A high-growth Caerphilly-based manufacturer has signed a new commercial partnership to help develop new healthcare products
Direct Healthcare Services, which makes pressure care products including specialist mattresses and cushions for the NHS, will collaborate with the Welsh Wound Innovation Centre on product research and development.
The firm will benefit from access to the centre¹s education facilities and world-leading clinical expertise.
The commercial partnership is a first for the centre, which was set up in 2013.
Direct Healthcare Services, based on Caerphilly’s Western Industrial Estate, was last year recognised in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 as the 17th fastest growing business in the UK.
The company was also named the second fastest growing firm in Wales, in addition to the fastest growing business in health and education services, on the 2013 Fast Growth 50 list.
Managing Director of Direct Healthcare Services, Graham Ewart, said: “As an SME based in the south Wales valleys, having access to world-class resources and expertise will be absolutely essential as we look to continue our growth by focusing on export markets.
“We have ambitious plans to create more jobs as we expand into more territories and our collaboration with the Welsh Wound Innovation Centre will be critical to this strategy.
“Having access to the phenomenal resources and expertise available in the facility at Llantrisant, particularly to support innovative product development and export visits from potential new global distributors, will be invaluable.”
Direct Healthcare Services has secured 34 contracts with NHS trusts across the UK in the last 18 months, resulting in the creation of sixteen new jobs. The firm recently opened an office in Western Australia to support its export plans in the Asia Pacific region, and will work with the Welsh Wound Innovation Centre on the development of new products.
Wound healing has been identified as a niche speciality in the Welsh Government’s £100m fund to boost the Life Sciences sector, leading to the Welsh Wound Innovation Centre’s establishment in 2013.
The centre, located in Llantrisant, acts as a focus for research, clinical and commercial excellence in wound prevention and treatment.
It has a strong focus on job creation and business development, and delivers a full range of clinical research and knowledge transfer services to NHS and commercial customers.
The Welsh Wound Innovation Centre’s Medical Director Professor Keith Harding has described wounds as a silent epidemic that represents a growing burden for healthcare resources. Pressure wounds currently cost the NHS between £1bn and £2bn a year in treatment and blocked beds.
Welcoming the collaboration the Minister for the Economy, Science and Transport, Edwina Hart said: “Life Sciences is a priority sector of the Welsh economy and we want to establish Wales as one of the best environments in the world for life sciences.
“Wales has a real strength in the field of wound prevention and treatment and it is encouraging to see this collaboration between the Welsh Wound Innovation Centre and Direct Healthcare Services, with the potential to save millions for the NHS and deliver further health and wealth benefits for Wales.”