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Crawley MP hails local healthcare manufacturers amidst growing operational pressures

Sarah Duckworth Operations and Engineering Director, Samantha Jackson MD Welland Medical, Henry Smith MP, Sean Farbrother CEO Clinimed Medical and Kevin Hodges of BHTA .

Henry Smith MP, Conservative MP for Crawley, has visited leading specialist healthcare provider Welland Medical to learn about the pressing challenges facing businesses operating in healthcare manufacturing and supply.

During the visit, Welland Medical, an innovator in the field of stoma pouch design and manufacture, and leading trade body the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA), outlined that despite healthcare businesses continuing to supply the NHS through the Covid-19 pandemic and putting in place extra measures and absorbing costs, they now face the most difficult operational and regulatory environment that the sector has ever experienced.

The visit follows a recent survey of BHTA members, revealing that nationally:

  • 41% of healthcare businesses will consider reducing the amount of stock they produce or distribute, limiting the supplies of vital medical devices and equipment in the UK.
  • 36% will consider cutting employees from their businesses.
  • 29% will focus on other international markets, causing a drain of healthcare jobs and investment from the UK to Europe.
  • 84% feel that the challenges they face are not well understood by the UK Government
  • Over 90% would like to see financial support, greater regulatory certainty and reform of red tape and regulations to ease operating pressures for healthcare businesses.

Commenting, Henry Smith MP said:

“I am grateful to Welland Medical and to the BHTA for highlighting the vital role that medical manufacturers provide in our health system. We should never forget or take for granted the importance of healthcare manufacturers, and it is very troubling that businesses like Welland are facing considerable operational and regulatory pressure.

“As such, I will be bringing these issues to the Health Secretary’s attention and urge him to do all he can to support these vital industries in Crawley and throughout the UK.”

Samantha Jackson, Managing Director at Welland Medical, said:

“Our products have a life changing impact on patients across the country and despite this, we continue to face increased regulatory, operational and employment pressures greater than we have ever known.

“We are immensely grateful to Henry for taking the time to meet with us and for his genuine interest and concern for the challenges that we face and for his ongoing support.” 

Kevin Hodges, Membership Engagement Manager at the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA), added:

“We know that healthcare businesses throughout the UK currently face the most challenging operating environment they have known. It is essential that the Government act now to support these businesses to allow them to continue to play the life changing role that only they can: supporting patients in the community and in hospitals to live happier, healthier lives.”