined the NHS in 1979, and has held a number of senior technical posts, including quality manager responsible for implementing ISO 9001 at SWift prior to joining Reality. He has provided Internet consultancy and technical support to many projects, is our main in-house ‘techie’, and has been involved in porting software to Intersystems Caché and writing supporting functions for Reality’s products.
Reality is a small consultancy set up in 1994; prior to this, we all held senior technical and managerial roles within the NHS itself. We are all fully committed to the ideals of the National Health Service.
Rather than operating on the basis of making as much profit as possible, our ethos in setting up the company was to be able to offer a good quality service, while making enough money to live on comfortably - and not to become millionaires! As former NHS staff, we’re well aware that the NHS is not a bottomless pit of money, and in many cases we can offer a solution at a fraction of the cost of our competitors. However, we won’t put in an unrealistically low quote simply to win business - we are always honest about the effort that we think a job will entail.
The company is run co-operatively; all four of us are equal directors in the business, we are all paid at the same rate, and all our decisions are taken democratically. We formed the business as a group of friends, and remain friends after all this time! Quality of life is more important to us as individuals than making huge amounts of money, and we all like to balance our working life with plenty of leisure time, too. This also gives a direct benefit to our customers - we don’t over-commit ourselves, so we always have contingency. It also means that we don’t promise something we can’t deliver - if our timescales don’t realistically permit us to deliver a project in the time you require, we will say so up front. This may lose us some business in the short term, but it does mean that our customers return to us again and again, and in all the time we’ve been in business, we’ve never had an unsatisifed customer. Marketing is not our strong point, to be honest, and we’re the first to admit we don’t make successful pushy salespeople; but we’ve been in business a long time, and most of our new customers are on the basis of word of mouth recommendations from existing customers. We enjoy working with people, and this reflects in the excellent working relationships that each of us has with our customers. We are very proud of our track record, and that all our projects have been delivered on time and within budget.
We think our philosophy makes us very different from most other consultancies:
· We offer fixed-price quotes, allowing you to budget effectively
· Our knowledge of NHS IT means that any initial learning curve is usually far quicker than with contractors or other suppliers, which means we can pass these cost savings on to you, the customer
· We produce clearly-defined Service Level Agreements, so you can see exactly what you’re getting
· We offer a follow-up support service where appropriate, so you’re not left with a system you can’t maintain
· We work as a team – so deadlines do not slip because of unexpected staff illness, or contractors leaving for another job
· We use technology to maintain a virtual office, reducing administrative overhead costs, and allowing us to offer very competitive quotes
· We are environmentally aware, and strive to reduce the impact of our business on the environment - for example, by teleworking, recycling and minimising the use of paper
· We keep ethical considerations in mind when choosing our suppliers