Watermeadow Medical, one of Ashfield Healthcare Communications’ agencies, began in 1997 in Oxfordshire, UK, founded by Paul Hilditch.
Since its inception, Watermeadow has grown to become a global agency thanks to many of its longstanding employees playing a pivotal part in its success – our current Managing Director Nicola Duckworth joined in 2001, together with Penny Butcher, Principal Medical Writer, and Liz Southey, VP Medical & Scientific Services. Murray Edmunds, our VP of Medical Writing Excellence, is our longest serving employee, having joined Watermeadow in 1999.
Exciting growth ahead
Since then, Watermeadow has gone from strength to strength with more than 80 employees across three locations in the UK, with some home workers in the UK, USA and Canada, delivering programmes and materials supporting more than 25 different products.
Watermeadow’s offices have seen a number of changes over the years to accommodate our expansion. In 2000, we opened offices in Witney, while one of the founding members moved to Albany in the USA. However, we soon filled the space, and so we were on the move again to our current location on Range Road in 2006. A year later we gained a presence in north-west England by opening an office in Knutsford and that same year, our US presence
was increased by establishing an office in Manhattan, New York City. After rapid growth, Watermeadow became part of Ashfield in 2012 and two years later we opened an office in Copenhagen, Denmark.
It’s all in a name
Our name derives from the fact that our founder’s home overlooked an old watermeadow in Stanton Harcourt, near Witney. The idea was to create a name that would not confine the activities of the company; ‘Watermeadow’ allows modification of our business offerings to our pharma clients, because it does not evoke any particular service. Currently, the services we offer to clients include publications, medical education, interactive meetings and events, strategic planning and many more!
We’re proud of our work
Since 1997, Watermeadow has won a number of coveted awards, including the Communique Medical Consulting Agency of the year in 2009 and 2010 and, more recently, a Silver Investors in People Award, and ISO 9001 accreditation in 2016.
The exciting and dynamic environment at Watermeadow has led to a high staff retention rate and numerous new recruits. Our staff are dedicated and motivatedspanning a wide range of skills and expertise, with 90% of our writers educated to higher degree level. We’ve our own specialist events team, with a collective experience of more than 40 years and an excellent client services team. We also have six Publications Managers, who ensure smooth delivery of compliant publications and, of course, our team of precise, patient and incredibly meticulous editors.
We’re also keen enthusiasts!
In addition to our expertise in healthcare communications, our employees have interests and skills outside of work. We have fossil enthusiasts, bee-keepers, qualified chiropractors, rock-climbers, cold water swimmers, heptathletes, jewellery makers, dog trainers, potters, aerialists, runners, taxidermists, musicians, songwriters, dressmakers, plasterers, quilt makers, flower arrangers and yogis in our ranks. Some of our employees are multilingual and a total of 15 languages can be spoken across the business!
To celebrate 20 years, Watermeadow went to Drayton Manor, where employees enjoyed the theme park, zoo and crazy golf, before a BBQ and a boogie in the evening. We also celebrated with our agency colleagues in Hazelwood House, Tytherington, with cakes and party food – a great way to get to know our neighbours!
And a final word from Nicola Duckworth, Managing Director:
“I’m delighted to have been a part of Watermeadow from its early days, and to have seen the successes that the agency has achieved over the years. We are excited, too, about the future: our constant drive for maintaining our high scientific rigour with innovative solutions means that we are ideally placed to support our clients in the years ahead.”