A major Euro 200,000 order to export an innovative new type of patient hoist to Norway has been won by Wetherby-based Innova Care Concepts.
The order won by Innova Care Concepts, a specialist division of Yorkshire Care Equipment, Harrogate, is to supply a series of Integralifts to a Norwegian distributor supplying the healthcare sector.
The breakthrough follows the sale of 200 Integralifts in the UK and further orders to The Czech Republic, Australia and France before Innova Care Concepts sought exporting advice from overseas trade specialist, Chamber International.
Integralift differs from most common patient hoists used in hospitals, care homes and hospices in that it is not a trolley on wheels and does not need overhead tracking, both of which Innova says are bulky, unattractive and dominate the room they are in, focusing attention on disability.
Instead Integralift operates with a hoist on an arm, which folds away into a cupboard, which can be made to match other furniture in the room, so people have the assistance they need but the space they require when it is not in use.
Yorkshire Care Concepts established Innova Care Concepts after its work as a healthcare products distributor led it to realise that the sector was failing to innovate and place patients’ quality of life at the forefront of new developments.
Innova Care Concepts’ brief was to source the latest and most innovative healthcare products and among its first moves was acquiring the patent to Integralift, which was designed by the friend of an entrepreneur who was paralysed from the waist down after a diving accident in Norway, which it manufactures in Estonia.
Innova Care Concepts and Yorkshire Care Equipment managing director, Tom Hulbert, said:
In launching Innova Care Concepts, we decided that we had to be thorough so we travelled widely in the English-speaking world including the US, Middle East, much of Europe and Australia, talking to hospitals, care homes, hospices and architects to hear their concerns about current healthcare equipment and to learn how products could be improved.
Acquiring the patent for Integralift was one of the first results of this research. They sell for between £3,500 and £5,000 to the end user and so have significant potential for our business both in the UK and worldwide. Our group turnover is £7m with around 34 staff and our target is to achieve £500,000 in exports in the next 12 months.
Chamber International has been very helpful and has initially given us contacts in British Embassies to facilitate local support and contacts overseas. Some of the Chamber International export courses will also be useful to us as we develop overseas sales. The organisation certainly has the expertise to help us develop overseas sales as we continue to grow.
Chamber International export adviser, David Attia, said:
Innova Care Concepts’ instinctive understanding that they should visit overseas markets to research healthcare equipment needs is already opening doors for them and we look forward to helping the business grow its overseas sales in line with Integralift’s considerable potential.
Chamber International, which has a presence in York, helps hundreds of new and experienced exporters with a wide range of specialist services to make exporting easier and more cost effective each year and is exclusively partnered with London headquartered global testing organisation, Intertek, to assist with a wide range of issues including product conformity.