Last night The CuddleCot was featured on the US TV show New Amsterdam. It is fantastic that stillborn and the options available to families are being spoken about on prime time TV. #TeamCuddleCot
An AAPT supplier member chatted with the Queen and other members of the royal family during a champagne reception at Buckingham Palace.
Simon Rothwell, managing director of Flexmort, was invited to the palace to celebrate his firm winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation. At the reception for winners of Britain’s most coveted commercial prize, he also spoke to Prince Philip, Princess Anne, Princess Eugenie and the Duke of Gloucester.
Flexmort designs and manufactures innovative mobile mortuary cooling systems and accessories used across the world.
Simon said: “It was just superb. The Queen gave a bit of a smile when she described my business as ‘very different.’
“Prince Philip also had a great sense of humour. My line of business is always a bit difficult to explain to people, especially at parties. When I was chatting to Princess Anne, Prince Philip came past and told her ‘he’s the one who deals with dead people’ and they both had a laugh. We had a fantastic evening. It was very relaxed, with canapes and lots of champagne.”
Simon Rothwell, managing director of Flexmort, pictured at Buckingham Palace before the reception.
The Queen’s Award recognises commercial success as a result of innovation. Since the business was established in 2010 turnover has doubled year-on-year.
Flexmort products are widely used by both the NHS, hospices and the funeral industry. Products vary from single-body cooling solutions to cold rooms, pop-up systems and traditional mortuary refrigeration capable of handling hundreds of deceased.
Flexmort, based at Waterwells Business Park in Quedgeley, Gloucester also supplies temporary mortuary facilities for use by governments when dealing with mass fatalities. For example mobile Mortuary Domes, which can be put up quickly in the event of a disaster, and other temporary storage facilities providing extra capacity. The Irish government has a dome on stand-by, while Hamad Medical Corporation, the largest hospital group in Qatar, has numerous Flexmort systems. These include the AirCool12 system, a mobile mortuary that can be set up in 20 minutes to handle multiple casualties. It is also used by many funeral directors to provide additional storage space.
One of the company’s most successful products was developed due to Mr Rothwell’s experience as a former police officer. He witnessed the trauma suffered by bereaved parents having to see their child in the clinical setting of a mortuary.
His company came up with the CuddleCot, a gentler and more dignified solution. It is now used on maternity wards and has been featured in national newspapers, on radio, and even on EastEnders during a storyline about a stillbirth.
The Palace visit followed a recent presentation at Flexmort’s premises. Dame Janet Trotter visited the Gloucester headquarters to formally hand over the award which the company will hold for the next five years. Also present at the ceremony was Gloucester MP Richard Graham and Gloucestershire County Council chief executive Peter Bungard.
The Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, Dame Janet Trotter, (third from left, back row) pictured with Roftek staff, Gloucester MP Richard Graham (second from right) and Peter Bungard, chief executive of Gloucestershire County Council (third from right). Managing director Simon Rothwell is pictured holding the cut glass trophy next to his mother Joan with the scroll.
The dignitaries were given a tour and a presentation about Flexmort’s other products, including DNA Memorial which enables people to preserve the DNA of their relatives at home for vital medical research.
Mr Graham said: “Flexmort is a great example of a company that sprang up almost by accident through some innovative thinking by an individual, Simon Rothwell.
“Whether it’s cooling systems for bodies, or enabling families to preserve their DNA, Flexmort is continuing to innovate in a way that will impact us all.”
Mr Rothwell said: “This award has come as a huge boost to me and all the staff who have worked tremendously hard to ensure our ground-breaking products are in demand around the world. We really appreciate the help of many AAPT members who worked with us in the early days as their input helped shape many of our product designs.”
Gloucestershire’s Lord-Lieutenant has presented a local firm with Britain’s most coveted commercial prize – a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation.
Dame Janet Trotter visited the headquarters of Roftek Limited, trading as Flexmort to formally hand over the award which the company will hold for the next five years.
Also present at the ceremony was Gloucester MP Richard Graham and Gloucestershire County Council chief executive Peter Bungard.
The business, based in Waterwells Business Park, Quedgeley, manufactures a wide range of innovative products, including cooling systems for the deceased, used by both the NHS and the funeral industry.
Flexmort also supplies temporary mortuary facilities for use by governments when dealing with mass fatalities.
Managing director Simon Rothwell launched the enterprise in 2010 after a chance remark by his brother-in-law that UK hospitals were struggling to cope with a rise in obesity. This meant many bodies were too large for traditional mortuary refrigerators. It led him to develop a range of cooling units which would allow a body to be stored anywhere, including a bed, trolley or coffin, without the need for a cold room.
As a former policeman, he had also witnessed the trauma suffered by bereaved parents having to see their child in a mortuary. The entrepreneur came up with a solution now widely used on maternity wards – the CuddleCot which has been featured in national newspapers, on radio, and even on EastEnders during a storyline about a stillbirth.
A cooling pad inside the crib allows a baby to be kept in a room with the parents for longer, instead of having to be moved to a mortuary. Midwives and other experts say giving a family this time is crucial because it enables them to form a bond. This helps them come to terms with the death of their baby, for example by taking photographs, dressing the infant, or simply staying close.
The company also provides mobile Mortuary Domes, which can be put up quickly in the event of a disaster, and other temporary storage facilities providing extra capacity. The Irish government has a dome on stand-by, while Hamad Medical Corporation, the largest hospital group in Qatar, has numerous Flexmort systems. These include the AirCool12 system, a mobile mortuary that can be set up in 20 minutes to handle multiple casualties.
Presenting Mr Rothwell with a cut glass bowl, Dame Trotter said: “I’m amazed by everything you have achieved. You clearly have huge potential. There is vision, hard work, innovation, excellence and there is team work. We are proud you are here in Gloucestershire and thinking of expanding.”
Mr Bungard also read a proclamation from a scroll signed by the Queen.
The dignitaries were given a tour and a presentation about Roftek’s other products, including DNA Memorial which enables people to preserve the DNA of their relatives at home for vital medical research.
Mr Graham said: “Flexmort is a great example of a company that sprang up almost by accident through some innovative thinking by an individual, Simon Rothwell, backed by the experience of Warwick University’s incubator approach to business ideas. It’s great to have Flexmort here in Gloucester and committed to providing apprenticeships, and to grow locally with exciting expansion plans. Whether it’s cooling systems for bodies, or enabling families to preserve their DNA, Flexmort is continuing to innovate in a way that will impact us all.”
Mr Rothwell will also attend a reception hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace next month (July) for winners of the Queen’s Award.
He said: “This award has come as a huge boost to me and all the staff who have worked tremendously hard to ensure our ground-breaking products are in demand around the world. I couldn’t have wished for more, given that the company has only been going for a few years.”
Dealing with the deceased who are contaminated with Ebola presents a range of challenges. Flexmort was Winner of the Big Ideas Award for our innovative systems at The University of Warwick U.K, and we provide a range of solutions for the safe handling and storage of the deceased which are all in widespread use by U.K. NHS hospitals, Councils, Governments and the Police and across the world.
There are 3 main issues to consider when dealing with Ebola: 1. Absorbing body fluids 2. Sealing the deceased inside an air tight body bag 3. Cooling the deceased 4. Manual Handling of the deceased
The UK guidance in this area can be found in the Management of Hazard Group 4 viral haemorrhagic fevers and similar human infectious diseases of high consequence – Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens Sept 2014 (click here). This guidance talks of the use of a “leak proof body bag” (p.81) and states staff “should place the body in a double body bag. Absorbent material should be placed between each bag.” (p.82). U.K. NHS hospitals as well as mortuary facilities overseas are using Flexmort products to comply with these requirements and to provide their staff with the best protection possible should the need arise. Furthermore, many of the products are already in general use throughout hospitals and other mortuary facilities.
For more information on our range of equipment for dealing with the deceased potentially infected with Ebola, please click here
In July 2014 Simon Rothwell, Director of Roftek Ltd met with others at the Birmingham Innovation event held at the Birmingham Science Park. The focus was on SME engagement to help solve some of the problems posed within the NHS, and Councils. Simon discussed the benefits of Roftek products including the Flexmort range. He talked about the range of mobile mass fatality mortuary cooling systems, funeral director mortuary equipment as well as general deceased cooling systems. The audience were particularly interested in the range of mobile mortuary cooling systems.
Flexmort’s innovative range of funeral directors mortuary equipment was well received at the recent NFE exhibition. Our range of deceased cooling systems including the cold curtain system and our alternative to the traditional coffin cooling system (CoverCool Mini) was well received. Those involved in repatriations were amazed at the savings provided by Flexmort’s CadSeal system as an alternative to the zinc coffin.
Thanks to all those that visited us!
The selection of an appropriate body storage facility for the deceased is stressful because there are numerous providers of the services in the market. These include hospitals, mortuaries, hospices and funeral homes. It is important to consider the following factors in the selection so that you can get quality services and value for money.
The facility needs to be properly equipped with body cooling systems that can preserve any body size which includes deceased new born babies and the aged. In the case of new born babies, it is desirable if the family is allowed time to view and spend time with it without compromising its preservation. The size of the deceased should be accommodated because it is possible to search for a storage facility for an obese member of the family. The cooling mechanisms in place should be mobile to allow the viewing of the deceased’s body inside a coffin and conducting mass or final rites of passage.
It is also necessary for the facility to have enough capacity to accommodate a large number of bodies whose demise is brought about by catastrophic incidents like accidents, terrorist attacks and natural occurrences. The facility should be able to put up a facility quickly because catastrophes result to the demise of a lot of people at the same time.
The body should be easily carried for viewing by the bereaved without a drop in temperatures that a body has been exposed to because it could trigger a process of rapid decomposition.
It is common for bodies to emit fluids especially after post-mortem examinations and due to the nature of the human body. The facility selected should have mechanisms and devices such as pads to absorb bodily fluids to avoid messes that could disgust the bereaved.
There should also be proper techniques in place to ensure that there are minimal or no odours emitted by bodies due to the natural process of decomposition or inappropriate refrigeration. The facility for body storage should use products that control odours to ensure that visitors are not put off while viewing their deceased loved ones.
Due to rising cases of traumatic deaths that result to dismemberment of body parts, it is desirable if the body storage facility has in place proper body part identification methods so that the bereaved are assured that they handle body parts that belong to their departed beloved and not those of other unidentified individuals. It is for this reason that the use of DNA and antibody profiling should be used where the body of a deceased individual arrives at the storage facility in separate parts. Antibody profiling is the latest technology in the market and has been used in forensics and in cases where identical twins are involved because it is more effective than DNA technology.
The facility should also invest in mobility aids for bereaved family members who have difficulties walking around. This is to ensure that they too can be accommodated in the facility with ease in mourning the demise of their departed beloved ones.
To see what we at Flexmort have to offer in the area of body storage click here
A Mortuary is used for keeping the deceased that are awaiting identification, burial/cremation, removal for autopsy, etc. However, the storage of human corpses can last from few hours to few days and in rare cases few weeks. That’s why to stop the corpses from decomposition they need constant refrigerated environment. Mortuary fridges create that environment for the deceased bodies. Almost all the modern health care facilities have a cold room with mortuary refrigerator in them. With the increasing use of these fridges they have come up with many features that further enhance their usability in the mortuaries.
Types of Mortuary Fridges – Positive Temperature In these types of cold chambers the dead bodies are stored at temperatures ranging from 2 to 4 degree Celsius. Bodies are sometimes kept for many weeks, but these chambers don’t stop the decomposition in dead bodies. However, the rate of decomposition is slow when compared to the normal rate at room temperature. Negative Temperature In these type of cold chambers the dead bodies are stored at temperatures ranging from -10 to -50 degree Celsius. These types of refrigerators are generally used in forensic institutes.
The low temperature makes sure that the body reaches the frozen state and rate of decomposition is very low. Advantages of Mortuary Fridges Gives More Time for Storage Several times there are some dead corpses that are unidentifiable and there are facilitates needed to store them properly, so that they remain identifiable for longer times.
Mortuary refrigerators are the only solution to this problem. Good for Surrounding Environment Mortuary fridges don’t allow the pathogens to grow in the stored dead body. A silver ion anti-bacterial powder is added to the corpse when stored, which further protects the dead corpse from growth of any harmful bacteria. This prevents the spread of pathogens and bacteria in the surrounding environment of the dead body. Offer Better Temperature Control There is a numerical code display in the mortuary refrigerators, which allows the users to accurately control the temperature inside the refrigerator. The latest technology used for the construction of these refrigerators make sure the inside temperature remains stable. Due to these features these refrigerators offer more protection to the surrounding environment.
Better Management of Space – The mono structure designing of these refrigerators ensures that these refrigerators take minimum space at floor and give maximum space for storage. This design makes sure that mortuary refrigerators are not bulky. Durability of Mortuary Fridges These refrigerators is built from stainless steel and this makes sure that the cleanliness in the mortuary is kept. For proper insulation polyurethane insulation is used, which further improves the life of refrigerator. Use of chromium handle on the door increases the durability of the structure. Modern day mortuary refrigerators are manufactured based on modular design and this improves the scalability of this refrigerators. It’s easy to add more units to the existing ones with slight adjustments.
To view our full range of mortuary equipment click here
Flexmort – dealing with the deceased using technology
Flexmort have been asked to present at the Open University’s Death, Dying & Disposal 11 Conference: Where Theory Meets Practice (5/9/13-8/9/13) in Milton Keynes, UK. The subject of the presentation is:
Once a person dies then cooling the deceased within a few hours is required according to NHS guidance. Up until recently, the only option was large mortuary refrigerators and cold rooms. For people who lose a baby or child, this was distressing and also these large refrigerated mortuary systems provides difficulties for hospices and funeral directors. Flexmort started through a University of Warwick Science Park programme and developed a new way of cooling the deceased. Within 3yrs this start-up company now supplies cooling units to over 60% of UK hospitals, as well as hospices and funeral directors. The Director, Simon Rothwell, talks about how Flexmort’s technology has helped in this area and how technology has helped to change attitudes in dealing with bereavement.
For further information about this event please look at the Open University website, click here
Flexmort continues with its strong links to the University of Warwick Science Park and Flexmort’s innovative range of mortuary and funeral equipment is now sold across the globe, including Europe, Australia, US, Canada, and Africa. Funeral Directors, hospital mortuary staff and hospices have found Flexmort’s mortuary equipment to hugely benefit their operations. Take a look at our testimonial page to see what our users say about our wide range of mortuary cooling systems which many use as an alternative to traditional mortuary refrigeration.
View testimonials here