United Kingdom Report

Medilink network is home to some of the UK’s leading medical equipment manufacturers

The UK has continually been at the forefront of Medical Technology (MedTech) innovation, where the process of transforming ideas and goodwill into operational realities remains paramount. Each year, key demonstrators of this can be found amongst the hundreds of UK companies operating as part of the Medilink network, under which they connect across the academic, business and clinical sectors to create opportunities to develop and utilise expertise.

BioClad – antimicrobial wall panels

One such innovative solution has come from BioClad, a Yorkshire-based company that has developed a range of products and services to provide customers with the most comprehensive solution to demand for hygienic PVC wall cladding, offering a compelling and cost-efficient alternative to traditional wall coverings.

Increasing numbers of commercial and institutional clients are benefiting from hygienic PVC wall cladding’s easy-toclean and durable properties with quicker installation techniques. All PVC wall cladding products carry a certain degree of anti-bacterial protection, but BioClad has taken hygienic wall cladding to new heights by developing the world’s first antimicrobial PVC wall panels.

Their unique BioClad PVC wall cladding is impregnated with silver ions at the time of manufacture, which means that antimicrobial protection is active throughout every sheet. This provides 24/7 lifetime protection against not just bacteria, but also protozoans, fungi and other microorganisms. The antimicrobial integrity of BioClad wall cladding remains intact even when scratched, because the antimicrobial protection cannot be washed away.

Andy Newbould, BioClad’s International Sales Director, said: “We are dedicated wall cladding specialists. It’s what we live and breathe, and in developing Bioclad we have gone the extra mile in providing our customers with a product that continues to look fantastic, while at the same time helping to tackle the day to day build-up of a whole range of micro-organisms.”

Proven in both clinical and independent field trials, BioClad’s antimicrobial PVC wall cladding is highly effective in significantly reducing the incidence of bacteria, microbes, protozoans and fungi. Bioclad panels also emit zero VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and are therefore entirely safe in use and ideal for many sensitive projects.

BioClad panels are now widely used throughout UK National Health Service (NHS) hospitals and clinics, and increasingly in international healthcare. Bioclad panels were used with other products to create the world’s first antimicrobial classroom! Andy Newbould continued: “Bioclad is proud to present to the international market a product that helps healthcare customers to combat the spread of infection.

We work closely with our customers from specification to installation to provide a product that helps them maintain a truly hygienic environment.”

Wenzelite Gait Trainers

Developed by Drive Medical, one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of durable medical products in the world, the Wenzelite Gait Trainers range offers varied levels of support for children who require assistance with walking. Made of durable materials that are latex-free, they encourage early cognitive and learning development, cardiopulmonary strengthening and conditioning, reduce flexion contractures to enhance movement and teach the individual to take steps without assistance. As part of this range, the Trekker Gait Trainer can be used in the anterior and posterior position while the directional lever allows either forward and reserve mobility or only forward mobility, depending on the needs of the user. The variable resistance controls the speed of the rotation of the wheel, swivel casters can be locked to non-swivel, and the brakes lock as well to prevent the unit from moving.

Simple Air Mattress

Park House Healthcare, a subsidiary of Drive Medical, produce the Simple Air Mattress Replacement System, a cost effective support surface used for the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers. Designed for patients that are at medium to high risk of developing pressure ulcers, the Simple Air Mattress is suitable for use in both nursing and home care settings and designed to withstand a maximum weight limit of over 177 kg.

The mattress features adjustable weight settings, therefore ensuring optimum pressure relief by aligning the mattress pressure to the individual selected patient weight. As a result of being comprised of independent cell construction, all cells can be individually replaced to help reduce ongoing costs while a strong, lightweight and durable pump combines ease of use with a smooth wipe clean surface. Additional safety features ensure that the mattress can be deflated within 10 seconds and the audible and visual alarm indicates low pressure and power failure in dual format.

‘P’ Pod

Specialised Orthotic Services (SOS), a subsidiary of Drive Medical, provides specialised seating. SOS work closely with individuals, clinicians and carers to design products which deliver practical solutions ensuring that the user’s needs are met. One such product is the award winning ‘P’ Pod, which has been designed and developed as a simple yet effective postural support for use by disabled children and adults when indoors in the home or day care environment.

Integration of specialised equipment into the home environment can be difficult due to limitations on space and access issues, however the ‘P’ Pod can be easily accommodated indoors and gives excellent postural support.

The patented design of the ‘P’ Pod combines a symmetrical or custom moulded support within the simplicity of a conventional bean bag base. The unique ‘P’ Pod was developed in response to clients who asked for a different seating option at home. Bean bags have traditionally been used for years with the disabled, but they lacked the true support needed. The ‘P’ Pod addresses this with three key components – the seat, a bolster support and the bean bag. The ‘P’ Pod that it was awarded the Naidex style award for providing postural support in the home environment.

Innov8 iQ ward bed

For over a century, Sidhil has been designing and manufacturing quality products for the healthcare market and today their extensive portfolio includes beds for hospital, community and nursing home applications, couches and plinths for primary care, hospital ward furniture, surgery furniture and equipment for daily living as well as static and dynamic mattress systems as well as specially engineered bariatric products.

All of Sidhil’s products are designed in the UK, and the majority are produced at their modern manufacturing plant in Yorkshire, England. This includes the company’s versatile Innov8 iQ ward bed, featuring split side rails to expand the bed’s intrinsic functionality, making it relevant for specialist areas and high dependent intensive care and intensive treatment units as well as general ward applications.

Designed to meet the ever-increasing challenges of the modern hospital environment and satisfying the highest standards for safety and reliability, the Innov8 iQ gives the acute market access to an affordable, high specification bed equipped for use across the entire patient population.

Innov8 iQ features include a low mattress platform height to assist with falls prevention strategies, while the side rails are cleverly designed to drop to a lower level than the mattress platform, ensuring patient egress and ingress is safe and unhindered. Built-in dampers ensure they lower at a measured rate for maximum levels of safety while the IQ Contouring’ function, where the backrest and kneebreak operate in graduated harmony to reduce shear and friction, combats the risk of pressure ulcers. A simple ‘one touch’ control achieves cardiac chair positioning, whilst angle indicators are incorporated to assist care staff with implementing clinical decisions.

Infection control is an important consideration too, with removable, blow moulded mattress platform panels giving a smooth, cleanable surface with perforations and channels to reduce liquid pooling and increase air flow. The bed is easy to move and manoeuvre, with a combined brake bar and pedal operating the brakes from both the foot end and the side of the bed.

Acclaim Flow hybrid mattress

Sidhil also design and manufacture the Acclaim Flow non-powered hybrid mattress system, designed around the company’s intelligent Air Flow Technology. This self-regulating air displacement and intake system uses the patient’s own body mass and weight to provide the correct surface to optimise tissue viability.

The result of intensive research and development into affordable and reliable alternatives to more costly dynamic therapy mattresses, the Acclaim Flow hybrid uses a clever combination of foam and air filled cells to achieve effective pressure redistribution, ensuring optimum comfort for patients.

The Acclaim Flow consists of 10 robust, interconnected air filled cells, encased in a foam shell and topped with a special foam layer featuring a unique castellation programme, designed using pressure mapping techniques to give optimum results. A reduced-size castellation is built in to protect the vulnerable heel area. Inside the air-filled cells, a special foam acts as the catalyst for the system. When the patient enters the bed or moves on the mattress, air either escapes or flows back in to the cells, facilitating the correct levels of pressure redistribution. This automatic adjustment based on the weight and movement of individual patients ensures optimum comfort and reduces the challenges on vulnerable tissue.

When the patient exits the bed, the foam inside the cells automatically draws air back into the system, restoring original levels of inflation without the need for pumps or manual readjustments of any kind. This automatic function reduces the demands on nursing or caring staff with clinical research indicating that hybrid systems are suitable for patients at high risk of developing pressure ulcers.

UK’s unique strength

The development and realisation of innovative products such as those highlighted demonstrate the unique position that UK companies hold within the medical technology sector. World-class resources, academic institutions and research, plus manufacturing capability to design, prototype and engineer medical technologies, sit alongside a supportive investment environment for business growth and an unrivalled access to a single healthcare market of over 60 million people. Together, these elements ensure that the UK continues to seek and develop innovative product solutions to make a tangible difference to the lives of those who use them.

- For further information, visit: www.medilinkuk.com www.medilink.co.uk

 Date of upload: 16th Nov 2015


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