Still leading the way

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(Professor Carmel Hughes, Head of School, The School of Pharmacy and Tom Eakin)

Founder of Eakin Healthcare Group, Tom Eakin, was among the first to receive a fellowship from the School of Pharmacy at Queen’s University Belfast on 22nd June, 2019.  The School of Pharmacy Fellowship Programme recognises individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences.

Tom registered as a pharmacist in 1958, having chosen the profession because it was, in his words, ‘hands-on.’  His first job was as a superintendent Pharmacist subsequently led to his appointment as Chief Pharmacist at the Mid-Ulster Hospital, where he caused quite a stir on the maternity ward one lunch time after triggering a small explosion in the dispensary on the floor below.

Having gained experience in both hospital and community settings in Northern Ireland and Canada, Tom moved to Dundonald to manage his own pharmacy in 1960.

During the 1970s, Tom’s interest in formulation, lead him to focus on post-surgical difficulties for patients who had undergone stoma surgery.  This work was prompted by the experience of a family member and the customers he met at the pharmacy.

Showing great determination and focus, four years of experimentation led to the development of a special polymeric film and barrier adhesive that would go on to transform the lives of ostomates across the globe and create a thriving, now international, business.  But Tom’s invention was not limited to use on ostomates; surgeons realised a potential use in the treatment of open wounds, and he was asked to help with a seriously ill patient in the Belfast City Hospital which led to a new approach and the development of the Eakin Wound Pouches™.

TG Eakin Ltd now exports to 26 countries and continues to focus on innovation through its research and development department.  Tom is still very much involved and is often seen in the lab working on new formulations and design projects when he not attending a “course” (with a ball and club).

He continues to encourage and support the research undertaken at the Queen’s University School of Pharmacy through the annual         TG Eakin Prize for Distinction in Medicinal Substances, inspiring the next generation of pharmacy greats.

Additional images:

(Alongisde family, Mr Eakin had a team of supporters from eakin™ in the audence to celebrate his achievement. Pictured L-R Rebecca, Ben, Hannah and Grace)
(Mr and Mrs Eakin at the presentation)
(Mr and Mrs Eakin at the presentation)

Eakin – one of the Top Northern Ireland manufacturers

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TG Eakin employees receiving an award

On 10th March eakin was the worthy winner in the ‘Medical and Life Sciences’ category at the ‘Made in Northern Ireland Awards’.

These awards recognise some of the fastest-growing,innovative and outstanding local manufacturing businesses.

The judging panel commented, “The manufacturing industry has undergone some turbulent times, but the winners and shortlisted companies demonstrate the outstanding skill and innovation that exists in Northern Ireland”.

TG Eakin scoop top awards

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The Aer Lingus Viscount Awards in association with Ulster Business Magazine celebrate the very best in the private business sector in Northern Ireland.

The awards’ ceremony took place in the House of Commons in London this week, where there were seven awards up for grabs.

TG Eakin were awarded ‘Exporter of the Year’. However as if that was not enough, we were also awarded the most coveted award – ‘Overall Excellence’! The judges were impressed by the success of the company through excellent products, which make a real difference to patients’ lives.

Commenting on the award, Jeremy Eakin said: “It is a great honour to accept both the Exporter of the Year and the Overall Excellence award. To be recognised at this level is a real boost for our extremely dedicated staff. We have a very strong and successful company, which provides great products for nurses and patients. Significant investment in R&D, people and processes will ensure we achieve our ambitious goals for the future.”

Eakin – one of Ireland’s Best Managed Companies for the 6th year!

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Eakin Group has just concluded a major deal to purchase Cliffe Medical.

Cliffe Medical owns Respond Plus based in Larne, the licensed dispensing appliance contractor (DAC) for Northern Ireland employing 11 staff who dispense stoma products directly to patients as well as providing a nurse advisory service. Cliffe Medical also owns OstoMART, which provides a similar service from its three centres in England. The deal will increase Eakin’s UK workforce by an additional 55 people to 280.

The family owned Eakin Group is one of Northern Ireland’s most successful healthcare businesses with its products being sold in 40 countries around the world providing annual revenues in excess of £75m. In 2007, Eakin Group acquired Pelican Healthcare in Cardiff and earlier this year the company invested £12m extending its Comber manufacturing facility to over 100, 000 sq ft.

Eakin Group UK Managing Director Paul Eakin said: “This is a hugely important strategic acquisition for the Eakin Group. In Northern Ireland, Respond Plus provides us with a unique opportunity to extend our relationship with the stoma community. We know this community very well but we now have the opportunity to expand our level of service, including nursing care support. Eakin has a huge international following around the world yet we are relatively unknown to the public in Northern Ireland so this is the perfect opportunity for us to make that connection.”

Mr Eakin added: “As well as the important Northern Ireland aspect to this acquisition, Cliffe Medical also provides us with a platform to extend our business development in other parts of the UK and beyond. OstoMART is a highly respected business with three service centres in Nottingham, Peterborough and Dorset. These strategic additions to the Eakin Group consolidates our ongoing investment and expansion programme which started in 2007 with our purchase of Pelican Healthcare. Although the OstoMART and Respond Plus businesses will operate independently of Pelican Healthcare, all three companies will work together as part of the Eakin Group to provide the best possible level of service to all geographic regions of the UK.

Eakin Group Director, Mr Jeremy Eakin also added “Northern Ireland is rapidly acquiring a global reputation for excellence in healthcare innovation and at Eakin Group we are delighted to be playing our part in helping to forge and reinforce that reputation around the world.”

The Eakin Group was originally founded by pharmacist Tom Eakin in 1974. He owned a pharmacy in Dundonald and began encountering ostomy patients on a daily basis who were experiencing problems with disposable ostomy pouches, specifically skin irritation and leakage. He formed TG Eakin Ltd and began designing and manufacturing Cohesive Seals to address these problems and since then, with his two sons Paul and Jeremy, has rapidly expanded its product base and markets around the world.

Eakin Named National Champion in the European Business Awards 2014/15

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Eakin has today been named as a National Champion in The European Business Awards sponsored by RSM International; a prestigious competition supported by businesses leaders, academics, media and political representatives from across Europe.

The European Business Awards, now in its 8th year, engaged with over 24,000 businesses from 33 European countries this year and 709 companies from across Europe have been named today as National Champions; going through to the second phase of the competition.

Eakin have been recognised in the Import/Export Award category where companies were awarded for expansion of coverage in existing or new markets and, through introduction of creative and innovative operational processes, could show robustness in managing and developing international trade and maintaining and improving market position in the face of competition.

Jeremy Eakin, Managing Director of TG Eakin Ltd, said “We’re very proud to be selected to represent the UK as a National Champion. The European Business Awards is widely recognised as the showcase for Europe’s most dynamic companies and we are now looking forward to the next round of the judging process where we can explain in more depth how we are achieving business success.”

Adrian Tripp, CEO of the European Business Awards said “Congratulations to TG Eakin Ltd, it is a great achievement to be named National Champion and we wish them luck in the next stage. The European Business Awards is going from strength to strength, inspiring businesses to greater success and helping to improve the competitive edge of companies across Europe.”

Jean Stephens, CEO of RSM International, also commented: “Every year this competition gets tougher and more competitive as more companies, of varied sizes and across all sectors, chose to compete in this prestigious competition. With the increased number of entries and countries, this year looks to become the toughest Awards yet. It will be exciting to watch as we move through to the next round.”

Eakin will now go on to compete against other National Champions across Europe in the Import/Export Award category where a panel of judges will view the National Champions’ videos, and award the best of this group the coveted ‘Ruban d’Honneur’ status. Ruban d’Honneur recipients will then go on to the grand final in 2015. All of the National Champions will also take part in a public vote to decide ‘Public Champions’ for each country.

Supported since their inception by lead sponsor and promoter RSM International, the seventh largest audit, tax and advisory network worldwide with a major presence across Europe , the European Business Awards was set up to recognise and reward excellence, best practice and innovation across the European business community.

For more information on the Awards and its winners, please visit

Eakin’s success recognised for the 5th year

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Eakin’s success recognised for the 5th year
We are delighted to announce that we have requalified as one of Ireland’s Best Managed Companies for the 5th year in a row.

We are delighted to announce that we have requalified as one of Ireland’s Best Managed Companies for the 5th year in a row.

The Deloitte awards in association with Barclays shortlist indigenous Irish companies, who display organisational success and achievement. It is the only awards programme that considers a business‘ performance from every perspective, not just financial. The companies are chosen from a variety of industries, including manufacturing, technology and media, financial services, life sciences and healthcare amongst others.

Helen Kelly, Head of Large Corporates – Ireland, Barclays commented on the selection of companies: „While the marketplace for many of the applicant companies remains turbulent and challenging, they really exemplify the ambition that is helping to foster an increasingly positive outlook for industry in Ireland. We are looking forward to hearing how these companies are driving market share and laying the foundations for sustainable growth in their businesses.“

Jeremy Eakin, Managing Director of TG Eakin Ltd, commented on the award: “To be recognised at this level for 5 years in succession is a great achievement. There is a great team spirit at Eakin, which contributes to an efficient working environment and a dedication to producing a top-quality product with a service to match. Therefore I would like to dedicate this award to all of our employees. Our factory extension is almost complete, so we look forward to enjoying the improved efficiencies and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities that it will provide.”

One of Ireland’s Best Managed Companies for a 4th Year!

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Eakin Holdings Ltd, has been named as one of Ireland’s ‘Best Managed’ companies in the Deloitte Best Managed Companies Awards Programme for the fourth year in a row.

Eakin Holdings Ltd, the parent company of TG Eakin Ltd, Pelican Healthcare Ltd and Pelican Feminine Healthcare Ltd, has been named as one of Ireland’s ‘Best Managed’ companies in the Deloitte Best Managed Companies Awards Programme for the fourth year in a row. Companies that have been recognised as a Best Managed Company for four years running were awarded with a special ‘gold standard’ accolade. In total just 14 companies throughout Ireland were designated with the gold standard this year.

The Best Managed Companies Awards Programme, in association with Irish Life Corporate Business, recognises indigenous Irish companies across the island of Ireland which are operating at the highest
levels of business performance. As well as looking at the overall success of the company, the awards process considers the management strength, ability to innovate, strategic initiatives and financial performance so is the only awards programme that considers a business’ performance from every perspective.

Speaking at the gala awards dinner on 1 March 2013 Brendan Jennings, Managing Partner, Deloitte and judging panel member commented: “This year’s Best Managed Companies represent the best of innovation, creativity, dynamism, tenacity and excellence in the indigenous sector. Deloitte is proud to celebrate their success and potential. These awards acknowledge their hard work and commitment and we are delighted to showcase their achievements.”

Commenting on the award Jeremy Eakin, Managing Director of TG Eakin Ltd, said: “To be recognised at this level for 4 years in succession is an absolute honour. Everyone at Eakin works extremely hard to produce a first class product and also deliver a first class service to our customers so our success is down to all members of staff, not just the management team. We are currently undergoing a large extension which will double the size of our manufacturing space in Comber, Co. Down so we hope to build on our success in the years ahead.”

Tom Eakin is Innovation Founder of the Year 2012

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Following public nominations and a subsequent judging panel, the Northern Ireland Science Park (NISP) has announced Tom Eakin as winner of the ‘Innovation Founder of the Year’ Award.

Tom Eakin receives the Award for 2012 in recognition of his extraordinary success as founder of TG Eakin Ltd. The judging panel believed that Tom was a very deserving recipient, in recognition of his contribution to
building and shaping our local economy and significantly improving the quality of life of many people across the world.

The Innovation Founder of the Year Award recognises the efforts of entrepreneurs whose innovative ideas and positive contribution to the community have helped put Northern Ireland innovation on the map.

Speaking about news of the award Tom Eakin said; “I was surprised and humbled when I heard that I was going to receive this prestigious award. It is a great honour and I am delighted to be considered in the same class as the two previous recipients. If we are to develop a strong knowledge economy in Northern Ireland I recognise the importance of celebrating and showcasing entrepreneurship to prove to the next
generation that there is nothing stopping them from developing and commercialising their own innovative thinking. This award is a great incentive for me and my company to do even more to encourage entrepreneurship in Northern Ireland.”

At the 25k Award Gala Dinner being held on 27th September, Tom will tell his story to an audience of
more than 250 executives, entrepreneurs, investors, service providers, and academics. The organisers hope that by showcasing Tom’s incredible story it will inspire more like him to come forward to realise their full potential.

Director of NISP CONNECT, Steve Orr, said: “The judges are delighted to name Tom Eakin as the ‘Innovation Founder of the Year’ of 2012. In order to grow Northern Ireland’s knowledge economy we
need to unearth, nurture and celebrate the entrepreneurial talent that come from these shores. Tom’s story is the perfect illustration of what is possible if innovators can be motivated to act on their inherent desire to innovate. Through the NISP CONNECT network as an ‘Innovation Founder of the Year’, Tom will now be presented with the opportunity to champion high-growth start-ups, use his expertise to mentor upcoming entrepreneurs and help nurture new technology from research green-houses into commercial reality.”

This is the second accolade for Tom in as many years, having received ‘Family Business Director of the Year’ as well as runner-up in the ‘Overall Director of the Year’ at the UK IOD Director of the Year Awards in 2011.

Eakin crowned ‚All Ireland‘ Best Company

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TG Eakin Ltd came out tops in an all-island competition to identify best business practice.

TG Eakin Ltd came out tops in an all-island competition to identify best business practice. Comber-based TG Eakin Ltd was crowned the ‚Ulster Bank Business Achiever 2011‘ at the all-island final of the awards, which took place at the Mansion House, Dublin on 19th April. Ben Mahood, Aaron Hewitt, Barbara-Ann Hitchens and Paul Hastings from TG Eakin Ltd are pictured accepting the award.

On 26th January TG Eakin Ltd were awarded the Ulster International Business Award at a special ceremony to celebrate the 2011 Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards. We then went forward to represent the county of Ulster in the All-Ireland finals.

The awards, in association with Enterprise Ireland and InterTradeIreland, now in their 18th year, attracted over 360 entries.

Barbara-Ann Hitchens from TG Eakin Ltd accepted the award by saying: „We are delighted to have been named Ulster Bank Business Achiever 2011 and winner of the International Business Award. This is a huge boost for the company and our dedicated staff – without whom, this would not be possible. Each person in TG Eakin plays an integral role in the company’s success and continued development. I would like to accept this award on their behalf.“

David Thomas, Managing Director of corporate markets with Ulster Bank said the award winners were „an inspiration“ to businesses in Ireland, north and south.