Northamptonshire Firm Behind Lifesaving Choking Device Receives £70K Investment

25 June 2020

A Northamptonshire firm responsible for developing a pioneering device used in choking emergencies has secured a £70,000 investment.

Dechoker UK has received the finance from Enterprise Loans East Midlands through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF).

With dozens of lives already saved in care homes across the UK, in a choking emergency the hand-held Dechoker device uses suction to clear an obstruction quickly and safely allowing the person to breathe. Initial funding from Enterprise Loans in 2018 allowed the start-up to support a long-term study by an NHS Trust, which demonstrated the effectiveness of the Dechoker when a person is choking.

The second wave of funding enables Dechoker UK to scale up, with the firm set to continue to form strategic, long-term partnerships across the adult care sector and develop the workplace, education, and home safety markets.

Matt Oakley, CEO of Dechoker UK, said:

“Having already made an impact in the care sector, in part by saving dozens of lives in less than two years, this investment allows us to expand into additional sectors while increasing our commitment to the adult care sector.

“Since our first round of investment the team have worked with the UK regulator (MHRA), our partners in the NHS and the care sector to develop evidence-based research and protocols that will help guide and set the standards for the industry. This marks the start of an exciting new chapter and will enable us to expand our offering to include additional training and funding routes for new and existing customers.”

Matthew Wright, business advisor at Enterprise Loans, said:

“Dechoker has proved to be a really viable and successful business that fills a much needed gap in the market, as there are more than 100 fatalities reported every year in care homes due to choking and around 650 deaths in the UK are recorded each year.

“We were delighted to support Matt and the team at Dechoker UK with an initial £70,000 through MEIF – with the option to increase the investment to £150,000 if necessary. Dechoker UK has some really exciting projects in the pipeline and with a three-year advantage over new entrants, the firm is sure to continue leading the market.”

Lewis Stringer, senior manager at the British Business Bank, said:

“The MEIF is committed to supporting Midlands’ innovation and has a track record in funding companies developing new medical technologies. Dechoker UK’s device has already had an impact in the care sector and the firm will use this investment to expand into new markets.”

Vicky Hlomuka, manager of SEMLEP’s Growth Hub, said:

“This investment in Dechoker UK’s innovative device is a great example of how important financial support is to the success of new innovations. We are pleased that the Midlands Engine Investment Fund is supporting the firm to roll out to new customers and widen training for use of this important device.”

The MEIF project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the ERDF as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

For more information on Enterprise Loans visit or follow @1st_Enterprise on Twitter. For further information on the MEIF please visit or follow @MidsEngInv.