After overseeing a journey that has taken him from a team of just three, to becoming the UK's largest privately owned tissue bank, Founder and Chairman of Hospital Innovations, Phil Davies, is leading the company's 15th anniversary celebrations.
During a successful 25-year career in orthopaedics, Phil became the first person to bring human soft tissue to the UK in 2002, and six years later, in January 2008, Hospital Innovations was launched.
Talbot Green headquartered Hospital Innovations is a Human Tissue Authority (HTA) licensed supplier of specialist products, including human tissue and specialist medical instruments, used in orthopaedic and corrective surgeries, working in partnership with five of the world’s leading tissue banks.
Phil said: “Back in the early 2000s, tissue work was virtually unheard of. Surgeons in the US were doing it, but as far as soft tissue, such as ligaments and skin, there was just nothing like it in the UK.
“It was clear from the very first order that surgeon demand was going to increase for this type of medical technology. I quickly assembled a small team of just three people and rented a facility in St Mellons. We’re now a team of 30 and have been operating out of our Talbot Green location since 2013.”
Hospital Innovations was the first company to introduce an allograft (tissue taken from another person) return service into the UK, which is now a standard expectation across the industry. Phil said: “Previously, if the tissue we sent out didn’t get used, because an operation didn’t go ahead for example, it would simply be destroyed.
“We knew that this level of waste was wholly unacceptable, so we said, ‘we’ve got to find a way that we can send tissue out on a Thursday for an operation on a Friday morning, and if that operation doesn’t go ahead, on the Friday afternoon the tissue is sent back to us and is perfectly reusable.
“Many thought it couldn’t be done, but after rigorous testing and consultation, we demonstrated that where there is a will, we will find a way.”
The company was also the first to use tissue from solely deceased donors, whereas the industry standard previously was to use tissue from living donors i.e bone that was removed during a hip replacement. Calling it the ‘gift of life’, Phil says: “The tissue we provide comes from someone’s loved one. It’s an incredibly precious commodity and the people we employ really buy into and understand this. That’s why we are so passionate about minimising wastage and are proud to have saved the NHS more than £10m in wasted grafts since we introduced our allograft return service in 2011.”
Looking forward to the future of the company and the industry as a whole, Phil added: “We’ve spent the last 15 years mainly working within the orthopaedic field, but our customer base is growing and we’re increasingly moving into other fields, such as Maxillofacial (Maxfax) surgery and Oncology, as they see the benefits and uses for quality human tissue.
“We’re also widening our portfolio with an increasing array of complimentary products, such as specialist instruments, anchors and sutures. Providing these specialist products under the same roof will undoubtedly increase efficiency for the surgeon and hospital staff, ultimately delivering better outcomes for patients.
“In 2021 we opened a second facility in London to serve the increasing demand in the South-East, and I see us expanding throughout the rest of the UK in the coming years. We now have a direct sales specialist in Scotland for the first time in our history, as well as having representation in every other region in the UK, and so we’re very proud of our truly national network.
“Innovation always has been and will continue to be the key to our success, and so with some very exciting developments within the company and throughout the industry as a whole, the future is looking very bright indeed.”Back