In the early 1960s, two companies on opposite sides of the Atlantic were beginning to make a name for themselves in the healthcare business.

In Wisconsin, in the United States, Joerns – the furniture manufacturing business started by the brothers Charles, Paul and Frederick Joerns in 1889 – was expanding rapidly into the long-term care market. For more details on Joerns Healthcare in the United States visit

In Oxfordshire, England, engineer John Payne was successfully commercialising the first mobile patient hoist. Working with Dr Ritchie Russell from the Headington Hill Hospital, he had improved an existing bed hoist system which used counterbalanced weights to assist nurses in the lifting and transferring of World War Two veterans.

After installing the first wall-mounted patient lift at Headington Hall in 1954, the first ‘Oxford’ mobile patient hoist was commercialised and launched onto the general market in 1955. It was sold directly through F.J. Payne. The brand name ‘Oxford’ was chosen because of the rich tradition of medical research and development concentrated in the Oxford region.

After the launch of Oxford’s first patient lift in 1955, many more new products followed. In subsequent years, they helped to position Oxford as a leading brand in patient handling products. Following a short collaboration, F. J. Payne sold Oxford to Parker Bath in 1989.

In 1996, Sunrise Medical acquired the Oxford brand from Parker Bath and began manufacturing Oxford patient hoists in the West Midlands. Sunrise Medical continued to build on the Oxford brand and launched several leading lifts, including the famous Mini, Midi, Major and Maxi patient hoists.

Then, in 2007, a global re-organisation within Sunrise Medical led to the launch of a new separate company – Joerns Healthcare.

Today, with operations in the United States, the UK, Canada and the Netherlands, the Joerns business focuses primarily on the long-term care sector and incorporates a number well-known and leading names including Oxford®, Hoyer®, UltraCare®, Dolphin™, P.R.O. Matt and BioClinic.

Over 60 years of dedication, commitment and progress…

1917 – F J Payne Engineering Ltd is formed. Based in Oxford city centre, the business specialises in the manufacture of hydraulics and light weight engineering for the automotive industry.

1954 – John Payne from F J Payne Engineering develops the first wall-mounted patient lift for Headington Hill Military Hospital in Oxford

1955 – Following the success at Headington Hill Military Hospital, the first ‘Oxford’ mobile hoist is developed and launched onto the general market. The design incorporates six castor wheels to navigate over uneven floors.

1975 – F J Payne splits the company into two core businesses. One focussing primarily on the manufacturing of patient hoists.

1975 – F J Payne develops a new compact style lift, the ISIS.

1980 – Oxford develops the Dipper pool hoist as well as the Mermaid bath hoist.

1988 – F J Payne’s patient handling business grows from strength to strength with a turnover running into the £millions.

1989 – F J Payne sells the Oxford part of its business to Parker Bath following a short collaboration.

1989 – The revolutionary Oxford Standaid 120 is launched proving a great success.

1996 – Sunrise Medical Ltd, a leading global medical equipment manufacturer, acquires the Oxford brand from Parker Bath and begins manufacturing Oxford patient hoists in the West Midlands.

1996 – Sunrise Medical continues to build on the established Oxford brand and further emphasis on product development follows with the launch of the Mini, Midi, Major and Maxi patient hoists.

2005 – Oxford launch their Professional range of patient lifts to target the acute sector. The Advance portable lift, Arise standaid and Presence mobile.

2006 – The Ascend compact standaid and Stature vertical lift are launched as part of Oxford’s Professional range

2007 – Joerns Healthcare acquires the Oxford brand as part of a re-organisation within the Sunrise Medical group. With operations in the US, the UK, Canada and the Netherlands, the business focuses primarily on the long-term care sector incorporating a number of market leading brands.

2009 – The revolutionary Oxford Journey folding standaid is launched with great success.

2011 – Joerns Healthcare (UK) relocates to brand new purpose-built premises in Pershore, Worcestershire. Joern’s new European headquarters is the global centre for lifting and repositioning development and houses all commercial operations as well as R & D, testing and assembly functions alongside a state of the art training facility.

2011 – The Oxford Calibre bariatric lift is launched. With a massive safe working load of 360 kgs, the Calibre encapsulates the latest in patient lift design technologies.

2014 – Joerns Healthcare and RecoverCare jointly announce a definitive agreement to combine the two companies in a merger-of-equals transaction. The merger creates one of the leading healthcare equipment providers across the continuum of care, offering providers a full suite of products and services through one of the most comprehensive distribution networks in the USA.

Today – Joerns Healthcare continue to improve patient and care-giver experiences, placing the well-being of others at the centre of everything they do.

To read more, click here.