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THIIS Trade Magazine • Issue 227 • August 2017

Issue 227 • August 2017

Providing news and views in the trade since 1999


For everything new

Providing news and views in the trade since 1999

Can online-only stores meet customers’ needs? DEAL ON FIRE SAFETY




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…from the editor A common and often sticky topic in the retail world is that of the internet-exclusive retailer. In the mobility industry however, this issue becomes even more complex due to the nature of the products. If a customer purchases the right mobility aid, it can transform the quality of their life. Conversely, buying the wrong product can actually put customers at danger. It is essential for customers to buy the right product and this means a level of service is required from retailers to assess a customers’ needs and requirements. This is often where the problem lies. Price conscious, internet-savvy consumers can go online in search of a bargain, foregoing any kind of assessment of their needs and potentially purchasing equipment that could end up doing more harm than good. This has led to many in the industry questioning the role of the internetonly retailer and asking if the service requirements inherent to the industry can be met on the internet? Green Trousers, a company that has taken on this challenge, discusses how it aims to provide this high-level of service in an online-only store. Also in this issue, we also look at some of the concerns raised by companies and organisations relating to fire safety in the mobility industry in the wake of the dreadful Grenfell Tower incident, to see what changes can be made to potentially save lives.

Calvin Barnett

Don’t be shy, why not get in touch...

Editor Calvin Barnett 01933 278086

Advertising Enquiries


Greg Askew 01933 272437

On the front... Green Trousers – Can service and scalability meet online? Page 26.

You can find THIIS on Twitter at: wwwthiiscouk

INSURANCE & FINANCE A helping hand when you need it most.

Call us today 01582 840067 3

“In no uncertain terms, this guy saved my nan’s life”

The Unlimited Company’s MD departs Page 10

“It will not be too long before we see more Ableworld stores opening in the South West”

“While scooters provide a lifeline for many, they have also posed a problem for us for many years”

“Whether our customers speak good English or not, we find courtesy is a global language!”

“I can’t give away all of our ideas and secrets” 4


“Our aim is to prevent companies from cold calling customers, either by telephone, or at home”

More about Loopwheels Page 12

Ableworld looks to South West Page 18

Rogue trading? Page 22

Retailer spotlight: Green Trousers Page 26

Mobility industry & fire safety Page 34

People, products & power of digital Page 40

Time to go global Page 54

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Rise & Recline Ltd. invests in new videos and freshens up website with exciting results Nottingham-based adjustable chair and bed manufacturer Rise & Recline Ltd. has recently invested heavily in a new branding campaign to heighten the awareness to the public of its bespoke ranges of handcrafted furniture to support its growing network of retailers. Many of the retailers that stock the bespoke furniture will also have seen a marked improvement in the number of enquiries being filtered through to them according to the company. This is as a result of Rise & Recline Ltd. focusing more on the digital side of its business. “We are trying to engage with end-users from many different areas, and the website is a great generator of requests for bespoke furniture for them,” explained Managing Director Samantha Langtree. The website has been refreshed to improve users’ experience and customise their journey from order to manufacture. Discussing the new website, Samantha told THIIS: “At Rise & Recline Ltd., we believe that when customers land on the website, it should inspire the user to want to purchase a product handcrafted here in the UK.” The company’s corporate video allows endusers to experience first-hand the staff’s beliefs and familiarise themselves with the modern 6

factory where their products will be handcrafted to their exact specifications. The refreshed site has updated product images to more modern and contemporary ones by using new fabrics and designs, whilst also adding a more end-user focused home page to add to the new look and help improve the user’s experience. “The website is much easier to navigate, looks aesthetically pleasing and has effected a significant increase in our ratings,” added Samantha. The mechanism videos serve as fun, friendly and useful training/user guides, where retailers and end users can fully understand the

Rise & Recline Ltd. uses video to show off their range



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differences between the different products available to them. Rise & Recline Ltd. sought the engaging presentations skills of their local radio station hero, Sam Pinkham from Sam & Amy’s Breakfast Show on Gem. Within days of the video launch, the presenters were both talking about the company’s videos, both through air time and social media. To tie in with the new campaign and brand refresh, Rise & Recline Ltd. has also re-branded their fleet of vans, giving end-users a better feel for the type of professional company that would be making their furniture. All of these investments have created increased traffic to the website and more phone calls according to the company. “We are excited by the increase in enquiries and want to create a network of great retailers that can work hand-in-hand with Rise & Recline Ltd.,” commented Samantha. “For every enquiry we receive, be it by phone or brochure and appointment request, we want a key retailer to professionally deal with the enquiry from start to finish.” Rise & Recline Ltd. has been manufacturing and supplying handcrafted furniture to its national network of retailers for over 16 years

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Consistent branding across the entire business

and has recently achieved ISO14001 in addition to ISO9001 which they have held for over 12 years. The company is now looking to strengthen its relationship with key retailers throughout the UK, where they can send their customer enquiries to, based on location. Retailers who would like to find out more and possibly be selected for this exciting proposition need to call Nima Pritchard on (0115) 9133572 or email their interest to The website for the company is www.



Established 20 years • Impeccable reputation


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Focusing currently on chairs and beds (central UK) RIPE FOR EXPANSION and stairlifts (nationally) Stairlift lead generation systems alone currently produce in excess of 50 enquiries weekly. Huge client and prospective client data bases

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Omni Tray The Omni-Tray is a sofa-side handle and tray that makes it easy to stand from your favourite sofa or chair. It comes with a convenient multi-use swivel tray so you can eat, surf the web or simply keep handy items close by. It adjusts in length to fit either side of your sofa or chair. PR60186

For Further Information Visit Or Please Contact Us: Head Office: Able2 UK Ltd. Moorgate Street, Blackburn, BB2 4PB Tel: 01254 619000 Email: Fax: 01254 619001


MD departs as The Unlimited Company’s focuses on future development Simplyhealth Group has announced that after two years, Matthew Main has stepped down as Managing Director of The Unlimited Company. Nigel Moran and Catherine Petherbridge, members of The Unlimited Company leadership team, have also left, with the company citing that the nature of the roles required have changed as the business moves into the next stage of its development. Following Matthew’s departure, Simplyhealth Group’s Chief Commercial Officer Raman Sankaran will now lead The Unlimited Company. Raman commented: “Matt and his team have contributed over their recent years at The Unlimited Company and they leave it as a much stronger business than the one they took on. I’d like to thank Matt for his leadership; it’s been an absolute pleasure to work with him and I wish him well for the future.” Since launching their flagship store in March 2016 in Bristol, The Unlimited Company has introduced a more modern approach to retailing in the industry, with its uniquely bright and contemporary store environments. Matthew, Nigel and Catherine have been instrumental in developing and delivering The Unlimited Company’s seven lifestyle-centric 10

concept stores, which have garnered praise from customers, industry press and healthcare professionals. Matthew commented: “I leave The Unlimited Company feeling extremely proud about the team I’ve built and worked closely with and the great things we’ve achieved over the last two years. It continues “I’ll be keeping a close ear to to be an exciting time for The Unlimited the ground as I know the best Company, so I’ll be is still yet to come” keeping a close ear to the ground as I know the best is still yet to come.” According to Simplyhealth Group, the role of Managing Director will no longer exist at The Unlimited Company and Raman, from his current position, will use his knowledge of the mobility and independent living sector to lead the business in its next phase of development. The website for the company is



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more about...

more about...

Loopwheels Often when someone mentions ‘reinventing the wheel’, it is not meant literally. For engineer and inventor Sam Pearce however, this is exactly what he did. Since raising funds via crowdfunding in 2015, the company has enjoyed a wave of global success. We spoke with Co-Founder Gemma Pearce to discover more about the journey from small start-up to international exporter. There are not many who can boast about innovating one of mankind’s first inventions, however, mechanical engineer and industrial designer Sam Pearce is able to make such a bold claim. He first came up with the idea when he watched a woman push a buggy into a kerb outside an airport whilst waiting for a flight. He noticed as the pushchair hit the kerb, the child felt the impact of the bump. It was then that Sam went to work creating a wheel that could absorb shocks. The result was the Loopwheel, a durable wheel with integral suspension that uses carbon composite springs instead of traditional spokes to absorb the vibration and shocks encountered on rough and uneven surfaces. After 211 backers pledged over £21,000 through a Kickstarter campaign in 2015 for the company to produce wheelchair wheels, Loopwheels has gone on to build a comprehensive global network of distributors 12

and in recent months, added three new international distributors to the ever-growing list. Agreeing exclusive arrangements with new USA, Australia and Switzerland distributors, Loopwheels is looking to build on its overseas success. The company already works with exclusive distributors “The UK has a good reputation in Canada, Italy and for design, invention and the Netherlands and the eye-catching engineering, so that plays wheels can also be well with an international found in countries as far as Korea, Taiwan audience” and New Zealand. “It’s a pleasure to work with companies who want to sell loopwheels internationally,” explains Gemma Pearce, Co-Founder of Loopwheels. “We receive enquiries from all over the world from people in wheelchairs who have heard about the technology and are looking for somewhere local to try out the wheels. It gives us great satisfaction to know that with each new partnership, we are bringing access to in-wheel suspension that little bit closer to more people across the globe.” International Trade Fair for Rehabilitation and Care

Düsseldorf, Germany 4 – 7 October 2017

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more about... For many, exporting products can be, and often is, a daunting task, with even finding distributors and dealers in unknown markets posing a problem for companies. For Loopwheels, trade shows have proven invaluable. The company met their Australian and American distributors at Rehacare, the industry’s international trade show in Germany, and met their Swiss distributor, Rollstar 86, at a show in Bologna in May 2016. Having the right distributors and dealers is a good start, but navigating freight, offering support and understanding customs requirements are just some of the many aspects for companies to understand. For Loopwheels, they identified the challenges involved with launching a product in Switzerland, a country with very distinct regions and at least three languages. Gemma explained: “Marketing materials needed to be prepared in French, German and Italian, which inevitably takes a little time and planning. But Rollstar 86 are very familiar with these challenges and will be supplying loopwheels to mobility equipment providers throughout Switzerland, opening up the options for trialling and purchasing in all regions of the country.” Another addition to Loopwheels’ network is the company’s first stockist in South America; Smart Wheelchairs in Brazil. Smart Wheelchairs showed off the loopwheel at the Reatech Expo in Sao Paulo at the beginning of June and hopes it will lead to developing closer ties with customers in the region. Gemma had some more pearls of wisdom to share with would be exporters to the region. “A challenge here is the huge amount of red tape to navigate when importing European goods to South America. Our advice is to work with a company like Smart who are experienced at importing goods into the country, and have a good freight forwarder to navigate the customs requirements smoothly!” Finding the right distributors and dealers in different markets around the world has been key for Loopwheels’ success and with their product being only one of two in-wheel suspension systems available on the market, it has helped the company generate international attention. Gemma told us: “The UK has a good reputation for design, invention and engineering, so that plays well with an international audience. Innovation has definitely been a key driver of Loopwheels success abroad.” Just as important as identifying the right international partners is the need to develop and maintain good relationships with them. Gemma provided some insight into what is needed to build a successful international relationship with dealers and distributors. “The Loopwheels product itself is a particular selling point when working with stockists abroad, 14

Co-founders Sam Pearce and Gemma Pearce with a loopwheel

as they are attracted both by the solution it offers their customers and by the attractive look of the product. We provide high-res images and a video for their website and brochures, and other marketing materials they may need. Good prompt customer service and a quick turnaround of orders are very important to them too. Turnaround depends on the size of the order but we aim to dispatch most within two days. We make sure to use secure and trusted freight forwarding services as well, so customers have tracking information from dispatch to delivery.” Another important factor for Loopwheels is the ability to remain flexible in regards to order volume. The company explained that it is able to fulfil small and large volume orders, explaining that many of their European stockists will place more frequent “No one makes a suspension orders specifically destined for an endwheel as good as ours and our user who may want a aim is to work with the best single pair of wheels with a bespoke colour partners we can” combination and fitted with particular push rims. These orders are dispatched individually as they are received. However, the company also sends out bigger shipments of wheels to customers in more distant locations who will typically order in bigger volume to minimise freight costs, instead opting to fit their own push rims and tyres as they work through the stock. “If ever there is a need for servicing or repair, it’s important to us and to our stockists that we are able to advise them quickly to offer a good solution for them and their customer,” added Gemma. “We have had good feedback from our stockists about our responsiveness and we definitely believe that good customer service is paramount, whoever you may be dealing with. Whether our customers speak good English or not, we find courtesy is a global language!”

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Despite all the international success, Loopwheels has not taken its eye off the UK. “We are still interested in working with more stockists in the UK,” said Gemma. “Important to us is that we work with people who understand their customers’ needs and can help advise them to choose equipment that suits those needs, so that they can match the right product to the right customer and ensure it fits correctly with their chair. “The wheels really help any wheelchair user travel easier over uneven paving stones and potholes, appealing especially to people who have a bike attachment for their wheelchair and are looking to add suspension when using their electric assist motor. So dealers who sell handbike or motor attachments will find these combine perfectly with a pair of loopwheels.” Having experienced such growth in a relatively short amount of time, it seems that the sky is the limit for the small, innovative business, with Gemma giving us some idea of what the future holds for the company. “We remain at heart a company focussed on innovation in product design, and in the long

Loopwheels at Rehacare: Trade shows have proved invaluable for the company’s export success

term we will continue to develop our loopwheels technology for other applications as well as wheelchair wheels. But for now, our focus is on attracting the right partners who can help us reach more people with loopwheels for wheelchairs. “Marketing materials needed “We are a wheel to be prepared in French, manufacturer with a unique product German and Italian, which that makes people’s inevitably takes a little time lives easier and more comfortable. We have and planning” no plans to diversify into selling wheelchairs or becoming a high street retailer ourselves - other companies are much more expert at that than we are. But no one makes a suspension wheel as good as ours and our aim is to work with the best partners we can, bringing our product to the attention of customers around the world looking for a smoother ride in their daily lives.” The website for the company is

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Ableworld growth continues into the South West Ableworld, the largest mobility retailer in the UK, continues to grow with the announcement of its 33rd store in Bournemouth. Owners Chris Brown and Eddie Raileanu officially opened the new store on the 8th July, with the Mayor of Bournemouth cutting the ribbon. The new franchise store will see Ableworld increase their reach to customers on the South Coast and surrounding areas, with a number of mobility stores entering the locality in recent months. Paul Boniface, Ableworld Franchise Director, commented: “We are delighted to be opening a new franchise store in such an attractive business location as Bournemouth, which has long been a haven for our core customer base. We are equally delighted to have the franchise operated by Chris and Eddie.” Chris took the decision to open the store after caring for mother and aunt for eight years. During his time caring for them, he experienced difficulties finding reputable mobility shops, suitable products and useful advice. Eddie helped support the care to Chris’ relatives in the final two years and it was during this time that the pair decided to open their own mobility shop to improve access to mobility aids and advice for all. Paul continued: “Chris and Eddie have 18

shown, during our training programme, that they possess all the qualities necessary to be very successful in their new venture and will provide an excellent customer experience for anyone who visits their store.” As part of the new store launch, Ableworld ran a variety of opening offers available at the Bournemouth store for a short period of time, including discounts on stairlifts, continence care and mobility scooters. Paul concluded: “Ableworld is committed to opening more outlets throughout the country and we anticipate that it will not be too long before we see more Ableworld stores opening in the South West.” The new store located at 1565 Wimborne Road, Bournemouth, BH10 7AX The website for the company is www.

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top trade deals

DealON! Looking for a deal? Then this is the place to come. Deal On features the best trade deals you will find this month. Just pick up the phone to take advantage... All offers are valid until August 31st 2017 unless otherwise stated. Stiltz Home Lifts are looking to develop their new, exciting Installer Partner Programme Signing up for both sales and installation will make the Stiltz business far more profitable that a straightforward sale. Full training will be provided. For more information, call/email Trade Sales Manager, Gino Farruggio on 07940 437 835 / gino.farruggio@

Autochair Partner Scheme Autochair’s simple referral process can earn hundreds of pounds for members of its partner scheme. Customer enquiries passed on to Autochair and resulting in a sale will secure a generous percentage of the order value for partners. The new scheme offers three exclusive products, easy and fast payment of commission, a dedicated account manager and free marketing materials. Talk to Autochair’s Partner Manager today on 0800 167 0923 or visit For more information on Autochair please visit www.

Two Free Home Delivery Smartphone Apps (worth £750)* UNIQUS® iRetailer. Stock & barcode management software specially designed for the VAT complexities of mobility retailers. Affordable subscription. No big initial outlay. Fully integrate your quotation, sales, purchasing and stock process on one platform. Cloud based and paperless, iRetailer CRM will help you gain efficiency, save time and increase sales opportunities. See our advertisement in this issue or visit *Requires Windows Smartphone. Order before end of August 2017 to qualify.

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August Promotion from Repose Furniture To help its retailers get set for the prewinter rush, Repose Furniture is offering a 10% discount when retailers order 2 floor model chairs from the standard Repose range excluding the Olympia collection in standard sizes. For more information and to place an order contact your Repose representative and quote reference AUGUST2017 until August 31st.

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BBC investigation into selling misconduct leads to disciplinary action The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) has begun disciplinary action against a company following allegations made in a BBC Rogue Traders investigation that its selling techniques breached the approved Code of Practice. ‘Arise Mobility’, was featured on the popular BBC programme on Wednesday 12th July 2017. During the broadcast, the company was challenged by investigators about allegations relating to cold calling, the length of time their sales staff spent at potential customers’ homes and lack of pricing transparency; all potential breaches of the BHTA’s Code of Practice. Commenting on the allegations, the BHTA’s Director of Governance & Policy, Sarah Lepak, said: “Our aim is to prevent companies from cold calling customers, either by telephone, or at home. No assessment or sale should last longer than three hours, except in very exceptional circumstances. Inappropriate selling tactics, such as high pressure selling with a high initial price followed by a discount, withholding price information until the end of a sale, or any form of price conditioning, are banned.” An undercover reporter, posing as a sales trainee, filmed the company’s National Sales Manager discussing price conditioning during training, a technique that involves proposing a high initial price followed by an offer of a discount. The BHTA’s Code is intended to protect consumers and is approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. Sarah added: “This firm has not been a member for very long and is already facing disciplinary action leading to expulsion. The sales techniques described are not consistent with our Code of Practice.”

BHTA’s Director of Governance & Policy, Sarah Lepak, appeared on the show to comment on allegations

The Association says it uses a range of measures to try and ensure members adhere to the code, including mystery shoppers, regular audits and customer feedback. “It is important people know that they can buy with confidence from our member companies because only BHTA member companies are covered by our Code of Practice,” explained Sarah. “This firm has not been a “We have now made member for very long and is Trading Standards, the Financial Conduct already facing disciplinary Authority, and the action leading to expulsion” Furniture Ombudsman aware of the action that we are taking in relation to this company.” Arise Mobility released a statement to the program, stating it is a family run business, trading for almost seven years with thousands of happy customers. The company also told the show it will review the allegations and take appropriate action if warranted. The website for the Trades Association is

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round up

Winter is coming for retailers For many, August is a time for summer holidays, barbeques and sunshine, but in the world of retail, winter is coming. Furniture specialists Repose are helping retailers prepare for the prewinter rush with their latest offer; a 10% discount when retailers order 2 floor model chairs from the standard Repose range - excluding the Olympia collection in standard sizes. “Winter may seem a long way off but we all know how quickly it comes around. I hope this latest phase in our 2017 retailer support programme will help our retailers as they look to engage with customers in August”, commented Lisa Wardley, Repose’s Managing Director. Available until August 31st, retailers should contact their Repose representative and quote reference AUGUST2017 for more information and to place an order. The website for the company is

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retailer spotlight

Green Trousers: Can service and scalability meet online? One subject that is always sure to split opinion in the industry is internet-only retailers. Is it possible for an online retailer to marry up the customer service requirements demanded in the industry on a digital platform? THIIS caught up with David Lynch, CEO of Green Trousers, to find out how the company has tried to bring a personal service to an online world. Green Trousers, named after the green coloured trousers worn by occupational therapists, is a website selling a wide range of independent living and mobility products. The website officially launched at the end of last year but founder David Lynch is no stranger to the industry. In 2009, he launched Lynch Healthcare, an award-winning manufacturer of patient handling and bathing equipment aimed mainly at public sector customers. The company achieved an impressive seven-figure turnover in its fifth year of trading and are on target for a 60% growth in sales this year. If at first you don’t succeed Following the success of Lynch Healthcare, the entrepreneur turned his attention to his online venture, but told us that Green Trousers was not his first bite of the digital cherry. 26

“The initial concept is one we came up seven years ago and we tried something similar back then; just with a lot less experience,” explained David. “We added ecommerce to our website at the time but it didn’t quite work for us so we decided to wait until “The experience has been very we could do it right.” With Lynch different to the way we grew Healthcare growing offline with Lynch Healthcare” steadily, the private market growing and a successful round of fund raising, David decided to use the knowledge gained from the first attempt and refocus his attention again on building a comprehensive online store in late 2015. Discussing the development process of Green Trousers, David told us: “We understood the level of time and investment needed to make

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retailer spotlight it a success, so we spent six months looking for the best ecommerce platform. Eventually, we invested in one of the UK’s best bespoke platform developers. Importantly, we chose to go down the route of working with a partner that had experience in scalable ecommerce websites.” The build of the website took around 12 months from start to finish and it was in this time that David also found a mentor with a background in successfully launching ecommerce sites whose advice and experience proved invaluable. Early success Using the experience and expertise from a number of different sources, the new website successfully launched in December 2016. “It took a long time to build because it was essential that we didn’t just have a website that looked good, but most importantly, had the functionality needed to ensure a good experience for our users,” said David. It would seem it was worth the wait, with the website receiving good traction early on with customers and being shortlisted after only four months for two key business awards; the NorthEast Business Awards Digital Media Award and Innovation Award. David explained his short-term goals for website: “Our goal in the first year was to develop a customer base that was going to repeatedly purchase from us. Happily, we have started to see this happen as people who use the site understand how trustworthy it is. It is important for us that when we say we will deliver something, it gets delivered on time. “Over the next half of the year, the plan is to scale the business up in terms of attracting new customers and also increase the order frequency of existing customers.” The importance of trust In an industry where the products being sold can play a major role in the quality of a users’ life, being able to trust the person selling the goods is of the upmost importance. This matter of trust becomes even more prevalent when it comes the internet, which has a natural level of distrust associated with it. For David, this was a fundamental issue that he was keen to overcome. “Making sure that trust is there is key for us. First impressions count and I think when people come onto the site, there is an immediate level of trust there because of our professional industry experience. We put a lot of effort into making sure people know the team behind the website; our faces, stories and experience are all visible.” Showing the team’s faces and backgrounds helps remove that shrouded, veiled nature of an internet-only seller and displays a degree of openness and transparency which help build customer trust. 28

A personal service in a digital world One of the most unique and important elements of the Green Trousers website is the addition of a live chat feature, which aims to provide the valuable advice, guidance and support to customers online. “Having the live chat available from 7am to 11pm every night, 365 days a year, gives people the chance to ask questions and adds a very personal touch to the website. All of us who contribute to the customer service and support side have vast experience in the industry.” David told us. “The feature really is used a lot, often by those early on in their buying process. They take us Embracing Black Friday to engage through their needs, customers online measurements, situation and environment before asking for suggestions and recommendations for the best solutions to meet their needs.” As well as the live chat, David explained that Green Trousers also aims to respond to emails as quickly as possible, provides a 30-day no quibble returns policy for customers making higher-end purchases and also operates a phone service for shoppers to talk through their needs. Discussing the need to find the right balance between service and scalability, “Over the next half of the David said: “It was year, the plan is to scale the a bit of a dilemma; companies like business up” Amazon for example are almost impossible to get on the phone and from a business perspective and scalability, I understand the reasoning. Given our industry however, we knew that having that personal phone service was vital if we wanted to provide a good service to customers.” Realising that sometimes certain situations and products require face-to-face interaction and installations, Green Trousers also works closely with the team at Lynch Healthcare, passing on enquiries to their team of fully trained assessors

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who cover a wide amount of the UK. “We also have something called the ‘Green Gloves’ service,” mentioned David. “The site is set up to use a courier service for the everyday, simple assistive technology products on the market. For equipment that is bigger or more complex in its nature, we offer a service where our own employees deliver it by hand.” The service comes at an additional cost, however David says feedback from customers has been great and it gives customers the freedom to make their own choice about the level of service they want. Getting innovative online One of the biggest learning curves since launching the website for the company has been understanding how to grow and develop online. “The experience has been very different to the way we grew offline with Lynch Healthcare, especially with the approach we take to our brand and our marketing for Green Trousers,” said David. “Digital marketing is an area we have really embraced and although I can’t give away all of our ideas and secrets, I can definitely say that social media is a big one for us and we are doing a lot of informative blogs, including guest blogs from well-known figures like our brand ambassador Matt Hampsom.” Informative blogs give Green Trousers the opportunity to really show off their knowledge to the website’s users and again, builds that all important degree of trust. The company has also identified key dates in the year which they tailor their content around. “For Children for Need, we put a picture of Pudsey Bear on the website wearing green 30

trousers and donated an amount from the sales generated that day to the cause,” added David. “We really are trying to be innovative and different in the way we are doing things and think we are certainly embracing digital marketing in a way that many companies don’t in the industry.” In the future Now eight months into its first year, David’s second online attempt at a comprehensive ecommerce platform is proving popular as he looks to work with more suppliers and vastly increase the product range. “One of the things we learned over the last eight months is we need suppliers who are able to work with us as we scale up. We are finding that there are a few products on the site where suppliers are not really geared up to be able to meet our lead times and give us the reliable service that we promise our customers. “Ultimately, the main goal is to become the largest, most comprehensive online store in our industry.” Has Green Trousers managed to find a way to merge the needs of customer service with an online focused business model? It would certainly seem they are taking all the steps necessary to argue a good case for it. The website for the company is  www.greentrousers. com

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Stiltz lifts curtain on new wheelchairfriendly homelift​to dealers Domestic lifts manufacturer Stiltz Lifts unveiled the brand new Stiltz Trio+ HomeLift to dealers at its first-ever trade product launch last month. The event, held at the impressive Stanbrook Abbey - a former 16th century monastery near Worcester - gave specialist mobility companies who attended 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 Grant-funded lifts, the latter two according to figures from the Lift & 32

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. The lift plugs straight into a normal domestic power socket

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using minimal power as it travels quietly between floors on self-supporting rails which are discreetly recessed between the slightly wider entrance/ exit. The unique thru-car option allows entry and exit from opposite sides, giving greater flexibility when choosing a location for the lift. The car of the Trio+ is designed in a stylish aluminium casing with a clear body, which helps it blend seamlessly into customers’ homes. The more compact Stiltz Duo+ HomeLift, also showcased at the launch event, shares the same new aluminium casing. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Stiltz Group, Mike Lord says the new products offer potential trade partners huge opportunities to make their businesses more profitable. Stiltz are able to offer a full turn-key solution from sale to installation with full technical training available at its West Midlands HQ for dealers’ engineers to be able to install the lift themselves. Mike explained dealers can make significantly more profit from selling one Stiltz HomeLift compared to selling several stairlifts. 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. In addition to the presentation by Mike, the audience heard from Chief Commercial Officer, Lachlan Faulkner and UK Trade Sales Director, Gino Farruggio. A special three-course dinner in the stunning former chapel in the evening was followed by an inspirational after-dinner speech

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Stiltz Group, Mike Lord

from former British Army corporal Josh Boggi, a triple amputee Invictus Games athlete who as well as being a Stiltz customer, acts as brand ambassador for the company. There was also a casino night to raise money for British military charity, Help for Heroes. 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. “Dealers can make significantly “We look forward to working with them more profit from selling one in making potential Stiltz HomeLift compared to customers aware of what a life changing selling several stairlifts” solution the new Trio+ can be for wheelchair users, while the new, compact and elegant Duo+ can help customers remain more independent and live a full life in the home they love. “Stiltz are making plenty of noise in the assisted living sector and we look forward to welcoming new trade dealers along on our journey. Together we can grow the market share and make the Stiltz name synonymous with stylish and discreet assisted living.” The website for the company is www.stiltz. 33

Fire safety and the mobility industry Following the recent disaster at Grenfell Towers, issues relating to fire safety and the mobility industry have been revealed. THIIS looks in-depth at two key areas; through floor lifts in domestic homes and mobility scooters in blocks of residential flats. THE IMPORTANCE OF FIRE SAFETY FOR THROUGH FLOOR LIFTS The recent tragedy has stressed the importance to specifiers and users of the importance of fire safety in domestic settings, yet Terry Lifts has highlighted some potential risks concerning the through floor lift industry. Founded in 1948 by Eric Terry, an engineer who developed the first personal hand wound lift for a local family, the Cheshire-based company specialises in manufacturing and installing a full range of lifts for domestic and public access. Maxine Skelton from Terry Lifts told THIIS that

in In England and Wales, there is no statutory requirement to fit any fire protection to the underside or the top cover lid for residential installations of through floor lifts. This can mean there is no fire protection barrier in the aperture, which in the majority of installations, is between a living room and a bedroom. This can prove extremely significant as the bedroom is where a person with limited mobility sleeps. “Unfortunately, some suppliers take advantage

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of this and refrain from the additional costs of adding potentially life-saving fire protection in their home lifts,” commented Maxine. With a lounge fire in a typical house potentially reaching flashover in under 30 seconds, engulfing the room with intense flame and fatal smoke, ensuring there is the required fire protection in place for domestic lift installations can be crucial for saving lives. In the event that it may help save a life, the through floor lifts specialists shared their installation expertise regarding home lifts and fire safety. The company explained that for the installation of any through floor lift – whether the lift car is enclosed or unenclosed, with no liftway, or a liftway involved – there are two areas of primary concern. The first is guaranteeing that the horizontal fire separation which existed prior to an adaption is adequately replaced and the second is that the structure around the lift is effectively protected in the event of a fire. Greg Gnyp, Engineering Director of Terry Lifts is an expert in European and UK Lift Standards and is also the lead engineer in the Terry Lifts fire test programme. He commented: “It is imperative that any specified product and product installation must demonstrate full compliance with the Machinery Directive,

Building Regulations and BS5900:2012, all of which have been written with the safety of the building occupiers and emergency services in mind.” Greg added: “Furthermore, as every site will differ it is imperative that the local Building Control Officer has conducted a site visit to ensure Terry Lifts’ Vivendi lift structural alterations and fire protections are to standard.” With almost 600 deaths and 18,000 injuries occurring from house fires every year, ensuring correctly installed and compliant home lifts for some of society’s “Unfortunately, some suppliers most vulnerable people is essential for take advantage of this and manufacturers and refrain from the additional installers. The website for the costs of adding potentially lifecompany is www. saving fire protection.”

MOBILITY SCOOTERS AND RESIDENT SAFETY: THE DILEMMA FOR HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS For housing associations across the country, there has been a significant and on-going issue regarding their occupants’ mobility scooters and their fire safety. Many housing associations are struggling to find a means of supporting residents’ needs to use mobility scooters to remain independent whilst also keeping their accommodations safe. Sarah Lander, Tenancy Services Manager at South Essex Homes, explained: “While scooters provide a lifeline for many, they have also posed a problem for us for many years. “The sale of scooters is unregulated and often residents buy a scooter without any training or guidance and store them in unsafe places, such as stairways, which present a fire risk.”

Residents purchasing scooters may not consider how appropriate the device may be for their living environment, struggling to find the space to safely store the device. It is in these circumstances that the importance of retailers’ properly assessing a customer’s needs and environment really come into play. A recent report of fire safety issues in a sheltered housing scheme in Devon has also highlighted the issue surrounding mobility scooters in blocks of flats. According to the report, residents were concerned for the safety of those with limited mobility in the event of a fire due to continuous lift failures. The housing association however claims that some of the breakdowns have

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actually been caused by mobility scooters. Westward Housing said that some mobility scooters were accidentally blocking the lift’s closing doors when entering and exiting, causing the lift to stop functioning as it resets. According to Westward Housing’s website, finding safe storage for mobility scooters is also a concern for the association. The website says: “We are reviewing a range of possible solutions for storage of mobility scooters on our schemes, however, due to the number of sites we have this will take some considerable time and there are cost issues to be addressed.” Across the UK, almost every housing association has their own policies specifically relating the mobility scooters in accommodations. The fundamental issue stems from residents having to leave scooters in hallways and communal areas due to a lack of space to store scooters in their flats. With retrofitting existing structures to better accommodate mobility devices being neither quick, easy or cheap, it is an ongoing issue which many housing associations will continue to face. A housing association in Essex has turned to the industry for support. Retailer Lifestyle & Mobility in Southend has partnered with housing association South Essex Homes to launch a free proficiency test for users, highlighting safety issues concerning mobility devices in these settings. Sarah Lander commented: “Working with Lifestyle and Mobility, we would like to encourage residents to take part in the free proficiency test before purchasing a scooter and think through the options available including storage and charging.” To help South Essex Homes’ Senior Management team better understand the needs of mobility scooter users, the team took part 36

Retailer Lifestyle & Mobility educates residents about mobility devices and safety in shared living settings

in the test which included riding the scooters around a timed course. Darren Macey, Business Development Manager for Lifestyle and Mobility, commented: “We hope the event showed the team at South Essex Homes “The sale of scooters is how easy the scooters are to use and unregulated and often residents also what powerful buy a scooter without any machines they are – so they shouldn’t be training or guidance and store purchased without them in unsafe places” careful consideration.” The website for the company is www.lifestyleandmobility.

Finding safe storage spaces for mobility scooters proves a challenge for housing associations across the UK. Photo by Elliott Brown

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Going the distance for charity Bob Gibbs, Regional Sales Manager and Jon Nock, Marketing Consultant for Abacus Healthcare, have completed the British 10k race on behalf of the Young Epilepsy charity. The race saw runners pass various famous landmarks including Trafalgar Square and Big Ben and in total, over ÂŁ2k was raised by all the Young Epilepsy runners. Bob Gibbs has also confirmed he is already training for the Woburn Abbey triathlon in support of Young Epilepsy.










Out of 11,250 entrants, Jon finished in 983rd place (00:51:02) and Bob in 2,056th place (00:55:22, a personal best)

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People, products and the power of digital

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NRS Healthcare has seen incredible growth over the last two years, as owners and directors alike have led an initiative to invest in three key areas: people, products and the everchanging landscape of digital content. The latter has been a particularly interesting challenge for the company as digital trends and tools continue to evolve, making it vital for companies to stay relevant and engaging. THIIS spoke with NRS Healthcare’s Digital Content Manager Lexi Lomas, a driving force behind the company’s numerous digital media campaigns, to find out how important investing in these areas has been for the company’s success.

Discussing the results, Lexi explained: “We saw a steep increase in visits to the retail website and a visible uplift in sales. Not only that, the useful information contained within the guide was engaged with and shared many times on social media. This really helped anchor NRS Healthcare’s reputation as a professional leader within the industry of daily living aids; gaining the trust of new and existing customers.”

POWER OF DIGITAL: NATIONAL COVERAGE Arguably one of the most digitally active companies in the industry, Lexi explained that her appointment was symbolic of NRS Healthcare’s commitment to growing its various online channels and that the results have been impressive. One of the company’s more recent digital campaigns featured a guide on the oftenunspoken subject of male incontinence, raising awareness of the topic during World Continence Week 2017 (19th-25th June). The informative and interactive guide included tips on dealing with incontinence, products that help make the condition more discreet and advice on how to confront the excuses made for not seeking help from a healthcare professional. Impressively, the campaign grabbed the attention of the national press and was promoted on The Daily Express’ official website, considerably increasing the company’s reach and effectively raising awareness of male incontinence products.

PEOPLE: INVESTING IN THE “The number of calls our RIGHT STAFF occupational therapists One of the most significant investments receive on a daily basis has at NRS Healthcare grown astronomically over the has come via the appointment of last two years” David Straughan as Managing Director of National Care. “The appointment demonstrates a focus on bringing in renowned professionals to further bolster our already strong team and highlights that NRS is not standing still in its aim to continually improve overall operation,” commented Lexi. Previously holding the position of Managing Director of Logistic Services for G4S, David was responsible for G4S Patient Transport – an area he grew from a turnover of £12M to £60M over a two-year period. Having previously worked with a number of


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NHS customers, David is responsible for the ICES contracts, stand-alone Service and Maintenance contracts and approved repairer Wheelchair contracts at the company, as well as being an integral part of NRS Healthcare’s leadership team. Another area of the business to see a significant investment is Occupational Therapy. Lexi explained: “One of the major plus points to buying through NRS Healthcare is that customers have the opportunity to seek advice and information from our qualified occupational therapists – ensuring they buy the right product to suit their individual needs.” Rachel Seabrook, Clinical Lead at NRS Healthcare, explained why it’s been so important for the company to invest in more occupational therapists. “The number of calls our occupational therapists receive on a daily basis has grown astronomically over the last two years, with many calls made by customers who are looking for expert advice about the products which would best suit their needs. “We now have a strong team of 26 occupational therapists spread across 11 locations in the UK, who are available to provide excellent customer service through giving sound guidance and information – something we know our customers desire.” As well as newly appointed staff, NRS Healthcare also continues to support and invest in its current employees, giving credit to those who go above and beyond their duties. This includes 28-year-old van driver Liam Richards, who recently saved a customer’s life in Egerton, Kent after he heard her cries for help when delivering some equipment to her front door. Liam entered the property to find the lady had fallen over and was unable to get back up. After attending to a wound on her face and calling for an ambulance, he informed the lady’s family who arrived shortly afterwards. Some days after the accident, the woman’s granddaughter sent an email of thanks to the NRS Healthcare depot in Kent and revealed the true extent of Liam’s actions. “It turns out upon arrival at the hospital that nan was suffering from Sepsis again and if your driver hadn’t called the ambulance and gotten her to hospital the outcome may have been very different. So, in no uncertain terms this guy saved my nans life. A huge thank you and I hope you can pass this message on for me and my family.” To honour Liam’s actions, Sharron Nevins, Service Manager at the company’s depot in Kent, presented Liam with an official letter of thanks from the board at NRS Healthcare, as well as £50 in leisure vouchers. Lexi also shared the story of the life-saving delivery driver across the business’ social media accounts, resulting in a wave of support from individuals and businesses across the healthcare sector and beyond for his heroic actions. 42

PRODUCTS: INNOVATION TO STRENGTHEN THE FUTURE Over the last 12 months, the NRS Healthcare New Product Development (NPD) team has been focused on delivering new and improved products, using extensive feedback from healthcare professionals, carers and end-users to drive product development. Lexi commented: “A great example is our recently launched Seahorse Plus, a development of our highly successful and award-winning Seahorse Sanichair. Designed following extensive Engaging digital feedback from healthcare professionals, carers campaigns grab and end users alike, this improved Toileting and widespread Shower chair comes in a range of sizes, enabling attention the product to grow with and adapt to the complex needs of the child using it.” Another innovation that the company’s NPD has recently launched is the NRS Healthcare Combi-Grabber – an update on the CombiReacher. Discussing the improved Combi-Grabber, Lexi added: “So far, the product has received fantastic feedback and resonated with both Amazon UK customers, YouTube Reviewers and even Facebook “We saw a steep increase in fans who have been visits to the retail website and given the opportunity to win a Combia visible uplift in sales” Grabber to help them live independently at home.” Steve Kennedy, Commercial Director at NRS Healthcare, is excited about the future of the company. “NRS constantly challenges itself to become better at what it currently offers to all its customers and to provide new and innovative ways of delivering products and services,” said Steve. “The needs and wants of our ageing population is constantly changing and our customers’ desire to live life to the fullest is the catalyst which drives us to constantly improve, in order to meet these demands.” The website for the company is NRS driver saves a life whilst on a delivery

round up TGA Mobility Service Manager passes away It is with profound sadness that TGA Mobility announced the passing of Dominic Thomas, TGA Service Manager, at the age of 43. Described as a ‘larger than life’ character with a fantastic sense of humour, Dom from Bury St. Edmunds was a valued asset to TGA who cared for his customers. As Dom courageously fought illness over a two-and-a-half-year period, he remained positive and committed to his role at TGA, where he had been a dedicated team player for over 7 years. He will be sorely missed by friends and colleagues. To celebrate his life, his family have requested donations can be made to and

Dom Thomas (right) with TGA Managing Director Daniel Stone

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Retailer partners with Council for speedier stairlift installations Obam Stairlifts has teamed up with West Lindsey District Council to launch a new scheme aimed at speeding up access to stairlifts for residents. The new scheme was implemented following the Council identifying residents unable to access their upstairs safely were at risk of injury. Prior to the new scheme, stairlifts were only available through the Council under a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG), after receiving a recommendation from an Occupational Therapist. This process sometimes led to delays due to waiting on essential information. The new scheme will streamline the process of applying for stairlifts through DFG and facilitate the installation of stairlifts. Under the new scheme, residents who receive

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BES Rehab team expands BES has appointed two new Business Development Managers and a new Assistive Technology Specialist. Lawrence Benton and Lauren Lilley both bring considerable experience to their new roles as Business Development Managers, with Lawrence covering the South and Lauren covering the North. With over two decades of experience in the industry, John Walker joins the company as an Assistive Technology Specialist in the North. Under the management of Director of Rehab Ian Bickerton, BES Rehab now has four Assistive Technology Specialists, two Business Development Managers and two Assistive Product Sales Managers, covering the UK. For more information, visit

Easystart appoints new Sales Director Easystart has appointed Cillian Brugha to the position of Sales Director, having worked at the company for two years as a brand manager for Haze batteries. With a background in marketing and sales, Cillian will now takeover overall responsibility for sales in all markets Easystart supply in to. The promotion comes following the departure of previous Sales Director Graham Flatman, who had been with Easystart for 17 years. Managing Director Trevor Horner commented: “Graham will be missed but goes with the best wishes of everyone at the company. “I am confident that Cillian will continue to strengthen our brand with exciting ideas and opportunities.” For more information, call 01536 203030 or email cillian@batt-man.


New installation engineer at TVM Bristol & Cheltenham TVM Bristol & Cheltenham has appointed Mark Pringle as an installation engineer, joining the Bristol team. From a background working in various roles within the renewables sector, including heating design and solar panel installation, Mark brings a wealth of skills to the role. Mark commented: “I’m looking forward to developing new skills and helping the company continue to deliver an excellent service.” The website for the company is


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top trade tweets A showcase of interesting tweets from businesses in the industry that caught our eye.

Powerful partnerships Essential Aids points out its partnership with the Stroke Association, highlighting a purchase with the company also helps support the charity.

Pitstop en route to Mongolia As Heather and Colin Maddox race to Mongolia in Betty the VW Beetle, they decided to take a pitstop to visit their sponsors Handicare.

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telephone (01685) 845900

round up

Handicare’s new MD focuses on dealer network for growth With over 20 years’ experience in the mobility aids industry, Handicare has appointed Clare Brophy to the position of Managing Director for the UK. Having built a business from start-up to almost £30m in 14 years, Clare has been working as a Handicare director since 2011. Currently the MD of Handicare UK’s direct sales company, Companion Stairlifts, she will now take on the responsibility for all the group’s activities in the UK, including Dealer and Government Sales, Moving & Handling and Bathing Solutions, as well Customer Service and Field Service. Clare will be instrumental in driving the company’s growth plans across all areas of the business, with a particular focus on its dealer network. “We’ll be focusing on opportunities to strengthen our dealer network and driving future revenue growth for key trade partners and our mobility shop network, delivering real value and benefits for all our customers, partners and people,” commented Clare. Paul Stockdill, National Sales Manager at Handicare, said: “Our trade customers can look forward to new, mutually beneficial sales and marketing initiatives in the near future.” The website for the company is

APEX Medical acquires Nexus DMS APEX Medical has acquired Nexus DMS, a supplier of specialist therapy, acute and post-acute profiling beds and mattresses in 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. The acquisition will significantly enhance APEX Medical’s offering to the UK marketplace, supporting the provision of products and services to its UK customer base. APEX has rapidly established regional subsidiaries and a consolidated service network in Europe, America, China and India in recent years as the company continues to pursue sustained global growth. The website for APEX Medical is


Make a date... ...with the best in Britain’s Healthcare Industry at The British Healthcare Trades Awards Dinner 2017. Award entry forms are now available to download from

Thursday 30th November 2017 Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel, London SE1 7TJ



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Time to go global Global Healthcare Trader (GHT), the new website designed to help companies find distributors around the world, will officially launch on Friday September 1st; introducing 9000 key and influential business contacts to the new service for the first time. Developed by BHTA Engage, the commercial arm of the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA), GHT aims to provide a cost-effective way for companies to make contact with businesses around the world. The service will help businesses to start exporting or to build additional sales in new countries and regions around the world. Having been live for a few months now as part of a ‘soft launch’, the website has not begun any promotional activities as of yet. Despite this, the site has received over 10,298 page views from 52 countries over six continents. BHTA Engage Director, David Russell, told us: “We have been busy building our contact data even further in order to make a real impact when we start to let people around the world know which companies are looking for distributors to represent them. “When the first details of GHT are sent, they will go to over 9,000 contacts around the world. Our contact list has been built very carefully and we believe that it is the most comprehensive and targeted contact list in our market sector for anyone looking to develop export business.” David added: “We will also be promoting GHT to other important groups too, including 111 contacts in Departments of International Trade and 146 Commercial Attaché contacts.” Companies can become an ‘Export Partner’ on the site for just £250.00, as David explains: “We believe that GHT is going to be a great tool for lots of different companies; for smaller businesses, it could be the first and very valuable


experience of marketing world-wide. We always wanted GHT to be a way of putting ‘a toe in the water’ and so have taken this into account when setting the pricing level. The cost of 12 months exposure on GHT will be just £250.00 for those companies that are listed on the website when we launch on September 1st.” For £250.00, companies will have a full listing on GHT with the ability to control and edit their own content at any time, appear in the ‘Who’s On’ section of “We believe that it is the most the website and be comprehensive and targeted featured with a short profile on one of the contact list in our market promotional emails sector for anyone looking to sent to the 9000+ world-wide contacts at develop export business” regular intervals. In addition, Export Partners will be promoted in special ‘Showtime’ emails as and when they have a stand at any exhibition world-wide and will also have the opportunity to take advertising space on a postal mailer that will be sent to over 5000+ companies around the world. Advertising rates are being set on a ‘not for profit’ basis for the mailer, making them very effective. To take a look at GHT and to request login details so that you can become an Export Partner and take advantage of the £250.00 rate, visit or call David on 01536 710050.

For More Info... Phone Email Web

01254 619000

Style, Luxury & Performance! Order your demonstrator MAXER or Maxi XLS now and get a FREE set of additional puncture proof wheels. This offer applies for all orders received in August 2017! Mini Comfort is now available with super-comfortable pneumatic tyres! Order your showroom demonstrators now, they’re going fast!

K-Chair “Light and easy”

CALL YOUR AREA SALES MANAGER NOW! Central – Patrick Bevan 07803 000017

South West – Martin Garrett 07850 501634

South East – Keir French 07515 282647

North – Brian McCarry 07714 739763

new to the team Koller expands team to keep up with demand

Disability Needs’ mobility team grows Danny Anderson joins Disability Needs’ mobility team as the company pursues its ambitious growth plans. With over six years’ experience within the industry, Danny is a highly trained wheelchair technician who will be particularly focused on the company’s new range of active, ultra-lightweight HOGGI wheelchairs. To contact Danny Anderson, call 07377 359 710 or email danny@

Wheelchair accessible vehicle product specialist Koller expands its production team with the addition of assembly operative Adam Edwards. Director Dean Koller commented: “Koller is expanding and to meet this growth, it was important to increase the workforce.” The company has also invested in a new Transit Custom van to help with the increased distribution network required at present. The website for the company is


UK manufacturer, established in 1996 Curve & Straight lifts to suit all staircases Innovative, adjustable ERGO chair Award-winning reconditioned scheme 56

• • • •

Space seat for narrow staircases Fastest lead times in the industry for a hand-built, custom-fit, curved rail Outstanding service and aftercare

Freephone 08000 355 591

diary dates

Events Diary September 14 2017 Kidz to Adultz – Edinburgh September 20 2017 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) Hilton Hotel, Drake Way, Reading or call Sally on 02921 900402 September 27-28 2017 Moving & Handling People – Newcastle October 4-5 2017 Independent Living Scotland – SECC October 4-7 2017 Rehacare – Dusseldorf October 10-11 2017 The Care & Dementia Show – NEC October 8-9 2017 Trade Days – NEC October 23-26 2017 Medtrade – Atlanta November 13-16 2017 Medica – Dusseldorf November 16 2017 Kidz to Adultz North – Manchester

November 22-23 2017 The OT Show – NEC December 13 2017 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) - Sheraton Grand Hotel, Edinburgh or call Sally on 02921 900402 January 28 2018 Promoting Independence - Belfry Hotel and Spa

May 17 2018 Kidz to Adultz South – Farnborough International Centre June 13 2018 Promoting Independence – Hallmark Hotel, Cambridge June 27-28 2018 Health+Care – Excel London

January 29–1 Feb 2018 Arab Health, Dubai

July 11 2018 Promoting Independence – Stradey Park Hotel, Llanelli

January 31st–February 1st 2018 Moving & Handling People - Watford

September 12 2018 Promoting Independence – La Mon Hotel, Belfast

February 7 2018 Promoting Independence – The Queen Hotel, Chester

September 26 2018 Promoting Independence – Imperial Hotel, Torquay

February 27-28 2018 Medtrade Spring - Las Vegas

November 7 2018 Promoting Independence – The Spa Hotel, Kent

March 15 2018 Kidz to Adultz Middle – Coventry April 25-26 2018 Naidex - NEC

November 28 2018 Promoting Independence – Hilton Hotel, Newcastle

April 26 2018 Promoting Independence – Weetwood Hall Conference Centre, Leeds

December 5 2018 Promoting Independence – Hilton Hotel, Southampton

When you want to look for a new supplier...

Doing business around the world just got easier Global Healthcare Trader (GHT) is designed for companies looking to find distributors around the world. A simple search facility enables companies looking to import new products the ability to find businesses looking to sell into their own country in just a couple of clicks. If your company is looking to build business around the world, then it could well be the easiest, quickest and simplest way to do it.

Take a look at GHT today... To discuss the opportunity, call 01536 710050 today

jobs on offer

An exciting opportunity to join our team... Sales & Training Executive – South Competitive Salary + Bonus + Car Mark Bates Ltd is looking for an enthusiastic and outgoing Sales & Training Executive to join our growing external sales team. You will be responsible for managing and developing the sales, training and auditing of our Southern based AR network, ensuring our insurance schemes are actively promoted and compliantly sold. The ideal candidate would be driven, hardworking and have excellent relationship building skills. Previous insurance sales experience would be advantageous but is not essential. To apply email a covering letter and C.V. to

Area Advisor South East, including London

Simple Stuff Works is the UK’s leading manufacturer of therapeutic positioning equipment. Used by both children and adults, with a range of complex disabilities, in a wide range of settings, our equipment was crowned the Best Established Product on the British Healthcare Market in 2015. We sell to the NHS, social services, charities and also to private individuals. We are thrilled to be able to offer an exciting opportunity for a self-motivated, dynamic individual to become part of our award-winning team. The successful candidate will be an experienced advisor, someone who believes in person centred practises and who wants to support individuals to get the most from their therapeutic positioning equipment. They will also preferably be from within the healthcare market, with a proven track record of success within a sales environment. We are a friendly, supportive team and are looking for someone who will thrive within the company. The role involves supporting and advising individuals, clinicians and families in the use of our gentle, effective equipment. The candidate will be comfortable conducting physical assessments with individuals, setting up products, supporting clinicians with commissioning, presenting and delivering training for different customers, carers and families. The role does involve travelling and may include a small amount of nights away from home a month. A comprehensive, full training package is offered to the successful applicant. Specific healthcare sales experience is not essential but the following skills are motivation, sales, public speaking and presentation skills, journey planning, time management, excellent communication skills. An above industry average competitive salary.

Mark Bates Ltd NEW LOGO 1.pdf 1 10/09/2015 16:22:25

To apply send CV to Premier Care is a trading name of Mark Bates Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, F.R.N.:308390

Closing date of applications on the 11th August

Technical Sales Role

Account Manager

Ability Matters Group Limited (Belfast)

We are a growing company looking to expand our sales team to deal with business to business sales, based out of our Head Office in Essex. We are aiming to become the UK’s number one lightweight powerchair supplier.

Do you have experience in assessing and prescribing postural management solutions for adults and children with special seating and wheeled mobility needs? Ability Matters is a leading provider of prosthetics, orthotics and wheelchair services and products in partnership with the NHS in England and Northern Ireland. We serve the needs of more than 75,000 service users at 30 centres across the UK. The Group has a turnover in excess of £40m per annum with a global reach and we are listed as a Sunday Times HSBC International Track Company. Working closely with NHS, Local Authority and Social Care Organisations we provide a complete service that significantly reduces costs, delivers better quality and an enhanced client experience. As a member of the multidisciplinary team, you will play an active role in supporting Occupational Therapists in assessment and prescription of custom-made and ‘off the shelf’ seating products, which are appropriate to meet the specific needs of service users. To be considered for this role you must have demonstrable experience of advanced specialist technical knowledge of wheelchairs, powered and manual and specialised seating. You will be able to show that you can plan and organise ordering and delivery of a broad range of complex equipment. Experience and Qualifications A minimum of 3 years’ experience in a wheelchair technical sales role or a similar position. You must be sensitive to the needs of service users and be able to work as part of a multidisciplinary team in a clinical setting. You must be a highly motivated and dynamic individual with excellent communication skills. Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience. A van, Laptop, phone and IPad will be provided. This role is working in a regulated activity and subject to an enhanced DBS disclosure To apply email a covering letter and C.V. to Closing Date 15.08.16

Applicants who have a service background or are looking to make their first move into a B2B sales environment are particularly welcome. Key responsibilities will include: • Making appointments to meet new potential customers • Achieving sales targets for revenue, profitibility and sales growth • Sourcing sales leads using the company’s in-house database or other sources of information • Converting prospective clients to live clients • Management of the existing customer accounts • Pro-actively contacting customers to ensure that their requirements are being met, with a mind to develop further business opportunities from within that account. • Identify new markets and business opportunities • Increase market share in the exisiting market The successful applicant will have: • Proven communication and interpersonal skills • The ability to establish and develop new and existing business • Ability to convert prospects and close deals while maintaining established sales targets. • Highly organised and able to plan and prioritise workload • Self-Motivated and results driven • Driving licence essential In return we offer: Basic wage + commission, travel expenses and mobile phone. To apply for this position please send CV along with a covering letter to


trusted recruiter Area Sales Manager – North England up to North Yorkshire incl. North Wales

Commercial Manager – Scotland


A small to medium sized business but part of a larger group of companies and has been trading for over 40 years with a turnover in excess of £3 million. Specialists in the supply of medical and mobility equipment. With customers that include the NHS and Local Authorities.

Having been established for over 40 years, our new client is a market leader in assistive bathroom products with operations globally. We are currently seeking an Area Sales Manager to cover North of the UK. This includes North Wales, Staffordshire, Leicestershire, Shropshire and across to Lincolnshire and up as far as Lancashire/North Yorkshire - not included the West Midlands. Responsible for demonstrating, carrying out assessments and selling the companies range of assistive toilet products into local authorities, housing associations, distributors, dealers and contractors managing your own territory and diary. You will be required to train OT’s, housing associations, specifiers and dealers on the products. Attend trade events, exhibitions, and sales meetings. Reporting into the National Sales Manager. The ideal candidate will come from a healthcare background and ideally have hands on experience selling into local authorities, care homes and dealers. Those who have experience of having sold wheelchairs or scooters will be viewed as advantageous or those who have seating assessment experience working closely with OTs/PTs and with a hands-on approach. Base salary of between £35k-£40k plus up to 15% bonus. Company car, phone, laptop, pension, healthcare, 23 days holiday plus bank holidays. Confidentially send a copy of your CV to including job reference 436 to discuss further.

£40k-£45k negotiable

Our client is seeking a Commercial Manager to oversee their commercial operations in Scotland. Maximising the profitability of the business through effective management to the highest standards. Working closely with the Managing Director you will be responsible for securing future sales for the business including government contract tendering. You will also be responsible for: Proactively seeking new opportunities to develop business. Control costs and spends. Managing sales, after sales and admin staff a total of around 15 staff with help of the directors. Managing relationships with key customer contacts and attend meetings. Managing tenders and contract admin. Ensuring engineering jobs are scheduled in a timely manner. Looking after the NHS and local authority customers while consistently checking transactions for accuracy, errors and poor practice. This is just part of the role more details will be given on discussion. Based in Scotland the ideal candidate will come from a background in healthcare ideally within assistive technology or medical devices and have previous commercial experience. Must have knowledge of sage 200, understand profit and loss along with the ability to project manage, tender bids and logistic and operational management. A base salary of £40k-£45k negotiable. Yearly bonus based on company performance, phone, laptop, pension, healthcare, 33 days holiday. In order to discuss this opportunity further please confidentially send a copy of your CV to Including job reference 432 61

training diary

Doing any training? If you are providing training for the trade, then simply send us the details of the course, the date, any costs, the venue and the contact for booking places and we’ll include it in the Diary. Email with any details you have. AUGUST 2017 Benmor Medical - Management of the Plus Size (Bariatric) Patient CPD Certified Course – Tuesday August 1st - Wednesday August 2nd – Benmor Midlands Training Centre, Market Harborough Kymco Healthcare - Scooter technical training – August 6th - Bridgend Careflex - The Importance of Specialist Seating in Pressure Care and Postural Management – Wednesday 23rd August - Elgin Invacare - Servicing & Maintenance on Manual chairs – August 9th 2017 – Pencoed - FOC Invacare – Servicing & Maintenance on Powerchairs - August 10th 2017 – Pencoed – FOC Careflex - The Importance of Specialist Seating in Pressure Care and Postural Management – Thursday 24th August Perthshire or Dundee Invacare – Servicing & Maintenance on Patient Lifters - August 31st 2017 – Pencoed - FOC


Kymco Healthcare - Scooter technical training – September 13th – Bridgend Benmor Medical - Management of the Plus Size (Bariatric) Patient CPD Certified Course – Wednesday 13th – Thursday 14th September 2017 - Liss, Hampshire Invacare – LiNX training - September 14th 2017 - Pencoed - FOC Careflex - The Importance of Specialist Seating in Pressure Care and Postural Management – Wednesday 20th September Gloucester/Somerset TBC Careflex - The Importance of Specialist Seating in Pressure Care and Postural Management – Thursday 21st September – Wiltshire TBC JCM Seating Solutions Ltd - Specialist Seating Workshop – Thursday 21st September - JCM Academy, Peterborough Invacare – Pressure Ulcer Awareness & Mattress Care – September 26th 2017 – Pencoed - FOC

OCTOBER 2017 Invacare – Küschall – October 4th 2017 – Pencoed – FOC

CONTACTS FOR BOOKINGS BHTA in partnership with Warrington Disability Partnership – Email sally. Benmor Medical – Contact Sophie Allen – 0333 800 9000 – sophie. Invacare – Call Joan James on 01656 776283 or email jjames@invacare. com Global Training by Silvalea - +44 (0) 1626 331655 or visit www. Pride Mobility – Call Dave on 01869 324600 or email Electric Mobility – Call 01460 258158 or email marketing@electricmobility. JCM – Contact Rachel Davis on Careflex – Call Julieanne Fewings on 01626 831 843 or email julieanne. Kymco - Dave Adams - After Sales Service Manager – Call 01656 641076

Careflex - The Importance of Specialist Seating in Pressure Care and Postural Management – 18th October Manchester - TBC Invacare – Servicing & Maintenance on Manual chairs - October 18th 2017 – Pencoed – FOC Invacare – Servicing & Maintenance on Powerchairs - October 19th 2017 – Pencoed – FOC

Invacare - Robin Overhead Hoist – September 1st 2017 - Pencoed - FOC

Invacare – Bed Servicing & Maintenance October 10th 2017 – Pencoed – FOC

Electric Mobility - Servicing / Maintenance & Fault finding for Rascal Mobility Products – Wednesday 6th September Ilminster. FOC including Lunch.

Invacare – Power Chair Controls - October 11th 2017 – Pencoed – FOC

JCM Seating Solutions Ltd - Technical Training Workshop – 19th October 2017 JCM Academy, Peterborough

Invacare – Fault Finding on Powerchairs October 12th 2017 – Pencoed – FOC

Invacare – Alber - October 25th 2017 – Pencoed – FOC

Invacare – Servicing & Maintenance of Patient Lifters - September 12th 2017 Pencoed - FOC

Kymco Healthcare - Scooter technical training – October 13th – Bridgend

Invacare – Scooter Servicing & Maintenance - October 26th 2017 – Pencoed – FOC

BHTA in partnership with Warrington Disability Partnership - Disability Awareness Workshop - Wednesday 13th September 2017 10am-2pm –Warrington – Cost £40 per person, includes lunch and refreshments. 62

BHTA in partnership with Warrington Disability Partnership - Disability Awareness Workshop – Tuesday 17th October 2017 10am-2pm – Wellingborough – Cost £40 per person, includes lunch and refreshments.

Invacare – Scooter Servicing & Maintenance - October 27th 2017 – Pencoed – FOC









S T Y L E I N N O VAT I O N C H O I C E LEON POWERCHAIR The Leon is designed to exploit the advantages of a rear wheel drive chair for outdoor use. It is geared for speed without compromising on stability or control. The exceptionally narrow wheelbase allows for agile manoeuvrability. It is available in a range of colours that make the chair a real eye catcher. The Leon is a superior powerchair for even the most active users.

a Full suspension a 8 mph maximum speed a 450W 4 pole motors a Optional 75Ah batteries a 62cm overall width a Crash tested For further details please call 0845 630 3436

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

The UK’s leading range of mobility products since 1985

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THIIS is produced by BHTA Engage: 2-4 Meadow Close, Ise Valley Industrial Estate, Wellingborough, NN8 4BH Tel: 01933 278 086 E-mail: Providing news and views in

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THIIS August 2017  

In the August issue of THIIS magazine discusses whether internet-exclusive retailers meet the service requirements inherent in the industry?...

THIIS August 2017  

In the August issue of THIIS magazine discusses whether internet-exclusive retailers meet the service requirements inherent in the industry?...

Profile for thiis