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Company Overview & History



About Robinson Healthcare

Robinson Healthcare has an established reputation as one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of healthcare products, providing medical professionals, pharmacists, retailers and consumers with products they can trust.

A History of Innovation

The company was founded in 1839 when John Bradbury Robinson, a retail chemist in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, decided to set up a business making pill boxes. 16 years later the business diversified and started manufacturing surgical dressings to meet the huge demand created by the Crimean War.

The business pioneered the manufacture of medical cotton wool and worked in partnership with Dr Joseph Sampson Gamgee to patent and manufacture the world famous Gamgee tissue.

Innovation remains part of the company’s product development plans today. Robinson Healthcare was a pioneer in the introduction of single use surgical instruments in 2002 and remains the clear market leader. In 2010, further development led to the introduction of Instraspec, the first unbreakable disposable plastic vaginal speculum.


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Carding Room, Walton Works, Chesterfield c1920 Sewing Room, Walton Works, Chesterfield c1950


Manufactured in the UK


Almost all Robinson Healthcare products are produced at a large UK manufacturing facility in Worksop, Nottinghamshire. Single use instruments, which are classed as medical devices, are AQL inspected and hygienically packaged in a large Class 7 cleanroom, then sterilised by Ethylene Oxide gas to meet rigorous quality standards.

Cotton wool products are manufactured from raw materials offering optimum versatility and rapid response to changes in customer demand. Robinson Healthcare’s factory is also approved to manufacture licensed veterinary medicinal products.

These and other products are manufactured for three distinct market sectors:

Professional Healthcare

A comprehensive range of single use instruments for surgical, gynaecological, podiatry and dental procedures. Complemented by medical cotton wool and absorbents, patient and surface wipes and professional woundcare products.

Personal Healthcare

An extensive choice of innovative first aid products for the home, plus market leading beauty and baby care cotton wool products, breast pads, earplugs and continence care items.

Animal Healthcare

The UK’s only licensed veterinary poultice dressing complemented by veterinary woundcare and cotton wool products.


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Class 7 Cleanroom   Cotton Pad Manufacturing

Understanding Customer Needs

Robinson Healthcare has over 180 years experience of working in partnership with healthcare professionals, pharmacists, retailers and consumers. The company fully understands that a consistent and reliable supply of high quality products is critical to the smooth and efficient running of healthcare services, pharmacy and retail operations.

To maintain this high level of service, Robinson Healthcare has a dedicated team that liaises with customers at all levels within each of the following market sectors:

  • NHS & private healthcare
  • Nursing and care homes
  • Medical distributors
  • Retail multiples & high street retailers
  • Pharmacists & pharmacy distributors
  • Animal healthcare distributors
  • Individual consumers

Extensive stocks of finished goods and raw material underpin the company’s supply from stock philosophy, maintaining a world-class level of service.

Core Values and Aims

Robinson Healthcare is committed to meeting customers’ needs. To do so, it has adopted a number of core aims and values that are fundamental to the business:

  • Create and maintain partnerships with customers to develop open, long term relationships
  • Have a straightforward and honest approach to business
  • Continued investment in research and development
  • Manufacture products that are safe, effective, value for money and produced in full compliance with all appropriate legislation and standards
  • Invest in maintaining manufacturing facilities that are first class
  • Operate to high environmental and ethical standards
  • Invest in training employees
  • Listen to customers

The result is a progressive and innovative company whose name can be trusted – Robinson Healthcare.

Company Milestones

1839            John Bradbury Robinson begins making pill boxes

1855            Commence manufacturing of surgeon’s lint

1885            Patent and start manufacturing Gamgee

1885            File world’s first patent for sanitary towels

1880s          First antiseptic dressings developed with Lord Lister

1949            Patent Paddi-Pads, the 1st disposable nappy system

1950s          Consumer cotton wool products introduced

1959            Nikini consumer sanitary towels launched

1959            Flexoplast adhesive plasters introduced

1967            Develop and introduce breast pads

1972            Fast Aid adhesive plasters introduced

1982            Introduce cotton wool pleats, rolls and balls

1984            Launch Readiwipes - 1st non-woven patient wipe

2002            Instrapac single use instruments launched

2010            Launch Instraspec - 1st unbreakable plastic speculum

2013            Launch Readigloves - medical examination gloves

2018            Launch Readiwipes Dry - skin cleansing dry wipes

2018            Launch Readiwipes Wet - skin cleansing wet wipes

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