Paul Eakin, UK CEO of Cardiff based Pelican and Respond Healthcare has been appointed to a key position within the UK’s oldest and largest Health Association, the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA); an important move at a time of great change and uncertainty within the NHS and therefore for Association members.

Dr Eakin is to take up the role of Joint Chair of the BHTA’s Stoma & Continence Manufacturers and DAC (Dispensing Appliance Contractor) sections and has undertaken to help the industry meet new challenges as the NHS across the UK struggles with the demands of ever-increasing patient numbers and finite resources.

Dr Eakin has been at the helm of Pelican Healthcare Ltd since 2007 and has helped it become one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of disposable medical products in the UK and Ireland healthcare markets. It offers a wide range of innovative ostomy and continence products, including pouches, skin care products, support garments and other lines and through its sister company, Respond Healthcare, provides dispensing, home delivery and support services to the stoma and continence care community.

Following his appointment to the BHTA, Dr Eakin will be using his experience to support member companies, both large and small, collaborate under the auspices of the BHTA to achieve positive outcomes for patients, the NHS and industry alike. He adds:

“I am delighted to be appointed to this role and I recognise the responsibility it brings at a time of great uncertainty across our industry. I am to provide an effective and representative voice for the membership as it seeks to engage with the NHS at this time of change to ensure outcomes that benefit all stake holders.

“The BHTA has a crucial role to play as it represents over 90% of the value of the stoma prescription market and 94% of the DAC stoma market. It’s engagement with partners such as Government both centrally and devolved, NHS Boards and Trusts, Patient Associations and Charities is therefore vitally important, and I intend to make sure these relationships deepen and go from strength to strength”.

The BHTA was founded in 1917 and consists of approximately 500 companies, employing over 17,000 people, with an estimated member turnover of nearly £2.6bn. Its members make or sell healthcare and assistive technology products that help people live more independently.

These products range from wheelchairs, scooters, stairlifts, stoma and continence products, seating and positioning products, patient support surfaces, rehabilitation products, prosthetics, orthotics and augmentative communication devices for people with limited speech. Services provided by members range from assessments for the right mobility vehicle to dispensing prescriptions for stoma, continence and tracheotomy products.

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