Firm’s solution to a weighty problem

Jon Ellis, MD of the medical manufacturers Ferno with one of the stretchers. (d31011211)

Jon Ellis, MD of the medical manufacturers Ferno with one of the stretchers. (d31011211)

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A MEDICAL equipment manufacturer has had to unveil extra-large versions of its products to meet the country’s growing obesity epidemic.

Ferno manufacture ambulance trolleys, wheel chairs and hospital trolleys for emergency services up and down the country. It has now had to introduce a new ‘bariatric’ range to cope with the strain of obese patients.

The Cleckheaton-based firm has been forced to change with the times, after research by the National Patient Safety Agency has shown that nearly a quarter of adults are estimated to be clinically obese.

The same goes for one in seven children, costing the NHS more than £4bn per year.

Ferno managing director Jon Ellis said: “The rise in obesity in the UK population has required Ferno, over a number of years, to design, develop and manufacture a range of specialist medical equipment to treat the nation’s bariatric condition and provide the medical profession with a solution to what is a growing problem.

“And this is right across the board from equipment in hospitals to the trolley or wheelchair in the back of an ambulance.

“Ambulance trusts have had to invest significant amounts in bariatric ambulances in recent years and hospitals are increasing the number of extra-wide, reinforced beds as the demands of larger patients put greater pressure on the system and its staff.”

The scale of the obesity problem has been underlined by some hospital trusts using zoos and vets to scan patients who are too large to fit in regular machines.

Mr Ellis believes Ferno’s product range are more dignified solutions to a very real problem.

He added: “With obesity levels in the UK expected to rise further we expect to see further demand for our products.

“Providing care to the increasing population of obese patients creates new challenges but also increases the likelihood of injuries to medical professionals and our equipment offers numerous features designed to help care-givers provide the best possible care for patients, safely and efficiently.”

Follow me at Twitter @SpenG_Ben. Email me at ben.morgan@ywng.co.uk.