An Oxford and Harvard trained nephrologist with a clinical and academic career (published on dialysis membrane biocompatibility, central line sepsis and hypoxic gene regulation) spanning 18 years, Neil Bacon revolutionised the UK medical community in 1998 when he founded the multi-award winning Doctors.net.uk, growing it to become the world’s largest, online medical network. His vision and pioneering work in harnessing the power of the internet to change the way in which the UK medical profession learns, communicates and collaborates – and the contribution this has made to healthcare for patients – was recognised when he was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in London.
After 12 years leading the business he successfully exited to launch iWantGreatCare.org: the UK’s only open, independent service allowing the public to rate and review their doctors, dentists, hospitals, medicines and care homes. Giving patients and the public unprecedented power to feedback and improve the care they receive, the company has continued to attract high-profile, widespread media-coverage, as it breaks down conventional thinking and challenges professional preconceptions. Forward thinking care providers (and their patients) who were “early adopters” of the service are now benefiting from the transformational way in which iWantGreatCare allows strategy and service delivery to be continuously improved through the voice of the user to achieve “astonishing results”. Silicon.com identified Neil as one of its Agenda Setters in 2008.
Through his political awareness, public speaking and advisory roles he has supported the drive for the patient voice to be a central focus of quality improvement in health and social care. Aligning a detailed, scientific understanding of the global evidence-base with continuous, “relentlessly reasonable” clinical engagement, he has contributed to the recent inclusion of patient ratings and reviews as part of UK Government policy.
The combination of entrepreneurial leadership, international clinical experience, innovative delivery of proven online healthcare solutions, and an understanding of the power of the “armchair auditor” to drive transformation of public service, has led to a busy and varied schedule! As well as founding and growing iWantGreatCare, Neil has advised a number of the world’s largest companies, not for profits and public-sector organisations on multichannel health strategies, helping them transform their businesses by using the Internet to make real change that impacts lives.
Specific areas of interest include the absolute importance of transparency to drive transformative change, empowering all sections of society, online collaboration methodologies, and harnessing the “wisdom of crowds” across healthcare to deliver better value care, and drive down costs.
In 2013 Neil was recognised as a UK clinical leader of the year; one of those “making the greatest impact on health policy, service transformation, and innovation”. In the same year he was also included in the list of the UK’s Health Innovators of the Year.
In 2014 the Sunday Times identified Neil as one of the 500 most influential people in Britain.