GBUK Group Ltd

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by GBUK Group Ltd's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from GBUK Group Ltd is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

CEO Mark Thompson, Director
of Sales & Marketing Peter
Spiller and Managing Director
Mike Geering, outside head
office – Woodland House,
Thirty syringe drivers in
quality control final checks
before being shipped to UK
neonatal wards
GBUK Group Ltd are a medical devices manufacturer in
Yorkshire that supply specialist products to the NHS and
UK healthcare businesses, as well as others across the
world. With 95 employees and a turnover reaching £45 million,
they are the market leaders in a number of clinical areas and have
experienced significant growth every year since being founded
in 2008. CEO Mark Thompson tells
about their journey and how they’ve come to grow their export
business over the past four years.
We have evolved from being a distributor of other companies’ products to
becoming a virtual manufacturer ourselves; we don’t own any factories, but we do
create our own intellectual property through innovation and design, and we hold
the regulatory certificates as the legal manufacturer.
We partner with manufacturers from around the world to develop products that
meet our high specifications. This change has allowed us to create new products,
grow our markets and take our export business from £0 to £9 million per annum
over the last four years.
Our focus has been and continues to be on the creation of new, high-quality,
cost-effective and competitively priced products that add value for clinicians and
patients alike. To ensure that we get it right, we work closely with clinicians in the
UK through our regular advisory boards, where they provide feedback on products,
the challenges they face and what they need to help their patients.
We then drive the sales of these products, both in the UK and worldwide. Having had
great success in the domestic market, our focus now includes building a substantial
»CEO: Mark Thompson
»Founded in 2008
»Based in North Duffield, Selby,
North Yorkshire
»Services: Specialist medical
devices manufacture
»No. of employees: 95
»Compound annual growth
rate of 25 per cent
GBUK Group Ltd
Highlighting best practice
export business, which has become the
fastest-growing area of GBUK Group
over the past fewyears.
Investment in people and
To support our development as a
business, create new products and
drive export growth, we have invested
heavily in our people, through training
as well as creating new design, product
development, regulatory, purchasing
and sales positions.
We have also invested in our
infrastructure. To this end, we built
a new head office and doubled our
warehouse capacity in 2013, and we
doubled that capacity again two years
later. We have also followed this up with
ongoing investment in our systems and
office services, recognising that these are
the logistical backbone of our company.
Finally, to support our growth strategy,
we have acquired and integrated three
significant businesses since 2008.
Ensuring patient safety –
supporting new standards
Part of GBUK Group, Enteral UK,
took a leading position in rolling out
a safer system for enteral feeding –
the use of a feeding tube for those
who are unable to consume food
through regular means – in the UK
and worldwide. The international ISO
committee responsible introduced
“ENFit”, a unique connect system
which ensured that misconnections
with other systems – intravenous
medical devices, for example – would
not occur.
To accommodate for this switch to
the new ENFit system, Enteral UK
invested heavily in new tooling with
our manufacturing partners to help
ensure the UK was the first market
to make the transition in full. This
investment and the development of
new accessories to support the system
allowed us to tap into the European
healthcare market, where previously a
variety of systems were standard.
As clinicians and organisations across
Europe planned to roll out medical
devices that met these new standards,
Enteral UK were there to provide the
products they needed, educate, train
and support appropriately. We as a
group are now ready to support and
grow into the US market as they start
the move to ENFit.
We replicated this success and focus
on safety by being the first to introduce
another ISO standard connection
system – “NRFit” for neuraxial systems.
Again, the UK adopted the new
standard first, supported by our work,
and was the first country to supply the
products that were required.
Ensuring patient safety
– commitment to quality
We have been the market leader for
open suction catheters in the UK for
many years. Open suction catheters are
used to clear secretions that can block
a patient’s airway and subsequently
result in a number of critical conditions.
Quality of these devices is absolutely
essential when it comes to ensuring that
critically ill patients are not subjected
to any adverse trauma from such
devices. We at GBUK Group take our
responsibility for quality veryseriously.
GBUK export stand
We partner
from around
the world to
products that
meet our high
To eliminate as much risk as possible,
we also invest heavily in regulating the
quality of the devices that are made by
our manufacturing partners. We employ
full-time internal auditors, based in
the Far East, that conduct quality
and audit checks of the factories, as
well as carrying out thorough goods
testing of all GBUK-manufactured
products arriving at our distribution
centre in North Yorkshire. Conducting
quality checks at both the point of
manufacture and upon arrival in the UK
helps to minimise the danger to both
patients and healthcareprofessionals.
The export challenge
While a weaker pound is usually a
benefit for UK exporters, it has posed a
particular challenge for us. The majority
of our manufacturing partners are based
overseas; as such, we generally pay
for goods in US dollars or euros, while
our long-term export customers have
always paid for products in sterling.
The Brexit referendum result and the
subsequent drop in the value of the
pound meant we paid considerably
more for our purchases, with no
change in our selling price.
As a result, we took steps to protect
our business; in 2018, we forward
purchased dollars and euros to lock
in prices we knew would keep us
profitable. At the same time, we have
grown our customer base that pay in
these two currencies and consequently
lessened the impact of foreign
exchange fluctuations.
Continuing to innovate and
As our name suggests, we are a proud
British company demonstrating all that
is positive and successful in UKindustry.
With a focus on improving people’s
lives, innovating products and
delivering impressive growth, we will
continue to support the NHS and fly
the flag for British export. With this
ethos and our demonstrable ability to
pursue opportunities and overcome
challenges, we are extremely confident
that we will deliver ongoing success in
a changing world.
We are a
proud British
all that is
positive and
successful in
UK industry
“Banana”, a specialist division within GBUK Healthcare,
focuses on patient moving and handling technology. This
essentially facilitates the safe movement of otherwise-
immobile patients, and helps to ensure that clinicians can
move patients without injuring themselves or the patient.
While exports remain our fastest-growing market,
Banana deals in our fastest-growing product category.
Banana patient handling specialists also investigate how
improvements can be made in the hospitals by analysing
their data and advising on how to reduce hospital-
acquired pressure ulcers and musculoskeletal disorders. Each year, the NHS spends over £2.1 billion on hospital-
acquired sores and MSK injuries; the Banana team and their innovative products have helped reduce injury in one
trust by 29 per cent, using the Versal solution.
Slide sheet products can be misused by clinicians, which can in turn increase risk to patient and carers alike. Versal
addresses these issues with its unique design; it simplifies use and reduces the likelihood of injury, ensuring all
bony prominences are covered for all lateral and medial movements. This reduces both the danger of shearing on
the body and the forces required to move a patient.

This article was sponsored by GBUK Group Ltd. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster