Medical products

‘Huge economic blow’ as South Ayrshire medical products sites close with 75 jobs cut

Two sites of surgical wholesalers in South Ayrshire will close next year, putting 75 hardworking employees out of work.

Guardian Surgical’s facilities in Girvan and Ayr will close in 2022 with 75 jobs lost over the next four months.

The company – which produces single-use surgical drapes, gowns and tray wraps – announced this week that an internal process is underway as the company grapples with its future.

Now a spokesperson for the company has confirmed that an “extremely difficult decision” has been made due to a loss of key customers, “obstacles in the supply chain and an overall reduction in procedures. routine surgical procedures “.

Girvan’s site at Grangestone Industrial Estate on Ladywell Avenue will see 71 jobs cut while four jobs will be cut at the warehouse at Ayr’s Heathfield Industrial Estate on Whitfield Drive.

Girvan advisor Alec Clark said the news was “a real economic blow”.

Guardian Surgical sites in Girvan and Ayr to close, resulting in 75 job cuts

He said: “It’s not just people’s jobs, it’s a whole skill base that you are losing.

“What I cannot understand is that this is a profitable factory with a skilled workforce, providing quality medical items such as PPE, gowns and masks.

“For me it’s like equating it to McVitie’s factory in Glasgow when the Turkish owners closed it, even though it was a profitable factory and had its roots in Scotland.

“I think we’re in a situation here where this is where you find yourself facing the dangers of having external property and unfortunately that’s the position we find ourselves in.”

Guardian Surgical ran into trouble in April 2016, when staff received an internal memo revealing plans to cut costs by moving operations to China.

However, after a long period of consultation, the company announced in March 2017 that the jobs had been saved.

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Cllr Clark said the South Ayrshire Council’s Economics and Regeneration team are “working in the background” and will be joining Scottish Enterprise, while he also raised the issue with Elena Whitham MSP’s office.

He said: “There was a joint approach before when there was some danger; therefore it is to be reviewed.

“I think we need the direct support of the relevant Scottish government minister here.

“We have been in contact with all the relevant agencies to make sure that we are exploring any alternatives.

“Is there an alternative to continue production here under different auspices? Is there a connection with someone else? Is there a skill set that can relate to another industry – whatever that can retain the workforce, the skills. and plant assets.

“We don’t want to let a skilled workforce be abandoned. We have an asset here and that asset needs to be nurtured and developed and hopefully retained.

Councilor Alec Clark
Councilor Alec Clark

“It is a real economic blow if this is lost, not just for Girvan but the whole region.”

A spokesperson for Rocialle Healthcare said: “After a six-week consultation period, we announced today, with heavy hearts, the closure of our two Scottish sites (responsible for the Guardian Surgical product) in 2022.

“This extremely difficult decision was made due to the continued downturn in site construction and the loss of key customers the company relied on to make the site operation commercially viable.

“With supply chain obstacles and an overall reduction in routine surgical procedures, there has been a significant impact on our order intake and forecasting models.

“As a result, we unfortunately confirm the loss of exactly 75 jobs over the next four months.

“This is a very emotional time for a group of longtime, loyal and committed staff and we will continue to do our utmost to provide support and assistance as we go through this difficult transition. “

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Tags : supply chain
Joan J. Dean

The author Joan J. Dean