THIIS August 2022

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Also inside... Expert-recommended stairlifts and homelifts Taylor Made Wheelchairs opens its new showroom ISSUE 287 AUGUST 2022


Driving next-level performance Retailer partners with para powerlifting champ to launch active folding wheelchair

Precision Rehab unveils new paediatric powerchairs

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From the editor Welcome!

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16 Retailer Spotlight: Taylor Made Wheelchairs 26 Supplier Spotlight: Precision Rehab 34 BHTA Integration and Sustainability Conference 2022 36 Trade Thoughts

04 News, deals and people 08 Retailers’ Choice: Stairlifts, homelifts and access 38 Let’s Get It Clear 42 Buyers’ Guide: Stairlifts, homelifts and access

If there was any doubt that largescale mobility events would be a priority for the disability community and a success for the organisers and businesses supporting them, then last month’s Naidex event in Birmingham certainly proved that they are, spelling good news for the mobility industry. Visitors came to admire some impressive displays of mobility innovations, a couple of which are chronicled in this very magazine (from p4), and they had the chance to hear from inspirational guest speakers and get the latest expert advice and information on a whole range of topics. On the subject of events, suppliers looking to adapt their practices in line with new integration and sustainability commitments won’t want to miss a new industry event tackling these issues head-on. Taking place in London on 22 September 2022, turn to p34 to find out more. This issue has plenty to keep you informed, including advice from First Senior Group (p14) about point-of-sale finance packages. THIIS meets Matt James, Director of Precision Rehab (p26), to find out more about his firm’s new paediatric powerchairs, one of which was named ‘Best in Show’ at Naidex. Meanwhile, Chris Taylor, Co-Owner of the perfectlynamed Taylor Made Wheelchairs talks about his new mobility showroom in Dudley, West Midlands (p16). Dr Barend ter Haar offers his advice on powerchair joystick control (p38), while our topic of the month for Retailers’ Choice (p10) and Buyers’ Guide (p42) focuses on stairlifts, homelifts and access products.


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Editor / Liane McIvor 07917 784929 / Advertising / Joe Fahy 07384 258 372 / Sub-editor / Sarah Sarsby

@wwwthiiscouk THIIS is produced by BHTA Engage, Office 404, Tower Bridge Business Centre, 46-48 E Smithfield, Whitechapel, London E1W 1AW BHTA Engage Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any way without the written permission of the publisher. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher and although every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate, the publishers take no responsibility for errors or omissions. / 3


News, deals & people

A round-up of the key trade stories for business leaders to digest

The Ottobock Zenit makes its UK debut

in brief...

Healthcare equipment specialist Recare has introduced the Ottobock Zenit wheelchair range to the UK market. At Naidex this year, Oxfordshirebased Recare partnered with its flagship brand Ottobock to showcase the latest wheelchairs, powerchairs and seating solutions. The Ottobock Zenit is a lightweight, active folding wheelchair that aims

to raise performance and comfort standards to a new level. Through advanced engineering and a minimal design, the Zenit is able to offer the propulsion efficiency of a rigid chair whilst offering the flexibility of folding. Its patented ‘Easy-Go’ system means the Zenit can be folded and reduced in size for transit in a car or compact storage in one quick movement.

ABLEWORLD WREXHAM MOVE Nationwide retailer Ableworld has announced that its store in Wrexham is due to undergo a new facelift which includes moving one mile from where its old premises is located. The larger 3,000 square foot superstore is due to open in autumn and will stock Ableworld’s full range of mobility products, with ample free parking for customers. Mike Williams, Managing Director at Ableworld, explained: “Opening a larger store will enable us to extend our services and product range for our customers and to support the local community.”

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Both the aluminium and carbon fibre models promise to deliver maximum stability and efficiency with multiple adjustment options to suit individual preferences. To celebrate the launch of the new Zenit in the UK, Ottobock ambassador Chris Rattenbury, para sportsman and ex-British para powerlifting champion, was presented with his new carbon fibre Zenit at the show.

SCOOTAROUND LAUNCHES NEW APP Personal transportation solutions firm Scootaround has trialled the soft launch of a new app with the ability to book and activate either a mobility scooter or WHILL powerchair device. The soft launch took place in July at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Convention attendees were able to download the app on their phone, scan the barcode on the device, and fill out their booking details so that they could then enjoy the convention with mobility provided by the device. WHILL manufactures cutting-edge powerchairs, which are available in the UK from TGA Mobility.

A push in the right direction The Mountain Trike Company has unveiled the ePush, an electric power assist version of its MT Push, to the UK market Recently showcased at Naidex, the ePush provides the pusher with electric assist to enable them to tackle more challenging terrain, steeper hills and venture further with the rider. It uses the same rear-wheel motor system used on its eTrike but is adapted to have the controls on the push handle for the attendant. The speed is limited to 3.5mph maximum, offering a range of 8-20 miles depending on conditions, user and type of terrain. The ePush is available as a complete new model or as a retrofit kit suitable for any existing MT Push, making it more affordable for those wanting to upgrade.

DHG acquires Raizer product line Medical device manufacturer DHG has completed the acquisition of the Raizer product line from Liftup A/S, further strengthening its safe moving and handling portfolio within the falls management market space. The acquisition of Raizer adds an innovative solution to DHG’s comprehensive portfolio, continuing to benefit the portfolio’s focus on promoting movement and independence and reducing the risk of caregiver injury. Raizer offers an essential solution in providing a safe patient lift from lying to sitting to prevent a long-lie (a patient lying on the floor for over one hour). DHG and Liftup A/S have now entered a Transitional Service Agreement (TSA) period until the 31st October 2022. During this time, Liftup will continue to receive, process, service and deliver orders from direct and distributor customers.

AAT GB REPORTS 30 PER CENT GROWTH Stairclimber specialist AAT GB has reported a 30 per cent growth for 2021/2022, up against both the previous year and exceeding pre-Covid-19 levels. The increase in growth is stimulating new, wider opportunities and the company is now looking to expand its field sales and technical support teams by 50 per cent. Peter Wingrave, Director of AAT GB, stated: “Customer service, and specifically the speed with which we respond to requests for our input, is fundamental to our business and our success.” He continued: “But we know we can be even better, especially as demand continues to grow.”

BANKING ON INNOVA CARE CONCEPTS Healthcare equipment provider Innova Care Concepts has helped Lloyds Banking Group become the first banking institution to open accessible toilet facilities. Innova Care Concepts supplied and installed the new Changing Place facility on Old Broad Street, London, including specialist healthcare equipment such as a heightadjustable changing bench and wash basin, ceiling track with hoist, as well as a privacy screen and shower facilities. The Changing Place is the first of a planned series of investments in Lloyds Banking Group buildings to make these more inclusive for its customers and colleagues. / 5


Habinteg appoints new Director of Social Impact and External Affairs

Access BDD launches digital order platform Stairlift and homelift supplier Access BDD has launched LINC, an innovative cloud-based order processing platform to help it deliver a “seamless customer experience” to its retail partners. LINC gives partners complete visibility of their order book, from the point of order, right through to manufacture and dispatch. It enables the partner to have real-time, up-to-date information, keeping its customers informed on the status of their lift at the click of a button. According to Access BDD, the new platform means that partners benefit from a transparent flow of communication from the factory to their customers. Additionally, with LINC being a cloud-based platform, partners can place an order from anywhere and on any device, even in the customer’s home. Access BDD is training all its partners to ensure they are comfortable with the new system and maximise its benefits.

Moving smart technology up a peg Mobility equipment supplier Baffin Technology has introduced a portable device to the UK, which helps to rehabilitate people who have had a stroke or those with reduced hand-eye coordination due to a disability or brain injury. The Smart Pegboard is a portable interactive device, which can easily be taken with physios and occupational therapists when visiting patients. There are 15 different therapy games available with the Smart Pegboard, which gently motivates users of all ages through fun, game-based training. The high-intensity LED lights provide the user with visual cues to help indicate where they should place the peg and these are complimented by audio feedback to tell the user how they are progressing. Additional sound effects prompt the user during the session.

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Accessible housing provider Habinteg Housing Association has appointed Christina McGill as its Director of Social Impact & External Affairs. Christina will take a strategic lead in promoting the organisation’s interests, influencing decision-makers to increase the number of accessible homes and the adoption of accessibility standards. Leading on the housing association’s social impact strategy Christina will focus on developing local and national partnerships that help support and sustain tenancies, and build cohesive, inclusive communities. The role also oversees Habinteg’s Communications Team and its specialist consultancy service, Centre for Accessible Environments (CAE). Christina was previously Head of Communications for 10 years at the housing association.

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Stairlifts, homelifts and access

Wondering which stairlift, homelift and access products are grabbing mobility companies’ attention? Each month, retailers in the mobility industry highlight one product that is standing out for them and why…

Retailer’s Choice: Synergy Straight Stairlift from Bespoke Stairlifts “The Synergy from Bespoke Stairlifts is a compact, sleek, straight lift that offers great flexibility for dealers and consumers. Its compact design and easy-to-use controls make it an excellent choice for our customers at Three Counties Mobility. “What we love about the Synergy is its adaptability, allowing the lift to be installed on either side of the stairs by simply turning the carriage during installation, this gives us confidence to stock the lift knowing that

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regardless of which side the lift needs to be fitted we can accommodate. “The Synergy Stairlift comes with the option for upgraded left or right power swivel. Other features include a clear display that allows the user to understand the status of the stairlift if there is a problem. This saves time and money on unnecessary call-outs as we can diagnose remotely, directly with the customer. “Customers like the choice of five different seat colours, its narrow

profile and the fact that the lift is produced in the UK so parts and aftersales Scott Brooker support is very Founder of accessible. Three Counties “The team at Mobility Bespoke offer a great service and support. We highly recommend the Synergy Stairlift.”



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Retailer’s Choice: Threshold Ramp from Drive Devilbiss Healthcare “Ramps come in all shapes, sizes and price brackets, providing a quick solution to access problems and allowing the user to gain easy access where usually they would struggle with steps or a threshold. “If permanent, long-term access is required via a ramp, a solid, concrete one is often installed. Where this is not possible, or where the ramp is only occasionally needed, a lightweight one is often used. “Threshold ramps are one of our most popular products here at Ability Superstore. They allow users to cross a threshold and a small

step. Thresholds on modern UPVC doors are frequently tricky, as there is usually a raised step and then the actual UPVC threshold for the door frame. “A threshold ramp is designed to overcome these obstacles, bridging the lip of the door frame/threshold, allowing someone on a wheelchair, using a tri walker, mobility scooter or on foot to gain easier access to their home. “One of our most popular threshold ramps is from Drive Devilbiss. These come in three different sizes: 60cm, 80cm and 100cm. They are lightweight

Julia Phipps and easy to Owner of Ability manoeuvre. They Superstore can be quickly lifted into position and then removed and stored with ease. “These ramps are made from aluminium, making them both lightweight and robust. They can be left outdoors in our great British weather and will not rust or corrode. “Best of all, particularly in the current economic climate, they are priced economically too, providing easy access at a reasonable price.”

Retailer’s Choice: Aerolite Ramp from Enable Access “We have chosen the Aerolight range of ramps as they are extremely lightweight and versatile with various options available, including a joining support allowing temporary ramping up to 16 feet long. “They are able to accommodate all types of wheelchairs, scooters and rollators and feature a tapered lip which fits into narrow doorways, and have a carrying weight of up to 450kg. Different folding options and custom sizes are available and all have a full-width grip surface.”

Lauren Bromfield Occupational Therapist at Classic Mobility

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Retailer’s Choice: Ultimate Stairlift from Platinum Stairlifts “Every now and then something special comes onto the home access market which makes people’s jaw drop. The Ultimate was launched as a gamechanger, boasting outstanding, innovative features coupled with beautiful aesthetics. And, it really has delivered and walked the talk within the industry. “Platinum develops innovative, safe, quality-built products which sets itself apart from its competitors. Also, its commitment to the dealer is equally impressive as the high-level technical training and in-house support ensure products are installed to the highest standard. “As stairlift dealers we face many different configurations and challenges, so having the Ultimate as an option means we will rarely not be able to find a solution. The Ultimate’s First Step Start feature allows us to maximise the most compact floor spaces, whilst keeping doorways clear. This eliminates the need for hinges and being able to determine start and finishing points for the rail is fantastic. Another amazing feature is forward facing travel, a great option for anyone who has difficulty with leg flexion or, if they experience vertigo. “Nowadays aesthetics is so important, the Ultimate’s rail is one of the most attractive rails on the market exuding style and elegance whilst being extremely compact, fitting tight to the wall allowing us to maximise the staircase for other users within the home and fit on to a staircase which may be narrow or steep, all this while having the capacity to carry up to 25 stone user weight.”

Retailer’s Choice: The FlexStep from Liftup

Billy Finnie Operations Manager of Mobility Scotland

“The FlexStep by LiftUp is the perfect solution to conquer split levels for all wheelchair users and walking-impaired persons in areas with minimal space. The FlexStep has proved to be an elegant combination of a regular staircase and a wheelchair platform lift, giving a perfect two-in-one solution for wheelchair users and stair users! “This space-saving product is easily integrated into its surroundings as the FlexStep can be designed and configurated for each project. With minimal disruption and without changing existing structural elements, the FlexStep is ideal for both commercial and domestic properties, internally or externally. “Higher Elevation is an authorised dealer for this product in the south east of England. With limited dealers within the UK we are proud to be able to promote this innovative solution to our customers.” Amy Hadlow General Manager of Higher Elevation

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All chairs are not the same...

That's why we make them to fit! For more information on our range go to... Tel 01685 845900 Chairs featured are the Snowdon BLTR and the Adelphi.


Making finance accessible We have all recently seen the frightening increases in the cost of living with rocketing price hikes in food, fuel and utilities. Daily news is constantly highlighting the next round of bad news regarding these ongoing increases. Unfortunately the mobility sector’s elderly and/or disabled customer base is being particularly hard hit hard by these rises due to them receiving benefits or pension payments which are not increasing in line with inflation. Those lucky ones with savings are now even less reluctant to dip in to their nest eggs as they have less disposable income to replenish their pot. This is impacting customer spending in all areas of the economy and is especially prevalent in the mobility market where we are dealing with an elderly demographic. Purchases are being postponed or even cancelled outright as priority is given to everyday bills and basic living costs. Due to this change organisations, and especially mobility retailers, are now looking at alternative ways to help these clients as well as bringing in new customers to assist with much needed revenue. MAKING BUDGETING EASIER Point-of-sale finance is becoming vital for all mobility companies to

Not keeping up: The disparity between state pension increase and inflation

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ensure they have alternative purchase methods for their clients to ensure their sales continue. Finance is also a great tool to ensure a client can afford the product that suits their needs rather than buying just the cheapest product. Reputable finance companies will offer fixed terms with fixed payments making budgeting much easier. However, choosing a finance supplier with expertise in lending to this difficult finance market is not easy. Many high street lenders will not lend to this market and a few that do charge very high APRs which can put your business at risk due to reputation damage. By ensuring that authorised dealers work within the requisite guidelines are trained and audited to perform the sales process in complete compliance there is an avenue of sales to be gained for the dealer working with clients that need finance. PROTECTING THE END-USER Protection of the end-user is paramount and compliance checks are made to ensure the product is affordable and fit for purpose considering all of the demographics that are attributable to each and every client. Reputable finance is all about protection of the end-user and making sure the funds are used for ensuring the product and the client’s requirements are a match today and for the foreseeable future. This is prudent protection for the funders as well as for the end-user, and obviously ethical lending benefits the mobility retailer too, so it’s a win-win for everyone. You can also assist your clients with the cost of living problems by making

Point-of-sale finance can offer an attractive option for mobility retailers and their customers, explains James Nicholls, Group Managing Director at First Senior Group…

sure they are fully protected from expensive unforeseen bills which many will find harder to pay for. Making sure the client is properly insured to protect against theft, attempted theft and, more importantly, public liability, is really the minimum the client should have, as recommended by the Department for Transport. Prior to the current cost of living problems many clients of dealers would struggle to have paid for replacement products or hugely expensive public liability claims. Also, mobility retailers should carefully consider warranties for their clients too. Everyone has seen the cost of parts increase due to the massive costs associated in shipping them. This in turn increases the average repair cost, and these repair costs are almost impossible to budget for as no one can predict when a motor or control board will fail. If the client has a warranty, most unforeseen electrical or mechanical failures can be billed directly to the insurance company, meaning the client hasn’t got to raise the funds and, all importantly, remains mobile. First Senior has been specialising in the financing of its clients for over 25 years, priding itself on offering competitive acceptance rates at correct and affordable rates. The firm assists in the customer relationship, giving the end-user peace of mind that the details of an agreement are affordable and in line with its philosophy of care and transparency for the client. Mobility retailers interested in finding out more are advised to call 01582 842224 or email sales@firstsenior. com and ask for the sales team.


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Copyright ©2022 First Senior Group, First Senior Insurance Limited, first Senior Finance Limited. First Senior Insurance is authorised and regulated by the Financial conduct Authority. All rights reserved. Registered in england number 3504591 Registered office: First Floor, St Giles house, 15/21 Victoria road, Bletchley, Milton Keynes MK2 2NJ


Emma and Christopher Taylor, Owners of Taylor Made Wheelchairs

Taylor Made Wheelchairs: Tailored to a customer’s needs 16 /

With over 30 years of experience prescribing manual and power wheelchairs and seating, a husband and wife team in the West Midlands are looking to transform their customers lives with custom-made seating and mobility products to suit their lifestyle…



The showroom stocks a wide range of wheelchairs from different brands

Set up by husband and wife team Emma and Christopher Taylor, Taylor Made Wheelchairs recently opened a bright and funky new showroom in the West Midlands. Boasting a high street location in Brierley Hill, Dudley, and featuring bright and funky artwork on the walls, the store provides a wide range of equipment, including manual and powered wheelchairs, mobility scooters, power add-on bikes and seating for adults and children. As well as supporting clients with wheelchair assessments and advice all over the Midlands and its neighbouring areas, the business also works closely with the NHS, private occupational therapists, physiotherapists and charities. Explains Chris: “We target therapists wanting an honest approach to their client needs out of store while in-store locally it’s about looking after clients who value quality.”

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For Chris, the mobility trade is a “life-long passion, all I know.” He was the director/co-owner of another dealership before starting up the fledgling business and is experienced in the mobility industry. Chris spent 25 years at Sunrise

Bright and funky artwork adorns the walls of the new showroom

Medical starting on the shop floor building chairs before moving towards a mix of sales and product management roles. During his career Chris has delivered thousands of hours of NHS clinical assessments as well as


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RETAILER SPOTLIGHT supporting private specialists and charities. SETTING UP SHOP Emma and Chris had talked about setting up a business together for a couple of years so when they decided to make the leap it felt like a natural progression. Emma looks after the administration of the business and has a background in business management and operations, while Chris is focused on making sure products are “tailor made” for customers. Says Chris: “We just felt we could do things better on our own on a smaller scale and giving the best customer service possible – looking after clients like they deserve.” Emma takes care of the finances and stock ordering, while looking after Chris’s diary for servicing and product fittings. The couple were looking for a central high street location for their starter store rather than a unit on an industrial estate. Adds Chris: “To find

a store was the biggest challenge as it has taken over a year to actually narrow down to a selection of a few and then to negotiate a decent contract. “In the end we found this place that was less than three miles from home and the landlord was also local so it just goes to show if you look long enough you will find something that suits.” The store itself is handily located on a very busy road with a major hospital about half a mile up the road towards Dudley. It’s a small store with a bright and vibrant interior. “The fitting out of the artwork was actually the idea of Simon Collins, the MD of sales and marketing at Sunrise Medical which is very close by. “We just found a contractor that could do what we needed and along with a really good landlord it was easier.” Certainly the feedback from customers to the store has been very positive, says Chris. “So far the

Emma Taylor takes care of administration, handling customer enquiries and bookings

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feedback has been really nice and people have been surprised that it’s so bright and welcoming and not like your everyday mobility store.” BEST IN STOCK Chris says that he prefers to stock products from industry-leading brands based on clinical excellence and customer support. Products include rollators, track wheels, power add-on bikes and wheelchairs from Rehasense; riser recliners from Repose; mobility scooters and powerchairs from Sunrise Medical; wheelchair backrests and cushions from Jay; as well as a range of incontinence products, walking sticks and daily living aids. Chris says he has been impressed with the Quickie indoor/outdoor powerchairs from Sunrise Medical. “The new off-road Magic 360 is proving to be a very niche product.” When it comes to what products he stocks in the store Chris explains that there’s nothing he wouldn’t really


Chris has found that the PAWS City handbikes from Rehasense have been selling well

have a look at but “it’s got to be right for the client.” For Chris the primary motivation is offering excellent customer service. “I don’t take on a great deal of clients as I see there’s a ceiling on what you can do to look after your clients otherwise the ceiling caves in by selling everywhere around the country and not supporting the clients. “We don’t stock anything that is poor quality just because it’s a value line. We just don’t want disappointed clients.” As far as bestsellers go Chris states: “I have to say the Quickie Life folding chair and the Quickie Q500 M are my real go-to products, along with the Jay seating range. The PAWS City range of handbikes from Rehasense, which come with either a 12” or 14” front wheel and are ideal for city travelling, have also done well, he says. “They go well with any Quickie wheelchair for my clients.” Chris is looking forward to seeing what response he gets from customers to the Magic 360 powerchair, made by Magic Mobility,

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an Australian brand owned by Sunrise Medical. This compact chair with off-road capability is suitable for kids and adults and combines supportive MPS seating with a range of powered functions to support end users from the most basic to the most complex needs. Says Chris: “The Magic 360 is the absolute game changer for outdoor travel and will literally go where no other chair in the range I supply will go. “I’ve done the same work I did on chairs when I was in product management where before you tell the market how brilliant the new product is you actually go out and test it for yourself, and I can honestly say I’m blown away with the performance of this chair. It’s going to be a very successful product.” UPCOMING CHALLENGES Chris says the business is progressing very well and is already “ahead of plan” this financial year. If anything, he underlines, managing growth is going to be a real task.

He comments: “Organic growth is always best though as I’ve learnt you just can’t successfully buy it and come out the other end reaping the rewards, especially in a small family business.” Taking a wider view of the mobility sector as a whole Chris admits “the economic situation” goes right across all sectors, with the mobility sector having to contend first and foremost with a supply chain challenge that has been unseen in recent years. With the rise of ecommerce for many companies it’s often about beating the competition with low prices but Chris feels that businesses such as his can beat this by focusing on the right products, offering excellent customer service and building relationships with clients. “Customers are starting to look at more quality offerings. As the old saying goes, buy cheap buy twice.” As for new stores? “We’re looking to bed in the new store and take a view on progression when the time is right and who knows?”

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Precision Rehab: Bespoke solutions for all Founded seven years ago by Matt James and his wife Emma, paediatric equipment provider Precision Rehab has steadily been carving out its place in the mobility sector and is now recognised as an established provider of bespoke powerchairs to meet complex needs. Last month, the firm won the coveted ‘Best in Show’ award for its Paravan PR35 S standing paediatric powerchair at this year’s Naidex. CAN YOU TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT YOUR STORY BEFORE PRECISION REHAB? Matt: “I had been working in the industry for over 22 years for a specialist powerchair company importing chairs from Norway. In this role I visited the factory and helped design the chairs and special features for them. I experienced every aspect of the supply chain from servicing, repairs, assessments, aftersales, attending and organising exhibitions, sales, deliveries and the import and export chain. “As you can imagine, over this time it had become my passion to help powerchair users receive the best possible advice, equipment, and service! When this company ceased production worldwide I was made redundant. “I received lots of offers from other companies within the healthcare industry but had already decided with Emma that we would create our own

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business and this is when Precision Rehab was born! “After our first two years Emma was also offered redundancy from her accounts role and this was the perfect time for her to increase her role within Precision Rehab to full time.“ WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT FOR YOU AT PRECISION REHAB? “This is a really difficult question as every chair we supply is a proud moment. The feeling that we have delivered a life-changing product to our clients is a highlight, knowing we have gone the extra mile to ensure they have received the best service possible and given them freedom and independence. “I guess the proudest moments are when our clients feed back how we and the products we supply have changed their lives. Also, the fact we are now approaching our seventh anniversary is amazing! “

Powerchair supplier Precision Rehab has had a busy year launching awardwinning products and introducing them to potential customers at mobility trade events, while keeping on top of regular client assessments and product deliveries. THIIS caught up with Matt James, Director of Precision Rehab, to find out more…

The Paravan PR35 S powerchair, which won ‘Best in Show’ at Naidex 2022

CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THE PARAVAN PR35 S? “The new Paravan PR35 S was born out of frustration! Pretty much all powerchair manufacturers have paediatric models, including Paravan, but they are all based on adult-sized chassis (bases) with small seating systems. As you can imagine, to have such small children using very large powerchairs has its challenges, not to mention how all you can see is the powerchair and not the child using it. “At Precision Rehab we have always

“At Precision Rehab we have always aimed for the user to be the point of focus – not the chair!”

The Edge 3 Stretto is our narrowest and most powerful powerchair yet. The narrow base measures 20.5” (520mm) wide and with features such as our 12” iLevel, Smooth Ride Suspension and Q-Logic 3 technology, this is the perfect indoor/outdoor chair.

Turning Radius 533 mm

12” Elevation and up to 3.5 mph

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The Paravan powerchair production team at their base in Aichelau, Germany

aimed for the user to be the point of focus – not the chair! The Paravan PR35 S is the only standing paediatric chair available on the market and is 40 per cent smaller then adult versions, including our PR40 model. It has a chassis width of just 57cm and it can take a user weight of up to 80kg. “Other features include lay-down and recline back rest, tilt in space, seat elevation and elevating leg rests. It also comes in a non-standing

Matt and Emma celebrate their Naidex win with Stefan Ludwig (right), Paravan’s Director of Wheelchair Systems

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version called the PR35. We officially launched the PR35 S around six months ago at the Naidex show that was delayed for two years due to Covid so really it made its full debut at Naidex 2022!” WHAT ELSE IS NEW AT PRECISION REHAB? “Along with the launch of the PR35 S we also launched the non-standing version, the Paravan PR35. This powerchair is equally compact but without standing function. It offers lots of powered functions with added value for money. “We are also working with Paravan on some exciting new products that will be announced soon! We work with other manufacturers such as Dietz Mobility that recently launched upgrades and features to its Sango range that have been well received and are a popular choice.” WHAT PRODUCTS DO YOU REGARD AS BESTSELLERS? “Our Paravan range is very popular as we can offer 10 different models to suit all ages, medical conditions and solutions to accommodate even the

most complex needs. “Our most popular model at present is the Paravan Piccolino as we can offer this with a very small K110 seat system, a medium size K120 seat system for teens and young adults and the K130 adult seat system. This ensures the chair will last many years just by replacing the seat system. “Also very popular is our range of Dietz Sango chairs. They offer very flexible power functions with a choice of advanced and slimline wheelbases with junior and adult seating. They also come with a choice of three drive formats front, mid and rear wheel drive and offer great value for money with high build quality.” PRECISION REHAB SIGNED AN AGREEMENT TO EXCLUSIVELY DISTRIBUTE US-BASED TRACKMASTER’S RANGE OF POWERCHAIRS IN 2020. WHAT HAS BEEN THE RESPONSE LIKE TO THIS? “The TrackMaster offers offroad capabilities that cannot be matched by any other product in the market with snow, water, mud, soft sand, ice and very rough terrain being easily


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Matt and Emma with Zoli Bodnar (Service Manager) and Stefan Ludwig (Paravan)

The Paravan PR40 and PR35 S powerchairs

overcome. The pandemic has meant that we have not been able to trial the chair as much as we would have liked but now exhibitions are open again the TrackMaster is proving to be a real show stopper!” ARE THERE ANY GAPS IN PRECISION REHAB’S PRODUCT PORTFOLIO THAT YOU ARE LOOKING TO FILL? “At Precision Rehab we are always looking for unique products that would complement our existing portfolio. We will visit the Rehacare show in Dusseldorf in September to support Paravan and discuss new ideas. It also allows our team to look for products that offer solutions not currently available in the UK. “We have some new products coming from Paravan and they will be launched at one of the trade shows when available. We are also in talks to bring in a new product that we currently do not have in our portfolio that will fill a gap! More details on this will be announced in the near future.” HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT MOBILITY TRADE EVENTS IN GENERAL? DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVOURITES? “Mobility trade events are very important to Precision Rehab as it allows us the opportunity to showcase our new and existing ranges to lots of people at one event. This is often a wide range of people from private individuals to professionals within

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the healthcare industry. Our ‘not-tomiss show’ is Naidex as this is one of the bigger exhibitions that has great attendance records and works very well for our business. It is also a great platform to launch new products. “Other shows we attend are the Kidz to Adultz events. These are one-day exhibitions which provide us the opportunity to show products in different locations of the UK. “As a business we attend these events mainly to generate sales leads with private buyers or via the professional network of therapists, and of course our growing brand. They are also a great opportunity to catch up with existing clients – many of whom have become friends over the years.” HOW ARE YOUR PRODUCTS DISTRIBUTED IN THE UK? “We distribute all our products throughout the UK ourselves with direct sales due to the complex nature of the products. We do however work closely with the dealer network via a referral system. “This also includes the professional sector such as occupational and physiotherapists and case management contacts, and ensures we can manage aftersales care and service. Now the world is opening up once again following the pandemic Precision Rehab will look to expand our direct sales and service team to accommodate the increase in demand.”

HOW HAS PRECISION REHAB MANAGED TO NAVIGATE CHALLENGES IN THE PAST YEAR, SUCH AS SHIPPING DELAYS? “It was a challenge at the start of this year with shipping changes brought on by Brexit and medical devices having to have individual MRHA UK numbers rather than the standard CE marking. “We managed this with our manufacturers and delivery times are pretty much back to normal. However, we are aware of supply issues worldwide as the world recovers from the pandemic and some manufacturers are reporting supply issues but the manufacturers we deal with have forecasted this and increased stock levels to allow for any potential shortages.” ARE YOU STILL CARRYING OUT VIRTUAL ASSESSMENTS IN ADDITION TO FACE-TO-FACE? “Yes, we still offer all our different levels of assessment if requested as many of our clients and potential clients are still in the at risk category. These include the virtual

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The busy Precision Rehab stand at this year’s Naidex

assessments, socially distanced assessments and face-to-face assessments with PPE. “I recently took part in the first round table event organised by the BHTA (British Healthcare Trades Association) where we discussed virtual assessments. Precision Rehab will continue to offer these assessments into the future as not only is it safe but it makes business

sense as a triage tool to assist with face-to-face assessments.” WHAT’S NEXT FOR PRECISION REHAB FOR THE REST OF THIS YEAR? “We have just got back from a very successful Naidex 2022 and are currently very busy with new client assessments, product deliveries. Now we are approaching our seventh

The Paravan production facility in Aichelau, Germany

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anniversary we are seeing repeat client orders. With the increase in demand we are possibly looking to recruit additional staff for sales and servicing roles. “We are currently in talks with a couple of brands that have contacted us to distribute their products which would fill gaps in our portfolio and we will have more news on this soon.”

“The Paravan PR35 S is the only standing paediatric chair available on the market and is 40 per cent smaller then adult versions”


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BHTA Integration and Sustainability Conference 2022 For those involved in the supply of products and services to the public sector, two words are redefining the business and procurement landscape: integration and sustainability. In September, the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) is gathering some of the most senior leaders in NHS and government to share just how these agendas are shaping procurement policy, and what it means for suppliers. BRINGING BUSINESS AND HEALTHCARE LEADERS TOGETHER Set to the dramatic backdrop of London’s iconic Tower Bridge, 150 business leaders from across the healthcare and assistive technologies industry will come together to attend the BHTA Integration and Sustainability Conference. The event aims to give suppliers insights into how health and social care providers are embedding integration and sustainability initiatives from those responsible for setting and implementing policy. “Health and social care integration

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and the push to net zero are two key areas where many of our members are looking for more insights and information,” explains Calvin Barnett, Head of Marketing and Communications at the British Healthcare Trades Association. “Efforts to foster greater integration between the NHS and social care system are nothing new, but the pace of integration has rapidly accelerated over the past 12 months, particularly with the passing of the Health and Care Act. “At the same time, the NHS and government have also set ambitious net zero targets, with the NHS planning to reach net zero across the emissions it can influence by 2045 – and plans to reach an 80 per cent reduction by 2032. “This means a transferring of commissioning responsibilities and a significant shift of procurement priorities which suppliers have to understand and adapt to. “That’s the purpose behind the conference – to help companies navigate the new landscape by engaging with those leading the change.”

THE CONFERENCE AGENDA 9.30–10.20: Registration and networking (coffee, tea & pastries) 10.30–10.50: BHTA CEO opening address 10.50–11.15: Preeya Bailie, Director of Procurement, Transformation and Commercial Delivery at NHS England & Improvement 11.15–11.40: Andrew New, Chief Executive of NHS Supply Chain Andy Windsor, Commercial Director of NHS Supply Chain 11.40–12.10: Panel discussion and Q&A 12.10–13.30: Lunch and networking, as well as meetand-greet with BHTA CEO 13.30–14:05: Foundations UK 14:05–14:30: Department of Health and Social Care MedTech Directorate Director 14:30–14:55: ICS Director (TBC) 14:55–15:25: Panel discussion and Q&A 15:25–15:40: BHTA CEO closing address

THE SPEAKERS • David Stockdale – CEO at the British Healthcare Trades Association • David Lawson – Department of Health and Social Care MedTech Directorate Director • Andrew New – CEO of NHS Supply Chain • Andy Windsor – Commercial Director of NHS Supply Chain • Preeya Bailie - Director of Procurement, Transformation and Commercial Delivery of NHS England and NHS Improvement • Foundations UK - Speaker TBC • Integrated Care System – Speaker TBC

EXCLUSIVE INSIGHTS The one-day conference is set to see a number of high-profile speakers take to the stage and present their thoughts and share their insights. “We are delighted with the line-up,” continues Calvin. “We have some of the most influential leaders from NHS and government at the event, who are sure to deliver some excellent content. “Being able to announce David Lawson as a speaker is also fantastic, as he’ll presenting and also fielding questions during the Q&A panel. It will be an opportunity for the industry to get a good idea of his views on some key issues.” QUEUEING UP FOR Q&A Each speaker will take to the stage for 25 minutes to share their insights, experience and expertise. Themes covered on the day will include a deep dive into integration of health and social care in England and what role sustainability has to play, the impact of integration on the commissioning/provider landscape, the delegation of powers from NHSEI and councils to integrated care systems, as well as the circular economy and the focus on recycling. The conference will also include two 25-minute panel discussions, where delegates can raise their questions directly to the panel. “The interactive aspect of

WHERE AND WHEN The Tower Hotel, London 22 Sept 2022, 9.30am – 15.45pm TICKET PRICES BHTA member rate Single rate: £120 + VAT pp. Multi-rate (2+ tickets): £100+ VAT pp. Non-BHTA member rate Single rate: £220 + VAT pp. Multi-rate (2+ tickets): £200 + VAT pp. MORE INFORMATION: Calvin Barnett BHTA Marketing & Communications T: 020 7702 2141 E:

the conference presents a rare opportunity for suppliers to uncover information that could inform and shift their business strategies,” says Calvin. “With so much transformation taking place in the health and social care sector, the Q&A will give our audience the chance to put questions to those at the heart of driving this change.” In addition to the presentations and panel discussions, delegates will also be given the opportunity to network with other business leaders over refreshments and lunch throughout the day. Also, the BHTA’s new CEO, David Stockdale, will be hosting a lunchtime meet-and-greet session, where delegates can discuss issues and ideas. “We would certainly encourage anyone interested in building their knowledge of the procurement and policy landscape to attend. “It will be a brilliant opportunity to align your business with the agenda of those setting out procurement policy across health and social care providers,” adds Calvin. HOW TO ATTEND The BHTA Integration and Sustainability Conference 2022 is open to both members and nonmembers of the association, and booking to attend is now open.

INTEGRATION The passing of the Health and Care Act 2022 has led to significant changes taking place in the NHS and local authorities in England, including making integrated care systems formal statutory bodies with power over NHS commissioning and spending at a local level. For suppliers, this means a need to understand the new commissioning landscape, including the stopping of automatic tendering of NHS services, the expansion of powers of the secretary of state for health, and a new a cap on the cost of social care. SUSTAINABILITY The UK Government and the NHS have set ambitious net-zero targets, with the government committing to net-zero by 2050 and the NHS aiming for 2045. For suppliers, this means meeting the needs of new procurement priorities. This has only been accelerated with the introduction of Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 06/21, which came into force on 30 September 2021. Importantly, this requires all public bodies to take account of suppliers’ carbon reduction plans in the procurement of any government contracts with a value of over £5 million per year.

To book, visit www.bhta. com/the-bhta-integration-andsustainability-conference/

“We have some of the most influential leaders from NHS and government at the event” / 35

Trade Thoughts How do you influence retail decision making and understand what patients want from their equipment? In the wake of the pandemic, there seems to be a new momentum for rethinking and revamping how we care for the elderly with a shift to independent living from skilled nursing facilities. This month, THIIS asks industry leaders how they influence retail decision making and understand what patients want from their equipment? Are consumers more interested in paying for products rather than having these supplied to them by the NHS?

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Julia Phipps

Mike Glynn

We are finding that more and more customers are focusing mainly on price, whereas, in prepandemic times, they were looking for mobility items which would enable them to remain independent and living at home for longer, but that were “different”. By different, we mean more modern looking and not looking like “NHS products”. “Customers were, on the whole, happy to pay more for items which were a bit different – a number of rollators immediately spring to mind. However, since the pandemic, and with everyone watching the pennies even more, we have noticed a “trading down” to more standard/NHS-style products that are functional but not as aesthetically pleasing. “Amazon has positioned itself as a significant player in this sector and is also helping to force prices down by encouraging many online retailers to fight for the “buy box”. Although customers do often get items at a reasonable price on Amazon, they frequently do end up buying products which are unsuitable for their needs. “We pride ourselves on a team that truly understands the products. Together with our occupational therapist, we can speak to customers, understand their requirements and provide proper advice, recommending suitable products and solutions. “Our website contains guides and relevant information, which many of our customers refer to in order to help them make a more informed decision about mobility products. However, price has always been an important factor and is now even more so.

Life has changed in the last two years and no more so than in the care industry. Many people have no desire to end up in a care home and are taking steps to remain active. From the explosion of activities like walking football, to chair yoga individuals are taking charge of their wellbeing with a view to maintaining their independence. “Ways of retaining one’s independence have also been made much easier through technology. Having access to information via the web has enabled people to do their own research into equipment. “People see what’s available and aren’t constrained by what their local retailer has in stock. Prices are also far more competitive as online deliveries enable almost anything to be delivered from anywhere in the world to your door. “Your customer doesn’t ask ‘what can you suggest?’ but more ‘what can solve this problem, and do I like it?’ “So, as a retailer you need to ensure that you’re engaging with your target customers at a much earlier point in their buying decision. “Does your website answer the real questions that your customers are asking? Do you provide the right information? “Make sure that you set yourselves apart from your competitors by knowing what your customers want and need. Be flexible and attentive and then add in a few ‘wow’ moments. “Make your service stand out from the crowd by being different. You’ll always get people to your door (or your website) but how you tell your story will make them come in and make a purchase!

Owner of The Ability Superstore

Retail Consultant

Greg Whelan

Billy Finnie

Helen Kitchen

Listening to our retailers there seems to be an increased interest amongst their customer in remaining at home for as long as possible. “Wellell’s extensive range of products help people in all sorts of circumstances. “Our biggest challenge is to assist the retailer in understanding the benefits of the products and how they help their customers stay healthier at home for longer. “The responsibility therefore lies in education and associating the products to the individual’s needs, something we achieve through oneon-one training, virtual training, videos, open days and roadshows. “With many hurdles to jump having quality and innovation as lead components is key to succeeding. “The ultimate point is to listen, listen to what people think of your products, what they like, but understand additional needs they may have e.g. interaction between your product and another product. “In an ideal world we would all enjoy unlimited equipment budgets through the NHS, sadly this just isn’t possible, leaving many people having to pay for equipment rather than waiting or going without. “Given a choice of free issue or contribution I believe most of the public would choose free issue, but it’s also a case of quality of life “now”, making life easier for yourself and your family through products; and if those individuals can afford those items then we see people making that life choice to buy, enjoying the difference that products can bring rather than wait.

If your wish is to continue to live your life in your own home, the home you love, then it can be done and as an industry we can have a part to play. “With the recent introduction of digital observation units, telehealth systems and virtual care, coupled to the type of equipment we sell, a person, if they wish, can benefit from staying home longer, safer, and healthier benefiting from many of the functions you would normally find within a care environment. “As an industry we have benefited from this alternative care option, and we will continue to do so as the sector develops. Consequently people’s attitudes and buying motivations are changing. They are more informed and willing to purchase the right equipment to facilitate their wish of remaining at home. The customer has become much more decisive when it comes to buying mobility products. Gone are the days of procrastination and stigmatisation, purchases are being made because the home has become sacrosanct. “People will be more motivated to buy the product themselves as opposed to relying on the local authority or NHS as they can control key objectives i.e. tailored to suit their specific needs, will definitely add value, have better lead times and generally more pleasing aesthetics. “We are finding people want a modern, safe, and easily accessible home where they can relax, be cared for and mitigate the risk of accidents, so they buy as either a necessity or preventatively but either way they buy on their own terms for their exact needs.

Our society is facing the challenge of an ageing population. Almost one in five people in the UK is now over 65, which will put increasing pressure on our health and social care services over the next few decades. “This population shift means we urgently need to move away from the hospitalisation and declining health associated with ageing, and towards a healthy, more independent later life. The pandemic has highlighted how well care can be provided remotely as an alternative to isolating older people in care facilities. Home adaptations play a big part in keeping people independent at home, but we also desperately need a shift in mindset around ageing. “Handicare is meeting this challenge by partnering with the Live Longer Better revolution. We’ve sponsored 1,800 licences of an online course that’s helping healthcare professionals rethink the way they see ageing, and encouraging people to stay active, independent, and healthy for longer. “We need to challenge the perception that we should slow down as we age, and instead encourage people to do more and stay active in later life to prevent frailty and hospitalisation. “We want to work with our retailers as we take this opportunity to transform attitudes towards home adaptations, with the message that a stairlift is an enabler. Life doesn’t stop when you need to use mobility aids. Instead it’s the start of a more independent life at home, where you can be active in ways that suit you – with the help of a stairlift.

Director of Product and Marketing at Wellell

Operations Manager at Mobility Scotland

PR & Communications Director (EU/RoW Brand) at Handicare / 37


Getting power under control If a person needs a powered wheelchair, this probably means that they have impaired mobility. This impairment may indeed only affect the lower body, but, in many cases, this will also affect the upper body, and therefore their ability to use a joystick. To drive their wheelchair they are standardly asked to drive with a joystick which needs some higher degree of fine motor control. In addition, the joystick is commonly positioned where it is not going to be in the easiest place to provide fine motor control. So what can be done to make the job of driving and controlling the wheelchair easier for a person with impaired mobility? Figure 1. A controller with a standard joystick

WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAKE THE JOYSTICK EASIER TO HANDLE? Joystick handles have derived from designs created for operating electronic game controllers and therefore for use by people with unimpaired manual dexterity. This is why there is an after market for alternative handles that can be easier to handle. Some examples are shown below, and other solutions such as ‘sticky’ surfaces are on offer.

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Figure 2. A mushroom or domed joystick handle

One approach is to increase the surface area, and this can be achieved by ‘mushroom’ or domed handles (Fig. 2) which fit into the palm of the hand. These often have a ribbed surface to help stop the hand from sliding off. For those with a weak grip, this design does not need much force to control. A refinement to this design is the ‘grooved mushroom’ handle (Fig. 3) which adopts the best features of several other models. Its hand-filling shape, top and side grooves, and height adaptability (you can cut off lower sections to give it less height) make it ultra-versatile. The top and side grooves give superior grip. The grooved shaft and the ability to tuck the fingers below the knob make

Figure 3. A grooved mushroom joystick handle

Most powered wheelchairs make use of a joystick for the occupant to control and drive the wheelchair. The controllers to which the joysticks are attached are usually positioned at the end of a wheelchair arm support, and with a very standardised joystick handle. This article looks at alternatives that can make it easier for movement-impaired occupants to manage the joystick and provide finer control of the wheelchair.

driving easy for users grasping from the side. While having a useful height for upright gripping, its height is easily shortened for palmar hand position or fingertip control. A flexible shaft dampens vibrations while driving and reduces the risk of damage to the electronic controls. For users who have a challenge of keeping their hand on the handle, a U-shaped handle is the answer (Fig. 4). Where the handle is made from a thermoplastic that can be warmed up in a bowl of boiling water or with a heat gun, the ‘wings’ of the U can be reshaped and formed into the ideal position for the user. This can be form fitting and ergonomic with a curved shape and waterfall edge to support the fingers or wrist while driving.

Figure 4. A U-shaped joystick handle

A completely different concept is that which is incorporated into a flexible straight joystick handle (Fig. 5). This can be controlled by even the outer joint of one finger, and the amount of leverage can be adjusted by the user by how far out along the length the handle is held. The whole shaft is flexible to reduce aggressive forces on the controller.

Figure 5. A straight joystick handle

BE AWARE OF THE RISKS There are risks that should be taken into account with a replacement handle. Standard knobs usually incorporate a skirt at the base to protect the gaiter - the flexible component that prevents dirt and debris getting into the joystick bearing. The gaiters are often very thin and can be easily damaged. They may also degrade over time due to contact with skin oils, or from friction. It’s important to protect them. If the new knob is too heavy, it can interfere with safe release of the joystick. An alternative handle, such as an inflexible T-handle, can result on the user placing too much force through the handle into the controller and damaging the latter as a result. WHERE AND HOW CAN WE POSITION THE JOYSTICK TO MAKE DRIVING EASIER If you were trying to do something that requires fine motor control, such as colouring in a detailed line drawing, you would not place the paper off to your side. So why, when we ask people to do something that can require fine motor control such as controlling a joystick, do we place that off to the side? A central position would be optimal. Unfortunately, ordinarily a controller fixed in a central position would impede access to the wheelchair. The simple answer is to use a system that attaches to the

tubing holding the arm support or similar part of the chair frame, and have a swing-away, and then locking, a mechanism which can hold the controller in a central position for driving, and then have it swing-away to allow access to the wheelchair seat (Fig. 6). There are, of course, options for mounting joysticks elsewhere (Fig. 7), and/or for alternative controls. The latter is a topic for a future article. IDEAS FROM OUT OF THE BOX One wonders how much research has been carried out on the ergonomics overall, and the specific effects on the different joints along the arm from the fingers to the shoulder, of different hand positions to control a joystick, and what’s best for an offset joystick as compared with a midline joystick. For many wheelchair occupants, especially when the joystick is offcentre, they choose to place their hand on top of the joystick, involving pronation of the hand. For these drivers, I wondered some years ago whether it would be possible to hide the controller in the arm support of the chair, and the chair be driven by the occupant moving a surface that could just look like a (separate) extension of the arm support. In day-to-day normal office life, a number of people suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome which affects their ability to use a standard mouse. For these individuals, an ergonomic vertical mouse such as the one shown

Figure 8. An ergonomic vertical mouse

in Figure 8, can be less painful and more effective. This hand position, akin to holding a cup handle, might be better suited to their hand position for a number of wheelchair users when driving their wheelchair, and indeed is often the position of the hand adopted by users of standard joystick handles. IN CONCLUSION There’s a variety of options available that can be used with joystick controllers which provide for more ergonomic joystick control and positioning that can help a powered wheelchair user drive more easily, and also, importantly, place less strain on the joints of their upper body and parts of the arm.

‘Let’s Get it Clear’ by Dr Barend ter Haar

One in a series of occasional resumés of aspects in the world of posture and mobility where there are common misconceptions, and myths to be addressed, to help promote better practice. Further items can be found at If you are interested in receiving further information on the topic, please contact

Figure 6. A swing-away joystick mount allowing a centralised joystick position

Figure 7. A centrally mounted chinoperated joystick

Dr ter Haar has been involved in seating and mobility for over 30 years, including lecturing internationally, and developing international seating standards.





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Buyers’ guide to stairlifts, homelifts and access

Each month, discover key products from a different segment of the mobility market to consider offering to customers

Duo+ Homelift from Stiltz Homelifts Duo+ is a compact homelift designed for ambulant users able to independently stand or perch while the lift moves between floors. The Duo+ removes the obstacles to cluttered and potentially dangerous living and instead provides a streamlined, quick, and quiet way to move between floors in the home. It is a freestanding model which, once building work has been completed, can be installed in a day or two. The lift plugs straight into its own standard domestic power socket and uses minimal power as it travels smoothly through the floor on self-supporting rails. The Stiltz Duo+ gives retailers an opportunity to offer customers a wide range of installation positioning options providing unmatched freedom and flexibility in their home.

Harmony FE Homelift from Terry Lifts

The Harmony FE is a fully enclosed through floor homelift designed for ease of use and practicality, suiting all needs. Users can travel standing, seated, independently in a wheelchair, or in a wheelchair together with a carer. There are three models with optional extras and finishes available. The low cabin floor profile makes for easy wheelchair access while one-touch controls mean there’s no need for constant pressure. The Harmony FE can carry up to 325kg and travels up to 3.6m between two floors. The lift maintains fire and smoke protection between the floors, whether it is parked upstairs or downstairs, and complies with BS 5900:2012.

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The Horizon Stairlift by Platinum Stairlifts Infinity MKII Curved Stairlift from Bespoke Stairlifts The development of the Infinity MKII has been a priority for Bespoke Stairlifts’ in-house design team, with enhancements for easier installation and improved functionality for the end user. A redesigned chassis comes with a slimline, re-shaped cover made of hardwearing ABS plastics for longer-lasting durability. It offers easier, minimal tool access for a quicker installation and simpler maintenance. Offering a stylish design with enhanced benefits and safety features, it is tailor-made to fit any staircase perfectly and fold away neatly when not in use. With removable seat covers (as standard) for increased hygiene and a selection of seat colour options for the customer, the Infinity will blend perfectly into any home décor.

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The Horizon delivers a quick and hassle-free installation on any straight staircase. A reliable and comfortable model packed with ergonomic features, its cushioned chair is available in four colours, with a spacesaving seat pad option. Other space-saving solutions include a powered hinge, which allows the rail to easily fold back when not in use, leaving hallways and doorways free from obstructions. As well as an easy-to-foldaway seat, arms, and lever-activated footplate, the Horizon can be customised with a power swivel to allow the chair to turn effortlessly at the top and bottom of the staircase. The Horizon can also be installed for outdoor use, engineered to withstand all weather conditions, offering a solution for external staircases.

Roby Stairclimber from AAT GB The Roby provides a batterypowered tracked system for transferring any wheelchair up and down stairs. Comprising a self-standing steering bar and motor with rubberised tracking, Roby is easy to attach to any wheelchair to safely and smoothly power, via electronically controlled gearing, up some 20 flights from one charge. The gearing delivers a manageable, constant speed of travel, whether up or down, laden or unladen. Operation is simple: one button provides start and stop functions, with a separate button for emergency stop. When not in use, Roby can be broken down into its two component parts for ease of storage, or for use beyond the home where stairs are a barrier to community engagement.


Launches Redefined

HOMEGLIDE STAIRLIFT World-leading stairlift, home lift and platform lift supplier Access BDD is delighted to announce the launch of their new HomeGlide stairlift, available from late August 2022, as part of their award-winning stairlift range. Building on the astounding success of their original HomeGlide model, this new generation straight stairlift is the ultimate blend of elegant design and functionality, with a particular focus on user comfort. Its new features make this stairlift a superb value-driven alternative to the popular Flow X for anyone looking for a straight stairlift. The newly enhanced HomeGlide model has been specifically designed to meet the needs of individual customers in the modern world. It features a new spacious seat with an increased depth, allowing for an improved postural position and optimal comfort for the user. In addition, the new design also has a soft neutral colour palette, wider seat and an increased maximum weight capacity of up to 160kg, meaning the HomeGlide will be more suitable for more people than ever! For complete confidence, staying connected with family and friends has never been more convenient with the optional integrated call device. The new HomeGlide stairlift is also equipped with several additional safety features to ensure the stairlift meets

the latest UKCA and EN81-40:2020 regulations. For example, the new retractable seatbelt designed for single handed use now features auto-detection technology, to ensure the seatbelt is fastened securely before travel. In addition, there are new detection points in the armrests to ensure they are in the correct position before riding the lift. Safety edges have also been built into the chair’s footrest and drive, so the user can rest assured that the stairlift will come to a complete stop in the event any obstacles are encountered. The standard HomeGlide can now be enhanced with an ‘Extra’ pack, designed for those who want to benefit from additional comfort features. For example, an added auto swivel seat, an adjustable seat height and a linked powered footrest grant the user effortless entry and exit from the lift. In addition, for those with limited mobility, you have a more tailored fit, eliminating the need to bend down. A key lock switch is also included as part of the Extra pack, which is particularly useful with young children around or if the lift is used in a public setting.

If you are interested in becoming an Access BDD partner please call us on 01642 853 650, visit or email

We asked Rick Bennett, Regional Manager for Northern Europe, for his take on the new HomeGlide. This is what he had to say: “I’m particularly excited about the arrival of our new version of the HomeGlide straight stairlift. In spite of the challenges we have all encountered in the last two years relating to the supply chain and logistics, for reasons we know all too well, Access has enjoyed unprecedented growth in sales across all our stairlift products. However, as somebody said, “if you’re not moving forward, you’re falling back”, and in order to continue our success we must focus on forwarding momentum, and that’s where our new HomeGlide comes into its own: having a product fully in line with the new EN81-40 regulations and adapted to the needs of the UK local authority and other worldwide markets will ensure we both grow with the market and increase our market share. Developed and refined by the same engineers who created our market-leading Flow X, the new HomeGlide will, I’m certain, ensure our leading position in the stairlift market in years to come.” Advertorial - written and prepared by Access BDD.


S-Max Climbing Device from AAT GB Suitable for almost every wheelchair, adult or child, S-Max helps to overcome the barrier of stairs with no need to transfer. The battery-powered climbing device attaches to the wheelchair to enable the operator to safely and smoothly transfer the passenger up and down stairs, and beyond, over most surfaces, at a speed with which they feel comfortable – even pausing/ stopping the process if needed. It claims to deliver an almost immediate solution, with no need for structural alteration or installation, and no impediment to use of the home. S-Max can also support transfer beyond the front door into the wider community. With full training given, and full adjustability for the operator, S-Max provides a safe, fully controlled answer, accommodating 300 risers from one charge.

Smart Ramp from Drive DeVilbiss The portable Smart Ramp has been designed for use with wheelchairs, powerchairs and scooters. It can be used to obtain safe access to motor vehicles, buildings, and other locations where access is difficult. Ideal for use by retail shops on the high street it has a lightweight aluminium construction, folding in half for ease of storage and handling. Central plastic handles make it ideal for easy carrying and transportation.

VM Through‐ Floor Lift from Wessex Lifts With tens of thousands of units sold since the late 90s, the VM Through‐ Floor Lift is popular, versatile and practical. Every iteration of the VM has improved upon the original; becoming easier to install, maintain, and upgraded aesthetically to suit modern domestic dwellings. The VM is mainly chosen to allow wheelchair users to travel between floors, where transferring someone between their chair and a stairlift is not possible. As such, it comes in a wide range of sizes to accommodate wheelchairs of different sizes.

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Features include an angled lip at the top of the ramp and raised edges for added safety and peace of mind. Its anti-slip high traction surface ensures safe for use in most weather conditions. Coming in a metallic colour finish, the ramp has a 30” width, making this ramp suitable for MPVs of up to 27.5” in width.

For those who need extra assistance, the Wessex VE Through‐ Floor Lift offers an enclosed design and is therefore suited to carrying multiple occupants.

THE BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE MADE IN YORKSHIRE INSTALLED WORLDWIDE Working with our global partners we are proud to have enabled thousands of customers the opportunity to live their lives independently.

One of the world’s slimmest railed straight stairlifts, simple in its operation yet detailed in design.

Our products include the features and benefits you expect on a stairlift, but we offer more choice for your customers.


Seat colour options

The Infinity curved, innovative and stylish in design, without cutting corners on safety and comfort.

Easy zip-off seat covers for improved hygiene


Trio+ Homelift from Stiltz Homelifts This spacious domestic lift can be retrofitted into most homes quickly and with minimal fuss. It can also be easily included at the early stages of planning when considering an extension or accessibility adaptations. Boasting an hourglass shape, clear sides and attractive ambient lighting, its accessible features include a gently-sloping ramp for easy wheelchair or walking frame access,

the option of a powered door and a unique ThruCar capability (enter and exit the lift from opposite sides). The lift has a higher carrying capacity of 250kg and it is now available with the option of 6m travel distance which will span three floors in a standard property. A further optional extra is the inclusion of a fire seal for added peace of mind.

LR Platform Lift from Wessex Lifts For traversing heights of just a few steps (up to one metre), the BS:6440 compliant LR Platform Lift is a great choice. Wessex design and manufacture two similar models of lift in this regard: the SP (travelling half a metre) and the Liberty Open (to three metres). Features such as front gates and motion sensors on these lifts keep the person using the lift, as well as those nearby, safe. There is also the option for a bridging system on the SP and LR models, which allows the space the lift occupies to be shared with a set of stairs. Custom colours and finishes allow these lifts to elegantly and seamlessly blend in with their environment.

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Sadler from Stannah Designed specifically for people with limited flexibility, the Stannah Sadler claims to offer a new alternative to traditional and perchstyle stairlifts. It helps users maintain a more upright posture at the same time as taking much of the user's weight through the seat, minimising the weight supported by the legs. The Sadler's innovative saddle-style seat lowers and raises with the user and together with its elevated position makes entry and exit easier and more comfortable.

“Care UK have worked with The Stair Climbing Company for many years and I have found their service to be incredibly professional throughout. I would highly recommend them to all care groups”

Celebrating 40 years in business 1982 – 2022

Kevin Orme, Head of Facilities Management, Care UK

The Skyline stair climbers are a range of stateof-the-art stair climbing solutions from ‘The Stair Climbing Company’. This type of stair climber will attach to an existing wheelchair (including electric). Used on inside/outside steps the Skyline benefits from features such as a digital display panel and a powered recline system. A single battery charge can run up to 900 steps! Some of our clients include Carnival Cruise Ships, the World Heritage site of Bath, the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and the Open Golf.

01787 379160

Over 700 models available from stock. Please contact us for our trade catalogue: Tel 01460 75686

STRIDENT BATTERIES THIIS ADVERT DEC 2021_Layout 1 07/12/2021 10:42 Page 1



Strident - a name you can trust for high performance batteries With over 20 years experience, Strident are perfectly placed to offer the widest range of high quality battery products to the mobility and medical industries. Careful selection of only the highest quality raw materials, consistent quality control throughout the entire production process and painstaking attention to every detail gives the Strident range its unique properties that can be trusted and relied upon in many vital mobility and medical applications.

To find out more about the Strident range of Mobility and Medical focused power products please contact our salesteam now. Strident Innovations

Head office address: 50 Turbine Way, Ecotech Business & Innovation Park, Swaffham, PE37 7XD T: +44 (0)1362 300102 | F: +44 (0)1362 300103 |


LHR Battery from Leoch Battery These backup LHR batteries are the solution for emergency power needed for stairlifts. Engineered to offer highpower discharge rates at 15mins, these 12V batteries have a 12-year design life. This is equally matched with its special pasting formula which ensures a long service life. Leoch batteries feature a unique one-way vent valve designed to minimise water loss while also increasing safety. The case is made using a ABS case UL94-HB (UL94-V0 Optional) resulting in increased container strength and a tougher exterior.

Lifestyle Home Lift from Terry Lifts The Lifestyle Home Lift offers a stylish yet practical solution for modern, independent living. The smart corner design minimises the lift footprint, so it takes up no more space than an armchair. Design-wise, both the interior and exterior of the lift can be customised. The Lifestyle lift can carry up to 250kg whether standing or seated on the folddown seat, and it travels up to 3.6m between two floors. Minimal building work is required, with no need for a lift shaft. It can typically be installed in two days. The lift maintains fire and smoke protection between the floors, whether it is parked upstairs or downstairs, and complies with BS 5900:2012.

Vuelift Homelift from Handicare The Savaria Vuelift from Handicare aims to offer nextlevel luxury. This stunning homelift uses winding drum technology for ultimate reliability and a smooth ride, and features panoramic 360° views with its optically clear glass or premium acrylic cabin and shaft. With a fully integrated system, Vuelift is easily installed in existing homes, and components can fit through standard doorways and even narrow halls. For smaller spaces, Vuelift Mini offers a reduced footprint, as well as being more budget-friendly without compromising the Vuelift wow-factor. Vuelift is fully customisable with a range of configurations and up to six floor stops, as well as a range of bespoke colour options on metalwork elements. It is available in round, octagonal or mini.

50 / Dash Rehab by Rhealthcare have an excellent range of folding powerchairs including the Dash E-Fold – an electric folding powerchair with a key fob. Dashi is our aluminium manual folding chair with a lifting weight without batteries of 19kg. Travel bag standard with the Dashi. Dash Rehab have the very popular Dashi Mg which is full magnesium and one of the lightest powerchairs in the world at 14.22kg without legrest and battery fitted. Travel bag option now available at an extra cost.

Dash Rehab by RHealthcare Unit 25, Whistleberry Industrial Park Hamilton ML3 0ED

Fold down rollator is NEW to the market available in either a red or Cambridge blue liquid paint finish and stylish look. The push handles fold down once the handles are together with no levers needed. Total weight 8kg, user weight 136kg.

0845 146 0600

thiis-ADVERT-400 hfe -4.pdf 1 20/07/2022 14:18:54

Domestic and Public Access Lifts









Over 50 years of design, manufacture and installation throughout the UK Extensive product range of through floor, platform & step lifts Innovative, independent UK manufacturer Full after sales service and maintenance support Accredited members of LEIA

For a quote call 01565 752 800 -


1100 Stairlift from Handicare

Synergy Straight Stairlift by Bespoke Stairlifts Including all the features you would expect from a straight stairlift, the Synergy has one of the world’s slimmest rails, folding away closer to the wall allows for more space and access for other staircase users. Ergonomic controls for a smooth start/stop ride provides comfort for the user. The LED display makes the Synergy easy to understand without deciphering codes and bleeps. Coming with a retractable seat belt as standard, and safety sensors for better peace of mind and an available powered swivel seat option, using a stairlift has never been easier or safer. The Synergy comes with removable covers as standard for easier cleaning. A selection of seat colours, helps the Synergy blend perfectly in with any home décor.

Let the Powerpack do the pushing Incredibly easy to fit and simple to remove Designed and made in the UK Range of up to 10 miles

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The 1100 is Handicare’s flagship straight stairlift. Slim and stylish in design, its friction drive technology makes for a smooth and quiet ride and eliminates the need for tooth racks so it is a breeze to keep clean. The 1100 is non-handed, making it an ideal option for retailers to keep in stock. It’s easy to upgrade with a range of powered options to suit customers’ needs, as well as being quick and easy to install. The innovative slide track feature moves the rail as the seat travels to avoid obstructing walkways, for ultimate convenience and safety. Continuous charge functionality means the lift can charge at any point on the rail, meaning fewer breakdowns, fewer callouts, and more happy customers.

Flow X Curved Stairlift from Access BDD The Flow X curved stairlift features Advanced Swivel and Levelling technology (ASL) which enables it to rotate and swivel, ensuring the stairlift is always in the safest and most comfortable position. ASL technology allows the footrest to remain independent from the drive unit and swivel with the seat allowing the user to sit comfortably at all times. The Flow X can be fully customised and installed on staircases as little as 24” wide.

The Ultimate Stairlift by Platinum Stairlifts

A single tube model packed with features, the Ultimate claims to be the only single tube on the market to accommodate weights of up to 25 stone and the first to offer forward-facing travel, delivering a solution for those who experience vertigo. Its unique ‘first step start’ option removes the need for a hinged rail and keeps doorways and hallways completely free from obstruction. Platinum custom-builds its stairlifts in the UK with each one tested to the highest standard before leaving the warehouse and coming with a signed certificate of quality. The Ultimate is available in five colours, with a choice of ergonomic features. It includes a manual or powered swivel, joystick or rocker switch controls and a fully adjustable seat with lever linked footplate.

Supra Platform Lifts from Access BDD The Supra and Supra Linea platform lifts feature cutting-edge design and offer a superb solution for straight or curved staircases. The Supra can be fitted to most staircases either indoors or outside and has a dual-rail design which doubles as a handrail for the best use of space. Manufactured using only quality components, the Supra range features foldaway arms and ergonomically designed to blend into any environment.

Call to find out more

01787 888 106 Attaches in seconds

or email QUOTE: THS20 / 53


Elan Stairlift from Bruno Lifts

The Curve Stairlift by Platinum Stairlifts The twin-rail design of this stairlift offers stability for the smoothest journey possible when turning corners on the most narrow and steep staircases. The rail can incorporate an integral landing and wrap tightly around banisters and walls, from 90 to 180 degrees. Just like the Horizon Model, the Curve comes with the Ergo chair, which offers space-saving options to seat the user closer to the wall or allow the legs to drop lower, which is excellent for shorter legs or where more space is needed on a narrow staircase. Customers can expect custom-build quality from the Curve and Ultimate range, with every stairlift being handcrafted and tested to the highest European Safety Standards. This model accommodates weights of up to 25 stone.

Bruno’s Elan straight stairlift features a vertical rail that installs only three inches from the wall to the back of the rail, maximising open space on steps. In addition, a covered gear rack reduces exposure to grease and gives a sleek appearance. The stairlift offers a 136kg lift capacity and a continuous charge battery operation Multiple Elan options are available to customise to meet individual needs: power folding footrest to eliminate the need to lean over, power swivel seat for effortless exit and power and manual folding rails for narrow hallways or when door is at bottom of stairs.

HomeGlide Stairlift from Access BDD The new generation HomeGlide stairlift has several new features which combine to make it an attractive alternative to the popular Flow X for anyone looking for a straight stairlift. The new warm grey seat has an increased depth and width for enhanced comfort and postural support. This new design combined with a maximum weight capacity of up to 160kg makes it a great straight stairlift solution for more users.

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DELIVERY l Nationwide delivery & installation l Removal & disposal of old products

Experts in Healthcare Logistics

l Manufacturers warranties honoured


l 35,000 Square foot warehouse

0330 445 0099



l Owned & operated fleet of vehicles

SERVICING l Annual equipment servicing l LOLER testing & inspection l Bed inspections & servicing l Engineer call-outs for repairs

STORAGE l Short term storage solutions

Your Promises. Delivered.


Quality. Reliability. Comfort. Bruno delivers best-in-class stairlifts specifically designed for exceptional comfort and lasting quality.

+44 (0) 151 559 0732 |


Freecurve Stairlift from Handicare

Elite Outdoor Stairlift from Bruno Lifts

The Handicare Freecurve is custom-built for each staircase for the highest quality and reliability. Easily surveyed using Handicare’s innovative PS4D technology, it fits perfectly to almost any staircase. Its single-rail design is sleek and unobtrusive, with a range of colour and seat options to blend into customers’ home. With various powered options, including Handicare’s patented Active Seat for additional support when standing from the lift, the Freecurve can be easily adapted for a range of mobility needs. The Freecurve’s latest feature, the two-way powered swivel, allows users to ride in an offset position before turning back towards the landing for a safe and comfortable exit. This means it can be installed on narrower staircases.

Featuring a 190kg lift capacity, Bruno outdoor stairlifts are designed with weather-resistant materials: marinegrade vinyl on the seat, outdoor paint and e-coated base on steel surfaces and a lightweight cover for additional protection when the stairlift is not in use. Performance tested from -15C° to 52° C., Bruno outdoor stairlifts are engineered to withstand harsh weather conditions. Available in both straight rail and handcrafted, bespoke curve rail, Bruno’s outdoor stairlifts swivel up to 90 degrees and lock in place at the top of stairs to ensure a safe exit away from the stair. Obstruction safety sensors and seat belt offer additional peace of mind.

Skyline Stair Climber from The Stair Climbing Company The Skyline Stair Climbers are a range of state-of-the-art solutions that will attach to an existing wheelchair (including electric). Used on inside/outside steps the Skyline benefits from features such as a digital display panel and a powered recline system. A single battery charge can run up

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to 900 steps. Some of The Stair Climbing Company clients include Carnival Cruise Ships, the World Heritage site of Bath, the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and the Open Golf.

Calling all professionals who work with assistive tech! Stay informed about new assistive technologies with a FREE bi-monthly AT Today Magazine subscription WHY SUBSCRIBE?


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Elite Stairlift from Bruno Lifts Featuring a 190kg lift capacity, Bruno’s Elite is available for straight and curved staircases. Bruno Elite straight and curved stairlifts accommodate different body types with adjustable height for the seat and footrest and adjustable space between armrests. An optional

wider seat and larger footrest is also available. The Bruno Elite bespoke curved rail artfully follows every angle. Optional curved rail configurations include 90 degree and 180 degree park positions, helping a user exit the lift further from the stairs or stow the stairlift

out of view. Bruno Elite stairlifts use a vertical to rail to maximise open space on the stairs, and a covered gear rack to reduce exposure to grease. The Bruno Elite can be customised with power options to meet specific needs.

S-Max Sella Stairclimber from AAT GB The multi-functional S-Max Sella stairclimber offers an attractive alternative to stairlifts and homelifts. It can accommodate almost every staircase, whether attached to a wheelchair or with integrated seat. A self-contained battery-powered unit, S-Max Sella is operated by the carer to smoothly and safely negotiate stairs with no strain on the operator. It requires no structural alteration to the property or installation and there is no loss of space as it folds away when not in use. It can even be used beyond the home, improving user wellbeing by accessing life beyond the front door. Fully adjustable to each operator and passenger, and fully controlled by the operator, the product offers a safe solution to stairs.

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The Ergo Lite 2 transit weighs just 8.5kg complete and the self-propel breaks down to 6kg making them among the very lightest wheelchairs available on the market.

Karma mobility ltd Unit 6 target ParK, redditch Worcestershire b98 8yn T: 0845 630 3436 E:

Ergo Lite 2 Self Propel Wheelchair

Ergo Lite 2 Transit Wheelchair

Maximo and Maximo Plus

Compact and flexible with full size comfort. Introducing Maximo and Maximo Plus, a full sized scooter offering more space, comfort and capability whilst still providing folding transportability. A smooth drive and stability are provided by large pneumatic tyres, comfortable suspension, powerful motor and easy to use controls. With a simple one lever action, Maximo and Maximo Plus can be folded in seconds and ready for the car boot or easy storage. Call us for Q3 offers. | | 01787 888 106