The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) is one of the UK`s oldest and largest healthcare associations (founded in 1917).

Its membership – of almost 500 companies employing over 17,000 people – comprises both large and small businesses across the many non-pharmaceutical and assistive technology sectors of the healthcare industry, manufacturing, supplying and serving those with special physical needs and specialist healthcare areas, too.

The products they make and supply are as varied as wheelchairs and scooters, stair lifts, seating and positioning products, patient support surfaces, electronic communication devices, rehabilitation products, stoma and continence products, first aid equipment, aids and services for children and for visually impaired people, and even prosthetics and orthotics.

The BHTA represents large and small companies, organised in one or more of 13 sections covering most sectors of the industry. This unique sectional structure provides a platform for all companies to have an effective voice within BHTA and, through the Association, to influence the development of healthcare policies in the UK.

CTSI Approved Consumer Code of Practice
At the heart of the BHTA is the Code of Practice, which sets out the standards that all members must meet to demonstrate best practice in their business dealings. The Code of Practice – the first for consumers in the healthcare industry – has achieved approval under the Chartered Trading Standards Institute’s Consumer Codes Approval Scheme http://www.tradingstandards.uk/advice/ConsumerCodes.cfm and means that member companies trade ethically and professionally.

The Code states:
Clause 3.1 d
Any claims made by the company and its employees will be honest and truthful, and will not give rise to false expectations. Information, claims and comparisons must be accurate, balanced, fair, objective and unambiguous. They must not mislead either directly or by implication.

Clause 8.1
Inappropriate selling tactics must not be used. (Examples of what might be high pressure selling/mis-selling tactics include: unreasonably long stay (for sales in the home); high initial price followed by the offer of a discount (often followed by a telephone call to the “manager”); discount on the condition that the consumer agrees to the sale that day; withholding price information until the end of the sales discussion/visit; alleged limited availability of a product; misrepresentation of the product, price or contract.)

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