Science minister backs Chichester firm’s potential billion pound breakthrough

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Newly-appointed apprentices at Chichester’s Deltex Medical greeted government minister Dave Willetts as he inspected the firm’s fluid-management device which has billion-pound global export potential.

The company’s CardioQ-ODM bloodflow monitoring system is the only one of its kind that has been recommended for use in NHS operations. This dramatically speeds up recovery times by up to several days, crucially saving more than £1000 on each patient treatment.

It has been joined by a new product, the CarioQ-ODM+ which measures circulating blood volume through an ultrasound probe inserted into the oesophagus, plus pulse pressure analysis to assess patients’ fluid needs.

Graham Lowe, operations director at the Terminus Road-based firm which employs 40, believed NHS plans to use its monitors and probe represent a major breakthrough.

He said: “The ODM (oesophageal doppler monitoring) device is the first of its type and this has world-wide potential. We are the first company to use it and it is great the chief executive of the NHS Sir David Nicholson has recommended its use.”

Speaking on his visit Mr Willetts, who met with the firm’s two new apprentices, Jack Wallace and Martin Thomas, said: “The government is committed to ensuring the UK remains a world-leader in life sciences by creating the right environment for companies to invest in innovation. In our recently published Strategy for UK Life Sciences we set out ambitious plans to encourage greater collaboration between our research base, industry and the NHS.

“This will support companies like Deltex Medical and ensure patients and the economy can benefit from the latest treatments and technologies.”

The government committed to launch a national drive to get full implementation of ODM or similar fluid management monitoring technology into practice across the NHS as part of the NHS Innovation Review published in December.

According to latest research from clinical body NICE, it found use of the device can reduce hospital stay lengths by an average of two days.

Deltex Medical Chief Executive Ewan Phillips added: “It is a pleasure to welcome the science minister to our headquarters in Chichester. We have been working for some time to get quicker uptake of innovations like ODM in the NHS and the Government has now set a clear strategy to accelerate the use of these technologies.

“The commitment to implement fluid management across the NHS will mean better care for patients and will give us the momentum to generate exports and create more highly-skilled manufacturing jobs.

“If the UK can take a world-leading position on fluid management we believe we could grow our exports to more than £1 billion.”