Posted on 14-August-2023   by Pete Williamson

20 years of healthcare innovation

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Pete Williamson, Clinical & Sales Support Manager, Daniels Healthcare, takes a brief look back at the 1980s – a decade of medical firsts, major drug development, and patient safety improvements.

The 1980s had its fair share of technological and healthcare innovations. From the introduction of the MRI scanner and the first robot-assisted surgery to the widespread use of pagers in hospitals and the availability of statins.

While ‘bleepers’ were classed as obsolete tech, along with fax machines, a few years ago, the others remain medical world staples and have been modernised and enhanced to meet the needs of today’s patients.

Daniels Healthcare has worked side-by-side with the NHS throughout all of these changes and advancements and has been supplying Trusts and Boards with sharps containers since the 1980’s.

This year I am personally celebrating my 26th year with Daniels Healthcare so have lived and breathed the challenges, successes and Sony Walkmans!


Our first sharps container

1980s SHARPSBIN™Introduced as a safer sharps disposal solution to needle recapping, our very first sharps container was called SHARPSBIN™ – do you remember these? (Pictured right). Recapping needles was very dangerous and often resulted in accidental needle stick injuries, so the first sharps containers were a welcome improvement.

It was in 2003 that we introduced the SHARPSGUARD® name that you have come to know and trust – making it TWENTY this year.

Since the introduction of SHARPSGUARD®, we have become the UKs preferred and most trusted container solution with more than 75% of NHS Trusts choosing to work with us.


Innovations over these past two decades

Industry guidance and NHS’ working practices have changed over these two decades with increased levels of safety. Daniels Healthcare has always kept ahead of these advancements, met the highest standards, and supported its customers through the changes.

Our innovations over the years have helped our healthcare colleagues to use fewer containers, reduce waste, improve cost-effectiveness and sustainability, and maximise storage space. These are just a few of the product development and training milestones we’ve hit since introducing the SHARPSGUARD® range 20 years ago.


Our safety and support approach

My background in nursing and theatres allowed me to create a support package and audit to protect and support healthcare staff and their patients.

By understanding nurses’ day-to-day challenges, I could share our years of experience and expertise with training, lectures, and compliance audits to protect them from the potential dangers of clinical waste and sharps injury.

It’s this understanding and working in partnership with the NHS that has built our reputation as the go-to for industry-leading advice and support.

The implementation of our training and support alongside our SHARPSGUARD® range is one of the achievements I am most proud of since joining Daniels Healthcare.


What will the next 20 years bring?

Advancements in healthcare have come a long way since the 1980’s. We’ve seen breakthroughs in cancer treatments, vaccinations and digitalisation allowing patients to manage their own health and hospitals to improve their record keeping (in 2021/22 there were 140 million patient interactions in NHS hospitals which is a LOT of records to keep!).

And with 5% of the UKs greenhouse emissions coming from the NHS, we will continue to see a huge focus and big shifts in delivering healthcare more sustainably on a larger scale.

I won’t be at Daniels Healthcare in another 20 years – I will be retired and enjoying a well-deserved rest with my family – but I can confidently say we will continue to innovate our SHARPSGUARD® products and support the NHS in meeting its carbon and virgin plastic reduction targets as well as any other changes along the way.


We’re proud partners and supporters of the NHS and everything it stands for. No matter what the future will bring, I know that Daniels Healthcare will lead the way. Perhaps there will be a downloadable Pete hologram to deliver our free training in hospitals?!

I’d love to hear from you if you have a story about working with us since SHARPSGUARD® was introduced, or perhaps there’s some new tech which has made your working life easier. Or maybe there’s something you miss from the 80’s which is now obsolete? You can email me at

Clinical Adviser & Sales Support Manager for the UK & Europe. Pete specialises in product training and use. His years of clinical experience gives the sales team deep knowledge of our customers role as well as offering valuable insight to our product development team.