The makers of a unique range of fabric products, designed to prevent and alleviate bedsores (also known as pressure or decubitus ulcers) in hospitals and other care settings, are looking to grow their business whilst creating significant savings for the NHS and the wider healthcare sector.
Parafricta Medical Products has spent several years developing the products incorporating fabrics which offer distinct, ultra-low friction properties for the protection of vulnerable skin. Following extensive research and development, the company is now rolling out its product range across UK and entering global markets, with support from the Bedford Business EIS Fund and other investors.
The products, which include bedding, undergarments and bootees, work by combatting friction in the common pressure areas of patients who are bed or chair limited. Whilst there are existing products on the market to reduce the pressure which acts as a cause of decubitus ulcers, there are no others that seek to eliminate friction and associated shear, which also play a major part.
Reduction in the incidence of pressure ulcers is a high priority for the NHS in England and is closely monitored. Independent studies have found the Parafricta fabric to be clinically effective in reducing and healing these ulcers as well as highly cost effective, with potential savings of over £400,000 per annum in a typical NHS hospital.
Increasing awareness in the medical profession that friction is a significant factor in the occurrence of decubitus ulcers means that a number of hospitals are already choosing to use the products, with one NHS hospital trust reporting that routine use of Parafricta bootees over a two year period contributed to a 78% reduction in the incidence of grade 2 heel pressure ulcers.
Dr Nick Garner, Parafricta CEO, says: “Until recently the treatment of bedsores has focused on pressure and associated products. Despite huge sums spent on pressure management solutions, pressure ulcers remain a major cause of unintended patient harm in the world healthcare system. The UK spends around £1.4bn, and the US around $11bn, per annum on the treatment and prevention of bedsores. With a focus on the relief of friction and associated shear, our IP protected products have the capacity to revolutionise the prevention and treatment of decubitus ulcers and other fragile skin conditions.”
The Bedford Business EIS Fund, managed by The FSE Group, is supporting Parafricta with a £100,000 equity investment as part of a larger funding round alongside private investors, which will help the company to achieve maximum penetration across its target markets.
Avent Bezuidenhoudt, Senior Fund Manager at The FSE Group comments: “Parafricta has developed a ground-breaking product that is gaining growing support from key opinion leaders in the UK and European tissue viability community. This, together with its strong management team and committed board of directors, positions the company well for future growth and we are excited to be working with them to realise this.”
The Bedford Business EIS Fund has been developed as a practical initiative for sustainable job creation in Bedford. Investments are made in businesses based in the region that can demonstrate great potential for high growth. An Advisory Board of local business people is chaired by Justin Phillimore, Chief Executive of Charles Wells Ltd and includes Ian Carlisle, former MD of Autoglass, Dougie Hunter, Chief Executive of ARA, William Naylor, formerly Commercial Director of Gibbs & Dandy and Nick Kier, Partner at Lane and Holmes.