Sunderland move shows medical company is in rude health

Coun Harry Trueman and Richard Handley with seamstress Ann Davitt

Coun Harry Trueman and Richard Handley with seamstress Ann Davitt

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A medical equipment company is in rude health after choosing Sunderland for its first manufacturing base outside its Oxfordshire headquarters.

Care and Independence Systems supplies its award-winning Glove Sling range for handling patients in hospital and at home to the NHS and exports across Europe.

It is the UK market leader in its sector and has applied for three patents for its products, which it has been making in Bicester since 2001.

Part of Spectra Care Group, it opened a customer care office in Sunderland three years ago and has now moved into manufacturing at its North Hylton Enterprise Park unit, taking on 20 people.

Managing director Richard Handley, said: “We were running out of space in Oxford and finding it difficult to recruit people with the right skills, so we decided to choose Sunderland where we already had an office.

“The response has been excellent. We found the people have a brilliant work ethic and we’ve also been lucky to recruit employees with the right skills.”

Manufacturing in Sunderland began just over a year with a pilot machine and one member of staff from Oxfordshire, who had family connections in Sunderland.

The company received advice from Sunderland City Council and support from the Regional Growth Fund.

Deputy council leader Coun Harry Trueman said: “We are delighted Care and Independence Systems have had such a great experience here in the city.

“Sunderland has an excellent skill set for manufacturing businesses and we are able to provide a variety of support to companies.”