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Editor’s Comments

Editor’s comments

 

Code of the road

The UK healthcare industry is truly something to be proud of. Innovative, responsible and closely engaged with the work of clinicians and health providers, our medical technology companies are saving and improving lives worldwide. This month’s news section quotes Health Minister Ann Keen on a current exhibition of new high-tech products for infection prevention and control: “The amazing innovations such as those on display today will be vital if we are to win the battle against infections such as MRSA and C. difficile .”

On the same page, Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon is quoted as saying of a new telehealth system, developed by NHS Lothian in partnership with two medtech companies: “Using technology in innovative ways like this can transform people’s lives. This touchscreen technology will save hundreds of people from making repeated trips into hospital, making a huge difference to their quality of life.”

If even politicians can understand it, then it can’t be that difficult. Innovative medical technologies offer clinically and cost-effective solutions to the health challenges faced by increasing numbers of the population – and do so in ways that are responsive to the changes both in healthcare systems and in public expectations of them.

In this issue of On Target , we look at some new roads of market access that are opening up across the landscape of UK healthcare. We examine a new NHS contracting framework for radiotherapy services that opens the door to partnership with industry. We talk to the chief executive of an NHS trust about the role of medtech in improving patient safety. We visit an occupational health conference to learn how growing awareness of the importance of health for work is creating new markets for healthcare suppliers.

But underlying all of this is one fundamental question: Do you take pride in your company and your industry? If not, no amount of NLP training will enable you to say what you mean or mean what you say. This is a crucial time for the UK medtech sector: in order to gain the customer’s respect, in order to be accepted by the customer as a partner and an equal, those marketing and selling medical technologies need to be recognised without question as credible and trustworthy professionals.

That’s where our lead article comes in. The Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI) has developed a Code of Business Practice for its member companies – and ultimately, for the whole UK healthcare sector. The code not only establishes a framework for reliable industry self-regulation, but establishes best practice guidelines for building and sustaining customer relationships. It’s your kitemark or Scout badge as a professional within the healthcare industry.

The recession may have moved the goalposts, but the game is still there to be won. The ABHI code not only ensures that you play by the rules, it allows others to have full confidence that you do. It’s a strong code, but it’s not a secret one. Anyone, even a politician, can understand it.

Chris Ross
Editor

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