29th July 2011

Promove UK: August’s MediWales featured member

Promove UK Ltd is based at Aberystwyth with manufacture outsourced to a factory in Merthyr. The principle product, the Promove Sling was born when its inventor, Dr Huw Thomas, himself a wheelchair user, was frustrated by intrusive manhandling and a lack of an alternative.

Launched in 2007, the sling is now widely used by Emergency Services across the UK and beyond to rescue individuals from a wide range of awkward situations and road traffic accidents.

The use of the sling is not restricted to Emergency Services however. Moving disabled and incapacitated passengers is a daily part of life at airports. Recognizing the benefit of being able to move disabled passengers without the need for a hoist, the sling is now being used by airport staff to help disabled people board and disembark aircraft at several major UK airports including Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham. It is also in use in Los Angeles (LAX) and will soon be used to handle disabled passengers in Qatar.

In response to demand, Promove recently launched the Bari-kit to move heavier patients specifically. The Bari-Kit comprises of three sizes of sling, the Emergency Services sling plus bariatric and super bariatric slings, with safe working loads of up to 63 stone. Additionally, the Bari-Kit includes straps and belts, some designed by the rescuers themselves and a heavy slide sheet. When a bariatric individual needs to be recovered or evacuated, whatever the requirement, the team will have everything in the one bag that is needed for that first point of contact.

Image: Dr Huw Thomas and colleagues demonstrate the Promove sling to the Conference of the College of Occupational Therapists, Brighton, June 2011.

There are Promove slings for both children and adults. The slings are used by schools for emergency evacuation or to include disabled children in activities enjoyed by their peers but previously denied to them. Being portable a sling can be taken by a family on holiday or days out. There are two models for children, one for children from the age of three to about ten years and one for children of about eight to 14 years. Older children can be accommodated by the adult size. The slings are optionally available with head support for the more profoundly disabled.

Promove has other devices currently under development and as a company we see ourselves as predominantly concerned with design and development. Nevertheless, at present we make most sales direct to the end user with only a small proportion of sales to date made through suppliers. We hope to redress that balance by select marketing partners for their expertise in different market sectors where the products can be used for handling incapacitated or disabled individuals. The number of sales made in Wales represents a tiny proportion of the total sales. Being MediWales members we have already taken the opportunity to get to know some in the sector and believe MediWales can be the forum through which we can develop greater collaborative work with others.

For more information and to contact Promove click here