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BHTA Book – 100 years of the Asscoaition

BHTA History book marks 100 year milestone

In 1917, Einstein applied the general theory of relativity to model the structure of the universe as a whole, Houdini performed his first ‘Buried Alive’ stunt in California and Al Capone became known as Scarface after he was slashed in the face three times by a New York hood by the name of Frank Galluccio.

Also that year, William ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody died, Ella Fitzgerald was born, Czar Nicholas II of Russia abdicated and a small group of businessmen met to discuss the possibility of working together.

A short time later, the Surgical Instrument Manufacturers Association (SIMA) was founded. It went on to become the British Surgical Trades Association (BSTA) and then the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA), representing hundreds of companies, large and small, along the way.

Well over 1000 companies have been a member of the Association at some point during the past 100 years, which has seen SIMA, BSTA and now BHTA represent member companies at all levels of government, with most of the leading charities and a huge number of influential and advisory bodies.

To mark the centenary, a book about the history of the Association has just been published. The 128 pages provide insights into interesting, fascinating and sometimes controversial issues that the Association has been involved with during the years. Readers will find details on lengthy battles fought to protect patients from higher costs, reduced services and questionable sales and marketing techniques along with how member companies adapted and survived through two World Wars.

Director General, Tracey Lloyd says: “The Association, in all its forms has influenced, supported and worked with hundreds of companies, organisations and government bodies, many thousand employees and millions of people in need of advice and protection.

If you’ve ever wondered what a Trade Association does for its members, then the book gives you a very good idea and includes numerous examples of how the Association has, over the years, helped to organise members and produce high profile, highly effective campaigns.”

You can read the book online at :

Centenary Lunch & Afternoon Tea – Postponed 21st June 2017 – due to Queens Speech


Due to the re-scheduled date for the Queens speech to Wednesday 21st June all external bookings for the Parliament Estate have been cancelled which includes our Centenary Lifetime Achievers Lunch and the BHTA Centenary Afternoon Tea.

These circumstances were beyond our control and we apologies for the inconvenience this has caused to all our members and guests.

We are working to seek an alternative date in the autumn and will advise you of this ASAP.

I’m sure you will share my disappointment that we won’t be celebrating our Centenary on Wednesday,  but I look forward to seeing you all in the autumn.

Tracey Lloyd

Director General


Phab Celebrating 60 years 1957 – 2017

Phab inspires and supports children and adults with and without disabilities to make more of life together!

Phab is fun!  We support 170+ locally run Phab Clubs for children, young people and adults of all abilities across England and Wales for around 8,000 members.  Phab also organises an annual programme of exciting and challenging holiday projects for children and young people aged 8 to 25 at fully accessible outdoor activity centres in the New Forest and Lake District.

Local Phab Clubs and Projects make a real difference to the lives of people with disabilities and to their families, as children, young people and adults can all enjoy the same opportunities and have great fun together.

This year, Phab is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee and the Charity continues to inspire and support people of all ages to make more of life together. It has transformed the lives of many thousands of disabled people and changed the attitudes of millions towards those with disabilities, playing a vital role in the community.

Find out more at:

BHTA Centenary Golf Day 2017

This year the BHTA will be holding it’s Centenary Golf Day on Thursday 13th July 2017
at the Foxhills Golf Club, Surrey.

Sponsored by ICB Group who manage the Bespoke Insurance Scheme that is exclusive to BHTA members.

The course is championship standard and will be hosting the PGA Trophy this year will be

The format for the day will be:

8.00 – 9.30 Practice Range Balls – Driving Range
8.30 – 9.00 Registration (Tea, Coffee, & Bacon Rolls)
9.30 – 18 Hole Longcross Championship Golf Course
9.30 – Shotgun start until 14.00
14.30 – BBQ Buffet lunch & Prize Giving

Team of four or individual entries. Price per person £96.00 (£80.00 + VAT)

Should you would like a booking form or have any further questions please contact:
our London Office on 0207-702-2141 or email:

Hotel Accommodation:

The venue has a wide range of rooms styles and prices and these can be found on the website at: If booking these rooms they would be at the rates published, but always worth mentioning you are playing at our golf day.

We look forward to another great day of Golf.

Gordon Ellis History in Healthcare

Our company began in the 1800s and was originally involved in construction. During cold winters the skilled workforce came indoors and manufactured the wooden stairs, doors, window frames etc ready for the Spring. They became so skilled at woodworking that they began supplying other companies and stopped the construction business.

The company was located on the banks of the canal and its raw materials were delivered by canal barge and despatched in fleet of horse-drawn carts.

This is Bill and Elaine Ellis from 1980 exhibiting a brand new invention, the Derby plastic raised toilet seat.

The first products for the healthcare market were wooden stool frames for the Blind Institute. Some time later the market demanded raised toilet seats for people who difficultly in rising from the toilet. Firstly made with wooden blocks, then in polyurethane foam; and now in high quality hygienic plastics.
From there a full range of products has been developed to help older and disabled people to retain their independence and their dignity.

The early beginnings in healthcare predisposed the company to produce top quality rotational mouldings. Today we have a team of over 120 people, still making products in the UK at our factory near Derby.
We are very proud of our reputation for high quality products, which now includes furniture raisers and commode chairs.

Find out more about us at

Everest and Jennings Wheelchairs Corby (1977)

(Image: The photo was taken at the end of the training session in Santa Monica California and prior to the opening of manufacturing in Corby. It was taken in April 1977 outside of the office of Gerald M Jennings, president of Everest & Jennings Inc. Gerald is pictured on the left and the gentleman to the right was Loman Carpenter who was charged to manage the “set up” of the new UK operation. The picture was taken to announce the first chair hand made by the three new employee (Clive Harvey Middle back, Mike Cunnington Left front and Ron Davies Right front) for the new Corby manufacturing plant; they made 20 chairs in all from start to finish over four months of training; the chair pictured was serial number 0001 and was never sold, the other 19 were.

The E&J Story:

Herbert A. Everest and Harry C. Jennings Sr. were friends, and both were engineers. Herbert Everest was also physically disabled after surviving a mining accident in 1918. Everest complained to Jennings about the bulk of chairs available in the early 1930s, and in 1933, the pair designed and built a lightweight, collapsible model in Jennings’ garage. The design was patented in October 1937.

The pair soon went into business to manufacture their improved design. In the 1940s, they supplied disabled veterans of World War 2 through government contracts that established the company as a recognized name in rehabilitation equipment.

The Everest family sold its interest in the company in 1943, but Gerald Jennings, son of Harry Sr., was chief executive from 1952 until he retired in 1985.

By the early 1970s, Everest & Jennings International was “the world’s largest supplier of wheelchairs.

Everest & Jennings recorded sales of $145 million in 1980, and profits near $8 million. In the 1980s they launched “Avenues,” an adaptive clothing line for wheelchair users. Changes within the company and in the business landscape during the 1980s left Everest & Jennings struggling at decade’s end.

In 1992, facing financial difficulties from lost market share, Everest & Jennings moved from Carmarillo, California to St Louis, Missouri.

In 1993, the company acquired Medical Composite Technology, a carbon fiber technology company.

In 1996, still struggling with debt and falling sales, Everest & Jennings announced the sale of the company to Graham-Field Health Products. Graham-Field soon closed the Everett & Jennings plant in Missouri. Graham-Field continues to market wheelchairs under the Everest & Jennings name.

NRS Healthcare – 70 Years of Caring in Healthcare

Originating from modest beginnings, NRS Healthcare started life as a shoe company selling leather off-cuts to Occupational Therapists for leather craft therapy.

In 1947, “Nottingham Leather Company” and “Nottingham Handcraft Company Ltd” were formed, producing leather items for war veterans to aid their rehabilitation.

After 20 years of successful trading in occupational therapy products, the company was renamed Nottingham Rehab Supplies after a merger between Nottingham Handcraft and Nottingham Medical Aids, which cemented its entry into rehabilitation aids and equipment.

The first move into providing equipment loan services was in 1994, with a contract to supply Derbyshire County Council, which paved the way for the launch of its Direct Care Division, now part of our National Care Division.

In 2001 NRS was purchased by Findel PLC. In 2004, NRS acquired Huntleigh National Care Division and began trading under the re-activated registered name of Nottingham Rehab Limited.

In 2007, NRS celebrated its 60th Anniversary, and also acquired SMES, re-branding the business as NRS Mobility Care, a complete wheelchair services business operation.

In 2009, NRS Primary Care Division acquired Nottingham-based Moving and Handling experts “Moving Solutions” which added to the services on offer with the introduction of a hoist design and installation service.

Today, Nottingham Rehab Ltd, trading as “NRS Healthcare”, has a successful record of providing Aids for Daily Living that spans six decades. NRS employs over 600 employees from our head office in Coalville and sites nationwide and is now an end-to-end product and service provider that operates through four divisions.

To find out more about NRS visit their website.

Stannah Celebrate 150 years in Business

In 2017, the company will celebrate 150 years since Joseph Stannah started the business in Bankside, London, making cranes and hoists to move goods around the bustling docks of the industrial revolution. Nowadays, they are the UK’s leading independent supplier of lift products supplying goods as diverse as loading systems, service lifts, platform lifts, homelifts and, of course, stairlifts.

Still a family business, it is the fifth generation that now steer the company and are proud torchbearers of the values of quality and service that Joseph articulated all those years ago.

With over 90,000 products on their service portfolio they know that their customers, both commercial and domestic, rely on them not just to provide first class products to start with, but also to ensure the timely maintenance and smooth operation of those products over the years that follow.

Their values

We are reassuringly practical.

Whether we’re talking lifts or stairlifts, our engineering heritage means we meticulously craft and develop our products to make them the very best in the market.

We work carefully too, by considering our customers’ circumstances, recommending the right products and installing everything with a minimum of fuss.

And of course, we’re members of all the trade bodies (including BHTA) and meet all codes of conduct and go above and beyond product safety requirements.

We are resolutely independent.

We’ve always had our own way of doing things. We don’t chase profits at all costs and we don’t skimp on what’s important to our customers. Instead, we do what we believe is right. We put our customers at the heart of our business. We listen to what they need. And we do whatever we can to go about our business honestly and responsibly.

We are life-enhancing.

We make life easier for people – for access, moving around and greater independence. We understand their issues and will lobby on their behalf and for things we believe in such as healthy lifestyles. We’re in the business of making life – and work – more fulfilling.

Their promise

Our four commitments are the foundation of a promise to you – a promise to be ‘always true to our word’. We make four key commitments to all our customers to make sure that every stairlift we install lives up to our engineering heritage.

We are ‘always true to our word’ and committed to:

  • Great value for money
  • Superior service
  • Best quality products
  • A company you can rely on

You can read the Stannah history at:

A Potted History of Stannah

Salts and Sons Limited (Over 300 years in healthcare)

Salts and Sons Limited Birmingham – 300 years old(image of fitting artificial limbs at Uffculme Hospital 1923)

Salts are believed to be one of the oldest family firms in the country, with a history going back well over 300 years (1715). The firm was probably started by brothers William and John Salt who trained as locksmiths in Wolverhampton in the early 18th Century. Such a training in skilled metal working would have prepared them well to develop their own business as cutlers and surgical instrument makers which was well established by 1755. A newspaper cutting from 1773 advertised the business as follows: “William Salt Cutler and Surgeons Instrument Maker”. Salts were able to meet the increasing demand for both for the new medical and surgical instruments during the late 18th & 19th centuries. Richard was believed to be the first Salt to come to Birmingham and had premises at Dale End and Coleshill Street in bout 1815. Thomas Partridge Salt (The First) ran a business in Great Brook Street in 1823 and although he died during the cholera epidemic of 1840-41, the firm went on to flourish under the direction of his son Thomas Partridge Salt (The Second). The cutlery business gained royal patronage and salts were exhibitors at the 1867 Paris Exhibition. But it was the development in surgical appliances and artificial limbs that became Salts distinctive and distinguished business. Thomas Partridge Salt was a very influential figure in Birmingham and a founder member of the Birmingham and Midland Institute. He was also at the forefront of his profession and was highly respected in scientific and medical circles. He published important books on new developments in orthopedic appliances and prosthetic. The skills of the firm were particularly needed during the two world wars, after which the firm stopped making artificial limbs. Today the firm of Salts is still based in Birmingham with the manufacturing centre in Lord Street and a shop outlet on Corporation Street. Still innovators in a highly specialised field the company today are world leaders in the development and manufacture of orthopedic, ostomy and medical textile products.

The story continues but please visit their website to follow their history to date.