Direct Healthcare Services

Origins

The key motivation in starting the business was to provide a high quality, British manufactured alternative to the dominant global ‘one size fits all markets’ suppliers. With over 25 years’ experience in the pressure care market, the business successfully identified a significant gap between customer requirements and what was currently available. This was in response to a sense of frustration from customers due to the perceived lack of innovation in the market space, as well as the lack of design response to specific customer feedback. In founding the business, Direct Healthcare Services was able to provide a solution that more effectively meets the modern requirements of the British healthcare market. The major challenge faced by the business within the first three years was being a new entrant in a long established market with long established competitors.

Success Factor

Leading edge innovation is a key factor in the success of the business. Innovation had effectively stagnated in the pressure care market and entrepreneurs were required to step up. By creating its own hybrid solution, Direct Healthcare Services has successfully defined its own brand new market space. Its ‘Intelligent Pressure Care Management’ model bridges the gap between traditional foam and full dynamic mattresses and presents a more economical model, with multiple key benefits for both healthcare professionals and patients alike. This innovative approach has extended beyond simply core products with key developments in terms of how the business works with customers on specific projects – such as partnership design - and how they are supported with ground-breaking service and educational events. The firm’s in-house design capability is also important which, combined with complete manufacturing flexibility, enables the firm to actively listen to and work with customers to provide them with the exact products they need. It has delivered several new products that have effectively been co-designed by the customer, in some cases creating a shared patent, which represents a new revenue stream for the NHS Trust. Finally, the commitment, knowledge and skills possessed by every team member within its manufacturing facility have been fundamental to the firm’s rapid growth rate. Without a dedicated team, the business simply would not have gone from strength to strength in the way that it has, and continues to do.

The Future

In a very short space of time, Direct Healthcare Services has become widely acknowledged as the leading foam mattress supplier in the UK pressure area care market. The priority over the next five years is to sustain the growth rate by increasing UK market share and crucially, becoming well established in key export markets. Other plans include continuing to invest in research and development, improving the product range and expanding the manufacturing facility.