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6th Dec 2023

Inside scoop with Cosmedicare interview with Gill Baird

Gill, your empire grows year after year and we at the GGC are in awe of all you do. This year you launched Cosmedicare and St Ellen’s in Glasgow City Centre, can you tell us how life has been since launch?


Awh Laura, what an 8yrs it’s been, but still every time someone calls it an empire all I can think about is Empire Biscuits!! Stressful and Challenging are probably the most honest words I could use to describe it the last year. Splitting our team across two locations, managing a total of 15 Surgeons and 9 theatres has certainly brought its challenges, we’ve implemented new systems, increased our staffing levels and introduced new services – all simultaneously – we don’t do things by halves, but splitting the team across locations whilst making so many changes at the same time maybe wasn’t one of my brightest ideas! Good job we love a challenge and our team are up for it – they really do have the patience of saints! We’re 6 months into Glasgow now and I’m relieved to say we’re on the home straight!


How has your business changed since launching St Ellen’s on top of you’re already amazingly successful Cosmedicare?


Well, let’s just say a hospital is a completely different ball game to a surgery centre, which is what we had in Edinburgh Park where we offered only Day case cosmetic surgery procedure. With hospitals, the governance, compliance, staffing levels, volumes of patients, variety of procedures and of course the provision of overnight care is a massive change from Day case cosmetic surgery procedures. The patient demographics alone have expanded exponentially.


Even with an experienced team and my own background in Hospital Management within the NHS and Private Sectors, the past few years have been a steep and fast paced learning curve. We’re extremely fortunate to have a team with a wealth of experience at all levels, from surgeons, anaesthetics, theatre teams, specialist nurses, experienced patient care coordinators to our Management Team of Hospital Managers, HR Managers, Marketing Managers, Finance Directors and Compliance Teams – you don’t realise how many people are involved in the day to day running until you stop and think – or try arrange a Christmas party for over 100 people where everyone can agree on a date and location (actually impossible and it’s not often I say that word!)


What types of procedures are on offer at St. Ellen’s Hospital?


We’re well known for our cosmetic procedure, and these are available in both Glasgow and Livingston alongside a range of services you may not be aware of including:


  • Skin Cancer Clinics
  • Minor Surgeries (Moles, lobes, lumps and bumps)
  • Hand Surgery
  • Weight loss Procedures – Gastric balloons, bands and sleeves
  • General Surgery (Hernias, Gallbladder, Endoscopy procedures)
  • Urology Services (diagnostic investigations)
  • Vasectomies
  • Gynaecology (coming 2024)
  • Vascular – Varicose Veins (coming 2024)
  • Orthopaedic surgery (coming 2024)
  • Pain management (coming 2024)
  • Private GP Services



There are 3 topics that have become far more prominent in the GGC group this year and these are all things that you support clients with, can you tell us a bit more about each:


Private Healthcare and treatments – we see a lot of members looking to find out their options if they choose to go private for certain treatments.


This is certainly a hot topic at the moment, partly due to the current NHS landscape – it simply cannot be all things to all people, which is leading to more and more seeking private healthcare options – there are multitude of options available across the sector. The main decision to make is whether you want to have private health insurance or Self Pay, which is like a pay as you go approach to private healthcare. In 2024 we will be accepting insured patients for some services, however, from a personal perspective I do not have health insurance, I prefer a self-pay approach as this gives me more control and flexibility with my own healthcare needs. From experience both in hospital management and personally, I found that I, and many others, are still having to “top-up” their insurance to access the services needed, and some of the individual specialists consultants I needed to see (Endocrinologists and Dermatologists), were faster to access in a self-pay model. Most of the people I know spread the risk with a dual approach – basic health insurance and saving for the “just in case” scenarios. The finance options available within healthcare now make that a more accessible option for most people. However, it’s worth noting that for a critical care (cardiology/ Cancer etc) the NHS are still at the forefront of delivering the best care.


Weight Loss –


So many people struggle with weight issues, the obesity statistics in Scotland are at the highest in history – which has a direct impact on other health factors and life expectancy rates. It’s more than aesthetic – looking and feeling great is fantastic, but it’s also life changing in so many ways… I think of it more as what have you got to gain from weight loss surgery as opposed to how much weight do you have to lose.


No matter your walk of life, at the end we all want more time with our friends and families and for many people weight loss surgery secures that time for them by improving their health and reducing risk and affects of other health conditions.


Health MOT’s –


I’ve seen a change in uptake for Health MOTs since covid, we service our cars frequently, and the same principles should apply to our bodies – taking the temperature on our overall health means we can spot changes quickly and act on them. Most Senior Professionals have Health MOTs as part of their KeyMan insurance, I’ve been having them since 2016, and being able to track back and see improvements (and unfortunately decline in some areas!) empowers me to keep ahead of the changes and do what needs to be done to stay healthy. It’s a great investment in yourself and your health.


What are the plans for 2024?


Would you believe me if I said I was going to take a break?! Nah, me neither. That’s the plan, to consolidate and grow our wider offerings – but you know me, I’ll jot off on my January holiday and come back with some wild and wonderful idea on what’s next … maybe another hospital, maybe an MRI diagnostic suite, who knows… maybe a podcast to continue these conversations… but whatever we do, it’s going to be great!


Make sure to read Cosmedicare’s full insert in our Christmas gift guide!


Stay tuned for Fridays blog all about The Cosmedicare Trust and their new ‘change a life campaign’ 

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