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Editor’s Comments

The challenge of change

As the July issue of On Target goes to press, Gordon Brown is still in his first week as Prime Minister – and already changes are taking place that impact on the world of healthcare. We have a new Secretary of State for Health, Alan Johnson – once a trade union leader, now a Blairite reformer. And while the importance of the NHS Connecting for Health programme for the medtech industry cannot be overestimated, the resignation of its Chief Executive, Richard Granger, casts another shadow on an already troubled project.

A week is a long time in politics, but it’s an even longer time in hospital. This issue contains the second article in our series ‘Reforming the NHS’, and this time we look at the way that supply-side reform is introducing new healthcare providers to widen the range of services beyond the traditional model of hospital-based care. We explain where the new players are coming from, what their priorities are and how the medtech industry can help them provide effective services for the new NHS.

We also look at the growing significance of Managed Equipment Services as a sales model, and report on a medtech sector – diagnostic imaging – that is undergoing profound change as the NHS rolls out the use of PACS across the UK. And our news section includes the stunning details of a breakthrough in skin graft technology by a UK healthcare company – as well as the recognition of two medtech leaders in the new Honours list. Change brings highs as well as headaches to an industry that remains at the cutting edge.

With so much going on, it’s easy to lose sight of the ground rules. Chris Freer’s article ‘Playing by the rules’ offers a guide to the complex landscape of medical device regulation. It’s complemented by Neil R. Armstrong’s article ‘The words that count’, which looks at how marketing messages can alter the status of a product and inadvertently breach regulations. Device regulation extends to the language of sales and marketing, and there’s no room in your product portfolio for snake-oil. The challenge of change doesn’t have to be stressful. Jan Lawrence’s article ‘Under pressure’ considers the difference between the positive challenges that bring out the best in a sales professional and the negative frustration and confusion that result in destructive stress. Her message is simple: in order to take care of business, you also need to take care of yourself.

Finally, our reviews page offers you the opportunity to explore some professional and leisure resources, win prizes and even write your own reviews. And while you’re at it, why not let us know what you’d like to see in On Target in the future? This is your trade journal, so tell us what you’re looking for.

We’ll be back in September with more features, reports and interviews to help you not just keep up to date with change, but stay ahead of the game. Have a great summer!

Chris Ross
Editor  

 

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