Apprenticeship Talk for Leicestershire Cares

Leicestershire Cares

Well done to two of our former apprentices who have taken part in a virtual careers advice session with students from Leicestershire’s secondary schools.

Executive Assistant Ria Wicks and HR Assistant Chloe Newton-Pell volunteered to share their journeys into the world of work at Morningside on the Leicestershire Cares webinar.

During the session both colleagues, who worked as well as gained a qualification from Loughborough College during their apprenticeships, spoke about their life experiences of building a career with Morningside.

They also talked about how their apprenticeships have helped them develop into their current roles, what they entail and their top tips for current school and college leavers who are thinking about their futures.

The live event, which was also filmed and will be shared with every secondary school in Leicestershire, was organised by Leicestershire Cares, which specialises in working with schools and young people to support employability.

To find out more about Leicestershire Cares visit here:

Comic Relief 2021 at Morningside

Comic Relief at Morningside Pharmaceuticals

Comic Relief mania has once again descended on Morningside with colleagues wearing the usual wacky attire to raise money for charity.

There were – of course – red noses, lots of zany outfits and even flashing hats, which the Morningside team embraced as part of Comic Relief’s 2021 theme of needing the ‘power of funny, to turn laughs into lasting change’.

Due to social distancing restrictions colleagues were unable to get together for the usual festivities but a few did pose 2 meters apart for a mini photoshoot.

Despite the fun of the day, Comic Relief has a very real, serious side, which is making an enormous difference to the lives of people living in the UK and around the world.

To help the cause, every colleague who wished to take part donated to the charity, which provides safety to families who need support, tackles mental health stigma, takes action against domestic abuse and helps to give children a brighter future.

Opinion: Short/ Long Term Post Brexit Headaches?

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE

Pharma boss and Chairman of Morningside Pharmaceuticals, Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, examines whether the current challenges posed by the Post Brexit Trade Deal and the end of the Transition Period are temporary hiccups or a more permanent problem.

When the 11th hour Brexit Trade Deal arrived at the back end of 2020 most businesses hailed it as a breakthrough, largely because the prospect of no deal would have been so damaging to UK businesses.

On the one hand the deal has given most UK businesses certainty, which will enable companies to finally be able to make long term plans, as well as invest for the future.

I am a great admirer of how UK businesses are able to adapt and innovate, as their operating environments evolve, which will provide many opportunities to grow into new markets, as the UK continues to sign trade deals around the world.

However, on the other hand and despite business’ initial enthusiasm, the devil was always in the detail. Indeed, some sectors weren’t included in the deal, such as financial services.

It’s also clear that the new arrangements are not without their challenges. I talk to many business leaders and every company and sector is having to adapt and to adapt very quickly. My company, Morningside Pharmaceuticals, is no different, as we import and export our pharmaceutical products globally, as well as to the EU.

So the question to really ask is whether these are short term teething problems or a longer term fundamental challenge?

Pre-Brexit, we made extensive preparations for every eventuality, such as increasing buffer stocks and off-site warehousing; agreeing post-Brexit processes with freight forwarders; and ensuring EU supplier and customer readiness.

But inevitably there have been some issues since the new arrangements began, although it’s still too early to say whether these are all down to the new post-Brexit landscape, or are being amplified by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

A few of the challenges we’ve faced so far include additional paper work, which has slowed turn-around time for shipping arrangements; extra shipping costs; customs brokers refusing work because of increased demand; and a shortage of haulage firms and drivers able, or willing, to take UK deliveries.

Some of the consequences of the Trade Deal have also affected our supply chain. One example is around specific Incoterms, which specify who is responsible for paying for and managing the shipment, insurance, documentation, customs clearance, and other logistical activities. This has led to a substantial amount of paperwork needing to be carried out by our EU suppliers, at a time when their resource time is inhibited by the pandemic.

To work through these issues we have taken a number of actions including; working closely with our EU partners and Freight Forwarding companies to refine shipping and customs processes and continuing our export strategy to focus on the rest of the world, as well as the EU.

We will also continue to work closely with the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC), which is keen to support our sector where possible, as well as look to engage Government directly and through Trade Associations, like Chambers of Commerce, which I would encourage businesses to provide feedback to.

So to come back to the question, the majority of the current challenges we face should be short to medium term bumps in the road that get resolved in time as we learn to adapt. A longer term fundamental concern is the new trading arrangement with Northern Ireland and the issues around rules of origin, which must be resolved quickly.

As a business that has exported to more than 120 countries since our inception in the 1990s I have seen first-hand the opportunities which are out there, and the huge benefits on offer for UK Plc. It’s clear the new trade deals negotiated by the Department for International Trade (DIT) will offer UK businesses a real long-term advantage, including the potential for the UK to join trading blocks like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

So, despite all of the headwinds we face, there are green shoots ahead and businesses must bear in mind that Brexit is a process, rather than a complete package from day one.

One very useful way to get a personalised list of actions for your business is through the Brexit Checker on website, which provides a quick ‘gap analysis’ of your business activities to help navigate through the new trading environment.

In time UK businesses will adapt to the new arrangements with the EU and begin to grow into exciting international markets, which offer huge growth potential for ‘Brand UK’.

It may just be a bit bumpy along the way.

Opinion: Proud to be Based in the Midlands

Midlands Region of the UK

In this Opinion Piece Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, Chairman of Morningside Pharmaceuticals, talks about why he chose to set up our company in the Midlands and what the future might hold for the region’s Life Sciences, Med-Tech and Health Sectors.

“Over 30 years ago my company, Morningside Pharmaceuticals, was established in a home garage. The business grew rapidly and we soon required a central location to setup a distribution hub with great transport links, as we developed a sophisticated UK and international supply chain.

The location we chose was Loughborough, in the East Midlands, where there is a thriving Life Sciences Sector. There is an Innovation Enterprise Zone located in the town, which includes Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP) and the Charnwood Campus, which is also the first UK Life Sciences Opportunity Zone.

We also saw great opportunities in being located in the Midlands region as a whole, which today has an economy worth more than £222 billion. And has become a hub for the Health, Med-Tech and Life Sciences Sectors. In the Life Sciences Sector alone there are about 1,100 businesses producing an annual turnover of £9.5bn (2019), and employing almost 33,000 people in a wide range of highly skilled jobs.

The Midlands has many world-leading strengths in these three areas; but there has been a clear need to connect them together. The Midlands Engine partnership, for example, has worked closely with industry, academia, the Health Sector and Public Sector partners to establish Midlands Engine Health; and this collaboration will be crucial as we seek to expand the world-leading capabilities of the region.

Midlands Engine Health brings the talent of East and West Midlands together and it allows us to showcase the fantastic innovations of Midlands’ businesses, our universities and NHS Trusts. By working together, we will have one voice to promote the Health, Med-Tech and Life Sciences Sectors, which is essential if we are to meet the challenges of an aging population.

It also provides a route to central Government, which will lead to extra funding in order to grow all of the Midlands’ key sectors. This includes developing skills, innovation, manufacturing and Research & Development (R&D), which will ensure that the Midlands continues to thrive as a national hub for these important growth, education, health and community support areas.

I see great growth opportunities ahead, supported by the work of Midlands Engine Health, amongst others, which will benefit life sciences businesses based here.

Morningside Pharmaceuticals is a good example of this. We are unique amongst UK businesses in that we were founded as a 100% export-led company and have then grown our business into the UK market. Since our inception, we have exported to more than 120 countries, and see good opportunities for further international growth, particularly in developing and emerging countries, as well as the EU.

Today, Morningside has over 242 Generic and Branded licensed medicines registered in the UK and EU.

To deliver growth, businesses in the Life Sciences Sector are investing in R&D and manufacturing to maximise the opportunities available. Potential opportunities include; advanced manufacturing, adjusting to a data economy, such as investing in artificial intelligence to better manage data, as well as innovating to provide products to an ageing society.

Businesses in the sector are also investing in digital technologies and ‘Big Data’ to better manage electronic healthcare data sets, which traditional software struggles with.

Collaborations are important too, and we want to see more of these between public and private sectors with academia. Our local universities are also very able and willing to work with businesses and the NHS to create new innovative products and services.

Now that we have reached the end of the transition period with the European Union, Midlands Engine Health will actively work to identify and capitalise on these new global opportunities, as well as attracting international investment and accelerate sector-wide growth.

By working more closely together the Midlands’ leading Health, Medical Technology and Life Sciences Sectors can ensure that we maximise the benefits of innovation for our regional economy and society in general.”

Lift Off for LOROS’ Rocket Trail

Rocket Round Leicester

3 – 2 – 1 and we have lift off! Morningside is delighted to reveal that we will be sponsoring a giant rocket, as part of LOROS Hospice’s Rocket Round Leicester art trail.

The charity bills the forthcoming event assomething out of this world is coming to Leicester’ and will see a free, fun, family-friendly art trail bring the people of Leicester together to share in the biggest art event the city has ever seen.

To reach the launch pad LOROS is working with leading artists to create the 10-week trail, which will comprise of 40 giant, spectacularly-decorated Rockets touching down across Leicester this summer between Monday 19th July, before blasting off on Sunday 26th September.

Visitors to the art trail will steer a voyage of discovery through the city’s streets and open spaces and help even life-long Leicester dwellers discover something new about where they live. Each Rocket will be designed by a professional artist and sponsored by local businesses. With a likely footfall of around 300,000 people, bringing in an expected £6 million to the local economy, Rocket Round Leicester will form a pivotal part of the city’s post-pandemic economic recovery, as well as a brilliant day out for everyone.

We are delighted to reveal that Morningside has chosen a design called ‘Hopes, Dreams and Wishes’ by artist Lynne Hollingsworth for our rocket. We can’t reveal what it looks like yet, as this is still top secret, but what we can say is that the design aligns well with Morningside’s mission of “making quality healthcare an affordable and accessible reality thorough the world.”

After the trail ends there will be the chance to say a final ‘goodbye’ at a Farewell Event, before each Rocket is auctioned to raise funds for LOROS Hospice to enable them to continue to care for over 2,500 terminally ill local people.

John Knight, LOROS Hospice CEO, added: “Rocket Round Leicester will be the biggest and most exciting art project ever seen in Leicester. It will bring fun, colour and creativity to the city all for a brilliant cause. I’d like to urge everyone, local people, schools, community organisations and local businesses to get involved and be part of something amazing for the city of Leicester.”

Chinese New Year at Morningside

Chinese New Year

Every year we pride ourselves with celebrating cultural and religious festivals which are important to our colleagues.

The Covid-19 Pandemic and the need for social distancing has made this more tricky during 2020 and the first half of 2021. But undeterred, Morningside has found ways to celebrate, even if we can’t come together as usual.

This Chinese New Year we ordered specially boxed traditional Chinese meals for all of our colleagues on-site.

As keyworkers, it’s a necessity that our offices and warehouses remain open, as it’s essential that the NHS, pharmacies, doctors and their patients receive the life saving medicines they need, on time.

We also held a Wear It Red Dress Down Day for those on-site, to mark the traditional Spring Festival and to usher in the Year of the Ox.

Proud Supporter of Our Wonderful Carers

LeicestershireLive Care Professional of the Year Awards

During the Covid-19 Pandemic Carers and Care Professionals have played a key role in supporting the most vulnerable and isolated in our communities.

This year we’re delighted to be able to give a little back by sponsoring the Special Recognition category at the LeicestershireLive Care Professional of the Year Awards.

This award is for anyone who has gone above and beyond to support others, as well as for those who deserve that little extra praise for the amazing work they do.

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, Chairman of Morningside Pharmaceuticals, said: “The awards recognise and pay tribute to those within our communities for the day-to-day dedication of caring for another person.

“This year’s awards are more important than ever, as many of Leicestershire’s most vulnerable and isolated people have faced extreme hardship because of Covid-19 and the ongoing social restrictions.

“Carers have provided a huge lifeline through this crisis, often asking for nothing in return. The Special Recognition Award is a chance to thank carers who have made incredible self-sacrifices in order to ensure the lives of those they look after are more manageable.

“They really are one of many groups of unsung heroes to come out of the 2020 pandemic. I am delighted that many will receive the recognition they deserve for providing the round the clock care, which is necessary to improve another’s quality of life.

“At Morningside our mission is to make quality healthcare an affordable and accessible reality throughout the world, which resonates with the Carer of the Year Awards because we share the same desire, which is to make people’s lives happier and healthier.

“If you know of a dedicated carer, who deserves to be recognised for their selfless acts of kindness, then please nominate them for an award.

“Morningside Pharmaceuticals is proud to be able to honour those who provide unwavering care, comfort and support to make someone’s life better.”

Opinion: Covid-19 Redefines View on ‘Luxury’

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE

Covid-19 and its impact on the world has redefined the idea of the word ‘luxury’ for Morningside Pharmaceuticals’ Chairman Dr Nik Kotecha OBE.

“I recently read a great piece of writing entitled ‘what is luxury’, which got me thinking.

It says that luxury was the rare, the expensive, everything that seemed unattainable. But we now realise that luxuries were those little things that we did not know how to value when we had them. And now that they are gone, we miss them most.

Luxury is now about being healthy, being able to walk around your local area whenever you like, breathing without wearing a mask and meeting with family and friends.

Life is precious and we should appreciate more the simple luxuries that we have.

With this in mind, from the beginning of the pandemic the welfare of our employees, as well as ensuring patient safety have been our top priorities.

We adapted quickly and brought in more people wellbeing policies such as flexible working and opened up a new building, earlier than planned, to ensure social distancing in our offices. Changes to our quality management system (QMS) and working processes were essential for ensuring that disruption was kept to a minimum.

New technology such as video conferencing has also been embedded throughout the company, and we have taken the opportunity to improve, such as investing in enhanced cyber security and increased digitisation.

We are also mindful that remote working can cause other issues, such as having a negative impact on people’s mental health. So we have brought in extra support to help people who are facing difficulties as a consequence of the ongoing social restrictions.”

Brexit Deal: Our Response

Union Jack - Read Morningside Pharmaceuticals blog on Brexit

On Christmas Eve 2020 the UK and the European Union managed to strike a deal before the end of the Transition Period on December 31st.

In response to the deal, our Chairman Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, said: “Uncertainty has dogged the UK’s business community and the wider economy since the referendum in 2016; so it’s great news that a deal has been agreed with the European Union just before the Christmas break.

“This deal delivers certainty and will enable companies to finally be able to make long term plans, as well as invest for the future, and what a bright future it could be. It also means that the UK will be able to continue to trade with minimal tariffs and disruption with the EU, which is by far our largest and closest trading partner. Saying this, the way we trade with the EU is changing and things will not be how they were, from the start of 2021.

“I am a great admirer of how UK businesses are able to adapt and innovate, as their operating environments evolve. As an independent sovereign nation there are likely to be many opportunities for businesses to grow into new markets, as the UK continues to sign trade deals around the world.

“Morningside was established as an 100% export-led business in the 1990s, supplying Aid to lower to middle income countries via international Aid Organisations. We have since become a leading manufacturer and supplier of generic medicines to the NHS, hospitals and pharmacies in the UK; so I have seen first-hand the opportunities which are out there, and the huge benefits on offer for UK Plc.

“On December 31st 2020 the Transition Period will end and there will still be some big changes, which UK businesses must prepare for now. But they can be confident that the New Year will bring a fresh start and most importantly of all – certainty – for the first time in a long while.”

Centre for Social Justice (CSJ)

CSJ (Centre for Social Justice) Awards

Morningside Pharmaceuticals were proud sponsors of the national Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) Awards 2020.

The CSJ Awards are a high-profile awards ceremony that honours the best
grassroot, poverty-fighting charities and social enterprises across Britain.

Six winners received a £10,000 prize and their work was showcased in
front of high profile politicians, philanthropists and business people from
across the country.