Launch Diagnostics

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Launch Diagnostics'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 Launch Diagnostics 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 John
The Launch Diagnostics
Launch Diagnostics Ltd was founded in 1990 by the current
Managing Director, John Twycross. After a successful
career with various senior management roles in sales and
marketing at Wellcome Diagnostics, John branched out on his
own, creating Launch Diagnostics Ltd from humble beginnings
for sales in the UK. A major independent distributor within the
specialist diagnostics industry, Launch employs 60 people, has a
turnover of £18 million and has recently expanded into Ireland,
France, Belgium and Luxembourg. John discusses the specialist
diagnostics market further.
We are one of the major independent distributors within the specialist diagnostics
industry. Our role is to supply innovative, high-quality devices and equipment that
diagnose disease in patients attending GP surgeries and hospitals.
As a privately owned distributor, we are working with over 30 world-leading
manufacturers of diagnostics to test patient samples. These tests must conform to
the highest quality standards to ensure accurate diagnosis and optimum patient
care. Therefore, the process for choosing our manufacturing partners is a clearly
delineated procedure and must meet rigorous criteria, which can take many
months of due diligence and research.
We celebrate our 30th anniversary in 2020, and we are proud to say that many
of our partners have been working with us all this time. Unique in our industry,
we provide complete solutions for hospital laboratories, including diagnostic tests,
equipment, servicing, training and technical support, across all pathology disciplines.
»Managing Director: John
»Established in 1990
»Based in Longfield, Kent
»Services: Distribution of
diagnostics products to health
»No. of employees: 60
»A valued customer recently
thanked Launch for our “hard,
behind-the-scenes work” in
keeping them going
Launch Diagnostics
Highlighting best practice
We achieve this through a diverse
team, including technical, marketing,
administrative and sales departments,
which makes us a self-sufficient entity.
The priority for hospital laboratories is
to provide the best patient care; this
includes the provision of high-quality,
reliable and fast diagnostics tests.
Therefore, our responsibility and our
company ethos is to not only meet
but also exceed the expectations of
these hospital providers; together, we
provide the best patient management
and care.
Using innovation to improve
patient care
Medical science changes rapidly in
the specialist diagnostics industry.
Accordingly, we devote a lot of
resources to keeping abreast of new and
emerging technologies. Our product
portfolio includes a comprehensive
range of unique tests that employ
genetic, enzymatic, chromatographic
and microscopic techniques, spanning
over 7,000 different products. To
complement this test range, we also
supply state-of-the-art precision
equipment, to run these tests.
In line with advancements in medical
science, the diagnostic market has
also changed significantly in the last
30 years. We have understood and
embraced these changes by investing
in new technology and innovation. This
has helped us to thrive and become
the leading supplier of diagnostic
products within this business sector.
We have shown that we know how to
embrace changes in the market and
stay ahead of the curve.
A people company
At Launch Diagnostics, our personnel
are our most valuable asset, and we
know they are the key to our success.
As such, we continually invest in
their career development through
apprenticeships, training programmes
and further academic qualifications, so
they can develop their skills and grow
within the company. This investment is
evident within our senior management
team, who have come from diverse
backgrounds and all progressed to
become directors.
We also recognise that our employees’
health and wellbeing are essential
elements of the ongoing success of
the company; activities such as yoga
classes, sporting events for charity and
social functions are an integral part of
life at Launch Diagnostics.
To actively invest in our community,
we also co-ordinate fundraising
events for voluntary organisations
and sponsor scientists to present their
research at international conferences.
We have recently received a bronze
award as part of the Defence
Employer Recognition Scheme, which
acknowledges company commitment
as an employer of defence personnel.
Growth and expansion
To be successful over three decades,
we have had to maintain the ability
to adapt to changing markets,
technologies and economic pressures.
The landscape of the NHS and its
procurement system is ever-changing
Launch Diagnostics
management team
Medical science
changes rapidly
in the specialist
through privatisation, consolidation
and hospital mergers. This has led to
a unique competitive market with a
decrease in potential customers, and
an increase in suppliers to market.
Despite this, and the heavy financial
constraints on the NHS, we have
remained a trusted, reliable and
quality supplier of diagnostic tests and
equipment to the health system, and
we have achieved an excellent growth
rate over the last ten years.
This growth is reflected not only in our
turnover but also in our customer base,
staff and manufacturing partnerships.
We undertook a large-scale initiative
in 2013 with the aim of establishing a
business in France.
In the in-vitro medical diagnostics
market, France is ranked as second-
largest country with a turnover of 1.8
billion euros. We started in France with
just one employee in the field in 2017
but now have our own operational
subsidiary, Launch Diagnostics France
SAS, and a fully dedicated team.
In 2018, the company exceeded the
two million euro mark, and we expect
this growth to continue into 2019
based on current projections. To
maintain this momentum with regard
to other European territories, we are
now prosperously trading in Ireland,
Belgium and Luxembourg.
Maintaining leadership in the
NHS despite challenges
The NHS is working under a heavily
restricted budget, which results in a
higher degree of selectivity on their
part for all supplies, including those for
diagnostics. To maintain our position in
the market and fulfil their requirements,
we continue to provide high-quality
products at an affordable price.
The quality of products in the
market is governed by external
organisations through many directives,
guidelines and quality standards for
manufacturers and suppliers alike. For
example, all the products we supply
must be CE-marked and, as medical
regulations and ISO accreditations
become more stringent, we will see
our cost base rise.
As with every new challenge we have
encountered across over the years,
we intend to approach these step by
step, with an open mind and a positive
Looking forward
2020 will mark our 30th anniversary,
and we are looking forward to this
important milestone to reflect on what
we have achieved so far as well as
what we would like to accomplish in
the future.
We want to maintain and develop
our level of expertise and excellence
within the diagnostics industry and
continue to provide high-quality tests
and equipment to enable optimum
Our personnel
are our most
valuable asset,
and we know
they are the
key to our
Launch Diagnostics
exhibiting some of the
equipment they supply

This article was sponsored by Launch Diagnostics. 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