Melanie Ross to leave Surgical Innovations

Keyhole surgery instruments maker Surgical Innovations said its high profile CFO Melanie Ross has decided to leave the group and will depart on June 30.

Surgical's products being used when a surgeon carries out a laparoscopic cholecystectomy

The Leeds-based firm said Ms Ross led the group's turnaround in 2014/2015 and she has played a pivotal role in developing the business through her roles as COO and CFO. The firm said that following recent organisational changes, she has now expressed her intention to pursue other opportunities.

Earlier this month, Surgical warned that profits will fall this year as a result of Brexit uncertainty and NHS funding pressures. The company said modest revenue growth in the first quarter of 2019 did not continue into the second quarter, with orders in the UK and EU markets lower than expected.

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Ms Ross will hand over her finance responsibilities to Charmaine Day, who is company secretary and group financial controller. Ms Day will report directly to Surgical's chief executive David Marsh. Ms Day is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Certified Accountants and joined the company in 2012.

In another reshuffle, the group is to strengthen its operational and compliance team at its Leeds site. As a key part of this process, Steve Seed has accepted a new position as compliance director, also reporting to Mr Marsh, with effect from September 2.

Mr Seed has an MSc in Medical Technology Regulatory Affairs from Cranfield University and almost 30 years’ experience of responsibility for quality assurance, health and safety and regulatory affairs.

He joins from Xiros, where he is currently compliance director. He previously held the position of quality assurance manager and head ofregulatory affairs at Surgical Innovations between 2006 and 2011.

Surgical's chairman Nigel Rogers said: “The Board thanks Melanie for her considerable achievements with the group during her tenure and wishes her well for the future.

“We look forward to Steve joining our team in due course. Steve brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in navigating the increasing challenges presented in the current regulatory environment, and will reinforce our capabilities and streamline processes in this critical area.”

Earlier this month, Surgical said the disruption to order patterns caused by Brexit uncertainties has made visibility of true demand more difficult than normal. Surgical said this volatility is likely to continue “until Brexit matters are resolved”.

The Brexit effect was made clearer by the fact that revenues in export markets outside the EU remain unaffected, especially the US where growth has been strong.

The company said that UK demand has also been muted by the level of activity in the NHS.

It said that whilst a funding crisis was largely avoided last winter, hospitals are carrying out a reduced level of elective procedures.

Last month The British Medical Association (BMA) reported that more than 20,000 elective cases were cancelled during the last quarter of 2018. The BMA said there were 4.3 million people waiting for treatment, with a 20 per cent increase in those waiting over 18 weeks.