NHS delays drag on Inditherm

Inditherm, which makes mattresses for keeping patients warm during surgery, blamed delayed NHS orders for increased annual losses.

The Rotherham-based company said a number of orders scheduled for 2012 came through in 2013. It said the longer order lead times were caused by general and specific economic circumstances rather than a dampening of enthusiasm for its products.

Chief executive Nick Bettles said two NHS orders worth a total of £150,000 were delayed until the first quarter of 2013.

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This meant that UK orders in the first quarter of 2013 are already more than double the same period last year. They are also worth over two thirds of the total achieved in the whole of 2012.

Inditherm’s mattresses have been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which has said Inditherm’s systems are as good as traditional air warming systems but cost substantially less.

NICE has estimated that NHS Trusts can save £9,800 per operating theatre per year if it switched over to Inditherm’s technology.

Inditherm made the decision last year to keep on all 24 staff despite orders not coming through. Mr Bettles said it was the right decision to make as employees have had to work overtime this year to meet demand.

However, this decision increased losses by about £50,000 in the year to December 31. Pre-tax losses rose from £110,000 to £160,000 on sales unchanged at £1.7m.

The group has recently developed a new product that can resuscitate new-born babies while the umbilical cord is still attached.