A decade ago, Anthony Burns left the corporate world behind in search of a role within a company making a difference.
He joined Paycare, a not-for-profit Health Cash Plan provider which has the simple aim of making the UK happier and healthier.
Now with ten years of insight, knowledge and management experience within the firm, Anthony has been officially approved by their regulators as the new CEO – and says breaking the news to his dad was the proudest moment of his life.
Because despite his position in the top job, he’s unconcerned with prestige or titles and instead has his sights firmly on how to continue the good work of the organisation, remaining at the forefront of the swiftly-changing health and wellbeing sector without ever forgetting the long history of Paycare, which started life as the Patient’s Aid Association in 1874.
“We’re 150 years old next year and while that is an absolutely special milestone to mark, I’m conscious of our heritage every single day and I always have the reason Paycare was set up in my mind when I’m looking to implement changes or make decisions,” he explains.
“Paycare was set up to support the factory workers of the Black Country, well before the NHS existed, when the cost of accessing healthcare could be extremely prohibitive – especially for ordinary working class families.
“So many years later and finances are still an issue in relation to health and wellbeing, whether we’re thinking about services which are no longer available on the NHS, or the stress caused by financial hardship, or paying for treatments during the cost of living crisis.
“While we’re looking to evolve our offering, we also need to ensure we’re continuing to remove those barriers to healthcare, and showing people why Health Cash Plans are arguably the most relevant they’ve ever been considering the immense challenges we’ve all faced.
“Paycare has, of course, not been immune to those challenges – and it’s been a honour to watch how the team have remained focused on our customers throughout that time. It takes a special person to work for Paycare – in fact, sometimes people tell me they’ve met one of the team and known they’re from Paycare before they’ve even introduced themselves!
“What’s most important is the team, so I want to ensure they’re all feeling motivated – no one wants that Sunday evening dread, instead I want them to see Paycare as an employer which will help them develop their careers. The talent within the team is immense – so much so that I already know the company will be in safe hands when they decide they’re bored of me!”
It’s likely his own work ethic has inspired his vision of harnessing his team’s skills and pushing them as far as they want to go. Proud of his working class roots, Anthony left education at 17 and went on to develop his career and managerial experience across a number of different sectors, helping as many others to succeed as he could on his way up the ladder.
“I genuinely love seeing people thrive and knowing I’ve been able to support them in any way, it’s the greatest feeling. For me, taking on the role of custodian of this amazing organisation isn’t about my own success – it’s about the business being successful, and each one of the team reaching their potential. That’s how I’ll know I’ve done a good job.”