Fylde coast stretchers firm sees growth after Boost support

Nick Gray of UKDI and the Recovery+ stretcher
Nick Gray of UKDI and the Recovery+ stretcher

A Fylde coast stretchers specialist has grown its orders in its first six months, thanks to NHS experts in business support and business support group Boost.

Cleveleys-based UKDI produces the Recovery+, a lightweight, highly flexible three-part foldable stretcher made entirely from plastic.

The product is designed to provide a range of safe options for emergency responses and has been in NHS operational use for nearly two years.

The stretcher was developed by UKDI director Nick Gray, who previously worked at high security Rampton Hospital, and his son-in-law Paul, a former police officer.

Through Lancashire business support agency Boost and the Innovation Agency, the Academic Health Science Network for the North West Coast, the business was able to win contracts with four NHS trusts.

d: “The stretcher is produced with simple principles, in particular the way a person would like to be treated, with a specific focus on compassion, dignity and safety for carers and patients alike.”

Nick and Paul initially developed the Recovery+ stretcher to manage individuals exhibiting challenging behaviour safely.

However, after consultations with a wide range of front line emergency responders, they discovered that it could be used in many other applications.

They switched manufacturer to allow greater flexibility in design and manufacturing costs broadened their product portfolio to better meet the needs of the NHS, at affordable prices.

Nick said: “The Innovation Agency has helped us to recognise that customers’ needs are varied, reflecting the different segments of the market.

“We continue to receive great support in the form of workshops, commercial advice, clinical and consumer design improvements, along with priceless introductions to connect with key decision-makers in the NHS. This has helped feed growing awareness, resulting in confirmed orders and expressions of interest.”

Boost Business Lancashire, funded by European Regional Development Fund, is led by the Lancashire LEP and Lancashire County Council

County Councillor Michael Green said: “Many passionate companies start with a great product, and then focus on getting it to market. By partnering with Boost, we help you to think about the next stage and objectively assess opportunities.”