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 Keeping you connected in healthcare

Issue 20 • September/October 2017

Pride bring innovation to the industry ®

We chat with Tim Murphy from Pride Mobility Products® Ltd on their upcoming new range

Trade Days

Debt Collection


Previewing what’s going on at Trade Days 2017

Understanding the new debt collection process

Talks, trade and how it’s going to affect your business

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S T Y L E I N N O VAT I O N C H O I C E ERGO LITE WHEELCHAIR The Ergo Lite is our lightest wheelchair to date, weighing just 8.3kg (17lbs) complete. This has been achieved without compromising the strength and durability you would expect from a Karma product. It also has Karma‘s patented Ergo seating system for increased comfort and Aegis microbe shield to keep the upholstery fresh.

a Ultralight from 8.3kg a S-Ergo seating system a Aegis microbe shield a Attendant brakes For further details please call: 0845 630 3436

Karma Mobility Ltd Unit 6 Target Park, Redditch, Worcestershire B98 8YN T: 0845 630 3436 E:

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to tradepoint magazine Our team Acting Editor: Niki Tennant Staff Writer: Colette Carr Designer: Stephen Flanagan Sales: Robin Wilson Marketing Assistant: Sophie Scott Contributor: Adam Bernstein Contributor: Mike Glynn Contributor: Christina Earl

Contact us Caledonia House, Evanton Drive Thornliebank Industrial Estate Glasgow G46 8JT T. 0141 465 2960 | F. 0141 258 7783 E.

Disclaimer TradePoint Magazine is published by 2A Publishing Limited. The views expressed in TradePoint Magazine are not necessarily the views of the editor or the publisher. Reproduction in part or in whole is strictly prohibited without the explicit written consent of the publisher. Copyright 2017 ©2A Publishing Limited. All Rights Reserved. ISSN 2056-4368.


elcome to the 20th issue of TradePoint Magazine! Coinciding with this is Trade Days 2017, the sole trade only event for the industry. Ahead of this, we preview the event in Birmingham’s NEC on the 8-9 October on page 40, and we catch up with Pride Mobility® on their exciting new product that they promise will raise the bar in the industry that is set for launch at this years’ event. Elsewhere, we take a look at autism in the workplace. Christina Earl, Acting Operations Director at Surrey Choices’ EmployAbility service talks us through the benefits of employing someone with autism and discusses the advantages they can bring to your company. Turn to page 43 to learn more.

we catch up with Pride Mobility® on their exciting new product that they promise will raise the bar in the industry...

As Brexit rumbles on and the government are facing increasing pressure from businesses to hash out new trade deals before we leave the European Union, we look at business’ views are on the current situation and impending arrangements. As always, we have a selection of all the best products from all around the industry for you to peruse as well as company profiles, columns and other interesting features. We love to hear your stories and opinions, so as ever, please feel free to get in touch with us! Email your comments to

Ni T

TradePoint Magazine, Acting Editor I 3

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Scooters | Powerchairs | Chairs








Move to the next level with Electric Mobility

VISIT US ON STAND TD E5 to discover the latest innovations!

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September / October 2017

07 Industry News All the latest from the independent living sector

13 60 Second Interview We take a minute to talk to Lisa Wardley, Managing Director of Repose Furniture

14 Pride® Mobility Comes Full Circle Ahead of Trade Days we meet Pride® Mobility’s Tim Murphy who lifts the lid on their new product set for launch this October

19 A New Debt Collection Process Adam Bernstein outlines the new claims protocol process to help you get the cash coming back in

23 New Software To Address Disability Employment Gap Become disability confident

30 Meet The Manufacturer We find out more about Mark Bates Ltd

32 Take A Seat The craftmanship behind Britain’s wheelchair sporting success


The latest products to enter the marketplace

39 Businesses And Brexit The latest as business leaders prioritise trade in Brexit talks

40 Trade Daysv 2017 We preview this year’s event

43 Autism In The Workplace What a person with autism can bring to your company

46 Can Independent Health Retailers Survive? Mike Glynn looks at how health retailers can adapt to the modern day market




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industry news New wheelchair-friendly homelift from Stiltz Domestic lifts manufacturer Stiltz Lifts have unveiled the new Stiltz Trio+ HomeLift to dealers at their first-ever trade product launch.


he event, held at the impressive Stanbrook Abbey - a former 16th century monastery near Worcester - gave specialist mobility companies from all over the UK and Ireland the opportunity to see this ground-breaking addition to the Stiltz range of unique home lifts. The Stiltz Trio+ HomeLift has been designed to take a full-sized wheelchair or up to three people. The modern design encompasses both practicality and style to give a contemporary, elegant look. The new Trio lift has undergone extensive testing and will fully comply with BS 5900:2012 powered homelifts along with BS EN 81-41 accreditation. There is the option of an automatic door available to allow for ease of entering and exiting the lift car and a gently-angled ramp for easier wheelchair level access. The car body has also been specifically designed for wheelchair users with wider entry and exit points. The overall footprint is just 1040mm x 1378mm. The Trio+ will enable trade dealers to offer the product to the consumer market, Local Authority and Disabled Facilities Grantfunded lifts, the latter two according to

figures from the Lift & Escalator Industry Association (LEIA), provide funding for around 2,000 wheelchair lifts per year. As with all Stiltz HomeLifts, the new product can be installed in less than a day with no load bearing walls or hydraulics required. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of domestic lifts manufacturing group Stiltz, which includes home lift brand Lifton, Mike Lord explained dealers can make the same profit from selling one Stiltz HomeLift as they currently do from selling 20 stairlifts with service and maintenance contracts included. A Stiltz HomeLift also gives trade dealers the chance to offer a product designed to appeal to a younger section of the mobility market. A typical Stiltz HomeLift customer is aged 55 compared to an average age of 72 for a stairlift customer. Mike Lord said: “I would like to thank all the trade dealers who attended our first-ever product launch. We hope now they have seen the new products they understand why we were so thrilled to be showcasing our unique range of home lifts to them.”

Apex Medical acquires Nexus DMS Ltd


pex Medical Corp. has announced it has completed the acquisition of NEXUS DMS Limited, a leading UK provider of specialist healthcare profiling beds to both the community and acute markets. The acquisition shows Apex Medical Corp.’s ambition to progress and further develop its product and service offering, bringing enhanced value to new and existing customers. Nicola Rodker, APEX Medical UK Managing Director, commented: “The acquisition of NEXUS DMS Limited will further strengthen APEX Medical’s presence in the UK market, offering us a greater range of specialist products and strengthening our service capabilities so we can increase our offering to our valued customers. All of us at APEX Medical are very excited by the acquisition and look forward to welcoming all the staff at NEXUS DMS to the APEX family. “As part of this acquisition APEX will significantly enhance its offering to the UK market place and support the provision of world-class products and services to its customer base across the UK.” NEXUS DMS will continue to operate under its current management structure, led by Managing Director Simon Robinson who will now report directly into the APEX Medical senior management team. NEXUS DMS Limited was founded by John Robinson and has grown to become a leading supplier of specialist therapy, acute and post-acute profiling beds and mattresses in the UK. I 7

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industry news New look and new products for Bristol Mobility


areplus Mobility and Bristol Mobility’s Stacey Showering has created a contemporary new showroom offering an exceptional variety of mobility products. Stacey and her team have always ensured a clientfocussed approach which has evolved with the industry - and the showroom at Bristol Mobility promises a new experience. The new look shop boasts a fantastic array of products and showcases their latest addition – Quantum powerchairs. “Being a local independent business allows us to offer the right, high quality products to our customers and this goes hand in hand with our new range of Quantum chairs,” commented Stacey.

Bristol Mobility has seen a huge increase in home assessments and enquiries.

[L-R]: Mark Shergold, Quantum Specialist; Stacey Showering, Managing Director of Care Plus Mobility and Bristol Mobility, and Simon Danbury, Sales Manager of Bristol Mobility

Simon Danbury, Sales Manager, commented on the positive success:

“The new line of Quantum powerchairs allows us to bring a reputable range of products to the Bristol area and gives us the opportunity to be flexible in meeting the needs of our clients.” Bristol Mobility is currently taking part in a number of shopping centre roadshows in the Bristol area and this proactive approach has been supported by Quantum Specialist Mark Shergold. For more information about Bristol Mobility’s roadshow go to bristolsmobilitycentre. or call 0800 783 4119 or 01179 515 558

Sky Badger is on cloud nine Disabled children’s charity Sky Badger has been named winner of the BT Connected Society Award and overall award of Winner of Winners in the seventh annual Tech4Good Awards. The Tech4Good Awards applauds the wealth of charities, businesses and volunteers across the UK that harness the power of technology to benefit the community. Sky Badger is a charity that connects disabled children with each other and with support in their area, at the touch of a button. Over the last five years, Sky Badger has supported more than one million disabled children and their families, with almost one billion visits to its website. Sky Badger communicates in innovative ways via its website, social channels and a confidential helpdesk and is available for free 24/7. The charity believes

that family life should be full of fun and adventure – this is especially important if you have a disabled or life-limited child. Naomi Marek, co-founder of Sky Badger, was inspired to start up the charity after her son became ill when he was aged six. Naomi explained: “When your child gets diagnosed with a medical condition or disability, it can feel like the loneliest place to be. You don’t know what to do, you don’t know where to turn. Sky Badger was created to give power back to families, so they know how to help their children to have the brightest futures.”

Diversity Agenda Leaders must consult with wider teams on diversity and inclusion agenda


usiness leaders must seek advice from internal networks to ensure that diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategies are engaging and effective, according to HR and diversity consultancy, the Clear Company. This recommendation comes after the latest PwC CEO survey revealed a significant disparity between perceptions of diversity and inclusiveness across different levels of seniority. While the majority of CEOs surveyed (87%) said they were promoting talent diversity and inclusiveness within their own organisation, just two thirds (63%) of ‘ young leaders’ agreed this was the case. This suggests a block in insight being shared throughout companies, with D&I strategies either failing to cascade down from the top, or feedback on the feasibility of said initiatives not trickling up from the ground. Kate Headley, Director, the Clear Company says: “PwC’s figures may suggest a difference in expectations between the professional ‘generations’ – what a CEO could perceive to be ‘enough’ at strategic level may not always hit the bar in the eyes of the wider workforce. Thankfully, this is a relatively easy hurdle to overcome. “Success lies in the art of communication. By putting processes in place to engage and consult with existing and potential employees around D&I, CEOs and HR leads can best ensure that good intentions translate to measurable outcomes. “Organisations that get this right can then act as a beacon of best practice to the one in 10 CEOs which PwC’s survey found are not yet promoting D&I within their business.”

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industry news Workplace whingeing is greatest gripe


“The biggest gripe for a fifth of the workforce oaning about work is officially the is their colleagues’ smoking breaks. This UK’s most annoying workplace habit, makes it not just dangerous to the smoker, closely followed by taking smoking but also toxic to the workplace, causing breaks and using irritating workplace bitterness among colleagues and managers. buzzwords like ‘touch base.’ “Businesses that encourage smokers to quit In a survey of 2,000 people, Flavour Boss and start vaping will not only be benefiting found the most annoying thing work smokers’ health and lifestyle but also colleagues do are: decreasing resentment.” Other answers to the survey included typing Some believe moaning at work too loudly, passing wind, body has its advantages, letting off odour, going on Facebook, steam and building comradery and one disgruntled person among staff, as HR director Gary said, “just breathing”. Cookson explains: From the age of 18 until the “There isn’t a tipping point in time we’re 68, we spend terms of when moaning gets too approximately 35% of our much. It’s not a quantity thing, waking hours at work. 1. Moaning (31%) more a quality thing. It’s what the If you are sitting next to a 2. Taking smoking moans are about and how they’re Negative Nancy or a Smokebreaks (19%) presented. Are they in line with break Steve, what could your 3. Using buzzwords like company values and behaviours, company be doing to stop you ‘touch base’ (16.5%) and are they intended to generate tearing your hair out? 4. Eating smelly food discussion and improvement? If Flavour Boss operations (12.5%) so, great. If not, it’s a problem.” 5. Sending too many director, Graham McKenzie,




emails (10%)

Cane and able


alking stick specialist Classic Canes will exhibit their largest collection of more than 700 walking sticks, seat sticks and umbrellas at this year’s Trade Days trade fair. The new products to be unveiled at the NEC Birmingham (stand TDG3) on October 8 and 9 include a range of handbag size folding canes, which fold into five sections instead of the usual four, making them more compact. A recommended retail price of under £30 and three neutral yet decorative colour ways should ensure these are a very saleable addition in any retailer’s range of walking sticks. Other new items from the family-owned firm include leather seat sticks and collectors’ canes such as lion, boot and skull canes. “Many mobility and healthcare sector retailers imagine they can only sell very plain and inexpensive canes, whereas we find that the wider and more interesting the range on offer

is, the better their overall sales become,” explained managing director, Charlotte Gillan. “We have many more stockists in this sector who started with our basic range and have been pleasantly surprised by the value of the sticks they can sell once they gain a name for offering better canes. “A walking stick is often the first item a new customer will buy from their store. If they are impressed with the range and pleased with their stick purchase, they are much more likely to return when they need larger items, so the stick display has an important and strategic value too.” Contact 01460 75686 or visit

RESPOSE FURNITURE LAUNCHES NEW BROCHURES and announces latest retailer promotion.


etailers are benefiting from a new range of product brochures from Repose Furniture, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of bespoke seating solutions. The brochures cover the popular Homecare and Olympia ranges and the recently launched Harlem chair which has been specifically designed for people with Huntington’s disease. Repose has also announced its September retailer promotion. This month’s offer is a heat only system for £99 (subject to model of chair) which normally retails at £155. The system comes with two heat modules, one is fitted into the seat area of the chair and the other comes as a loose cushion heat pad that the user can position for their own comfort: behind their back, on their lap or to the side. Retailers should quote ref SEPTEMBER2017 during September to benefit from this offer. “The release of our new brochures and the latest retailer promotion are two more examples of our ongoing commitment to supporting our UK retailer network. As part of the design process, we gathered feedback from retailers with regards to what they felt their customers needed in terms of product information. We also worked closely with our resident OT Kate Sheehan. Our September promotion is aimed at helping retailers when they are talking to their customers especially elderly people who may feel the cold as we head into autumn and the colder weather,” commented Managing Director Lisa Wardley.

For more information on the full range of bespoke seating solutions available from Repose or to discuss retailer opportunities call 0844 7766001, email or visit I 9

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industry news Award win for Evans Halshaw’s Ford Wrexham Evans Halshaw Ford Wrexham celebrates award win for excellent customer service.


otability customers in Wrexham can be sure of receiving awardwinning customer service when they visit dealer Evans Halshaw Ford Wrexham, who have won a regional award for their work with the Motability Car Scheme. The accolade is part of a programme of awards, launched last year by Motability Operations, to recognise and reward outstanding customer service provided by local Motability dealerships. The Dealer Awards programme is designed to reward best practice and ensure all Motability customers receive exemplary customer service across the Motability

Scheme’s national dealer network. The Awards are judged on how a dealer delivers the scheme to customers, which is assessed by customer feedback and reviews of their performance. All winners of the quarterly awards are automatically entered in the national, annual awards which are announced at the beginning of the following year. For more information about the Motability Scheme and to find your local dealer, visit or call 0800 953 7000. For more information on Evans Halshaw Ford Wrexham please call 01978 365585 or visit



ith the focus on strengthening industry expertise and knowledge in line with the company’s stated aim to make a real contribution to improving quality of life for people living with health issues, Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare has announced the appointment of Grant Abrahams as retail director. Grant is a respected name in healthcare circles. He and his father Derek established Betterlife in 2003, growing the business successfully until it was acquired by Lloyds Pharmacy in 2010. Grant subsequently assumed control of the Betterlife business within the Celesio Group, Lloyds’ parent company, eventually taking on a wider role within the retail organisation. Under his leadership, the company

experienced significant business growth in an extremely competitive climate, achieving market leading figures with continual sales increases year on year. Today’s NHS faces real budget challenges to serve an aging population and Grant brings to Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare the experience and skills to drive change in the evolving landscape of healthcare provision. “My remit is to focus on driving strategic sales growth for Drive’s mobility and daily living aids business, working closely with the existing management team to develop and implement a planned retail strategy, plotting the company’s course for successful, responsible and sustainable growth in this sector,” he stated.

NEW IN-STORE defibrillator at repose Life saving equipment installed at Repose Furntiure Cradley Heath-based Repose furniture, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of bespoke seating solutions, has recently installed a defibrillator in its headquarters. The idea of purchasing the defibrillator came from company directors John Elcocks and Lisa Wardley. John had survived a heart attack in 2014 on site at Repose’s premises, so this decision was one which was close to the hearts of all the staff. Once the defibrillator had been installed, a training day was put on by Defib Machines which also supplied the equipment to ensure the office staff, management team and majority of the factory staff knew how to use the equipment in the event of someone needing rapid assistance while an ambulance was on its way. “Every year there are over 30,000 cardiac arrests suffered by people outside of a hospital environment in the UK, so lifesaving equipment such as this is priceless. As a family, we have seen firsthand the affects that a heart attack can have and the vital importance of prompt medical intervention so as a company we felt it was our duty to install a defibrillator here in Cradley Heath to offer peace of mind to our staff and their families,” explained managing director Lisa Wardley.

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SECOND INTERVIEW We take a minute to get to know one of the leading figures within the independent living sector. This issue, we spoke to Lisa Wardley, managing director at Repose Furniture.

When was Repose established? We celebrated our 18th anniversary in March. Summarise what the company does and the markets it serves. We design, manufacture and supply rise and recliners for the home and care home market and specialist seating solutions for the healthcare sector, using the latest materials and technology.

sector which is in constant change mode.

NAME Lisa Wardley JOB TITLE Managing Director COMPANY

We continue to recruit quality staff in the West Midlands, tapping into the high level of manufacturing skills that have evolved in the area. With over 40 staff and building on solid processes and systems, we have been able to grow efficiently and effectively continuing to provide the same level of service to our 600+ supplier network, many of whom have been working with us for over 10 years.

We have an extensive retailer Repose Furniture network covering the UK and some overseas countries. Through this network we supply seating for home comfort offering an extensive range of What does your job involve? rise and recliners to meet all needs and My role has changed as the company has specialist health chairs into care homes, grown and I now see my key role as hospitals, charities, hospices and many other ensuring that we: organisations. • Continue our controlled growth with the We are known for our bespoke furniture and addition of new seating designs aimed this has established us as a major supplier in at the home and also particular health our marketplace and we continue to innovate conditions. to create new solutions such as the Harlem • Further Porter, our new chair designed for people developing with Huntington’s disease. close working How has the company grown? partnerships with Over the past six years, we have grown our suppliers significantly from £2m to £5m turnover, to ensure a whilst retaining our family values. We pride seamless process ourselves on our ability to adapt to new and of sharing changing markets, particularly in the health information to

improve the lives of our end users. • Continue to develop resources with Kate Sheehan our independent OT advisor that will help all our clients. What do you enjoy most about your role? Working in a family business and the ability to think laterally, with a like-minded team without any constraints, ensuring we always provide the best solution. Where do you see yourself and the company in 10 years? In a larger, profitable business, with the latest technology and systems but retaining the same values that have enabled our growth to date. Outside of work, what are your personal interests? With limited time, I manage to fit the gym in, and then spend the remainder of my time eating and drinking the extra calories I have earned at the gym.


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Pride Mobility comes full circle ®


ntering Bicester, Oxfordshire, you could feel it’s presence as a hive of activity. With new factories and an extension to the town centre, Bicester is fast becoming a large attraction. But today was more than a visit, it was a chance to see the latest innovations from one of the most renowned names in the mobility industry, Pride Mobility Products® Ltd. As we entered Pride® it was alive with activity, with the likes of new signage, extensions to the building and a packed car park full of training for dealers. On arrival, we met Creative Marketing Manager Theo Sawford, who explained: “We are making some huge changes here, and have some exciting new innovative products coming soon, which we will show you after our tour.” As Theo took us on a tour of the factory and introduced us to each department, you could see the relationships and work ethos of the departments was something to be envied and just how the interwoven

intricacies between each department has made Pride® the brand it is today. On entering the Pride® show room, we were amazed at the array of lift chairs, scooters and power chairs on display. Standing next to the next generation of innovation was Tim Murphy, the man at the helm of Pride Mobility Products® Ltd. As Pride® prepares to lift the lid at Trade Days on the long-awaited patented mobility product that has been the source of much industry speculation, American-born Tim is dogmatic in his insistence that it will take the market by storm and set the bar high. The Jazzy ZT (Zero Turn), with a turning radius of just 38”, will, he promises, change lives. Tim Murphy enthusiastically explained how Pride Mobility Products® Ltd and Pride Mobility Products Corp had invested two years in its research and development at its US lab, before the prototype was manufactured under the

watchful eye of a team of Pride experts in the Far East then shipped back to the States. “When we came out with the Go-Go 15 years ago, the technology at the time was revolutionary,” he states. “Now we have the new Jazzy ZT, which has revolutionary patented technology” says Murphy, gesturing at the compact twomotor Jazzy ZT scooter. Explaining the unique benefits of having a tighter turning circle on a mobility scooter, Tim said: “From our in-depth research and talking to the end users, in general the feedback we have gathered is that scooters are just a little too clunky when turning around in a confined space.” Using a similar conventional travel scooter, Tim demonstrated a laboured six-point turn.

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EXCLUSIVE “As you can see, in a normal scooter you are going to have to do several ups and arounds just to get somewhere. But with the new ZT, you don’t have this issue.” The industry shares his infectious enthusiasm for the dual motor, four-wheel scooter which travels up to 4mph and carries a reasonable price tag to the dealers. “Dealers and the public over here are drawn to unique products. We’ve taken orders for over 200 of these units by just showing a video,” he beams. “We had one dealer take 50 units. The more we build, the more the price will come down. We will have two working units at Trade Days and when people in the industry see this, they will say ‘wow!’” The company’s strategy is, explains Tim, to produce an increasing number of products that are intellectual property protected, to allow Pride® to remain innovators. Tim goes onto explain the new direction taken by Pride® and their approach to re-aligning the range “For a while our range has remained stagnant. There is a lot more competition than there used to be and Pride® is one of the only retail companies that has its own R&D department, which straight away gives us a position of strength,” says Tim, who cites senior Pride® sales manager Paul Clayton, senior Quantum® sales manager Kevin Atkins and operations manager Stephen Wright as “the guys I lean on.” But it is clear to see that it has been a huge team effort to both launch this new product and get Pride® to where they are

today. “Here at Pride® we have worked hard to create a team approach. Working together as one unit and communicating is key within the organisation.” Pride Mobility® hasn’t lost sight of its beginnings in the USA since its’ inception in their humble beginnings in 1985, with CEO and Chairman Scott Meuser still at the helm and highly active in every daily aspect of Pride Mobility® and Quantum® Rehab’s daily running. As we are led around the show room Tim stops to demonstrate the stylish Tucson three-position chaise lounger, featuring a new USB hand control manufactured at the company’s 125,000 sq ft facility in Mississippi. The attractive power recliner, which comes equipped with a wireless remote device, promises comfort at the touch of a button and boasts rounded curves and soft fabric padding. In addition to the Tucson there is also the ground-breaking Westminster, which promises to set the market abuzz, with the industry’s first 10-inch power headrest and powered lumber support. Using Smart technology, it quickly finds a user’s preferred position. “We are committed to making products that people will want now, not further down the line when they might need them as an independent living aid. “All I want is for to Pride® to continue to be the innovator of new products within the industry,” Tim added, with a nod to part of Pride Mobility®’s ethos - to be hungry, humble and smart. 


The new Jazzy ZT I 15

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Jazzy ZT The Spectacular Specs  Features

• Built-in under seat storage • Charging port build into the tiller • Contemporary, stylish rim design • Dual motors for added traction on rough terrain • Feather-touch assembly allows simple frame separation with only one hand • Front basket • Full suspension for comfortable long-range use • 4-wheel stability with 3-wheel turning space • USB connector built into tiller • Choice of six contemporary, interchangeable colour shades


ride Mobility®’s long-awaited sassy Jazzy ZT, with Zero Turn patented technology, tackles the tightest corners and navigates neat corners and small spaces with ease, thanks to its ergonomic delta tiller with wraparound handles. Dual motors and full suspension ensure a smooth and comfortable ride which can be illuminated with bright LED lighting.

 Accessories • 22AH battery box (additional spare) • Back mounted rear basket/ oxygen holder • Mobile phone holder

The foldable, molded plastic Jazzy ZT has a turning radius of 38”, a weight capacity of 21stone, 6lbs and a maximum speed of up to 4mph. The model has a range per charge of up to 10 miles and a total weight without batteries of 53.07kg.

• Cup holder

And it looks as good at it drives.

• Safety flag

• Walker holder

• Micro black weather cover • Rear view mirror • 50” lap belt • Saddle bag

• Optional cane/crutch holder

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New for 2017! The Aspire Shower Chairs

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debt collection

Words by Adam Bernstein

A new

debt coLLECTION proceSS

Cashflow is a tricky subject for most businesses. In this issue Adam Bernstein outlines the new claims protocol process to help you get the cash coming back in.


usiness creditors dealing with a debt claim involving an individual, as opposed to a business, currently have to follow the Practice Direction for Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols. It presently contains no specific preaction protocol (rules) for debt claims. However, from 1 October 2017, the new Pre-Action Protocol for Debt

Claims (also known as the Debt Claims Protocol) will apply and businesses will need to ensure that they have complied with it when trying to collect debts owed. The Debt Claims Protocol will be used alongside any other regulatory regime to which the creditor may also be subject. Sarah Carlton, an associate at Fox Williams LLP, says it’s important to ď ľ

The Debt Claims Protocol aims to encourage early communication between the creditor and debtor without having to involve court proceedings. I 19

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Protocol proceSS

The Debt Claims Protocol requires that a standardised Letter Before Claim be sent to a debtor and that it contains particular information:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

The amount of the debt, any interest and/or other charges claimed by the creditor The date of the agreement following which the money is owed and the parties to it (whether made by written or oral agreement) Where the debt has been transferred to a different creditor (i.e. ‘assigned’) details of the original debt and creditor and details of the assignment If the debtor has offered to pay, an explanation of why the offer or payments from the debtor are not acceptable to the creditor and why a court claim is still being considered Details of how the debt can be paid and details of how to proceed if the debtor wishes to discuss payment options with the creditor An up to date Statement of Account for the debt (including charges and interest claimed), an Information Sheet, a Reply Form and a Financial Statement Form (as annexed to the Debt Claims Protocol) The address to which the Reply Form should be sent

note that the new Debt Claims Protocol only applies to businesses (including sole traders and public bodies) claiming payment of a debt from an individual which also includes someone in business as a ‘sole trader’ – “the Debt Claims Protocol will not apply to debts from a business owed to another business (except where a sole trader is involved), and nor will it apply to claims issued by HMRC.”

THE REGIMES The current position for debt claims is that a business creditor, or its legal adviser, will issue a Letter Before Claim to the debtor, in order to give them chance for the matter to be settled before court proceedings. The Debt Claims Protocol seeks to formalise the process even before a Letter Before Claim is issued. Carlton says that in practice, “this will likely mean more work will need to be undertaken before even a simple debt claim is issued, the intention being that the parties try to settle the matter without the need for court proceedings while protecting debtors facing prospective legal proceedings from creditors.” Where a firm, or its legal adviser, intends to send a Letter Before Claim over an unpaid debt, the Debt Claims Protocol aims to encourage early communication between the creditor and debtor without having to involve court proceedings. Failure to comply with the new Debt Claims Protocol will result in case management directions (where the court will give instructions to the parties on how they are to manage the case) and possibly cost penalties if the matter proceeds to litigation. Carlton explains a court’s likely view on compliance: “It is worth pointing out that the Debt Claims Protocol specifically says that courts are not likely to be concerned with minor or

30 DAYS The amount of time that the creditor has to give the debtor to seek legal advice before carrying out court proceedings

technical breaches. But what the courts will look at is whether the ‘substance’ of the Debt Claims Protocol has been followed.” “As can be seen from the list on the left,” says Carlton, “a Letter Before Claim requires much paperwork and much effort on the creditor’s behalf. Everything has to be sent by post unless, the debtor has made an explicit request to the creditor (i.e. not included in the creditors standard terms and conditions) that correspondence should not be sent by post, but by some other means for which alternative contact details have been provided. If this is the case, the creditor should use those details when sending the Letter Before Claim.” She says that it’s clear that requiring the Letter Before

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debt collection

Statement Form). Carlton sums up the thrust of the process - that creditors should seek to take ‘pro-active’ steps to engage with debtors whatever their response to a Letter Before Claim, even if the Reply Form has only been partially completed. She adds: “The creditor should make attempts to contact the debtor and obtain any further information that is required to appreciate the position of the debtor.”

Where the debtor sends a reply stating that they are taking legal advice, the creditor then has to allow them a ‘reasonable’ period to seek this advice. Claim (including all accompanying documentation) to be sent by post seems to represent a technological backward step by the courts. In terms of process, the debtor will have 30 days to respond to the Letter Before Claim once it’s been sent. If the debtor fails to pay the claimed debt, another letter must be issued from the creditor giving a further 14 days for the debtor to respond. If the debtor sends a reply, they should use the Reply Form and enclose any documents requested by the creditor

or use it to request documents from the debtor. If the debtor does ask for further documents to assist or help them understand their position, the creditor should send these within 30 days of the request. Where the debtor sends a reply stating that they are taking legal advice, the creditor then has to allow them a ‘reasonable’ period to seek this advice. If the debtor sends a reply requiring time to pay, the creditor and debtor should aim to reach agreement on repayment terms based on the debtors’ means (as set out in the Financial

Of course, the parties may not be able to reach an agreement or resolve the debt repayment, in which case both should take steps to resolve the dispute without starting court proceedings. Here Carlton says that they should consider other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), for example ‘a without prejudice meeting’ or mediation. “Again,” she explains, “the obligation remains on creditors to consider the cost against the benefits when deciding whether proceed with ADR – it may be the case that the amount of debt claimed does not justify such a process.” Unfortunately, if the parties do reach an agreement and the debtor later defaults, the whole process must be restarted and a new Letter Before Claim will need to be sent to the debtor. It does appear that the Debt Claims Protocol allows what may seem generous time allowances at each stage. Carlton says that only time will tell whether individuals will use the new rules to frustrate collection actions against creditors, and whether the front-loading of costs onto the creditor pre-hearing may prevent creditors from pursuing all of their debt actions – “creditors who regularly have claim money from individual debtors will have to consider whether the preparation work now required makes the claim worth pursuing.” n I 21

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01/09/2017 09:39



Charge your mobile phone with the New Jazzy Zero Turn


32 Wedgwood Road, Bicester, Oxon, OX26 4UL | Tel: 01869 324600 | Fax: 01869 323070 | Web: | Email:

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New software to address disability employment gap Words by Niki Tennant


t a time when employers report they are lacking guidance around disability inclusion, the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI) has unveiled a new online tool which enables HR leaders to calculate how many disabled people they should be employing to succeed in creating a truly representational workforce. There continues to be significant disparity between the employment rate of disabled people and the rest of the population. According to the Office for National Statistics, just 49% of disabled people of working age are in employment representing an ‘employment gap’ between disabled and non-disabled people of just over two million people. The UK Government aims to get more than one million disabled people into work by 2020 to halve the gap. RIDI’s Disability Inclusion Calculator works by computing an individual organisation’s ‘disability employment gap’ based on the number of existing employees who have disclosed a disability coupled with overall headcount. It then advises how many more disabled people would need to be employed for the workforce to be representative of

wider society. Following the launch, Kate Headley, Director at the Clear Company and spokesperson for RIDI, commented: “While the majority of employers we engage with are acutely aware of the value of tapping into disabled talent pools, many have noted a lack of guidance around what best practice actually looks like. “We hope the introduction of this tool will enable an increasing number of organisations to take the crucial first step of determining their starting position, so that they can measure progress as they work towards becoming more inclusive. “The UK is home to over four million private sector businesses, not to mention public and third sector organisations. If each of these hires just one disabled person in the next four years, we’d smash through our target. From an HR perspective, disabled talent is a highly skilled under-represented talent group. Tapping into this pool doesn’t just have a positive impact on your company’s bottom line – it also genuinely changes lives.”

Become Disability Confident The Government’s Disability Confident scheme was created to help employers draw from the widest possible pool of talent, as over seven million people of working age in the UK (17.5 per cent) are disabled or have a health condition. If you become Disability Confident it can benefit your organisation in a number of ways: • Draw from the widest possible pool of talent • Attract high quality staff who are skilled, loyal and hard working • Save time and money on the costs of recruitment and training by reducing staff turnover • Keep valuable skills and experience • Reduce the levels and costs of sickness absences • Improve employee morale and commitment by demonstrating that you treat all employees fairly • Being externally recognised as a Disability Confident organisation will show your commitment to employing disabled people and grow your reputation for being an inclusive employer. I 23

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THE SOLE TRADE ONLY SHOW IN THE MOBILITY SECTOR Regis t atten er to d for F R The team here have a renewed dedication to at tra EE de make sure you are getting the most out of your days. /tp time while you are at the Trade Days. This means

that this year you can expect to find… 2


d by an ck em Ba ar d l pu






















PLUS… More giveaways More business More networking




More trade only deals More savings More exclusive offers




More reasons to attend New website New team


Organised by: Partners:

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What’s NEW Every issue, TradePoint Magazine brings you the latest products to enter the independent living sector. Take a look through the following pages to find out what’s new in the marketplace.


Board starts from £99, handles from £49.

RydaMablet is a sturdy map-like board with grooves for roads and push-along pegs for vehicles. Designed and manufactured in the UK, the RydaMablet promotes physical activity and brain activity through the repetition of the task. Even the colours of the boards in yellow and red or yellow and blue are designed to stimulate brain activity. As well as stroke survivors, the board can also help people who have dementia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, coordination difficulties, cerebral palsy and muscle weakness.

01508 578435

The Flexx HD Wheelchair Price available on request

Designed with style and adjustability in mind, the Flexx HD is the latest in the Flexx series of wheelchairs and as with the original model features stylish flip back height adjustable armrests and swing in/out footrest hangers, all of which are exceptionally easy to use and aesthetically pleasing. The main enhancements to the Flexx HD are the increased user weight and seat sizes.

Karma Mobility 0845 630 3436

Wooden cube raisers Price: £19.98 for pack of four

Use these wooden cube raisers to raise furniture to more accessible heights. With your bed or chair raised, you can sit down and stand up more easily. Made from strong hardwood, these cube raisers are easy to fit without tools. Available in two heights to raise furniture up to 150mm off the floor. Tel: 0345 121 8111 I 25

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What’s NEW Breeze S4

Prices from: ÂŁ4995

The Breeze S offers advanced comfort, performance and provides all-round, fully active and adjustable suspension. This is advanced motorcycle style engineering that delivers unrivalled comfort, safety and stability to users weighing up to 31 stone (200kg) allowing comfort and complete control even over rough terrain. A powerful motor, large wheels and pneumatic tyres provide maximum ground clearance, making kerbs and rough ground quite simply a breeze.

TGA Mobility Tel: 01787 882244

Black Furniture Raisers Price available on request

Langham are relaunching their trusted Langham Furniture Raisers after receiving positive feedback from occupational therapists. The response to the changes has been great so far, both from OTs and end users - they are much less noticeable under furniture and they look smaller which makes them less intrusive. The new Black Langham Furniture Raiser range includes the Adjustable Chair Raiser (JLP), Adjustable Bed Raiser (NLP/NLPs), the Multi-Purpose Raiser (MPR) and the Langham Suregrip raisers. Furniture raisers are the ideal solution for disabled and elderly people or those who have recently had hip or knee surgery by raising a chair or bed to reduce overbending when sitting or standing.

Gordon Ellis 01332 810504

Osprey Healthcare Shower Chairs Price available on request

Osprey Healthcare is excited to launch their new range of shower chairs. The Aspire chairs are available in three sizes with a full range of accessories and are to be aimed at stores and contracts. The three Aspire chairs are a new addition to the Osprey range and enable the company to offer the highest standards and quality at a highly competitive price.

Visit Trade Days stand TDB5 01257 425 623.

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What’s NEW Roll-up portable wheelchair ramp Price available on request

This handy roll up ramp allows users to easily move around the home and when out and about. It comes with a bag to allow for easy travel and is high edged to ensure safety. It can be used over steps and curbs and is 5” tall. The ribbed top is slip-resistant and is suitable for mobility scooters. It is easy to assemble, made from lightweight aluminium and can be wiped clean with a damp cloth.

Age UK Tel: 0800 731 0003

Plastic Transfer Bench Prices from: £60.31

Accommodating any bathroom due to the reversible bench, extension legs and extra-large suction cups, this transfer bench promises versatility and safety. Tool-free assembly means it is easy to build and move and it remains stable throughout transfers.

Mobility Aids Tel: 01782 330846

Riser Recliner Chair Prices from: £495

The dual motor allows a user to recline the backrest of the Riser Recliner Chair as well as raise the footrest to find the most comfortable seated position. The dual motor enables you to operate either the footrest or the backrest completely independently of the other letting a user adjust the Elmbridge Riser Recliner into an almost limitless number of positions so you can find the perfect stance to sit. The rise and recline feature of the Elmbridge gives a new sense of independence to those who struggle with their mobility and struggle to get in and out of chairs.

CareCo Tel: 0800 111 4774 I 27

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MODERN. DISCREET. IN DEMAND. Our Elephant Feet are available in black for a limited time only. Ask your Gordon Ellis distributor for more information. ads_tp_sep-oct17.indd 28

01/09/2017 10:31

What’s NEW FreedomChair Folding Powered Chairs Prices from: £2098

Joystick controlled, FreedomChairs are versatile powered chairs for both outdoor use and, being highly manoeuvrable, excellent indoors too. They fold incredibly easily and quickly and fit into most car boots. They take up very little space indoors making them ideal for retirement apartments. They are perfect travel chairs for days out, easy on public transport and taxis and very popular with cruise goers. With ISO, CE and FDA approval, the chairs are superbly made and finished. All models use a common battery across the range and can be fitted with multiple batteries, doubling or even tripling the range up to 25 miles.

Proactive Mobility 0330 555 5225

Bedside Cabinet with Tilt Adjustable Overbed Table Prices from: £224.99

This beech wood-effect bedside cabinet with ABS-protected edges offers a builtin overbed table to save space and allow a user to carry out tasks from the comfort of their bed. Castors allow easy positioning and are supplied with two brake versions. The cabinet is supplied ready assembled but the fittings require self-assembly

Mobility Aids Tel: 01782 330846

Do you have an innovative product you think we should feature?

At TradePoint Magazine we’re always on the look out to get our readers the best products in the industry. If you think that your product fits the bill then please get in touch: I 29

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01/09/2017 09:43

Meet the Manufacturer

MARK Bates ltd

Simon Oakes, Director of Mark Bates Ltd, tells us more about the range of services from the company.

Simon Oakes Director, Mark Bates Ltd

When, where and by whom was Mark Bates Ltd established?

Mark Bates Ltd was established in Grantham in 1995 by Mark himself and by myself as a fellow director with a view to providing a range of products to the mobility and healthcare sectors.

What was the inspiration behind Mark Bates Ltd?

Having a disabled mother, Mark saw the requirement for a service-based organisation to treat people with the respect and care they deserve whilst at the same time offering the best possible protection to the market.

How many people do you employ over which sites?

Having started with just two people, the business now employs over 60 staff within various departments, ensuring that the service-based ethos that was established more than 20 years ago still sits at the top of the agenda.

Describe the company’s ethos/culture.

Handling the provision and entire administration of schemes to both private individuals and businesses has enabled the company to develop its understanding of exactly what is needed

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What sets Mark Bates apart from its competitors?

Mark Bates Ltd is a family-based business and has always believed in family values. Each customer is treated and seen as an individual, not just a number on a screen. The company prides itself on its customer service and will always try to recognise the needs of the customer and put them first.

Which exhibitions do you attend and which work best for you? to give the best possible outcome to everyone.

How would you describe your product offering to trade customers? Mark Bates Ltd is one of the UK’s specialist insurers for the over 50s and disabled people. Our Introducer network has the option to offer a variety of schemes such as: mobility insurance and warranty, funeral plans, home contents and buildings, travel insurance, retail business insurance and finance

Have you recognised any specific turning points in the business in recent years?

The development of mobility and healthcare over the past two decades has helped the business to advance its offerings and has firmly established its position as market leader in those fields.

Mark Bates Ltd continues to sponsor the VIP Lounge at Trade Days with 2017 being our third year running. It gives us the opportunity to meet our existing network and discuss any new schemes we have coming on board, as well as meet potential new partners to make them aware of how they can earn more by joining Mark Bates Ltd.


What’s next on the horizon for Mark Bates Ltd? Recent launches of Home Insurance and Pre-Paid Funeral Plans have further enhanced the portfolio available and with the desire to bring more products to the market, the business will be looking to offer a one-stop-shop to its customers and business partners. I 31

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Take a seat I

t has been an incredible summer for British wheelchair sport, with Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid scooping the Wimbledon doubles title, GB men winning the wheelchair rugby Euros, GB’s women picking up bronze and the men silver in the wheelchair basketball Euros and a host of our para athletics heroes collecting an impressive number of Worlds medals. But you couldn’t win a 100m wheelchair race in a basketball chair, or a rugby match in a tennis

chair. So, what is the craftmanship behind each of our athletes’ success?

Manufacturers across the country are constantly upping their game in order to design and produce chairs for disabled athletes participating in both competitive and leisurely sport that provide performance, durability and efficiency. Many companies study closely the requirements of a chair in sport to develop


all-round sports chairs to help people with disabilities get into sport. But to ensure maximum impact and performance for those wishing to reach and compete at a more elite level, more work and understanding of how each part of the chair affects the game and the athlete is put in. If you have an innovative sports chair that you think should be featured in TradePoint, please get in touch! Email



Made with aluminium, titanium and carbon fibre, racing wheelchairs are long and sleek designed for track and road use. Height, width and seating can be adjusted but generic starter chairs are available. Young users may use adjustable straps to secure them, but advanced athletes use solid kneeling cages lined with foam for comfort. High pressure low profile tyres similar to bicycles are used, starting with spoked wheels and advancing to carbon and tubular wheels. The long rod that connects the back of the chair to the small front wheel and handlebar is called the compensator, which holds the steering on straights and bends to allow a racer to keep striking the wheels. It also compensates road camber effects and wind direction while the handlebar is seldom used only for the braking system.


Image © robbiesaurus


Tennis wheelchairs often are adapted to suit the level of impairment, with the higher impairment, the more supports and straps required. Tennis chairs consist of the main components of an axle, axle-pin, anti-tip wheel, push rim, two large cambered side wheels, two front castors, the frame, backrest, footplates and ratchet and thigh straps. Tennis chairs can have either fixed or adjustable frames. While pros tend to have fixed, adjustable ones are recommended for newer players. These chairs are designed to be quick and manoeuvrable. The front castors and rear anti-tip castor allow for stability and work to prevent the chair toppling over, while the cambered wheels provide balance and quicker turns when higher and greater straight-line speed and energy conservation when lesser.

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Powered by the arms instead of the legs, most handcycles are tricycle in form, with two coasting rear wheels and one steerable powered front wheel. Many hand bikes combine manual and powered propulsion. The pedals are replaced with handles that also steer, and riders use their arms to push the handles around to drive the chain and wheels. Fork steers come with a variety of gearing, wheel and tire configurations to cater for racing, recreation and touring. Lean steer handcycles are used by a cyclist leaning into the turn. Because of this, there is a longer leaning curve and the cycle becomes significantly less stable at higher speeds and the whole body is used to cycle.



Basketball wheelchairs are streamlined and lightweight to provide speed and agility on the court. Many have an additional fifth and sixth wheel for stability and mobility while the front bumper is designed to not get locked by opponent’s chairs. The cambered wheel base gives more stability and offers manoeuvrability and quick sharp turns. Most basketball wheelchairs are made from the lightest yet yet toughest steel or titanium available and incorporate a footplate protection bar to protect the feet and legs during clashes in a game. The seats are generally lower and angled to ensure the centre of gravity has to move further before it passes the fulcrum and tips the chair over, as higher seats are easier to tip. However, forwards generally have higher seats but less mobility, as they generally sit under the hoop and require extended reach to shoot and catch rebounds, whereas guards have lower to allow for greater stability and mobility as they move around the court.



While tennis and racing chairs are designed with speed and aerodynamics in mind, ‘murderball’ chairs are bulkier and built for rough bumps and clashes. But there are two sides to this coin, with offensive and defensive seats available. Offensive chairs are used by players with more function and offer speed and mobility, featuring a front bumper and wings to prevent other chairs from hooking on, while defensive chairs have bumpers designed to hook and hold onto offensive chairs. I 33

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The UK’s leading range of mobility products since 1985

Spacious and stable

Compact when folded

Why give the choice of comfort or transportability when customers can have both?

NEW MAXIMO PLUS The first mid-sized Class 3 scooter that folds and fits in a car boot

01787 882244 Active rear suspension

Team of the Year

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01/09/2017 10:31

What’s NEW

Daily Living Aids Having a good selection of smaller products can boost sales in your store, especially when they are strategically placed. Here you’ll find a few products that could tempt your customers into spending a bit more with you.

One Touch Can Opener Price £19

Ideal for those with poor or limited grip this can opener works with one touch of the button to start, and another to stop. It has a magnet that lifts lids safely for disposal and its sculptured case is designed to fit easily in your hand. Requires 2xAA batteries (not included). 0345 121 8111

Soft Grip Comfort Handle Crutches Price: from £49.99

These Soft Grip Comfort Handle Crutches are designed for longer term use. They have a soft, ergonomically shaped handle to ensure comfort. The cuff is height adjustable so that each user can enjoy the best fit. Non-slip rubber ferrules ensure a secure grip on the floor. The stem of the Soft Grip Comfort Handle Crutches is also height adjustable.

Tel: 01273 719889

Clothing Clips Price: from £12.99

These Clothing Clips are an inventive dressing aid for those with a limited range of motion. They are useful for stroke survivors and hip replacement patients. They work by connecting the user’s trousers to the clothing on the top half of the body.

Tel: 01273 719889 I 35

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What’s NEW Daily Living Aids

Scooter Control Panel Cover Price: £10.99

The Scooter Control Panel Cover can be used to protect the controls of a mobility scooter from bad weather. It fits easily over the control panel of nearly all mobility scooters. A transparent section on the Scooter Control Panel Cover means that the user can still see and access the controls. The lightweight and small size of the cover makes it easy to store, ensuring that it is always there when required.

Tel: 01273 719889

Silk Zipper Ties Price: from £5.49

These Silk Zipper Ties can be put on and removed using only one hand. An adjustable zip is used to secure the ties around the neck. This means that a complex knot does not have to be tied. The Silk Zipper Ties are discreet and appear like normal ties with a double Windsor knot. A silk construction makes them look and feel luxurious.

Tel: 01273 719889

Flexible Paediatric Cutlery Price: from £15.99

This Flexible Paediatric Cutlery has long bendable handles that can wrap around the child’s wrist or hand. This an ideal adaptation for those who might have difficulty gripping standard forks and spoons. Its design enables the head of the cutlery to be set at the desired angle. The foam handles of the Flexible Paediatric Cutlery are 19mm (3/4”) in diameter and 250mm (10“) in length. Easily customised to the size of the individual’s grip, they are a highly versatile and practical feeding aid. This flexible handled cutlery for children is supplied with a hand strap to provide additional security.

Tel: 01273 719889

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Illuminating Glass Kettle Prices from £29.99

A transparent kettle can help those living with conditions such as dementia in allowing them to be able to see that the kettle has been filled or is boiling/has been boiled. By physically seeing the water boiling, safety is increased and accidents are less likely to occur.

ao.come Tel: 0344 324 9222

Flexyfoot Ferrule Prices from £29.99

The Flexyfoot ferrule can be used as a replacement for the rubber stopper at the end of your Flexyfoot folding walking stick. This ferrule helps to absorbs the shock of impact, reducing stress on wrists and arms, and giving superior grip on slippery or uneven surfaces. The Flexyfoot folding walking stick is available to buy separately.

Parkinson’s UK Tel: 0808 800 0303

Do you have an innovative product you think we should feature?

At TradePoint Magazine we’re always on the look out to get our readers the best products in the industry. If you think that your product fits the bill then please get in touch: I 37

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Voyager Evo

Elegant • Durable • Individual

The Voyager Evo is a robust, rigid frame wheelchair for active use with a uniquely individual construction Visit for more information and to see Sammi’s story

Ottobock · 01784 744 900 ·

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01/09/2017 13:52


Brexit Business leaders prioritise trade for Brexit talks


K business leaders say it is imperative that the right trade arrangements with the EU are part of the Brexit negotiations if a stable trading environment is to be achieved. Business finance company MarketInvoice conducted a wide-ranging survey of 3874 UK businesses, seeking their views on Brexit, the role of Government and finance. The priority (58%) for UK business leaders as part of the Brexit negotiations is to have the right trade arrangements with the EU. This is three times more important than having access to EU workers, with only 18% raising this as a priority. Meanwhile, only 7% prioritised the stability of sterling. The current uncertain economic environment is what’s keeping more than half (53%) of UK business leaders awake at night. They are less worried about the stability of the Government (15%), foreign worker rights (8%) or a weak sterling (1%). More business leaders (85%) now believe that the Government is tuned into the voice of business since March 2017, when Article 50 was triggered. However, they are not confident or convinced that the negotiating

team will defend the interests of business. A quarter (27%) feel they’ve lost their way and will be in for a shock and a further quarter (27%) feel they lack preparedness for the negotiations. Only 5% feel that David Davis is doing a great job. Anil Stocker, CEO and co-founder of MarketInvoice commented: “Business leaders are clearly focussed on ensuring they are prepared to do business before worrying about people issues. Anecdotal feedback from this survey is that businesses in the UK are getting on with it but are clearly unsettled which doesn’t make for a healthy business environment.

The good news is that businesses finally feel that their voices are being heard by Government but are not inspired with confidence with the negotiating efforts

“The good news is that businesses finally feel that their voices are being heard by Government but are not inspired with confidence with the negotiating efforts.” The majority (54%) of businesses reported that their hiring plans have been largely unaffected this year and it is business as usual. Only 2% are now proactively reducing their exposure to EU-nationals in the coming months while more (6%) are now reluctant to hire EU nationals. More than a third (38%) of businesses feel they will face a cash squeeze going into the next six months. The majority would turn to invoice finance (35%) then bank overdrafts (30%) for additional funding whilst only 6% would use a personal credit card. Anil Stocker added: “While hiring concerns are relatively stable for business, they need to be focussed on managing their working capital needs in H2 2017. The research shows that a third (34%) will forfeit expansion plans, a further third (33%) will forgo launching new products and a fifth (20%) will reduce marketing spend. These are things that will impact the wider economy and could make for tough decisions for business leaders”. I 39

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Trade Days 2017

Sunday 8th & Monday 9th October



usinesses involved in the manufacture, supply and retail of homecare, independent living and assistive technology products are counting down to Europe’s sole trade-only show for the mobility sector. Trade Days opens its doors at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) Birmingham for two days on Sunday, October 8 and runs alongside The Pharmacy Show. Delegates badges will give them access to both shows. The event provides the ultimate place to meet, network, source products and talk business. Because there will be no consumers at the show, visitors will have uninterrupted time with the people they want to meet. The 2017 show promises new features, with new ways of doing business, new ways to sell, new markets to sell into and new products to add to mobility sector businesses’ range. Companies are encouraged to bring their whole team, with opportunities to meet suppliers for the first time, learn in one of the seminars or spend time ‘being part of the industry.’ By spending time in a space that is all about the industry in which they’re involved, team members will be given rarely available time to focus on their own business through face to face meetings with the people who matter to them. Organisers say visitors will see things never before seen at a UK show to inspire them and increase their businesses’ bottom line.

The eight new features that will change the landscape of the show include a travelling tombola, trade topic tables offering a chance to get face to face with industry leaders, a voucher book giving access to the best deals from the biggest companies, a product demo zone and a How-to Arena offering tips on how to help your business run as effectively as possible. As part of the show’s family days initiative, children aged over six will be allowed entrance on the first day of the event (on an application basis only). Every attendee will also be offered complimentary breakfast, lunch and light afternoon tea in the hospitality area. Many positive comments were made by delegates at last year’s event, many of whom pledged to return in 2017:

“We’ve come from Hull for our first trip to Trade Days, hoping to update ourselves on what’s going on, put faces to names, and see new and old products. We’re very impressed with the range on show here, particularly the super scooters!” said Janet Page, Business Manager, IAP Mobility. And last year, Colin Galbreath, Director of West Coast Disability Centre, explained: “I am starting up a new disability company and I’m very impressed with the new contacts I have managed to make here. I’m looking to go on-board with new suppliers, and Trade Days has truly opened my eyes to what’s out there. You can see a range of competitors in one place, understand pricing and talk trade. I’ll definitely be returning in 2017.” To register/book a stand, visit

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in e th

m s i t e c u A orkpla

rrey tages u S t n or a e adva hen t c e Dir ses th pany w s n o ti discus com a r e Op rvice, ng to a ment. g n i ri ct ity se b A ploy n , l a l r m i c a e b na E ployA autism ake up i t s i Chr ices’ Em n with ity to t Cho a perso portun p that n the o give



range - from group-supported volunteering to full time paid work - the majority of people with an autistic spectrum condition can work or at least contribute to their local communities. It is just a matter of what support is needed.

have been working with job seekers with autism for over 10 years and have experience of family and friends with autistic spectrum conditions and also with ADHD. I really admire many of the qualities of people on the spectrum, but also understand some of their challenges that can hold them back. Along with a colleague with Asperger’s, we were invited to speak at a conference at Kingston University recently to talk about how employment works for people with autism.

Surrey Choices EmployAbility currently works with more than 1,000 people across Surrey and over 36% have autistic spectrum disorders. I have been leading the team for over 10 years and also sit on the Surrey Autism Partnership Board, chairing the employment sub-group.

They say if you have met one person with autism, you have met one person with autism! Autism is a very broad spectrum and can range from someone with little communication to graduates with first class degrees. If you think about work as a

Surrey Choices provides support services in the community for people with learning, mental, physical or sensory disability. They offer a wide range of day and community services, including supported employment and training and skills enhancement. ď ľ

Surrey Choices EmployAbility currently works with more than 1,000 people across Surrey and over 36% have autistic spectrum disorders. I 43

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Services are for people aged 18 upwards and are aimed at people with autistic spectrum condition, learning disability, stroke or acquired brain injury, MS, Parkinson’s disease or other physical disability, partially sighted and sight disabled. Many older adults Surrey Choices works with have not been diagnosed as a child, but are likely to have a history of issues around how they interact or communicate and this may lead to getting a late adult diagnosis. In some cases, they may have always felt they did not quite fit in. After receiving a diagnosis, it can make it much easier for them and their families to understand why they have a history of failed jobs and/ or relationships, as they have not had the support they need to help them succeed. It has been suggested that as a society we should train the wider workforce so they are more aware of people on the autism spectrum. Although this makes a lot of sense, it is not always easy. For example, you can tell an employer that people with autism may have difficulties with eye contact and not like to be touched, only to present them on work experience with an over chatty person who invades their personal space. It is clear that training employers about autism can present some challenges and ideally will be

personalised around the person working to explain their own particular support needs to help them shine.

Why employ someone with autism? Why would you not want an employee who is always honest, with a strong integrity and work ethic who, if given clear instructions, will be a reliable worker and will show loyalty? We support employees who enjoy their work and the structure it gives their day

It has been suggested that as a society we should train the wider workforce so they are more aware of people on the autism spectrum.

so much that we have to persuade them to try to take holidays. Although it will vary among different people, some of the skills people with autism may display include attention to detail, loyalty, focus, amazing memory and retention. Most people will not only be honest, but incapable of telling lies and this means they give honest feedback and it is easy to trust them in their roles. Only 16% of people with autism work, but more than 77% of unemployed working age adults with autism say they would like to work. Employers are also keen to increase the number of people with autism in their workplace but are worried they will get it wrong and not be able to provide the right support. Most people with autism will have some level of anxiety around work or aspects such as meeting new people or performing in a new situation. Supported employment services like Surrey Choices EmployAbility can help to make it work for everyone. To find out more about the EmployAbility opportunities available at Surrey Choices, email or call 01483 806806. For more information visit n

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Mike Glynn


This issue contributor Mike Glynn looks at how health retailers can adapt to the modern day market.

Can the independent health retailers survive?


he NHS has taken a bit of a battering in recent months, but when it was created the world was a different place. Life wasn’t 24/7. We had a break at the weekends for shopping, leisure, and most importantly family.

Mike Glynn Mike is the director of MG Retail Consulting who bring together marketing, technical, business and retail skills to offer their clients a comprehensive service to market their business.

the weather. The disappointing thing is that the food and fashion retailers have done most of the work in understanding the customer already. But still the health industry has been slow to adopt it.

Our lives are busier than When we think of health, we think ever because of mobile first of the NHS. If we think of an communications. The businesses optician, dentist or pharmacy that embrace this and though, we often don’t consider communicate with us on a personal them part of the NHS framework. level will survive. Health retail is Many of these older health not as sophisticated as food retail, businesses have found trading in the way it looks at trends, buying habits, more difficult in recent years because of seasonal and geo political influences, or increasing competition and reductions in

subsidies. Innovation and change were not the enemies of the businesses that folded, it was often the fault of apathy and a lack of conviction for customer service. If the majority of your business is dependent upon one source of income then the business will always be vulnerable. Add poor service to this and there is no way back. But there are those that deliver exceptional service. When it comes to our health, our choices are complicated. Our choices when it comes to buying food or eating out are measured on price, quality, service, convenience and experience. In the healthcare market the NHS has tremendous reach. The Health Service that we have currently has a growing number

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Mike Glynn

of independent practitioners in a number of varied disciplines. Many of these are well established and supported by NHS subsidy. But the newer areas, such as hearing and physiotherapy are mostly private with no NHS cushion. According to the UKCSI July report, 28% of consumers favoured excellent customer service, even if it meant paying more, compared with 15% who were motivated by the cheapest deal.

Recruit great people. The level of service you offer is determined by the quality and attitude of your team.

So, what does this mean for healthcare businesses? It means that they have to think beyond the transaction and start to form better relations with their customers. The Health Service in some departments is starting to embrace the benefits of digital communications. What that also means is that the mass campaigns of the past can be more tailored to specific groups of people. Amazon is a massive threat to the traditional retailer. It has an ability to enter markets with significant impact. Amazon has grown by learning what the customer wants and then making it as easy as possible to buy. The process is a simple one but there are sophisticated systems that sit behind it, making it look that way. Buying power, consistent and excellent levels of service and speed of delivery are Amazon’s key strengths. These can shake up an industry that is conservative and lacklustre. Amazon has just launched its online food service in selected areas around the UK and has a range double the size of Tesco’s. With an unrivalled ability to deliver and a same day or next day option, this will change the way that people shop. Transfer this to the health market and the changes taking place within the NHS, and the new entrants like Amazon will hugely change the retailer landscape.

customer. People like to share their good experiences. Excellent customer service can turn into positive word of mouth. The question is: ‘How does your customer view your service, and does it match your assessment of your business?’ If you haven’t consciously engaged and asked your customers about your service, it’s highly unlikely that the two views will match. And if customer service doesn’t feature as an agenda item in your team meetings then the basic awareness of current delivery isn’t being monitored. Your customer service programme should be structured to focus on servicing the customer first and foremost. You may not be able to out-spend your competition but you can out-support them by being closer to your customer. Your team needs the right tools in order to present a cohesive and consistent service. Growing companies need to systemise in a scalable way that supports both in-house and field operatives. This allows the customer baton to be moved along seamlessly.

The statement below describes excellent customer service as:

Using positive language and focusing on a potential solution helps to avoid conflicts that may arise out of miscommunication. Focusing on what you can do for the customer shows that you have thought of a solution and now you’re presenting it with a smile.

Keeping customers happy means being responsive to their needs and wants. A good customer service experience can turn a one-time customer into a lifelong repeat

Customer complaints are feedback with an agenda and need to be heard and dealt with professionally and consistently. It could well be an alert to something that you’re

completely unaware of. Giving the customer a little time and space before helping them allows them to feel settled and acknowledged. Under-promise and over-deliver. Focus on keeping your standards high and build on continuous improvement. Use system automation to help with the little things and as a measure to prompt and keep you informed. Be informed by the numbers that are important to your business and use the information to make better decisions. Having data available and not using it to identify issues or trends is counterproductive. You can’t place a value on a well-timed and sincere thank you - both internally with your team and with your customers. Customer recognition has always been important, but more so now due to its influence on retention - a key part of current day growth. Your whole team are customer service agents and you are the coach that inspires them to deliver the best customer service consistently. Regular internal briefings, and job swapping helps understanding within the whole team. Recruit great people. The level of service you offer is determined by the quality and attitude of your team. Cutting back on recruitment only stores problems for further down the road. Focus on the customer and the things that you can control, then you can’t go too far wrong. I 47

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