About Smiths Medical
Smiths Medical’s purpose is to provide innovative solutions and superior support to help healthcare professionals and providers ensure safety, enhance patient outcomes, and improve the total cost of care.
At Smiths Medical, the people are passionate about improving and saving the lives of patients through high quality, innovative medical devices and services. Smiths Medical is a leading global manufacturer of specialty medical devices that provides innovative and lifesaving solutions for the world’s healthcare markets. Specializing in Infusion Therapy, Vascular Access, Vital Care, and Specialty Products & Services, Smiths’ products are found in hospital, emergency, home and specialty care environments and are used during critical and intensive care, surgery, post-operative care and for support in managing chronic illness.
History of Smiths Medical
1940 - A great idea
Dr S.A. Leader, a dental surgeon was experimenting with the use of plastics in the medical and dental field. His innovative ideas led him to set up a company, Portland Plastics, which rapidly developed and soon moved to larger premises in Folkestone, Dover and Hythe in Kent.
1957 - Smiths move in.
In 1957, Portland Plastics was acquired by Smiths Industries who were keen to gain Portland’s expertise in plastic and nylon tubing for their other interests in aerospace and automobiles. Smiths itself had started as a family-owned clock and watch making business, founded by Samuel Smith, back in 1851.
1964-1977 - Awards for success.
Under its new owners, Portland Plastics moved into purpose built premises in Hythe, Kent in 1964 and three years later changed their name to Portex. During the following decade, the Company went from strength to strength, gaining three Queen’s Awards for Export and another Queen’s Award for Technical Achievement, primarily for the design, development and manufacture of the Profile cuff, used on Endotracheal and Tracheostomy tubes.
1979 – 2004 25 years of global growth.
This success gave huge strength and confidence to the company which enabled it to start on a long course of acquisitions which would lead it to its present global position in the twenty first century.