Meg Braithwaite, Hayylo’s National Director of Accounts and Growth, sat down for a chat about her first few weeks at Hayylo, her vision for the company, and the 1-bedded hospital of her hometown. 

Meg, thanks so much for sitting down with us today and giving us an opportunity to dig a little deeper on your experiences to date with the Hayylo Team and more broadly the industry in general.   You were with Procura (Alayacare) for a long time. What prompted the change to join Hayylo?

Well, as you would know…. Hayylo has a great story.  There are some stories and people that just really resonate, and the Hayylo story is a really good one. My tenure with Procura (Alayacare at the end) was nearly 15 years in the making, and I garnered some extraordinary experience in that time, working with Aged, Community and Disability care providers across North America, Australia and New Zealand.  

When Hayylo approached me, I recognised immediately that theirs’s was a story I could really connect with, and overall it provided a fantastic ‘fit’, and opportunity that was worth seizing for many reasons. Undeniably, after 15 years I was ready for a new a challenge, and instinctively I recognized that Hayylo would provide a channel for me to flex and grow and stress test some long held beliefs that had been burgeoning for quite some time on how we provide and respond to care needs for our most vulnerable in the community.

Ultimately, I think the opportunity to contribute and to make a difference; to join a team that I think on a daily basis is doing something very special; that actually resonates with not only the providers but our clients in the community in a very innovative and insightful way, was something that I was very excited about being a part of.

You’re five weeks in now – well and truly part of the furniture by now surely!    What are your thoughts now on where Hayylo is and the potential over the coming 12 months?

I think it’s quite clear, that Hayylo’s potential is that of being an Instrument of Change for this sector. There is an undeniable ‘elegance’ to the Hayylo platform and its solution suite; the vision that sits behind the technology is such that can only stem from deep domain experience.

A good lesson I’ve learnt over the past decade is that a potential of a company in a large way is dependent on the trust built within a Team. A ‘Team’ to me is not just a group of people with the same goals and mission – it’s a group of people who have that AND who Trust each other. The capacity to ‘trust’ is actually the secret sauce.  

A company that has teams of people who ‘Trust’ each other is actually what elevates a company from being simply ‘good’ and making do – to being ‘great’.  

This foundation of trust at Hayylo provides a platform to influence on a Vision of Care and Service Delivery that is different to what we have in place right now in the sector, which is currently held hostage by an ageing framework and setup that’s at odds with both the current client and industry demands.    

Hayylo envisions a ‘New Normal’ in how our providers connect and engage with their clients and their workforce– and per chance, there is a COVID tailwind that’s blowing that ‘New Normal’ in place.

By having that deep domain experience, the Hayylo platform has been engineered purposely to fit with the very specific needs of Aged, Community and Disability care services.   

Community Care is incredibly complex – the phone lines literally run hot all day every day, with Clients and their families wanting affirmation on scheduled services, requesting service changes, enquiring on funding and invoices, care planning and care management and so on. And that’s just the Clients and Family – let alone the support workers and the wider formal circle of care network that also needs to be constantly communicated with. You need a system that’s equipped to deal with a constantly changing schedule, and have the smarts to know what to communicate, and when!

Community Care service delivery is very different to that of running a Residential Aged Care facility.   Whilst there may be some areas that are similar (i.e. maintaining a social feed for the client and family to interact with and enabling family and the wider circle of care around the client to connect) – that’s actually about where the similarities end.   

Not only is Hayylo sensitive and intuitive to that community care service delivery model – but equally importantly, we recognize that the implementation approach and the change management expertise to make this a ‘Business as Usual’ reality is just as instrumental.   

This is something that I know to be key – all of it is utterly irrelevant if you can’t get it implemented and rolled out across the business.   To me – it is the ultimate litmus test of ‘relevance’. Its’ all just ‘talk’ if you can’t get the job done and rolled out as ‘business as usual’– and frankly, I think there are some that have had their 15 minutes and have been found wanting. I firmly believe that the potential of Hayylo is that of a Company that will define the new benchmark of ‘normal’ in this sector, and it will achieve that with the backing of an innovative and nimble Team, genuinely wanting to pursue that vision with Providers.

Well, with all that being said Meg, what will you be specifically focusing on over the next few months. What’s first on the list?

Like in most new roles, I have some very strategic goals that I would like to see achieved, and then some very practical, day to day checklists that need to get done.  

It’s an extremely interesting and busy intersection as an industry that we find ourselves in; one that I think by the pressure of opposing forces has the capacity to create a real Diamond of an opportunity.  One of those massive opposing forces is the Royal Commission – which is absolutely going to change this sector – the approach, the funding – everything.  The other opposing force is of course that of the intense pressure of the pandemic, and ultimately the trends and new way of ‘being’ that is being shaped by that.  

Strategically, there is a measure of taking stock in light of those opposing elements and working out how we can be nimble and agile in not only responding but in leading solutions for Providers in the wake of all that change.   

What I’m enjoying is collaboration in honing the Hayylo Roadmap to align with projected market demand – especially in empowering Providers response and adoption of a Wellness Model within their service delivery.  Hayylo is a powerhouse in this respect – providing the tool to drive client connection, empowerment and participation through services delivered across the social, physical and emotional domains.

A Providers response to operationalising a Wellness model will be a key trend, I believe over the course of 2021.

In addition, Hayylo is growing significantly and is projected to continue that significant high growth over the next 12 months, both at home and abroad.   So apart from doing a whole lot of listening and learning, I have two primary objectives: really getting to know our existing clients, building those trusted relationships, and seeing what difference (if any) we as a team can make to their businesses right now. The other is more around internal mechanics at Hayylo – forming the structure and business processes internally that will equip Hayylo to scale and mature ‘well’ through this massive growth curve that we’re on. I’ve had some experience with that in my prior role, and so I’m hoping we can leverage all those previous ‘lessons learnt’ and put them to good use for the Hayylo team to build on. Let’s call is Future Proofing!

Meg, you’ve mentioned the Hayylo ‘story’. What’s your ‘story’ – what led to this passion for this sector? I’d imagine that one plus to bringing you on to the Hayylo team for Growth would be that 15 years back story and having that view of the sector through the lens of what it takes operationally day to day in running community care service delivery?

As it so happens, in a way I stumbled into this career and this sector that I am now incredibly passionate about. Although I think it was always feted. My childhood was literally that of ‘community care’ – I grew up in it. My mother was the Director of Nursing (DON) for a very small (but very important) Community Health Hub in South West Queensland – the Wallumbilla Hospital. This ‘Hospital’ if memory serves me had 1 bed. (laughs).  But it most certainly epitomised that of a rural community health network. There was a visiting GP service, and as DON, my mother and the Health team ran Flu Clinics, Wound Clinics, Child and Family Health, Allied Health Services – was the on call health official at local football games and of course, it was the recipient of HACC funding (Home and Community Care Funding) to provide domiciliary and respite support to those aged and at need in our community. It was and still is an incredibly essential service to the community.  

My weekends were often filled with ‘accidents’ of all kinds simply showing up at our front door, of my Mum (and often Dad as roped in help) being called out to attend to heart attacks in a paddock, or machinery accidents – and our front entranceway at times became a semi-triage area on weekends! At a very early age I simply absorbed this – it was my ‘normal’, and because of the very small and close-knit community – we had to look after each other.    

There was no option but to ‘engage’ and ‘communicate’ – and through those meaningful, personal connections of trust and dependency that the wonderful team provided, people could live independently into their later years, and maintain control over the choices that they needed to make – especially as they aged and their needs become more acute. In reflection, I actually ‘lived’ through the ethos of what is so purposely trying to be hammered in by the Government through funding and aged care standards.

And in working with our clients (our providers) very closely under the auspices of Procura and solution engineering software at scale for some of the biggest Aged and Community Care Providers in Australia – for many years, I have had some truly unique and valued opportunities to live and breathe ‘Community Care’ at both a strategic and operational level. 

Through my story and experiences – what I know to be true is that how connected we are as a business to our clients, and our oversight of their health and wellbeing underpins our ability and confidence to provide great care. In an industry that is getting more comfortable with the notion of disruption at many levels, keeping focused on this singular priority gives us a pivot point, and greater reflexes to respond and to make better decisions on our client’s care. Its absolute privilege to be working with this great team at Hayylo. I look forward to being able to reflect back in 12 months’ time to this initial first step in this journey and seeing how far we’ve come.