At the time of writing, we are only a third of the way through the year but, despite the current crisis, it’s been a busy start to the year for Owen Mumford. The Oxfordshire-based company, which is a leading British medical device manufacturer producing diagnostic components and drug delivery devices, has not only played an active role in the efforts to tackle COVID-19 but has also maintained its schedule of new product developments. Owen Mumford’s Managing Director, Jarl Severn, talks about his team’s commitment to ongoing innovation, sustainability and supplying healthcare professionals on the frontline.
Innovation and medical devices firsts are fundamental to our identity as a business and, significantly in the current environment, one of our first products was an early ventilator. The Oxford Inflating Bellows, was one of the first mechanical ventilators and was designed in collaboration with the University of Oxford, Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics. In the intervening 68 years, we’ve maintained our pioneering approach to medical devices and this year is no exception. In the first quarter of the year, we delivered some notable and innovative product developments. These include the commercial availability of our next generation of safety pen needle; Ateria® SafeControl® and the launch of the first of our rapid diagnostic tests for consumers, Simplitude ByMe which tests for HIV.
Ateria® SafeControl® has been developed following research to understand the experience and needs of healthcare professionals in regard to their safety when using pen needles to manage their patients with diabetes. Ateria® SafeControl® safety pen needles are designed to provide healthcare professionals with a balance of safety and control during the injection process, whilst protecting them from needlestick injuries. Thanks to our manufacturing capabilities, we are excited to be in a position where we can start to supply UK and international healthcare organisations with immediate effect.
Simplitude ByMe™ is a reliable, simple to use diagnostic test which provides accurate results, and which is available to buy online. This rapid self-testing kit will help consumers to take control of their health, in the first instance testing for HIV. It is directly available to consumers and it is hoped that its introduction will encourage more regular testing by those at risk of HIV.
Another important area for Owen Mumford is sustainability and the business is fully committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations. We’ve installed renewable energy at our UK manufacturing facilities at Chipping Norton and Woodstock through an agreement with a local social enterprise, Low Carbon Hub, the proceeds from which supports the roll-out of renewable energy to community groups in Oxfordshire. We’ve also taken steps to reduce waste and to recycle material wherever we can and operate with zero waste going to landfill.
Most recently, we’ve also been very glad that we have been able to make a contribution towards the NHS’s effort to tackle COVID-19. We supplied more than 10 million finger-pricking devices to stock the regional Nightingale field hospitals, the first of which opened in April.
The finger-pricking devices, known as Unistik® safety lancets, are manufactured in our own factories around the World including here in Oxfordshire, and are used for rapid blood testing for conditions such as diabetes and HIV.
These devices play a crucial role in a hospital’s provision of patient care so, aware of the importance of this order, the team pulled out all the stops to ensure this extraordinary demand for lancets reached their destination on time. We feel very proud that, in our own way, we are making a difference to the medical professions’ bid to combat the virus.
Alongside supplying extraordinary orders from the NHS, it’s important that we don’t take our focus away from our normal business activities. We’re continuing to produce injection devices, including pens and auto-injectors, to supply patients with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and diabetes as well as the lifesaving Anapen devices for anaphylactic shock for people with extreme allergic reactions. We recognise that many will be relying on having access to these devices to enable them to receive and self-medicate with essential medicines throughout the National lockdown period and the importance of maintaining these supplies.
So it’s been quite a year so far! From delivering product innovations to supporting the Herculean efforts of our healthcare professionals, I’m enormously proud of the achievements of the team at all our sites and never more so than at this time when the UK, and the World as a whole, is tackling Cornavirus . As for the next two thirds of the year, there has perhaps never been a more important time to live up to our corporate vision, Making a World of Difference, to a World of People and I’m certain that the team at Owen Mumford will continue to meet that challenge.