A Q&A with Sarah Stoute
Business magazine, All Things Business, caught up with Full Support’s CEO and founder, Sarah Stoute, for an interview.
Sarah, tell us about Full Support Healthcare
Full Support Healthcare is a privately owned British company where we design, manufacture and sell our own single use surgical and infection prevention products. We now have the majority of the market share for respiratory protection in the healthcare sector. While we sell mainly to the NHS, we are expanding our respiratory ranges and phone apps into the industrial sector. Beyond selling we have a team of respiratory experts who provide education and training to literally thousands of people across the UK.
How did the business start?
I started the business back in 2002 after having worked for Kimberly Clarke, and doing very well. But one day I made the decision that I would no longer continue with corporate life and decided to become self-employed instead. I had a vision for providing a superior product, with excellent service and knowledge to customers at an affordable price. It took me 2 years to design the products, gain CE marks and then design the packaging. The product range is specific for orthopaedic, cardiology, general, ophthalmic, neurology, specialist paediatric, gynaecology, obstetrics and full range of respiratory
Do you remember your first order?
Yes, of course! It was for the South West London Orthopaedic Centre in Epsom, the largest of its kind in Europe, and we supplied them with all their surgical drapes and gowns.
Selling to the NHS must bring its challenges, how do you overcome these?
Whilst the NHS is one of the World’s largest employers, the way procurement is handled is changing. There is a lot of transition from Trusts procuring their own goods, to centralised buying. In order to stand out from the competition, first and foremost, it is paramount to provide superior service. We never sell on price – we sell on education, safety and expertise.
We are aware that we are working with NHS professionals who are often overworked and pushed to the wire every single day. With this in mind, we aim to take the stress out of their day where we can. We have a team of respiratory specialists who provide expert advice and support to all of our customers, advising which products are best in their situation, to help them do their job to the best of their ability, whilst keeping them safe, competent and compliant.
When it comes to respiratory protection we offer the complete package: from product, accredited education, service, auditing to software solutions. It is a legal requirement for every employer to Fit Test staff who are required to wear RPE (respiratory protective equipment) and we provide that for all of our clients at their site – as well as having a dedicated Fit Test centre in Wellingborough for our local clients.
What was your earliest memory of the NHS?
When I was young I was a frequent patient at University College London Hospital (UCLH) in Gower Street, having to attend the outpatient department every few months. I remember watching the nurses, all dressed in their black capes with red lining and beautiful hats, thinking they looked like angels walking down the corridors. Even from those early days I knew I wanted to be like them, which I’m sure influenced my entering into the healthcare profession
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