Metro Mayor Dan Norris marked International Trade Week with a visit to one of Bristol and the world’s biggest and best medical manufacturers helping transform the NHS and healthcare and emergency services worldwide for the better.
Limbs & Things, the multi-million pound, 200-strong firm exports its first-rate medical simulation products to more than 40 countries from their 5,000 sqm St Phillips base.
These products – from breast examination trainers to midwifery training products – are all designed and manufactured here in Bristol, and address all kinds of routine and emergency medical scenarios to help healthcare professionals deliver more accurate real-life procedures, improving patient outcomes.
As part of his visit, Mayor Norris was given a hands-on demonstration of how the firm’s newest product – their Infant Hip Trainer – is helping patients right from birth. Hip dysplasia, where the ‘ball and socket’ joint of the hip doesn’t form properly, affects around 1 to 2 in every 1,000 babies born and, if detected shortly after birth, can avoid many problems and medical interventions in later life.
The company explained to Mayor Norris how they have developed their brand-new product in partnership with Leading American paediatrician, Dr Joseph O. Lopreiato and how it is now being introduced into local NHS trusts, for midwives and other practitioners to use – saving lives.
Their training equipment is now used in every single NHS trust in the South West – North Bristol NHS Trust and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust included.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “I’m delighted to visit the brilliant facilities at Limbs and Things. Their hip trainers and other products are amazingly lifelike. Having said that, there are certainly no dummies here! It’s so great to see a Bristol-based firm going from strength to strength and representing our city on the global stage. It just goes to show how many brilliant companies we’ve got in our fantastic region. The skill and innovation in St Philips to support our NHS and medical professionals everywhere is just incredible”.
Managing Director Nick Hull, who is showing Mayor Norris round on the day, said: “The export market is incredibly important to us. We have worked hard at developing our international trade through subsidiaries in key marketplaces such as the US, and we now sell our products in more than 50 countries, which still have significant potential for growth. Clinicians and teachers have a need for our products worldwide and we can see the impact they are having in teaching hospitals around the globe. It was great to be able to show Mayor Norris around and demonstrate some of our world-leading products, including the PROMPT Flex birthing trainers that we’ve developed in partnership with the PROMPT Foundation at Southmead Hospital and our new Infant Hip Trainer”.
Founded in 1990, around £20m of Limbs & Things £25m turnover now comes from outside the UK. The company’s largest export market is the US, followed by Europe, Asia and South America.