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Three North East of England healthcare companies succeed at the national Medilink UK Healthcare Business Awards

CELS : 15 February, 2008  (New Product)
The North East of England claimed three out of the five winners of the national Medilink UK Healthcare Business Awards, an event that recognises the UK’s most innovative healthcare companies.
The Awards ceremony took place during the Medtec exhibition in Birmingham, UK.

Cels, the organisation driving the healthcare economy in North East England, was delighted to see three of the winners of the national awards hail from the North East. The companies saw their hard work pay off picking up awards recognising achievements across ‘Partnership with the NHS,’ ‘Growth in sector’ and ‘Export Achievement.’

ImmunoDiagnostic Systems (IDS), a manufacturer of specialist manual healthcare diagnostics kits for bone disease and calcium dysfunction, won the Jonathan Lee Recruitment ‘Growth in Sector’ Award. IDS, based in Boldon, Tyne & Wear, is a company dedicated to the development and provision of innovative assays for use in clinical and laboratories worldwide. Once a sales and distribution operation established in 1977, IDS has become not only a developer and manufacturer in its own right, but also nurtures technology development in universities and research institutes.

Winner of the UK Trade & Investment ‘Export Achievement’ Award was Hart Biologicals, which has established new markets in Germany, the USA and Spain, increasing their turnover by 47 percent. The company, based in Hartlepool, manufactures a range of clinical laboratory diagnostic products suitable for the worldwide healthcare market, predominantly clinical diagnostic reagents for use by hospitals, GP’s and pharmacies involved in the investigation of blood clotting disorders. The achievement of the County Durham based manufacturer of diagnostic products was marked by the company’s success in USA and Germany, two of the most demanding export markets in the world.

The winner of the NHS National Innovation Centre ‘Partnership with the NHS’ Award was Peacocks Medical Group for the company’s collaborative pathfinder project with the Diabetic Clinic in Newcastle, which has spanned the past eight years. Peacocks Medical Group, based in Newcastle upon Tyne, measures, manufactures, and supplies complex bespoke Orthotic devices to patients and hospital trusts throughout the UK. The company’s provision of pressure relieving diabetic footwear and insoles to patients who are at risk of ulceration has reduced cases of amputation by 45 percent.

All winners qualified for the Medilink finals after successfully winning in the same categories at the first ever Business for Life awards hosted by Cels Healthcare Network, which took place last November and recognised the achievements and growth of the healthcare sector in the region.

Mike Asher CEO at Cels said: “Cels is delighted at the region’s success at the Medilink Awards, which reflects the growth and development of the healthcare sector across North East England. We are once again proving to our regional counterparts that we are an area of burgeoning talent and can offer a wealth of investment opportunities within the field of life sciences.”

The region has seen its healthcare economy thrive in recent years featuring world leaders in biologics manufacturing and successful companies in the field of medical devices, assistive technology and health informatics. Healthcare has been identified as one of the ‘three pillars’ in the Regional Economic Strategy, developed by One North East.

The Medilink Awards saw a panel of judges from every region of the UK select the best of the regional award winners for the following categories - Innovation, Growth in Sector, Business Start-Up, Export Achievement and Partnership with the NHS.

Chairman of Medilink UK, Kevin Kiely, said: “These awards exemplify the level of excellence achieved by the UK’s Health Technology companies and the contribution they make, not only to the regional and national economy, but also in enhancing the quality of patient care. This year’s entrants were wide ranging and of an exceptional quality, reflecting the strength and diversity of one of the UK’s most thriving sectors.”

UK Trade and Investment supported both the Medilink and Business for Life Awards.

David Coppock, UK Trade & Investment’s international trade director for the North East, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to support these awards that recognise the outstanding achievements of companies in the healthcare sector.”

“UK Trade & Investment is committed to ensuring companies have the knowledge and skills they need to compete on the world market. We’ve been able to support each of the award winners with their own export plans and their success should stand as an example for others to follow.”
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