Aesthetics Meets Function: Delivering your Dream Practice Environment [Interview][Transcript]

Ian_Shapland_Elite_Fitout_SolutionsGuest: Ian Shapland
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Mr Shapland has a diversified portfolio of experience including over twenty years of experience in the healthcare industry. He has worked for major international pharmaceutical and online medical education companies and has extensive experience in assisting medical businesses with executing their business plans and achieving their sales and marketing goals. Mr Shapland completed his MBA studies through Griffith University and is currently the President of the Australian Dental Industry Association, Queensland Branch.

Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, learn more about creating the ideal practice environment that leads to increased revenue as we are joined by Elite Fitout Solutions‘ Associate Director – Business Development Ian Shapland. They understand specialist clinic work-flow and functionality and merge that with cutting edge design to deliver their client’s dream practice environment. With over 30 years service experience under their belt, they are the experts when it comes to the health industry design, build and fitout.


Health Professional Radio – Elite Fitout Solutions

Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Wayne Bucklar and my guest today joins me from Australia, it’s Ian Shapland. Ian is the Associate Director of Business Development with Elite Fitout Solutions. Ian welcome to Health Professional Radio.

Ian Shapland: Wayne thank you very much. I’m very pleased to be here, thank you.

W: Now Ian I could guess what Elite Fitout Solutions does but it would be much more sensible if I just asked you to explain it to us. So tell us a bit about the company and what it is that you do.

I: Yes. As you say there’s obviously a summary description within the name. But firstly what we do is we work together with health professionals to design, develop, and build the best possible working environment for the clinic or the operating theatres, the clinics or indeed the wards. And so it’s about essentially becoming a business partner with the health professionals to get an end result that is much better for their particular needs.

W: I see. Now what geographic footprint do you service?

I: We cover Australia wide. We’re based here in Queensland but that doesn’t really mean that it’s only in Queensland because we do all sorts of professionals from around the different states. But also with our design services, well that in fact can be quite wide in its own right. We very much have a way of engaging first with clients from the early on stage, as when they’re just thinking about what we’re trying to design and then we go forward from there, as I say whichever part of the country that would be.

W: And I guess there are lots of specialist elements when it comes to health design. It’s not a shop fit out nor household layout. It’s quite specialized, isn’t it?

I: Extremely so. I mean this is one of the misunderstanding if you like of the industry that we’re just getting into building per say. But there are a number of us in the industry that work this way. And we get in the way really early on, of course we’ve got specialists, the gas requirements, and the x-ray requirements, the infection-control requirement, and so forth, that we’re high experienced in. And I would say there’s no doing it any other way. And you always see where the problems arise is very often these shortcuts they made on those fronts.

W: Yes, and a lot of our listeners Ian are clinicians of one kind or another. And we get both acute care and aged care but we also get our fair share of specialists so. And I guess for them it’s design of consulting rooms and I think you also mentioned you also do that sort of layout and design work?

I: We do indeed. So very often of course the consulting rooms are in very right next to the hospital. And now sometimes they can be some area, those rooms actually that are clinical in their own right. And for example there could be requirements with lightning and when you’re quite enclosed so the lightning requirements change. And as we age, we need a lot of high extra lightning. So the skill sets in getting that lighter than in the operating and the treatment areas are quite critical and even actually in the consult rooms and the specialist centers.

W: Now Ian for that clinical audience that we have listening, what’s the take away message that you’d like them to hear today as a result of you being on Health Professional Radio?

I: Maybe it is about getting involved early. And whatever you’re thinking of doing practice, contact your professional company there and to start discussing very early are on so that you can match the business requirements of your practice for the clinical requirements of your practice. Getting early before you start going to planning, before you start going to straight forward to the design. Let’s get things working together firstly.

W: And I imagine if someone’s buying premises, there’s even issues about council approvals and stuff if you’re going to run a dental practice or a medical practice.

I: Yes, and other things to there. And very often if specialist centers are right next to hospital of course to the degree of assumption that medical will be okay but you’ll be surprised. There’s some in first … there are some areas that you still have to go through quite major planning requirements and applications that can be quite costly and take some time. And unfortunately it’s not unusual for us to receive a phone call from someone who’s saying “Oh I’ve just spoken with property about the tenant who’s starting this type of clinic.” And then when it comes down to it, they can’t actually change it all. And as part, let’s just bought the first investment property.

W: (Laugh)

I: And again because that’s the point of getting early, once you’re thinking about it. You put in the other team if you like, it’s not just about making them sell, it’s about making sure that the finance to do the whole project will come together. You kind of see from it from the business perspective, we can make sure that all the building requirements are in place. You kind of get in the very early stages before you even start layouts or too much planning.

W: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio with Wayne Bucklar, and my guest today is Ian Shapland who is the Associate Director Business Development for Elite Fitout Solutions. And we’ve been talking about the work they do in design and construction of clinical spaces. Ian one of my favorite questions in every interview is about misconceptions and there are misconceptions in every field of endeavor. But in your work and amongst your customers and clients, what’s the biggest misconception that drive you nuts and keep you awake at night?

I: I suppose is the thought the two areas will be planning and the thought that any builder can do the job. And so someone’s always got a cousin, a friend, a family member that’s a chip in, they’ll go straight they’ll come in and do the work. Or indeed the thought that the planning is easy and it’s a complete business section within the construction design area of industry because it is health therefore it’s fallen in the health industry. So if that profession’s new, to make life a lot easier for the clinicians indeed…

W: Yes and I can understand how that would be a misconception that would keep you awake. With a little bit of luck today, we might have dispelled some of those with your conversation. And maybe there will be more few people who will be looking to get their team together early if they’re looking at building new clinical spaces.

I: Yes.

W: Ian it’s been a pleasure having you on Health Professional Radio today. And listeners if you’ve just missed my conversation with Ian Shapland from Elite Fitout Solutions, there is good news we have a transcript on our website at And there you can also find links to an audio interview of our conversation both on YouTube and SoundCloud. If you would like to get in touch with Ian, the best place to go is and you’ll find there all the details to contact Ian Shapland, Associate Director Business Development for Elite Fitout Solutions. My name is Wayne Bucklar and you’re listening to Health Professional Radio.

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