Kapitex Healthcare

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Kapitex Healthcare'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 Kapitex Healthcare 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


Managing Director
Centrally based head office
and distribution centre
Kapitex is a leading manufacturer and distributor of
laryngectomy, tracheostomy and dysphagia medical
devices, based in Wetherby, West Yorkshire. The
organisation went through an acquisition in 2016, becoming
a sister company to TRACOE Medical Gmbh, which saw Ian
Worthington become Managing Director. It is now looking to
increase in dynamism and bring about a new way of thinking to
prepare the business for the future. Ian discusses how he and
his managing partners are looking to invest in the company,
with a view to growing Kapitex as an international exporter and
centre of excellence for airway management.
Since the acquisition in 2016, our priority has been growing our profile and
preparing for the future. I and my two German partners, Stephan Köhler and Dr
Thomas Jurisch of TRACOE Medical Gmbh, are now looking to develop as an
international company and exporter, taking advantage of the expanded knowledge
base, networks and synergies we have access to. While TRACOE remains
independent with its daughter company MC Europe in the Netherlands, we act as
sister companies and collaborate actively to the benefit of all organisations.
Our core business
The design, development, manufacture and distribution of laryngectomy,
tracheostomy and dysphagia consumable medical devices is our key focus, and
we are one of the largest suppliers of tracheostomy tubes to the NHS. These are
manufactured by TRACOE in Germany and we are the sole UK distributor of these
»Managing Director:
»Director: Stephan Köhler
»Director: Dr Thomas Jurisch
»Financial Director: Tracy
»Founded in 1991
»Based in Wetherby, West
»Services: Medical device
consumables, laryngectomy,
tracheostomy and dysphagia
»No. of employees: 27
Kapitex Healthcare Ltd
Highlighting best practice
high-quality, technically advanced
premium disposable items. We also
manufacture and distribute a range
of laryngectomy heat moisture
exchange and filtration systems
that are made in the UK and Asia,
and have designed and developed
innovative dysphagia products, to aid
sufferers with drinking and swallowing
difficulties. In addition, we are building
our intellectual property portfolio
with new international patents and
Kapitex itself isn’t involved in the
manufacturing process in house,
instead utilising a trusted network of
specialist manufacturers with bespoke
Kapitex manufacturing cells. We
commission a wide range of products
and have built relationships with eight
key manufacturers in the UK and two
in Asia, among others that we use on
a less frequent basis. Our offices in
Wetherby house our customer services
team, assembly and distribution,
research and development, regulatory
and quality and finance. In addition,
we have a team of product specialists
and national and international
Since 2016 we have undertaken a
significant reorganisation and largely
reconfigured the business. This
involved realigning our management
structure and employing new
qualified professional staff in quality
management, regulatory affairs,
research and development and
financial control capacities. We also
moved across to our new custom-built
office premises within our Assembly
and Distribution Centre. Moving
offices has also allowed us to all be on
one site, improving communication
and team-working and increasing
efficiency. It has also enhanced our
training provision, which should enable
us to develop a new generation of
staff internally.
We recruited an international sales
manager in December 2018, as we
are determined to increase our global
presence as an exporter. Our increased
collaboration with TRACOE, and the
opportunities that this brings, gives
us confidence going forward in this
regard. TRACOE currently exports
to 86 countries worldwide, while
Kapitex exports to 30 countries, which
translates to a great potential to utilise
common international distributors and
grow our export business accordingly.
A brand built on quality
As an organisation we consider
ourselves to be a premium product
supplier. Everything we distribute or
have commissioned must be of the
best quality and has to meet all of the
regulation that our industry is subject
to. We always design our products
with the needs of the patients in
mind and have invested a lot in recent
years to ensure that our quality and
regulatory control capacity is of the
highest standard. Everything we design
and manufacture is Kapitex branded,
and this has come to be seen as a
stamp of quality.
In recent years we have used
government incentive programmes such
as the research and development tax
breaks to our advantage, reinvesting
our savings into the business.
This process included hiring our
international sales manager who will
represent Kapitex at trade shows
Regulatory and quality
– at the heart of our
As an
we consider
ourselves to
be a premium
in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Africa and
Dusseldorf as we attempt to grow our
global presence and continually evolve
our awareness of the market.
We have also recently hired a design
and development engineering
postgraduate. As part of his training
we are funding his MSc so that
he is able to qualify as a chartered
engineer, while working on our
portfolio of new products. This is
just one of the many actions we are
taking to futureproof the business
with employee training and further
education at the heart of our values.
These values are an integral part of our
journey towards achieving an Investors
in People accreditation. We want to
foster a young and creative team of
professionals that allows us to make a
difference in the sector and become an
employer of choice in our local area.
Sector challenges
The number of low-quality medical
products imported from Asia to the
UK is proving a challenge for both
ourselves and the sector itself. Many
of these imports are poor quality,
designed using second-rate materials
and undergo minimal quality control.
Furthermore, their manufacturing
process has been subject to none of
the stringent regulation that exists
in the EU. Our products are the best
quality available but their design and
manufacture is an expensive process,
so we are unable to compete with
these imports on cost. We refuse to
lower the quality of our goods in order
to compete, so we have become reliant
on the regulatory bodies rectifying
Regulation is always a challenge for
businesses and we have invested
heavily in recent years to ensure we
are able to respond to any potential
change such as the Medical Device
Regulations, which will be mandatory
by March 2020. We are disadvantaged,
however, by the fact that many
companies simply aren’t abiding
by the same rules that we are. The
existing regulations have to be properly
enforced to ensure both a level playing
field and the safety of the public.
Patients need to have full confidence
that the products being used to treat
them are properly regulated and of the
necessary quality.
Ecommerce websites offering medical
devices, including eBay and Amazon,
are largely responsible for this trend,
and regulators have been unable or
unwilling to take action. The rules
need to be properly enforced and a
far more proactive approach by the
regulatory bodies is required.
We want to
foster a young
and creative
team of
that allows us
to make a
difference in
the sector and
become an
employer of
choice in our
local area
through research and
Total supply chain


This article was sponsored by Kapitex Healthcare. 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