Dr Lucy Gründlingh is a medical doctor, award-winning entrepreneur and co-founder of SFR Medical.
Lucy co-founded SFR Medical to reform the complex, and often inefficient, processes that exist in the criminal justice system. SFR Medical’s team connects UK police forces, medical institutions and medical professionals to improve the quality, and expedite the production, of medical evidence for victims of violent crime.
Having worked as an emergency medicine and intensive care doctor in hospitals classed as Major Trauma Centres within London, Lucy experienced first-hand the frustrations from police, NHS administrative staff and medical colleagues in producing medical reports – a vital part of the medical evidence required to charge a suspect.
Lucy was recently awarded the Women in Innovation 2020/2021 grant award by KTN and Innovate UK, which provides funding and mentorship to inspirational female entrepreneurs leading projects that will make a positive social impact on the world. Lucy has now started her project of creating 3D visual reconstructions of injuries which will help courtrooms understand the impact and extent of a victim’s injuries.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
I’m a 34 year old woman who is loving life! I am an award-winning entrepreneur, co-founder of SFR Medical and medical doctor, but also wife to the wonderful and brilliant Johann Gründlingh and a working mum to our gorgeous 11 month old son.
I am Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at SFR Medical, the only company to connect UK Police Forces with medical institutions to ensure that medical evidence is produced quickly and to a very high quality for victims of violent crime. I love this role because it enables me to use my expert knowledge to make a positive difference in the world. Being an entrepreneur is so rewarding; by not accepting the status quo I am creating innovative methods and producing new products which helps so many people (victims, police, juries and hospital staff).
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
No, not at all. I have followed my passion for learning human sciences in great detail, whilst aiming to be compassionate and philanthropic, as well as not accepting the status quo. Both in my education and career I have chosen paths less trodden; I obtained a BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science degree and then a graduate entry BMBS Medical degree. As a medical doctor I chose to spend longer in Acute Medicine, Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine than most, before splitting my time between being a personal trainer and working as an Emergency Medicine doctor. It was during this time that I started writing medical statements for victims of violent crime, and realised the system needed radical restructuring. This spring-boarded my career to co-founding SFR Medical.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Absolutely! Studying challenges for medical school entry qualifications, understanding some business requirements associated with procurement and overcoming a dislike of public speaking to name but a few. But you’ve just got to go for it!
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
Winning the Women in Innovation 2020/2021 has definitely been my biggest achievement to date. I am thrilled and honoured to be supported by the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) and Innovate UK in my newest project of developing 3D visual reconstruction reports for victims of violent crime. This will help the police and jury to easily understand the impact and gravitas of any injuries the victim sustained.
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
The belief that carving your own path is life is ultimately much more fulfilling.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
I think mentoring is essential; it helps mentees to avoid mistakes previously made by yourself, strengthen the mentees’ weaknesses, whilst providing support, encouragement and accountability. I previously mentored students who had an interest in becoming doctors and I hope this helped them understand both the positive and negative aspect of a medical profession – and ultimately help them make the correct early career decisions for them. Through the KTN I am receiving mentorship via webinars, bootcamps and conferences, and I will implement the knowledge gained in my everyday work.
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?
Have employers create flexible-working options for all workers. Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, it is very clear that the vast majority of companies can work virtually and as such allow their workers a much more flexible working schedule which doesn’t require a commute. This would enable a more equal distribution of childcare between parents, enabling more mothers to work. I am very proud that all SFR Medical’s employees work from home, over 75% of SFR Medical’s employees are female and just under 50% of SFR Medical’s female employees are working mums.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
Keep going! – you are completely right not to settle for the status quo.
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
My next challenge is developing, piloting and launching our new 3D visual reconstruction reports of victims of violent crime. I am hoping this new product, which will depict the tract of a injury’s trajectory and the proximity of that trajectory to vital organs or major blood vessels, will dramatically change the ease of which the gravitas of injuries a victim sustained are understood by a jury, police and court. Consequently, I hope it is a game-changer for the criminal justice system, but ultimately in achieving justice for victims.