UK Medical

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by UK Medical'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 UK Medical 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, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

Managing Director Ian Aaron
The Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield –
we’ve worked with NHS partners across
the UK for over 30 years
Yorkshire-based UK Medical supply a range of disposable
interventional medical devices to the NHS and the private
healthcare sector. As an SME, they are attempting to
do things differently in a market that’s faced with an array of
challenges and rewards. Over the past two years, they’ve gone
through an interesting journey, buying back their business from
a larger parent company and using this landmark to focus on
their goals, ethos and what makes them different from the
competition. They are proud members of their community and
have formed close relationships in their many years of trading.
Managing Director Ian Aaron tells
The Parliamentary Review
more about the company’s general approach, the obstacles
they’ve had to surmount and where things are headed.
The healthcare market is fiercely competitive. We’re trading alongside much larger
companies with much greater purchasing power. Trying to get our message heard
in such a complex landscape as the NHS is something that is at the forefront of
our minds. Competing in this environment is difficult. While the bigger companies
might occupy the role of supermarkets, we choose to be the delicatessen.
Those within the NHS tell us that dealing with larger companies can be impersonal,
slow and bureaucratic, so our offering is more than just about the product. It’s
about the after-sales service, the training and support, and, importantly, a personal
touch. Our team is small, so when a customer calls our office, they won’t be
greeted by a series of automated messages but by friendly, knowledgeable staff.
»Managing Director: Ian Aaron
»Founded in 1987
»Located in Sheffield, Yorkshire
»Services: Supply of specialised
medical devices
»No. of employees: 24
»Experienced a management
buyout in April 2017
»Turnover of £5.8 million
»Their HQ is located in Albreda
House, a historic former
orphanage dating from 1880
UK Medical
Highlighting best practice
Our rebrand echoed this desire to
be different: it’s bold, free of fuss,
accessible and unlike anything you’d
expect to see in the healthcare sector.
Changing patient pathways
A rapidly ageing population, as well
as an increasing number of people
needing treatment for conditions
such as cancer, is putting increasing
pressure on the NHS. Coupled with
this is the fact that the total number
of NHS hospital beds in England
has more than halved in the last 30
years. As a result, there’s a constant
need to rethink care delivery and the
technology used.
We choose our products in a way that
mirrors those crucial needs of the NHS.
The patient is at the centre of what
we do, and by selecting products that
are clinically proven medical devices,
we are not only saving the NHS money
but, importantly, also providing better
outcomes for the patient.
Communicating the benefits
One of the biggest challenges we face
in the industry is trying to get those
in procurement to see beyond the
unit cost of an item and to adopt a
wider, longer-term outlook. While our
product may cost more than that of a
competitor, it’s our job to articulate to
customers the overall savings the NHS
would see from our device.
Our products may be less invasive,
meaning patients enjoy faster recovery
times, putting less pressure on the NHS
in terms of aftercare and beds. The
sheer size of the NHS, and the fact that
our customers work in silos, means it’s
a constant challenge to communicate
these savings and benefits to the
complicated network of departments
within the NHS.
Our greatest asset: staff
Our market is seeing large amounts
of consolidation – companies being
bought out by one another – so
UK Medical bucked the trend by
completing a buyout in 2017. We
face challenges as a small fish in
a big pond, but as an SME with a
strong focus on customer relations,
support and after-sales service, we
place great faith in our talented staff.
Our company manifesto encourages
respect and passion while asking staff
to listen to the needs of customers
This pathway-changing stent provides fast, safe and
effective treatment for life-threatening oesophageal
variceal bleeds
A biopsy pot that removes the risk
of NHS staff and patient exposure
to harmful formaldehyde
Coupled with
this is the fact
that the total
number of
NHS hospital
beds in
England has
more than
halved in the
last 30 years
and build relationships, both internally
and externally. Both our customers
and our suppliers tell us how much
they enjoy working with us. Our staff
are also happy too, with the average
tenure in a position currently at
Sheffield plays a big part in who we
are. We’re a proud Yorkshire-based
company, and the vast majority of our
staff live in the city or in the beautiful
rolling countryside that surrounds it.
It’s a city region that is currently on
an exciting upward curve in terms
of investment. Furthermore, like
ourselves, Sheffield is bold, creative
and innovative, very often punching
above its weight.
Future growth
We are already making plans for
expansion. While we want to remain
an SME, we plan to add to our staff
base and increase both the number
and the breadth of products we
distribute. With such a strong focus
on customer relations, one of our
biggest challenges in the years ahead
is to maintain that personal focus
and patient-centred approach. We’ll
achieve this by recruiting people who
buy into our ethos and by supplying
new products that have strong clinical
research behind them, as well as
attractive economic prospects.
As a company dealing with suppliers
from across Europe, Britain’s
forthcoming exit from the EU has
provided, and will continue to provide,
substantial challenges. Nevertheless,
we go into the next phase of our
development with a great amount
of positivity. Our approach is to
be disruptive within the market by
offering products and levels of
service that customers don’t see
anywhere else – all, of course, aimed
at improving patient pathways. It’s an
approach that’s proving popular with
staff, customers and suppliers alike.
Our market is
seeing large
amounts of
– companies
being bought
out by one
UK Medical staff helping
celebrate the 70th
birthday of the NHS

This article was sponsored by UK Medical. 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