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Health contracts secure North jobs; Deals worth pounds 8m for two of region''s firms.

Byline: Rob Pattinson

TWO North East firms have secured a share in National Health Service contracts totaling more than pounds 8m.

Newcastle-based Peacocks Medical Group and Potts Printers, of Cramlington, have both been successful in their bids for five-year deals with the Newcastle Hospitals Trust.

Peacocks have won a pounds 5m tender to supply external body supports, or orthotics, to the Foundation Trust, which includes Newcastle's Royal Victoria In-firmaryGeneral and Freeman Hospitals, until 2014.

Over the same period Potts Printers have secured a pounds 3.75m deal to produce and store all of the Trust's printing needs.

Among the 500 different products Potts will produce for the Trust will be all of the sheets used for administration at the hospital sites, internal publications and patient information leaflets.

The contract, the single biggest in the company's history, will now account for 8% of the firm's pounds 9m annual turnover.

Potts' Sales Director Dan Tobin said: "This is brilliant news for our organisation. The first quarter of this year was tough for all industries, so for us to secure a contract like this from one of the biggest and best performing hospital trusts in the country is fantastic.

"Not only is it a high-value contract, it's local to us, which is great. And it's high profile. When we heard we'd secured the work we called all of the managers in and the atmosphere was great.

"We employ 120 staff here and this work helps secure all of those jobs."

Medical equipment specialists Peacocks have said the deal is one of the most important they have ever signed, allowing them to take on 20 extra staff.

Peacocks are contracted to supply ex-ternasupports for bone and muscle injuries, such as back and neck braces and show in-soles.

Managing director and fourth generation boss of the family business, Chris Peacock said: "This contract has allowed us to invest in research and people, which is going to benefit patients across the region.

"It's allowed us to take a longer-term view of the business. The 20 extra employees we've taken on has grown our business to a staff of 175, the biggest it's been. With the 40% growth we've enjoyed in the last two years it has been one of the most successful periods of our history.

"It's really important to us to provide a local service and to make sure it's the best families can get. Working close to home means the salaries we pay go straight back into the region.

"It's the perfect contract for us and one of the most important we've ever won."

The tenders tie-in with the aims of The Journal's Think North East First Campaign.

Launched in January this year the campaign continues to celebrate businesses, families and services who do their bit to help the region through the economic downturn, by spending on local products and services first.

For more on the Think campaign, go to employ 120 staff here and this work will help secure all of those jobs
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 7, 2009
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