Two industry icons sadly pass away

Recently we heard the sad news that BHTA and the industry had lost two well-known members

Philip Charlton-Smith

Philip will be remembered by many for his passion for pressure area care and he was a BHTA director for 11 years whilst running his business, Sumed International (UK).  He chaired both the Rehabilitation Products and the Pressure Care Seating and Positioning Sections for a number of years in inimitable style – Philip could never be described as “quiet”!  After working in our sector for 15 years, he became Chief Executive at Ecospray Limited and joined the board of the Bio-based and Biodegradable Industries Association.  He died on 24th March after a long battle with lung cancer.

Gerald Simonds

Gerald was the founder of Gerald Simonds Healthcare Ltd in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire and retired in January 2019 after over 35 years in the mobility and healthcare sector.

He was a s specialist supplier of lightweight wheelchairs and seating products, having pioneered the concept of the ‘high performance lightweight’ style of wheelchair.  He had a particular interest in the application and development of new materials and technologies for the benefit of disabled people and was passionate about what he, through his company, could do to improve the lives of disabled people. For Gerald, the products were merely a means to achieving that end. This was summed up in his and his company’s mission statement.  “Our mission is to help people to enhance their health, mobility, comfort, dignity and quality of life by providing service and products to the highest standard’.

In 2003 he was the winner of the BHTA Lifetime Service Award and the tributes that came in as the news spread reflected the respect in which he was held:  “Quite frankly one of the nicest human beings I have ever met”, “A thoughtful man with a huge heart”, “A true gentleman”.

Industry icon Gerald Simonds passes away as mobility professionals praise his legacy