Stgilesmedical Ltd

Dr Steven Walker, Director, Stgilesmedical Ltd

Good healthcare requires information which is accurate and understandable. There is little point in undertaking great research if the findings fail to arrive where and when they are needed. Advancing patient care depends on interpreting what was done in the laboratory or at the bedside and translating this data into something that can optimize management. Increasingly, this information should be accessible to patients to help them make informed decisions about their own treatment.

St Gilesmedical London & Berlin was born in 2014 out of a desire to support patients, medical professionals, industry, and academia through cost-effective communication of health information. The name Stgilesmedical was inspired by St Giles, a French monk from the 6th century whose patronage includes cancer, epilepsy, disability, and mental illness. Committed to adding value, the company stands apart from the commercial mindset that dominates much of the business world. Rather than focusing solely on financial gain, it is deeply committed to benefiting society by meeting the needs of patients and healthcare professionals (HCPs), while ethically supporting the many dedicated individuals in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. “The dream was to build a new kind of medical communication company in the space between medicine, business, and academia. By disseminating knowledge, the hope is to do more collective good than is possible alone,” asserts Dr Steven Walker, the Director of St Gilesmedical Ltd.

An Exciting Journey from Humble Beginnings

St Gilesmedical began its journey on Denmark Street close to St Giles-in-the-Fields Church in Covent Garden, an area that was once considered one of the poorest in London. However, when it had to relocate its offices, the company faced challenges due to a shortage of available spaces and high rents. But one day while sitting in the church garden, Steven met Alan, the Rectory of St Giles, and cheekily asked whether he might have space available. After some reflection, Alan agreed to rent out his old office. Soon after, the company moved into the 300-year-old Vestry House located at St Giles Church, 60 St Giles High Street, London, and began supporting church funds with its modest monthly payments. So the St Gilesmedical name came first then the location, it was meant to be!

But then Brexit happened and life got more difficult. Understandably, many clients were now looking for local suppliers. And, being an international business with a majority of clients based in Europe, it was decided to establish a separate company, St Gilesmedical GmbH, in Germany. The new office is to be found at the Charlottenburger Innovations-Centrum, a joint venture between the City of Berlin and the Technical University intended to foster entrepreneurial collaboration. The move has been a success with Steven traveling back and forth between both countries on a monthly basis.

A Knowledge Partner and Dedicated Problem Solver

St Gilesmedical’s success can be attributed to its unwavering dedication to delivering high-quality health projects, fuelled by clinical experience and knowledge. The company approaches each project as focused problem-solvers and then drives the outputs forward to a successful conclusion. This can take years. For example, the team is still working on a multistakeholder palliative care project first commissioned by NHS England and Hospice UK in 2017.Another strength is being full-service i.e. having the ability to deliver all the required elements typically contained within a client brief. Recent activities include rescuing a multicentre cardiovascular trial that had stagnated for 10 years, supporting a natural medicine company in showcasing its products’ effectiveness, and assisting a multidisciplinary RCGP advisory group during the pandemic. According to Steven, “Short films are a great way of spreading knowledge. To date, we have made over 30 films on diverse topics such as NICE guidelines, a cartoon illustrating choline metabolism during pregnancy, and a mini-documentary highlighting the palliative care needs of people experiencing homelessness. This was submitted for the annual WHO prize.”

St Gilesmedical is often described as a social enterprise, partly due to its commitment to working with disadvantaged trainees and supporting undergraduate and postgraduate students. It also undertakes pro bono or low-cost projects, such as its current investigation into inclusivity among cancer cachexia trials on behalf of the Society for Sarcopenia, Cachexia and Wasting Disorders (SCWD).

Successfully Delivering Diverse Outputs for Varied Projects

The seasoned members of St Gilesmedical exhibit remarkable versatility, consistently delivering successful outcomes across a wide variety of projects. From crafting texts in multiple languages to developing regulatory documents, designing artwork and meeting materials, intensive project management to filming on the bustling streets of Manchester, and looking after stressed meeting presenters, the team is well-versed in all. In one notable instance, they even provided translation services for a German ministerial delegation at locations across the UK, culminating in a co-presentation to the Mayor of Birmingham.

To support its clients, St Gilesmedical begins by thoroughly understanding the therapy area, unsolved problems, and new treatment options. The team then establishes rapport with the client, appreciates their unique needs, and strives to understand the challenges they face. St Gilesmedical keeps its costs low by maintaining a small, dedicated team across its offices, supported by a network of associates, and minimizing overhead. Quality is ensured by a meticulous personal review of all projects and regular contact between clients and the company.

Going the Extra Mile for Clients

The St Gilesmedical philosophy revolves around delivering quality work and going above and beyond expectations. This often means working late and at weekends as well as being responsive to emails and calls out of hours. “For me, this is a vocation rather than a job. We want that clients are satisfied with our work and come back to us. To that end, I frequently find myself reflecting on how best to structure a sentence or solve a presentational problem in an imaginative way while at that moment my concentration should be elsewhere!,” adds Steven. Being recognized as Healthcare Company 2023, is a significant accomplishment for St Gilesmedical and an endorsement that their approach is resonating with clients.

Preparing for a Successful Future

Looking ahead, the team at St Gilesmedical is eagerly anticipating new challenges and projects. Currently, they are planning to create a film in Rome that explores the importance of resolving inflammation in musculoskeletal diseases. Here, the recording will be in four languages. The company will also be exhibiting at the Bionnale Conference in Berlin and participating in various European events. StGilesmedical places great emphasis on education and research, and its involvement in multiple academic projects reflect this. They are also looking forward to new bioscience undergraduates from Imperial College London joining them on short work experience placements.

Steven has a special interest in a widely unrecognized aspect of medicine, namely patients with medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) who feel forgotten, overlooked, or lost in the health system.“It is estimated that up to 50% of GP consultations do not result in a clear diagnosis. Often, affected individuals feel overlooked as they get shunted from one specialty to another, endure countless tests, and are tried on a range of unsuccessful treatments. Together with a multidisciplinary group of medics, researchers, and patients largely from Germany and the UK, we are hoping to change this through research, education, and offering sign-posting for patients and HCPs ( ),” says Steven.

After nine years in an old church building shared with a friendly family of mice, one of them, Dr. Giles, became the company mascot. Now that the company has moved to a new, modern rooftop office in West Kensington, Dr. Giles has also agreed to join them, which they view as an endorsement of the company and a sign of good things to come.