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How One Former NHS Doctor Is Using His MBA To Solve The UK’s Diagnostics Dilemma

Steve Powell is using the management skills he gained from an MBA at the University of Liverpool Management School to drive an innovative healthcare business forward

Leaving behind the comfort and safety of an existing job to build something from the ground up is a daunting prospect, but that’s exactly what Doctor Steve Powell did after completing his MBA at the UK’s University of Liverpool Management School.

Steve had worked for the National Health Service (NHS) since medical school and, after enhancing his management skills through the MBA, he used his new knowledge to take on the role as the director of Liverpool Life Science Accelerator, which provides lab space and support for healthcare startups.

Working at the accelerator, he saw an opportunity to create a bigger and better solution to the unmet need  for diagnostics in the UK healthcare industry and seized the opportunity to leave  the NHS to become chief diagnostics officer at Rutherford Diagnostics.

Rutherford Diagnostics is a subsidiary of Proton Partners International which operates a network of cancer centers nationally and—through diagnostic imaging, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and proton beam therapy—aims to provide all-encompassing cancer services for patients.

Working alongside the NHS, Steve aims to  make medical diagnosis earlier so, in his own words, “people can go out and enjoy their lives.”

BusinessBecause caught up with Steve to find out more.

Why did you decide to pursue the Liverpool MBA?

I was a consultant and radiologist at a teaching hospital in Liverpool and had grown to lead the department. There are a number of skills you need in these roles, and there’s an expectation that you’ll just pick them up, but to be a good manager you need to train.

The University of Liverpool Management School had a highly-ranked, global MBA program—a formal MBA with big focus on strategy and leadership. I thought it was a fantastic package and opportunity and that’s why I went for it.

What’s the value of an MBA for healthcare industry professionals?

Healthcare in this country is under constant pressure, turn on the news and you’ll hear all about it. As a clinical director, you’re permanently firefighting. There are sick people at your door who need help so you treat them one at a time, service by service, when actually there could be broader strategic changes made which would have a better effect.

Stepping away allowed me to assess things from a different perspective. It helped me think about it like a business. Healthcare institutions have huge deficits, but don’t do much to reduce these— a healthy knowledge of strategy makes a massive difference.

How have you applied your MBA learnings since business school?

We built the Liverpool Life Science Accelerator to bring new tech and exciting stuff to Liverpool, knowing our patients would benefit as a result. From my MBA, I quickly remembered the importance of networking. I used these skills and got a bunch of CEOs from small and medium-sized companies handing over business cards.

I also knew what entrepreneurs and startups would be looking for: sales, to broaden their network, and even trial a product. That’s not something that happens in the NHS, so they might have the best product, but no one will listen. Instead, I could put them in front of the relevant groups and I also put them in front of each other. They’d get opportunity, shared space, and shared knowledge.

At Rutherford, very quickly we needed to develop a radical strategy and robust business model that we could take to investors so we could roll out cancer centers across the UK. The Liverpool MBA helped me do that.

What advice do you have for anyone considering an MBA?

The University of Liverpool Management School MBA will add tremendous value to how you operate on a daily basis. It’s not all plain sailing though, you’ll have to endure difficulties, but it’s the hard road that leads to success. There are challenging elements like group work, but that’s what helps you become a good leader.

Student Reviews

University of Liverpool School of Management




On Campus

My experience in UOL

Well I won't tell you about all the great things about this university. But I'll just tell you my honest experience about it. I have visited almost all the places here. This university knows how take care of their students. Be it any aspect, be it career and placement department, be it societies, be it organising committees, they know what all issues a student can face and they are ready with the solutions already. Professors here are so welcoming. You can literarily bother them ample number of times but they will still be so nice with you. They actually put a lot of efforts to make letures more fun. They try their best to focus on each and every student and check if they are comfortable or now. Coming to the offerings. They know that there will be a lot of international students and there will be a lot of issues they will face in adjustment over here. So they organised a lot of events, distributed a lot of free vouchers just to make students feel welcomed over here. Trust me if you are looking for a Uni for yourself or for someone, do add this one on your priority list.




On Campus

Fantastic school

The lecturers are incredibly experienced in their field of study, and it shows when they teach. They know what they are talking about, and that instills a level of trust that you have made the right choice coming to this university. They are supportive and charismatic - exactly how lecturers should be! The accommodation is all fantastic too. Homely, comfortable, so close to campus. Even Greenbank, which is a 15 minute bus journey from campus, has its perks (heavily discounted bus pass - from £400 to £60 and free gym membership). There are so many societies too! Literally one for everything. During the society fair, they were all so welcoming which is so great to see. The lecture theatres are all top-notch too. It feels so modernistic. It really feels like I have had a big step up from sixth form to university. I made the right choice by coming to UoL!




On Campus

Original RedBrick Review!!

The Marketing Course at this uni a great course with exceptional industry connections - for example a brand assessment centre from The Hut Group and an assessment centre at Anfield Football Stadium! The campus is great as it is all connected and everything can be found there - so whether you are a Starbucks or Cafe Nero kind of person the campus has everything. Freshers is great with campus tours, city walks and course talks to connect you with fellow coursemates. Halls was also a great experience - I loved the halls packs where you can get free tshirts, baking kits and we even got free dominoes pizzas!!




On Campus

Enjoyed every aspect of it!

My experience studying Marketing at the University of Liverpool has been amazing! All the lecturers and students have been so lovely and helpful. The management school building is my favourite place to study. I would recommend studying Marketing at the University of Liverpool because the content is so engaging and the assignments are creative.






Perfect learning methodologies and curriculums, the most i liked about my learning experience with University of Liverpool is the professionalism, in delivering the subjects and helping the students gaining more knowledge.




On Campus

Amazing course

The marketing course at UOL is great the lecturers are helpful and provide in-person and online resources to succeed in assignments, and the careers department is extremely helpful. The modules are all relevant and have expanded my understanding of the marketing industry and consumer behaviour, social media and so on




On Campus

The Best Experience

Currently in my Second Year studying Marketing at the University of Liverpool. Due to the big student culture in Liverpool, you soon feel completely at ease and at home. Staff are extremely helpful - there is always opportunities to ask for additional support/guidance. Each module is clear and well organised - this definitely helps in first year when it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with the new workload. It’s very easy to find your way around due to it being a campus university as everything is in close proximity. I lived at Greenbank accommodation in my first year and the staff are so helpful and make you feel very well settled. There is a huge community feel and the modules are interactive meaning making friends is much easier and a lot less intimidating. If you’re considering attending this university and I honestly couldn’t recommend more - you’ll have the best experience!




On Campus


One of my favourite things about this university is the diversity of its people. I met so many different people during my time here, from all different backgrounds and experiences. Not only did these people provide me with insight and knowledge into their own cultures and beliefs, they also allowed me to learn about and understand different ways of life that I would have otherwise never been exposed to. The tutors were also incredibly supportive on this course and allowed me to excel.




On Campus

Great university!

I did my undergrad in film studies at LJMU and I honestly could not recommend it enough. It has the perfect mix of practical and theory work that prepares you for any job possible in the film industry, from lighting tech to AD. The university lecturers were also very attentive, and I felt comfortable enough with them to seek their help if I ever had an issue or concern, academic or personal. LJMU gave me experiences I would not have got anywhere else, offering summer placements completely free that broadened my horizons. The fact the campus is interspersed around the city also makes it very convenient.






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