THIIS December 2021

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Also inside... The Mobility Furniture Company’s flagship store

ISSUE 279 DECEMBER 2021

Why Geberit is making a splash

TRADE MAGAZINE

Bed and mattress special

Retailers’ Product of the Year 2021 Mobility retailers reveal their favourite products of the year


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WELCOME

Inside..

From the editor Welcome!

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48

Features

Regulars

08 Retailers’ Choice Product of the Year 2021 22 Retailer Spotlight: The Mobility Furniture Company 32 Guest Q&A: MobShop 36 Supplier Spotlight: Geberit

04 40 42 44

News, deals and people Opinion: Graham Ewart Let’s Get it Clear Buyers’ Guide: Beds and mattresses

With such a huge variety of equipment available to retailers in the mobility and access sector, and given the significant impact these items can have on the daily living of their customers, it is a difficult task for most to state one item that stands out. It has to be special. This is why I urge you to check out the top picks chosen for our ‘Retailers’ Choice of the Year 2021’ from page 8. This issue, find out more about The Mobiility Furniture Company (p22), which recently opened the doors of its flagship store in Tunbridge Wells. THIIS also chats to Simon Thomas, Care Sales Director at Geberit (p36), while Graham Ewart, CEO of Direct Healthcare Group (p40), states his case as to why the NHS needs to be protected at all costs. On page 42, Dr Barend ter Haar of BES Healthcare explains why prevention is better than cure when it comes to a child’s development, and our Buyer’s Guide this issue features some of the key bed and mattress products to consider. From the whole team at THIIS Magazine, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Stay safe and well.

Editor

THIIS has been asked by The Mobility Store Limited (themobilitystore.co.uk) to clarify that the article in the November issue: The Mobility Store: Off to a winning start refers to a shop run by The Hearing and Mobility Store Limited, of which Willie McIvor is a director (thehearingandmobilitystore.co.uk). The Mobility Store Limited has no affiliation or association with The Hearing and Mobility Store Limited.

Stay up to date... TRADE MAGAZINE

Editor / Liane McIvor 07917 784929 / liane@thiis.co.uk Advertising / Joe Fahy 07384 258 372 / joe.fahy@bhtaengage.com Sub-editor / Sarah Sarsby sarah@thiis.co.uk

@wwwthiiscouk facebook.com/THIIS.Magazine linkedin.com/company/thiis-magazine 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.

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NEWS, DEALS & PEOPLE

News, deals & people

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

Jenx and Jiraffe appoint Clinical Partnerships Manager

Ottobock launches the Kimba

in brief...

Ottobock UK has announced that the new and improved Kimba will be available from January 2022. The buggy comes in new colours and features an innovative tilt mechanism, recline adjustment, seat adapter, bigger storage basket, suspensions for child comfort and folding lock. Simon Tempest, Head of Business Unit Human Mobility & Special Seating Clinicians, commented: “The Kimba has been part of the Ottobock family of products for several years now and has remained unchanged, until now. “Through our innovative Research and Development Department it was noted that there were some areas on the Kimba that could be updated to bring a new look and feel to this popular buggy. With these areas in mind the changes were made and we feel this has improved the Kimba.”

PERMOBIL ACQUIRES PANTHERA In a move to strengthen its product portfolio and competitiveness in the market, Permobil has entered into an agreement to acquire light wheelchair manufacturer, Panthera. According to Permobil, the acquisition is an important step in its strategy to increase the quality of life for people living with disabilities through an expanded offering to the users. Panthera, it says, has a strong reputation for manufacturing ultralight active wheelchairs, and like Permobil, it was started by a Swedish entrepreneur.

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Sheffield-based postural care specialist Jenx, and UK distributor Jiraffe, has strengthened its marketing team with the appointment of Kieran Murphy as Clinical Partnerships Manager. This newly created role involves working closely with the Jenx design team to assist with clinical insight and reasoning into future product development, as well as working with Jenx distributors and its service users to support with the understanding and clinical reasoning behind Jenx and Jiraffe products. A qualified paediatric physiotherapist, Kieran has a keen interest in helping children with cerebral palsy and the management of hip dysplasia and will continue to work in an NHS locum role alongside his role at Jenx to ensure his clinical skills continue to evolve. Jiraffe and Jenx has experienced a significant period of growth across the range of market leading postural support equipment and is currently recruiting for nine new roles.

DIRECT ACCESS AWARD RECOGNITION Disability accessibility consultancy Direct Access has been shortlisted for two prestigious awards for exporting British expertise in accessibility. For the ‘Insider North West International Trade Award’, Direct Access was nominated for identifying opportunities to export to the United States over the past year. The firm was also nominated by the jury of the Franco-British Trade & Investment Awards 2021 for its contribution to trade and investment, in recognition of its leading role in identifying and working with new French partners to develop transport accessibility programmes in France’s regional cities.


CareCo partners with Panther Logistics Mobility equipment retailer CareCo has appointed Panther Logistics to deliver mobility scooters and other heavy-duty products to customers with wide-ranging physical needs. As part of its service, Panther will deliver to consumers in private homes. CareCo will use the two-person specialist’s next-day service, which incorporates a two-hour delivery window, delivering to the customer’s room of choice so the products are ready to use immediately.

Tom Stansfield, CareCo’s operations director, said it was Panther’s attention to detail that influenced its choice. He said: “Not only have we found Panther’s two-person service for larger items a key advantage in terms of reducing damages to items on their way to the customer, but the room of choice feature is a great way to further ensure that we provide an optimal service to our customers.”

Drive DeVilbiss launches its first autofold powerchair Medical equipment supplier Drive DeVilbiss has launched its first autofold powerchair in response to customer feedback, which it said revealed that end-users prefer an electric autofold function over a manual fold operation. This new addition to the range features a remote control function that enables the chair to be easily folded or unfolded in seconds at the simple touch of a button. Other features of the new model include flip-up armrests and footrests, handy under-seat storage, back seat pocket, user-friendly controller and a deep comfort cushion and backrest. It also features a much larger weight capacity than its predecessor and can take up to 150kg. A shock-absorbing front suspension helps provide extra comfort for a smoother ride. Adam Naylor, Head of Regional Dealers at Drive DeVilbiss, commented: “We’re thrilled to be able to offer the Remote Autofold Powerchair and we can’t wait to get out there to demonstrate this great new product to our customers.”

AVIRAMP LAUNCHES WHEELCHAIR LIFTER Accessible device specialist Aviramp has launched the Chair Lifter, a wheelchair lifter that makes air travel accessible for users, where wheelchairs may otherwise be too heavy to lift into aircraft holds. According to Aviramp, the Chair Lifter came about as a passenger in the UK was recently denied boarding by a ground crew due to their electric mobility aid (EMA) being too heavy to lift manually. The Chair Lifter can be towed using a single tug for multiple aircraft drops, having the capability of carrying up to three EMAs weighing up to 300kg each. There is no manual lifting throughout the entire process, which makes it more user-friendly.

The perfect support With its soft cushioning and conventional chair wings to give postural support, the Adelphi Care Chair is proving to be a bestseller for Primacare. Soft lateral support cushions are available as optional extras for additional postural support. The chair has a very high leg position if needed and tilt-in-space, which allows the user to recline in comfort without affecting their hip or knee angle. The arms are removable for seat width adjustment or to enable side transfer easier for both user and carer. The cushioning of this chair, in both the re-positionable cushions of the waterfall back and the lateral support cushioning, makes this a very comfortable chair. The chair is available with manual or electric controls that operate the leg rest, tilt and back angle. www.primacare.co.uk

CYCLING CHARITY JOINS FORCES WITH TOMCAT SNI Inclusive charity Cycling Projects has joined forces with accessible trike manufacturer Tomcat SNI (Special Needs Innovation) to design an affordable hand-propelled tricycle. The two organisations have worked together for nearly a decade with a shared goal of making cycling accessible to all. The design objectives of the new innovation – planned for launch in spring 2022 – is a handpropelled trike that is easily accessible for independent users, including wheelchair users. The design promises to be lightweight and easy to propel, whilst being stable and surefooted on all terrains.

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NEWS, DEALS & PEOPLE

Leckey launches the BeMe Postural equipment specialist Leckey has launched the BeMe, a configurable seating system that provides a high level of individualised support for children. Suitable for children with mild to complex postural needs, the seating system features a universal component known as ‘the core’, from which other parts can be quickly and easily attached and detached. It comes in three sizes, and offers three seat options, three back supports, high-low chassis, manual and power Sunrise Medical wheelchair bases, as well as interchangeable accessories in a range of sizes and complexities, making it easy to find the right support. One of the features of the BeMe is a growable contoured cushion, which uses a highstretch fabric and expandable foam to maximise pelvic stability and comfort as the child grows and develops. BeMe will initially launch in the UK and Ireland, with further launches scheduled in early 2022 in international markets.

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Alex Bourassa (left) and Sebastien Bourassa (far right) of Savaria Corporation with Handicare’s Clare Brophy and Peter Slack

Handicare assembles expert-led panel Handicare Accessibility is investing in new initiatives to listen to stairlift customers and industry experts with the launch of its Voice of the Consumer panel to help research their needs and preferences. Stairlift users and their carers will be invited to participate, as well as industry stakeholders from a range of backgrounds, including healthcare professionals, local authority buyers, occupational therapists, and product designers. Handicare Executive VP Commercial Clare Brophy commented: “This panel is just one of the ways we’re investing, not only in levelling up our business to become the UK’s leading stairlift supplier, but in tailoring and developing our life-changing products to make everyday life easier for even more people.” The panel will meet quarterly to advise on topics such as product design, marketing activities, and customer experience, to have a direct voice in Handicare’s activities.

In other news, Handicare Accessibility has made some leadership changes following its acquisition by the Canadian Savaria Corporation earlier this year. The new leadership team will align activities across the group and strengthen Handicare’s product offering through increased integration with other divisions of Savaria. Clare Brophy takes on sales and commercial responsibility for Handicare, Savaria and Garaventa Lift in Europe, Asia and South America. David Temple is responsible for finance across the Savaria group in Europe and Asia. Peter Slack will manage Savaria operations in Europe, as well as at manufacturing sites in Italy for Garaventa Lift and China (Xiamen) for Handicare. Now Handicare is working more closely with the wider Savaria group, including introducing Savaria and Garaventa Lift products to its portfolio for 2022.


Wishing all our partners a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year

From everyone at Access BDD

www.accessbdd.com


RETAILERS’ CHOICE PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2021 Wondering which products have impressed retailers most this year? Business leaders from across the mobility industry highlight one product that has stood out above all others for them in 2021 and why… With so many products in the mobility, assistive tech and independent living market, knowing which solutions stand above the rest can be tricky. Helping to identify which products stole the show in 2021, 14 retailers from across the UK shared with THIIS which products stood out for them as the best in class.

Be it for innovation, best-sellers, consistent quality, supplier support and a host of other reasons, discover which products retail experts highlighted as being the favourites of the year.


Retailer’s Choice: Madison Porter Chair from Repose Specialist Seating

RETAILERS’ CHOICE PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2021

Andrew Morgan Director of HWB Mobility

“My product of the year has to be the Madison Porter Chair by Repose Specialist Seating. “It's a highly versatile chair with its interchangeable seat and back cushions for ever-changing pressure management needs. “This robust and stylish porter chair/riser recliner in one features a dual tilt-in-space mechanism. In our first year of trading, it's probably the product we've had most interest in.” www.hwbmobility.co.uk

Retailer’s Choice: Handicare 1100 Stairlift from Handicare “Handicare’s 1100 delivers in three key areas: innovation, supplier support and customer satisfaction. “The 1100 is refined, uncomplicated and very simple to fit, minimising fitting time and maximising productivity whilst reducing many vexed and hidden costs commonly associated with other complicated and convoluted installs. “The long-term operational costs can be managed prudently because of reliability and running efficiencies. The 1100 ensures minimal unscheduled maintenance or warranty calls so delivers all-round value. “The customer can choose a solution that delivers an ultra slick, stylish and unobtrusive finish whilst safely enabling them to access all areas of their home with confidence

RETAILERS’ CHOICE PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2021

and peace of mind. “Its slimline design maximises space on the staircase for other family members, and the optional features ensure a tailored (needs) solution every time. “Support is key in us all achieving our objectives and that is expertly delivered by Handicare’s Trade Partner Service’s team and a dedicated in-field business development manager. We can safely say this product and Handicare have enabled

Mobility Scotland to scale at pace and enjoy Billy Finnie the business Operations benefits whilst Manager revelling in our of Mobility customers’ joy Scotland and positive experiences of their newfound, enhanced mobility within the home.” www.mobilityscotlandltd.co.uk

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RETAILERS’ CHOICE

Retailer’s Choice: Jolly Trolley by Little Islands

Retailer’s Choice: Alpha 8 Mobility Scooter from One Rehab

RETAILERS’ CHOICE PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2021

“Our whole sales team were unanimous in this nomination for lots of different reasons. We love it because it has a perfect mix of features that support a very wide range of circumstances and mobility needs in the one product. “It is a compact road scooter (25” wide) with a tight turning circle. It offers good ground clearance, a simple, easy-to-use interface, adjustable arm rests and tiller, and comfy seat. It has a bigger basket than most, a great range – up to 25 miles – and a binding head light – which you need more in the longer dark days in the far north.”

“I’m choosing the Jolly Trolley as my Retailer’s Choice of 2021, because everyone visiting our showroom stops to look at it. Anyone who has seen one will understand why – it’s simply brilliant! “This self-contained, mobile interactive entertainment trolley (with a 27” touch screen), is as clever as it’s attractive. Using the latest technology – incorporating sensory lights and vision – it brings the benefits of music, song, reminiscence and fun to care home residents, while providing stimulation and encouraging interaction. “Music and pictures are key to communication and expression and paramount to carrying out meaningful activities. The Jolly Trolley has WiFi and Bluetooth for streaming music, with a wide variety of themes available including: afternoon tea, bingo, piano bar singa-long, karaoke, party songs, and, of course, Christmas.

“The trolley can be ‘dressed’ to suit any occasion – for instance, there is space in front of the screen to place a birthday cake, sandwiches, fruit juice and cups of tea, while the built-in Happy Birthday programme ensures that every resident is made to feel special. “And because the trolley is portable, it can be used in any lounge or room in the home. “Interestingly the trolley has been shown to calm down those living with dementia who may be agitated or upset, while benefitting the physical, mental and emotional well-being of all residents. The Jolly Trolley is a great product, and one I always recommend to care homes.” www.fortunamobility.com Elaine Ferguson Mobility Services Manager of FortunaBambach

www.city-mobility.co.uk

Carol Elliot Managing Director of City Mobility

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RETAILERS’ CHOICE PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2021



RETAILERS’ CHOICE

Retailer’s Choice: Uccello Kettle from Able2

RETAILERS’ CHOICE PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2021

“The Uccello Kettle is a product everyone who struggles with arthritis or those who are getting frail should have in their kitchen to make their life easier. “It is now available in more colours, rather than the standard black and white, which makes it more Karen Sheppard appealing if colour match is Managing important in the kitchen. Director of “I personally love the People First design and ease of use. I Mobility bought my elderly neighbour one and she loves it and says it makes pouring her cuppa so much easier. “Unlike other kettles and kettle-tippers, the circular shape of the Uccello Kettle, combined with its rotating cradle, moves around the body of water to assist the flow of the pour, so you don’t have to lift, strain, balance or aim. “The positioning and shape of the ergonomically designed handle means weight is distributed across the entire arm, not on fingers and wrists, which makes it easier to handle comfortably. “While most kettles require that you awkwardly lift and hold open the spout while refilling, the Uccello’s one-touch-to-open hinged lid, requires the lightest of touches to tap open or close. “Its detachable water body vessel sits comfortably within a sturdy base that has the added safety of non slip feet for further stability of pour. It also features a 1.5 litre capacity, power-on indicator light and auto shut-off with over-heating, and boil-dry protection, for added safety.” www.peoplefirstmobility.co.uk

RETAILERS’ CHOICE PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2021

Retailer’s Choice: Quickie Q300 M Mini from Sunrise Medical “The Quickie Q300 M Mini powerchair is an ultra-compact prescriptive powerchair that ticks many boxes for our customers. “With its ultra-narrow mid-wheeldrive base that is only 52cm wide, it easily navigates the smallest homes. To put that in perspective, that is narrower than most standard selfpropelled wheelchairs! “It may be small in size but not Darren Macey in performance, with the power to Business rival larger chairs. It’s available with Development advanced performance features, Manager of powerful motors, chunky 14” drive Lifestyle and wheels and larger batteries, which Mobility make tackling uneven terrain easier without compromising on indoor manoeuvrability. “The Q300 M Mini is for users looking for an all-round solution. No great powerchair base is complete without great seating, and the Sedeo Pro is one of the best in the world. If that is not enough, it’s now available in Kids and Teen (as shown above) sizes, meaning the Q300 M Mini is a chair users can’t outgrow! For all these reasons, this is why it’s our Retailers’ Choice of the Year.” www.lifestyleandmobility.co.uk

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3.5 M P H iLE V E L ® 1 2 ” POWE R SE AT E LE VATI O N

SRS ( SM O OT H RIDE SUSP E N SIO N )

Celebrate 2022 With a Stylish Edge 3 Stretto

Merry Christmas from

quantumrehab.co.uk

@QuantumRehabUK


RETAILERS’ CHOICE

RETAILERS’ CHOICE PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2021

Retailer’s Choice: Dash Rehab Fold Down Rollator from R Healthcare “Walking aids are a popular choice for our clients, and we have noticed an increase in numbers this year. A product that has stood out for us lately is the Dash Rehab Fold Down Rollator by R Healthcare. “It follows the newer style of folding for these types of rollators,

but also double folds automatically. This prevents the user having to bend down to operate the folding mechanism, as we have found with alternative models. “Due to its small size when folded, it is easy to store and/or transport when required. It has a detachable

Lauren Bromfield Occupational Therapist at Classic Mobility shopping bag and walking stick holder as standard, which adds to its appeal.” www.classicmobility.org.uk

Retailer’s Choice: MLite Folding Mobility Scooter from Motion Healthcare RETAILERS’ CHOICE PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2021

“I was interested to see this product, as I was made aware of the unique manual folding system and the fact it was very compact, lightweight and easy to move around. “Upon seeing the MLite, I was very impressed. While I still like and stock the autofolds, I can definitely see many benefits for the end-user purchasing the MLite, and the new modifications are a fantastic improvement on this product. “I believe the MLite will continue to sell well during the winter months as an easy pop-into-the-car shopping aid.” www.mobilitymattersonline.co.uk

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Robert Frew Director of Mobility Matters


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RETAILERS’ CHOICE

Retailer’s Choice: Power Assisted Wheelchair System (PAWS) from Rehasense

RETAILERS’ CHOICE PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2021

Retailer’s Choice: Ableworld Embroidered Slipover Scooter Bag by Able2 “A number of products have outshone this year, and therefore choosing just one product has been a tough call, but the Embroidered Slipover Scooter Bag by Able2 deserves the praise. “The scooter bag is a convenient and stylish bag that is designed to slip straight onto the back of a mobility boot scooter, giving additional storage space. The bag features zip fastenings and is perfect to suit daily needs and fit personal items in, making it perfect for days out or shopping. “It is made from durable waterproof nylon material to protect the user’s contents from adverse weather conditions – making it even more worthy as our all-round product of the year. “We currently have two variations of this bag – one in black and one in hi-visibility yellow. The hi-visibility style is most effective during the darker months of the year. “Our Ableworld logo is embroidered onto both bags, making sure that our name is frequently noticed by customers. ‘The scooter bag has performed exceptionally well over the year and Able2 has been great with meeting our stock demands. We look forward to continuing to promote this great product in the coming year.” www.ableworld.co.uk

Ellie Emerton Online Marketing Manager at Ableworld

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“I was immediately drawn to the PAWS when I saw the ease of operation and fitting of the standard PAWS, but I was totally sold on the product when I saw the fully electric version. This fact was borne out by one of our first customers to our newly set-up Optimised Independence division. “The client has fairly complex Willie McIvor needs, which was not helped by the Director of The fact that she also has osteoporosis, Hearing and meaning that the lifting operation of Mobility Store most wheelchair power bikes – which requires a degree of strength and what, for some, is an awkward lifting motion – could result in a sudden fracture. “The smile on the lady’s face was a joy to behold when she was able to move her wheelchair up to the PAWS and with one push of a button the PAWS clamped onto the wheelchair and automatically lifted the front wheels off the ground. “With the options of different speeds and wheel sizes, it makes it a very versatile product to sell. For all of us in the mobility retail sector, we want to sell dignity and independence, and for me, this product does just that.” thehearingandmobilitystore.co.uk

RETAILERS’ CHOICE PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2021



RETAILERS’ CHOICE

Retailer’s Choice: Bigfoot Half Step from NRS Healthcare “Our range of outdoor steps allow for safer entering and exiting of your home, and none have proved more popular than the Bigfoot Half Step, and for good reason. “The Bigfoot Half Step is designed with mobility and accessibility in mind, combining versatility with a rugged design that can take weights up to 317kg. “The bottom of the Bigfoot Half Step is equipped with four moulded feet that grip the ground with the confidence needed for a daily mobility aid. “It also comes with the option of up to two guiding handlebars that offer individuals extra support, should they need it, while the nonslip surface ensures that users remain stable and safe before taking their next step, even in adverse conditions. “The Bigfoot Half Step reduces the distance between door and floor height by half and can be adjusted between 10cm and 12.5cm. “It’s easy to see why it has proven so popular, as entering and exiting your home is essentially one of the most important parts of independent living, and anything that increases safety and ease of use is critical to daily living. “This mobility aid comes complete with a security fixing kit, ensuring simple and easy installation. “Versatility is the key word for the Bigfoot Half Step. You have complete control over how you use it – from back garden to front door.” www.abilitysuperstore.com

RETAILERS’ CHOICE PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2021

Julia Phipps Owner of Ability Superstore

Retailer’s Choice: Illusion Scooter from One Rehab “We have had great success with the Illusion from One Rehab this year. “Its incredibly lightweight nature means that it sells itself to our customer base. “The fact that we now have the options of range through different sized batteries also means it's a great option for our customers. “We have sold over five times more of these than any other scooter.” www.derbymobility.co.uk

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Rob Cartledge Managing Director of Derbyshire Mobility

RETAILERS’ CHOICE PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2021



RETAILERS’ CHOICE

Retailer’s Choice: Oto Air Curved Stairlift from Otolift “The stand-out product for us this year is the Otto Air Curved Stairlift. It’s our most popular model because of its great design, reliability, and flexibility to be able to fit on most stairs. “For narrow stairs, it also comes with an optional downward-facing seat, which means we can fit it on most stairs. “Customers love it for its ease of use and its popular turnaround time, taking just a couple of weeks from order to installation.” www.1stchoicestairlifts.com RETAILERS’ CHOICE PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2021

Coral AffleckMajor Joint Managing Director at 1st Choice Stairlifts

RETAILERS’ CHOICE PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2021

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Retailer’s Choice: Thyssen Flow X Stairlift from Access BDD “For one item to stand out, it needs to be special, and for us, this year, it is the Thyssen Flow X from Access BDD. There is no doubt that there are many very competent stairlifts in the marketplace today. All of which do what is expected of them: to get the client from downstairs to upstairs and back again safely. But the Flow X has taken that basic requirement to the next level with style and panache. “Its ability to power swivel the seat whilst travelling is unique and allows configurations that are often not possible with other machines. It has a style and presence that goes beyond the engineering basics, so that it can solve the access problems of many without being obtrusive on the stairs. “It is often said that a stairlift is a distress purchase and nobody really wants one. The Flow X goes some way to dispel this by being sleek

and stylish whilst still delivering the desired outcome. “Along with the straight Handicare 1100, with all of its options, it would be true to say that very few stairs are now insurmountable with a stairlift. The wellbeing and psychological benefits of not having to move home to live safely should never be overlooked as potential buyers approach the twilight years.” www.tpg-disableaids.co.uk

Alastair Gibbs Managing Director of TPG DisableAids



RETAILER SPOTLIGHT

The Mobility Furniture Company’s flagship store in Tunbridge Wells

The Mobility Furniture Company: Right at home The Mobility Furniture Company recently opened its flagship store in the affluent town of Tunbridge Wells in Kent. The store features the company’s key products – bespoke rise and recline chairs and adjustable beds – alongside stairlifts, mobility scooters, bathrooms, gardening products and other items from carefully selected affiliate companies. As James Mitton, Managing Director of The Mobility Furniture Company, explains: “The shop itself is full of character with bare brick walls

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and industrial metalwork – we have leant into this when dressing the shop and created a very comfortable and airy space.” The store is located directly opposite a large car park, making it easily accessible to customers. As The Mobility Furniture Company is the first shop that people see when they leave the car park, having clear signage and an eye-catching window display is key to footfall, explains James. “Although it’s early days, we are receiving a lot of traction with a large

When The Mobility Furniture Company opened its flagship store in Tunbridge Wells last month it was an opportunity to showcase the company’s personal touch …

range of products in the shop. “People’s interest seems to be sparked particularly by the display of mobility scooters that we have facing out of our large front window, which is made all the more inviting by the twinkling lights and seasonal garlands dressing the front of the shop.” Customers tempted to head inside the store will discover a store delivering that personal touch, with warm, friendly lighting, cosy areas for appointments, tea, coffee and biscuits on standby, and a welcoming team of advisors.


Together we are Bigger, Better, Stronger for 2022

We want to thank you, our dedicated

partners, for your continued commitment to helping customers stay in the homes they love during 2021.

As we look towards 2022, we’re excited to move forwards as part of a new family – the Savaria family. We can’t wait to take you along with us as we continue to make everyday life easier for all.

0844 225 3121 www.handicare-stairlifts.co.uk www.handicarepartners.co.uk


RETAILER SPOTLIGHT

Dr Rob Hicks advising a customer about the use of a rise and recline chair

STORE BACKGROUND Based in Weston-super-Mare, The Mobility Furniture Company was formed in 2019 after GM Geeco acquired the assets and trade debts of The Mobility Furniture Company Limited. “Since then, we have worked tirelessly to restructure the business into what it is today,” James states. “The whole business and all of its processes were reviewed. Improved procedures were put in place for all operations, and the company and brand has moved forward with great success.” James is proud of the services and products that it provides to customers, as well as the working culture within the business. “We strive to support each other, work as a team and approach all situations with positivity,” he says. The firm’s work ethic was even recognised by the Care Sector Supplier Awards (cssawards.co.uk) this year, in which it was one of the finalists. Before becoming Managing Director, James was Operations Director, and had previously worked in almost every department in the

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mobility sector over two decades, from the sales team to planning delivery routes for logistics. As James explains: “Gaining fundamental knowledge of how the business operates, and the intricacies of the entire mobility sector enables me to understand the issues that the rest of the team face on a daily basis. “There’s a great satisfaction in the knowledge that we provide products that improve quality of life to a huge range of people, enabling them to live at home for longer.” Other key members of staff at The Mobility Furniture Company include Bryony Bell, Logistics and Retail Manager, who has overseen the entire store opening project. Says James: “Her drive and determination are complemented by her vision of providing a comfortable and friendly retail experience for shoppers.” Bryony is supported by a store manager, Sabrina Guempel, and two store assistants. OPENING THE STORE The decision to open the shop in Tunbridge Wells was made when lockdown began in early 2020, so the

store was fortunate not to be affected by the pandemic to any great extent, comments James. It did, however, specifically seek out “well-prepared and equipped suppliers” for products to avoid any supply chain issues. Since opening, the shop has kept its vulnerable customers and staff safe by providing hand sanitiser and masks, when necessary, and it has kept well informed about local rates of COVID-19 and changing advice from government. For the store’s opening weekend in November, customers were offered cakes, fizz and tea, and it hosted some

“There’s a great satisfaction in the knowledge that we provide products that improve quality of life to a huge range of people, enabling them to live at home for longer”


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RETAILER SPOTLIGHT of its key suppliers, such as social enterprise Arthr and Quingo Scooters. Bryony worked carefully throughout this project, James explains, to select products that complement its own range of rise and recline chairs, adjustable beds and homecare furniture. “We will always focus on our own range of rise and recline and adjustable furniture, but the beauty of this new venture is that we can include many categories of the mobility sector, including scooters, bathrooms, gardening and personal items,” he says. The product areas within the store will be influenced by the feedback the store gets from customers. “We will closely analyse results and get to know people who walk through the door – both of which will direct future areas of growth for the shop.” MEETING CUSTOMER NEEDS As James explains, the mainstay of the store’s potential customers interested in mobility furniture will always be older people who are looking to live more comfortably and independently in their homes for longer. Its target market also includes those whose older family members need specific products, and younger people with health conditions too. He adds: “We’re always forging relationships with residential care homes as well, which is why it is important that the location of the shop means that it’s visible within the town and easy for anyone to drop in for a chat about their needs.”

Bryony Bell, Logistics and Retail Manager at The Mobility Furniture Company

Online and offline advertising of its brand and products are fundamental to the business, he says, and work in synergy with one another. To help achieve this goal, the company works with an advertising agency, Griffin Media Solutions, which has helped transform its marketing strategy. “Online activity drives traffic to our website, where people can look at our

Customers will discover a store delivering that personal touch

26 / www.thiis.co.uk

products and book an appointment for a company representative to bring furniture to their homes for them to try out,” comments James. “Or customers can order stock items that are posted out or delivered.” Offline activity is focused around raising awareness of The Mobility Furniture Company’s products and brand, explains James. “People then phone up to book an appointment, or visit the website first and then book an appointment. “So when it came to advertising the shop opening, we took a dual approach that involved a door drop invitation to the launch weekend, advertising in regional press (offline and online) and reaching people in the area via social media platforms.” The Mobility Furniture Company has also been working with TV doctor, Dr Rob Hicks, over the past year – an arrangement which is set to continue into 2022. Over the past year, Dr Hicks has written a series of features for the company’s website, highlighting core mobility issues such as arthritis,


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The spacious and airy store features the store’s own range of mobility furniture

osteoporosis, Parkinson’s and other conditions that can develop. This dialogue is shared via the company’s social media sites, as well as in press, advertisements, inserts and catalogues. Explains James: “Working with Dr Rob Hicks has been tremendous fun and good for our brand. He’s a super professional yet approachable person, and we’ve put his knowledge to great use whilst developing our product offering.” LOOKING TO THE FUTURE James feels very positive about the store’s future – and that of the wider

Bryony with Marcus Lorenzo, Head of Commercial at Arthr

28 / www.thiis.co.uk

company. “Navigating a company through a pandemic, when advice is constantly changing, has made us realise how quickly our business can evolve. “Despite the constraints we’ve been under, the company has continued to thrive and looks set to grow at least another five per cent in 2022. We’re always looking to ensure that the infrastructure of the business can support the increase of orders.” There are “absolutely” plans for more stores, says James. “We’ll keep a close eye on results, margins and consumer demand and make a call in a few months’ time. Location is key – of the demographics of the urban area and within any town itself – and we will tap into Bryony’s expertise once again. No doubt she’s already thinking about her next premises…” Taking a wider view of the mobility sector, with businesses increasingly experiencing longer waiting times for raw materials and component parts and no end in sight, James says. “Managing customer expectations will be important, but we have a excellent dialogue with customers and find that the public are generally relatively accepting of this now. “With the population getting older, living for longer, and the preference

to continue living at home, the main challenge for us is keeping up with demand. But with the systems, work ethic and support we have in place, we are ready to take this on.” For now, the staff in the Tunbridge Wells store are busy preparing the store for the festive season with pine leaf garlands, a Christmas tree and stockings all helping to give a real “Christmas at home” feel. He says: “Mince pies and hot chocolate will be offered to customers, as well as a Christmas wrapping service for any items purchased in the shop that are destined to be gifts.” mobilityfurniturecompany.co.uk

“With the population getting older, living for longer, and the preference to continue living at home, the main challenge for us is keeping up with demand”


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Rethinking the mobility shop

Mob-Shop is a continuing, disabledled project exploring mobility shops, mobility aids and the devices and practices used by and designed for disabled and critically ill people. THIIS chats to its founder, Bella Milroy, about how the project came about…

Q&A with Bella Milroy, Director of Mob-Shop WHAT WAS THE MOTIVATION BEHIND MOB-SHOP? Bella: “Mob-Shop came about in response to my own personal experience of acquiring mobility aids, particularly powered aids for the first time. “Back in 2018, I got my first mobility scooter through the Motability Scheme via my local high street’s mobility shop. “Whilst it was a really significant and positive step in providing me with more freedom, more independence, more autonomy of movements and the distances I could travel, it was also a stark reality in realising how little

choice I had of the products I was being offered. “Choices seemed to go as far as blue or red trim on the wheels of my scooter. Many of the models used to showcase the products were elderly people. I am a young person entering these stores and felt at odds with the atmosphere that is found in those kinds of spaces. “As a disabled artist, I wanted to take ownership of some of the things that came with using these mobility aids for the first time. “I started redesigning the free backpack that came with my scooter. My design was also inspired by an experience I had at an event where I was enquiring about why there were no disabled artists on the panel. The response was that they simply did not know anyone to ask. “My backpack design was featured in the Shape Open in 2019 – an annual art exhibition run by the disability arts charity, Shape Arts. Each year they run an ‘open call’ inviting artists (both disabled and non-disabled) to

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respond to a theme, and then a panel of judges select from the entries, with the artworks displayed in an exhibition. “This was essentially the motivation behind the initial concepts of MobShop. It has now evolved into the projects it has today, which is a series of artworks, podcasts and a publication. MOB-SHOP HAS BEEN EXHIBITING ARTWORKS USING LIBRARY SPACES ACROSS DERBYSHIRE FEATURING THE WORKS OF DISABLED ARTISTS, WHICH REFLECTS UPON WHAT

“I am a young person entering these stores and felt at odds with the atmosphere that is found in those kinds of spaces”


RETAIL FOCUS adjust the angle slightly to research. “That research could explore how we facilitate more supportive and more autonomous practices that support disabled people in their everyday lives, rather than just what an object or a space looks like. I hope to explore that further in 2022.”

Re-designing a free mobility scooter backpack motivated Bella to set up Mob-Shop

ACCESSIBLE PRODUCTS AND MOBILITY SHOPS EMBODY FOR DISABLED PEOPLE. WHAT WERE YOUR HOPES WITH THIS? Bella: “One of the biggest inspirations that has come about in the process of creating this project has been working with the disabled artists we have commissioned to create the artworks. That, in itself, has almost become a core feature of the work that we are making. Whilst initially the premise

of the project was focused around mobility shops and the objects found within them, the interactions and the practices that have emerged throughout this project is about both the process in which artworks are made, and the ways in which disabled people find better, more accessible support in their day-to-day lives. “I would be really interested to see how we could shift this project to explore the concept of Mob-Shop, but

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE FOR DISABLED CUSTOMERS SHOPPING FOR MOBILITY AIDS ONLINE? Bella: “I think that shopping online for mobility aids on general websites is really difficult, and you only really get a feel for the thing you need, particularly aids designed to move you around, when you are actually using them. “In person, stores are really essential in understanding if a product is the right thing for you. That is especially the case for the more bigticket items like powered wheelchairs or scooters, because you are making a huge investment in them. However, in-person stores only take you so far because sometimes it can feel like you are not provided with thorough support and understanding in the store, but at least you get a feel for the item when you are there. “Having said this, I would say one of the best ways of shopping for aids online is through the dreaded Amazon. I say that reluctantly, as Amazon is problematic in many ways and not a company I endorse ethically, but it is incredibly accessible for many disabled and chronically ill people. “For people who can’t leave their homes, Amazon is an absolute lifeline, and it would be wrong to dismiss and diminish what that site offers. It also offers a vast range of aids and supports that can improve

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RETAIL FOCUS people’s day-to-day lives. “I think some mobility shops and companies should take note of the ways in which Amazon provides that variety in its catalogue, and how disabled people are signposted to those spaces. “Amazon is also totally consumer led in terms of how it uses the reviews for products, and this really helps in making your decision about what you are purchasing. “It would be great to see more mobility shops make space for user experiences of the things they sell through reviews and testimonials, as well as actually employing disabled people, who can then provide first hand experiences of them to customers. I would love my local store to offer this kind of thing.” WHEN PHYSICALLY SHOPPING IN MOBILITY SHOPS, WHAT FEATURES DO YOU THINK ARE IMPORTANT TO THE DISABLED CUSTOMER? Bella: “I often think that some stores can be highly cluttered and very inaccessible spaces to move around. If you are a wheelchair user, it is so often the case that there are not clear pathways between objects. They are often small spaces that are filled with many things. “I understand that as a business owner, you need lots of products, but I don’t think enough thought is put into the fundamental access of the space, so I would say that is my number one critique. “I want to go into a shop and feel like I have choice, and that there is

some element of leisure in that space. “Often, these spaces are so clinical, focused on health, safety and elderly people, that it feels like I am in an outdated pharmacy. It doesn’t feel leisurely, and it doesn’t feel like I am going shopping. It feels cold and uninviting. “I would like to see more genuine lifestyle features that reflect more of what day-to-day life consists of, and I would like them to look like nice department stores. “They don’t have to be fancy to do that, but I would like someone to think about how you can create an atmosphere and mood that is pleasant, comfortable and reflects more than just basic needs being met.” MOBILITY SHOPS SEEM TO BE INCREASINGLY MOVING AWAY FROM THE HIGH STREET TO BIGGER PREMISES OUT OF TOWN. DO YOU THINK THIS IS A GOOD THING? Bella: “No and yes. No, in the sense that I think that the high street models are important access points for people who don’t have easy access to cars or public transport. We should all have access to mobility shops in our town centres. “Having said that, the larger stores do provide more space and perhaps a bigger range of things. If I was going to a mobility shop now, I probably would go to a bigger one out of town but that is because I have access to a car or someone who can drive me there, as well as the privilege of being able to leave my home occasionally in the first place. “It is a mixed bag, and I don’t think either one of those models offers the right kind of solution to what disabled people need to have: better and more autonomous choices of supports and aids in their day-to-day lives. They both need to be better.” ARE THERE ANY MOBILITY RETAILERS THAT YOU THINK ARE DOING IT RIGHT? Bella: “One of the conversations that I had in a Mob-Shop podcast is with the artist, writer and theatre director, Maria Oshodi. “Maria is visually impaired, and we

34 / www.thiis.co.uk

“I often think the stores themselves are highly cluttered and are actually very inaccessible spaces to move around” discussed the Royal National Institute of the Blind headquarters based in London. It has its own shop based within the centre, and it sounded like a mobility shop heaven – leisurely, fun and interesting! “It had a range of different supports and aids that really reflected the wide variety of what you would want to go shopping for. It has a section for children and a section for leisure things, like games and accessories for your phone. It also has a cafe attached to it and it really invites people to come and spend time there, because it is a centre of knowledge and it has interesting things that you want to buy because they are nice, not only because you need them. “That was really inspiring to listen to and I would love to go there and see how it does it. I think it’s doing a great job and its website is fantastic!” CAN YOU TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT THE MOB-SHOP WEBSITE AND PODCAST? “Yes, the Mob-Shop website is now live, and it features all of the details about the Derbyshire art exhibitions. “We are hoping for the exhibitions to carry on for longer, and we are also going to be uploading virtual walkthroughs of all of the shows so people who can’t make it in person can experience it on the website. “The link for the first episode of the podcast can be listened to through Soundcloud, and there will also be transcriptions available as well. The rest of the episodes are currently being edited and will be launching over the next few weeks. “Due to the project being disabled and chronically ill led, the launch of various aspects of content in the project is staggered.” www.mob-shop.co.uk


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SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHT

Geberit: Flushed with success 36 / www.thiis.co.uk

Geberit is a European market leader in sanitary products, which combine adaptability with clever features, creating more independence for the user in the bathroom. THIIS talks to Simon Thomas, Care Sales Director at Geberit, to find out more about how the manufacturer drives awareness of its product, and his first-hand experience of how the firm continues to innovate…


Despite all that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown at it over the past year, accessible bathroom designer and manufacturer, Geberit, has continued to thrive, developing new products and devising new ways of interacting with its customers. Most recently, Geberit announced that it was sponsoring the Technical Officer of the Year Category at the 2021 National Healthy Housing Awards, with the awards ceremony taking place this month in Manchester. THIIS chats to Simon Thomas, Care Sales Director, to find out a bit more... CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR STORY WITH GEBERIT? “I joined the Geberit Care Team in 2013 to take the position of Area Sales Manager for the north. This meant co-ordinating the day-day training for end-users before and after a shower toilet had been installed. “In 2014, I stepped up to lead the Care Team and created an equipment compatibility guide to further support the occupational therapists (OTs) that we work in close partnership with. “This provided everything about the product itself, such as the shower chair, that works alongside the toilet to enhance accessibility for patients. “Through increased understanding of the product and its end-user enhancements, OTs were able to take a holistic approach to end-user requirements and advise a range of products that work together to enhance user experience. “This saw increased demand for the product, which led to sales doubling in the space of a year. Following this, I took on more responsibility and stepped up to Care Sales Manager in 2015. “In this role, I focused on making the toilet and team more visible and accessible to the OT community. My team grew, with Richard Wheeler and Denis Harley coming on board, each bringing 30 years of industry experience to the force. “From here, we continued to drive awareness, focusing on market needs and helping local authorities save money and reduce the ongoing cost of services. “After much development and

testing, we launched the Mera Care toilet as it’s known today in 2019, which retired the original GAC 8000+ Care model. “From cistern through to aesthetics, this new model was as accessible as it was adaptable, providing every requirement the healthcare market needed. In 2021, we’re a team of seven and going strong, covering the entire country with a market leading product.” WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE MOBILITY INDUSTRY PRIOR TO JOINING GEBERIT? “My brother owned a mobility shop, and I started working with him in 2000, specialising in motorised chairs, stairlifts, mobility scooters and equipment. “Throughout this time, I got to know some great distributors who took me under their wing and taught me everything I needed to know about the industry – I looked up to them and learnt a lot. “I spent over 10 years focusing on specialist seating and specialist bathing and showering, so I was already familiar with shower toilets when I took the role at Geberit.” HAVE THERE BEEN ANY STANDOUT PROJECTS YOU HAVE BEEN MOST PROUD OF AT GEBERIT? “Having the opportunity to redesign the toilet itself, which saw the end of the old range and the dawn of the Mera Care toilet (pictured left). “I was really proud to be in charge, not only of the team, but to use my experience and knowledge for the input of the essential elements too. “It was a team effort, from design to launch, marketing and training, ensuring a smooth transition old to new with the best possible end-user journey and experience. “The team took a multi-disciplinary approach, from the design team based in our Switzerland HQ through to the product management and technical team in the UK. “I was able to see the project through from start to finish, seeing it grow and grow. The positive feedback we received, and continue to receive, was testament to the care that was taken in developing the finished product.”

CAN YOU TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT HOW YOUR PRODUCTS ARE DISTRIBUTED IN THE UK? “With our Care range, we don’t sell directly as we have a specialist and trusted distribution network which consists of Nicholls and Clarke (N&C), AKW Medi-care, PROCare Wigan, and, in Ireland, Sync Living. “Although our distribution network does the selling, the Care Team take overall responsibility for the assessments that are done with the OTs before the sale, during the installation, aftercare and training. “The Care Team remain handson throughout the process, which ensures we can not only support the OTs and technical officers, but that all the adaptions, products and accessories are tailored to match the needs of each individual end-user.”

“We chose to sponsor the Specialist Technical Officer Award as they play a vital role in the measuring, specification and installation of our toilets and are often the unsung heroes of the project” SIMON THOMAS

www.thiis.co.uk / 37


SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHT

The AquaClean Mera Care Remote

ARE YOU LOOKING TO EXPAND YOUR DEALER NETWORK? “We have a great network of dealers that we work with already, such as TPG Disable Aids, Wealden Rehab and Yorkshire Care, which provide us with an extended retailer network and increased presence on the national market. “We are always on the lookout for appropriately placed companies that share our values and ethos and are suited to our products and brand. “All of our current and prospective dealers are specific to the healthcare market and undergo specialist product and installation training – both in-house and on-site.”

GEBERIT IS A SPONSOR OF THE 2021 NATIONAL HEALTHY HOUSING AWARDS. WHY DID GEBERIT CHOOSE TO SUPPORT THIS? “We chose to sponsor the Specialist Technical Officer Award as they play a vital role in the measuring, specification and installation of our toilets and are often the unsung heroes of the project. “For a huge number of people across the UK, the reality is that an everyday task such as using the toilet can be something they’re unable to do alone and with dignity. “It can be difficult to provide this independence, especially in the bathroom, however, when adapted correctly, it can make the biggest difference. Installing the right equipment makes life easier and supports wellbeing. “Seeing the difference our technical officers make each and every day, sponsoring this ensures they not only feel valued by us for the incredible work they do, but that they receive the recognition they deserve.” IS GEBERIT LOOKING TO GET INVOLVED WITH ANY OTHER EVENTS IN 2022? “This year was our first season working alongside Foundations, which has been a great way for us to build our relationships with OTs, technical officers and grants officers. “We plan to do more of these next year, alongside our regular attendance at The OT Show and as an exhibitor at the Occupational Therapy Adaptions Conferences. “Attending events and exhibiting makes us accessible to the industry and provides a real opportunity to demonstrate the value our products provide and to see them in action.”

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE ACCESSIBLE ADAPTATION MARKET AT THE MOMENT AND THE FUTURE OF IT? “The market is definitely growing and, since the increased use of social media and online shopping, it has widened its audience and reach, increasing the accessibility to products and services. “There is also a wider range of products available on the market. For instance, the GAC Mera Care technology and design is very modern and cost effective. It comes with a free five-year warranty and the product is self-servicing, which means no ongoing maintenance costs. “The London Paralympic Games led to increased awareness and helped to normalise disability, with people less afraid to come forward and ask for help. “Coupled with the increased funding available through the Disabled Facilities Grant to support home adaptations, more people can care for themselves in their own homes instead of requiring assistance. “At Geberit, we will continue to innovate, staying at the forefront of technology with an approach to not only expand our product adaptability, but incorporate the latest developments in smart technology to further enhance it.” HOW HAS GEBERIT MANAGED TO NAVIGATE CHALLENGES IN THE PAST YEAR, SUCH AS COVID AND SHIPPING DELAYS? “When it comes to our Care network, we continue to work closely with our distributor network and, even during lockdown, all of our distributors had a good stock of toilets. “We worked with our core

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distribution centre in Germany to ship our stock to the UK, and we prepared for the end of lockdown by ensuring we had bulk stock ready to meet demand. This provided a twoday turnaround from distributor to end-user. “When lockdown hit, we might not have been able to visit houses, but this didn’t stop us from working. We moved online, creating a full demonstration video for OTs and end-users, with an interactive video call follow-up to provide additional guidance and support. “This was so successful that we’ve since created a full online resource centre with a range of educational videos too – all free of charge and accessible through our YouTube channel. “Since July, we’ve been able to

go back to house and face-to-face visits, all Covid-safe, to assist with assessments and support our OTs.” WHAT’S NEXT FOR GEBERIT OVER THE NEXT 12 MONTHS? “Geberit continues to go from strength to strength in the care sector, and going forward into 2022, the Care Team will continue to work closely with the OT community to improve service and manage demand. “Key to this will also be growing our relationships with manufacturers and installers. “This will allow us to further support disabilities and the range of adaptions available to those that need them most, and, in turn, ensuring the best possible standard of living.”

“We will continue to innovate, staying at the forefront of technology with an approach to not only expand our product adaptability, but incorporate the latest developments in smart technology to further enhance it” SIMON THOMAS

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OPINION

Opinion: An institution we need to protect Yes it needs improving, but our NHS is our most enviable product, writes Graham Ewart As we head into 2022, we can look forward to a year of hope and healing for the healthcare sector. Over the past 24 months, it has been ripped apart by Covid, Brexit and an ongoing lack of investment. Its fragments are still being pieced together and some may never be repaired, but there are plenty of lessons to be learnt and new, sometimes forced, ways of working which we can take forward with us. Perhaps the most important of these lessons is the widespread realisation of the dire situation the NHS and healthcare sector has been in over the past decade, and the urgency for overhaul. As a 73-year-old institution, for the majority who don’t work within the sector, it can be easy to forget just how fragile an organisation it is and has become following years of lacking investment. Typically, this realisation only appears in public consciousness when there is a need for treatment – whether it is experiencing long waiting times at A&E or the inability

to book the most simple of GP appointments for weeks on end. ACROSS THE POND For us in the sector however, the need to overhaul its practices and processes has been one we have discussed for years, but it is not a debate ending in the dissolution of the system. It remains our most loved and most envied product. Our NHS offers free healthcare for all and results in higher life expectancy than in the USA, at half the cost, and is an institution we need to protect at all costs. When times are tough, comparing our system to those over the pond can be tempting, but while the USA’s rate of specialised scans (CT and MRI), screenings (e.g. for breast cancer), vaccinations (other than COVID-19) and operations are some of the highest in the developed world, the American system is among the least accessible, efficient and equitable, with huge inequalities based on demographics. To put this in context, about 14 per

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Takeover or hand back control when required

Compatible with most powerchair brands (R-net electronics)

cent of Americans (over 27 million) were uninsured against illness at the end of 2018, causing an estimated 60,000 avoidable deaths (News Medical, 2021). While the US leads in medical innovation, boasting many of the world’s leading hospitals, it is a system ingrained in financial privilege, rather than fair and accessible healthcare for all. While I personally would never advocate a US-style insurance led healthcare system, we can and should look to other sectors or peers for inspiration on how our once worldleading NHS – 79 per cent publicly financed from taxes - and our wider healthcare sector in general can improve. In Australia for example, a taxfunded, free public health insurance program (Medicare) is implemented, allowing citizens to benefit from free healthcare, however citizens are actively encouraged to opt in to private medical insurance, and for high-income families, tax penalties can be charged for not doing so.


While this may at first sound unfair, systems such as these can work to take pressure off the public health system, making it more available for those who cannot afford higher levels of care and freeing up vital space and waiting times, in effect leading to a fairer system. TACKLING HEALTH INEQUALITIES Of course, these kinds of set ups are still privy to inequalities, and the universal system must match up to private healthcare offerings to sustain health equalities among all and prevent a two-tier system. Poor public health systems not only affect the poorest and most disadvantaged most severely, but also promote health tourism – much seen in the likes of South America (Chile and Columbia specifically) where excellent services are pressured by those living, and suffering, in neighbouring countries. Our NHS model is one that is adopted by the majority of countries around the world, but even after 73 years we still cannot say we have cracked it. For those new to implementing universal healthcare for all, it will understandably take decades, like it has and still is doing for us. In Africa for example, universal free healthcare is a right that is agreed to by all but is slow to become a reality. One thing transcendent across global healthcare is that it must be accessible, whether as an insurancebased system like that in the US, or those which are state provided, like our own NHS and those across the EU and globally. INCOME-BASED TAXES If a state-run healthcare system is reliant on taxes, it is only right that these taxes are based on income

Graham Ewart is CEO of Direct Healthcare Group (DHG), a Caerphillybased developer and manufacturer of pressure care products. www.directhealthcaregroup.com

and are accessible, not just to some citizens, but to all. In most African countries, the cost of these taxes are unfortunately unaffordable, and national free healthcare for those living in poverty is still a dream. In fact, according to News Medical, only six African countries spend 15 per cent of their budgets on healthcare, and these are yet to achieve universal access to reasonable-quality healthcare. So while our NHS does have its issues – desperate and difficult ones – we should be grateful for our broken system. We are lucky to have an institution that strives to serve its citizens, which invests (albeit not enough) in future-proofing it for an ageing demographic, and which is envied by many across the globe. We are also lucky that our system caters for not only reactive care, but on preventative measures to improve population health. In providing the very poorest in our society with the same standard

of healthcare as those at the top (through the NHS), we are proving our British Value of mutual respect. Do we need more investment and further research and development? Absolutely. But we have an excellent system in existence, and should never lose sight of the service we have already built to overzealous opinion and negativity. I for one am very proud of our NHS, and feel very lucky to have it.

“Our NHS offers free healthcare for all and results in higher life expectancy than in the USA, at half the cost, and is an institution we need to protect at all costs”

contact@mo-vis.com +32 9 335 28 60 www.mo-vis.com

www.thiis.co.uk / 41


LET’S GET IT CLEAR

If a log fire in your house spits out a spark onto your hearth, you put it out straightaway and adjust the fireguard. This early intervention by appropriate actions, and appropriate equipment, should avoid the house burning down. However, in the absence of this early intervention and the house were subsequentky to burn down, it’s still possible to rebuild the house. With human beings it’s not so easy! The absence of an appropriate early intervention means the effects are frequently not fully reversible. This can lead not only to short-term issues, but also long term quality of life, physical, cognitive, and behavioural consequences. These consequences are typically more difficult, timeconsuming and expensive to manage, even if they turn out to be reversible to any extent. Prevention, as ever, is better than cure.

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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EARLY INTERVENTION IN CHILDREN Early intervention in children is particularly important since there are distinct sequential stages in development from the day we are born. These stages set the scene for the next stage of development, and for many stages, we never get that stage back fully, if at all, if missed. An example of the significance of stage development is around physical development: mobility in the first two years of life is critical in our development of spatial awareness. Later on, at school, the use of powered mobility versus use of a manual wheelchair to get between classrooms can conserve energy that is better used towards the learning processes in the classroom. Access to early mobility is also important for permitting social interactions, being able to play, learning to be naughty, and ultimately taking responsibility for one’s own actions. On the physical side, across the 24 hours of a day, each aspect needs to be considered to ensure that a child’s skeletal development is being addressed, whether at night when the body is in the same position for a long time, or during the day when much time will be spent seated. Periods of standing are also important, not only for physical development, but also for social interaction eye to eye. It’s often the small things that can

If there is an aspect of a child’s development that has been impaired, then the earlier this can be corrected or mitigated, the less harmful impact it will have later on for that child. In some cases there may only be a ‘window in time’ to instigate a successful intervention, and in many cases the later the intervention the more significant it may need to be. The concept of early intervention is nearly equally as important for adults as it is for children. It falls within the remit of ‘Do No Harm’, where prevention is better than cure.

Picture courtesy of Dragonmobility

Early intervention – the needs of younger people

make a difference! For example, why do most powered wheelchairs have their joysticks placed at the end of the arm support? Probably because it’s easiest for the manufacturer. However, the use of a joystick requires a degree of fine motor control. How easy do you find it to write if you place your paper over to your side? Just as you usually have the pad, or computer keyboard, directly in front of you, ideally you should place the joystick there. Not only does this make this easier for the user, but also you are not introducing the potential harm of the person developing scoliosis from repeatedly leaning sideways to access the joystick. Importantly, children do not think of themselves as being ‘disabled’. We have a responsibility towards enabling and ensuring that there is an absolute minimum of ‘learned helplessness’.


WHO SHOULD BE INVOLVED? For youngsters, ideally there should be coordinated interventions between parents, school, and therapists, and each should have the same level of information and training on the interventions – and not least the parents, as they have the most exposure to the child over 24 hours, in most cases. This is very much the approach of the MOVE Europe programme, a collaborative framework that puts the disabled young person and their family at the centre of everything, and unites all of the individuals who support them to work towards the same meaningful goals. COVID-19 DAMAGE The last couple of years have The MOVE Programme The MOVE Programme is an activity-based practice that enables disabled young people to gain independent movement. It uses education, therapy, and family knowledge to teach the skills of sitting, standing, walking, and transitioning between. The aim of the programme is to offer these movement opportunities to disabled people, opening up and transforming the world around them and creating an accessible, interesting, and educational world, full of opportunity and choice. The programme’s central philosophy is that movement is the foundation for learning. In early development, children learn about their environment and gain skills to navigate the world by moving, exploring, and practicing repeatedly. A disabled child who uses assistive equipment and relies on others for their movement is generally provided fewer opportunities to move and learn independently. The MOVE Programme ensures that disabled young people have these vital opportunities to develop their mobility and independence. www.enhamtrust.org.uk/move

The Disabled Children’s Partnership (DCP) The DCP is a major coalition of more than 90 organisations campaigning for improved health and social care for disabled children, young people, and their families. It provides a platform for their voices, and challenge the injustices that affect them. disabledchildrenspartnership.org.uk exacerbated the challenges of avoiding the harms caused by a delay in intervention, due to the lack of access to: normal life and interactions, normal learning activities, and standard access to medical professionals. The Disabled Children’s Partnership (DCP) report, ‘Then there was silence’, published in September this year, reveals some very worrying statistics: Despite lockdown restriction easing: • 55 per cent of parents experienced the same level, or a worsening, of their isolation • Nine in 10 disabled children were socially isolated • Three quarters (76%) saw no improvement over the course of 2021. Compared with pre-pandemic service levels, throughout the pandemic there was: • A 60 per cent increase in referrals to paediatric emergency mental health services • Paediatric Pain Management clinics were reduced by 84 per cent • 67 per cent of Trusts (FOI responses) completed fewer Physiotherapy assessments within 13 weeks target • Almost half of Trusts completed fewer OT and SALT assessments • Less than four in 10 children with EHCPs attended school during lockdown between January and March 2021. Approximately, 71 per cent of parents said that their child’s progress regressed due to service delays. Compared with pre-pandemic service levels: • Over 40 per cent saw a reduction in community caediatric activity • 40 per cent saw a reduction in paediatric surgery

• 63 per cent of local luthorities received fewer EHCP referrals than pre-pandemic • 70 per cent of local authorities completed fewer EHCP decisions to assess within the six-week timeframe • Six in 10 local authorities have not completed section 17 requests within timeframe. The overall result is that, not only have normal interventions been absent or delayed, but also that the interventions have now increased in the complexity of the solution required. STEPS TOWARDS IMPROVEMENT As outlined above, there is a large backlog of ‘cases’ awaiting professional attention, a challenge exacerbated by a shortage of available staff. The charity sector is trying to fill some of the gap, and the commercial sector has been offering its services to complement the assessment needs. Huge challenges exist, including widespread feelings of burn out and the enormous pile of open ‘urgent’ cases: the public sector is finding it difficult to find the time or energy to look at alternative routes to service delivery that might provide relief. Many companies in the commercial sector, in addition to helping with assessments, also offer free training to parents, school staff, and therapists. In a recent webinar, Stephen Kingdom of DCP, Charlotte Peck of MOVE Europe, and Holly Jenkins of Jiraffe, discussed the importance of early intervention in paediatric care as part of the Do No Harm – Know Your Power campaign (www.youtube.com/ watch?v=Wy_xFy0Inzs).

‘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 www.beshealthcare.net

www.thiis.co.uk / 43


RETAILERS’ BUYING GUIDE

Buyers’ guide to beds and mattresses

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

Opera Yorke Smart Adjustable Bed by Opera Beds The Yorke Smart Adjustable Bed is designed to improve quality of sleep and lifestyle. Featuring a premium upholstered square headboard, the Yorke is perfect for most bedroom styles. The advanced comfort technology helps to achieve a great night’s sleep, with features such as ‘zero-

Memory Foam Mattress by Drive DeVilbiss The Memory Foam Mattress was designed to bring additional benefits not usually found in the more traditional pocket sprung and reflex foam mattresses.

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gravity’ mode, which simulates weightlessness, and an ‘anti-snore’ mode, which gently raises the back/ head section to help reduce snoring. All of its features can be activated conveniently using a sleek, backlit wireless control. With optional upgrades, smart technology can be added, such as

Memory foam has a unique open cell structure that responds to body heat and weight by moulding to the contours of the body, optimising weight distribution and comfort. When pressure is removed, the memory foam mattress returns to its original shape. This mattress is made up of 7cm memory foam bonded onto 15cm of reflex foam.

underbed lighting, app control, massage and wall hugging, with the MotionPlus or MotionLuxe smart base. The Yorke is available in a range of sizes from single to super king in a selection of fabrics. www.operabeds.com

www.drivedevilbiss.co.uk


THE HIP PROTECTOR

HIP PROTECTION

|

CLINICALLY PROVEN

|

SEAMLESS

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WASHABLE

Distributor Opportunities SAFEHIP® AirX® is a 100% textile hip protector with the protector shield based on AirX® spacer fabric technology, which is a breathable, skin friendly and soft textile material. Patented shield designed to disperse energy from a fall away from the hip joint The shield adapts to the body perfectly, keeping it discrete and unnoticed under clothing Excellent breathability Prevents moisture build-up Very comfortable to wear with no irritating seams Contact Alerta Medical for competitive prices and marketing support.

+44 (0)3452 088 097 | www.alertamedical.com | sales@alertamedical.com


RETAILERS’ BUYING GUIDE

Verso Pressure Mattress Overlay System by Apex This alternating pressure redistribution system has been specially designed with the patient/user’s comfort and wellbeing in mind. There are two options. The first is a 5” overlay, which can be used with an existing foam mattress, adapting the users existing mattress. Secondly, there is the 8” standalone replacement mattress system. Both benefit from dual-therapy modes to fulfil individual care needs. Features include dual-therapy modes, a multi-functional cover with high vapour permeability and low-pressure alarm for patient safety. The Verso is suitable for patients at medium to high risk of pressure injuries. www.apexmedicalcorp.com

Opera Signature Comfort Profiling Bed by Opera Beds Combining medical functionality with a modern design, the Signature Comfort Profiling Bed features a fully upholstered surround. The Signature Comfort comes in a range of headboard styles and fabric options. It features an extensive height range. It can be raised up to a carer’s waist level to facilitate nursing on the bed and lowers close to the floor to help users getting in and out of bed. The Signature Comfort has a fully profiling mattress platform, which allows the backrest to be raised to a near upright position. The elevating knee-break and footrest provide postural support, which helps improve circulation. The Signature Comfort is available in wider widths to accommodate larger users and provide additional room. www.operabeds.com

Cosyfit Hi-Lo by Safespaces The Cosyfit Hi-Lo is a soft, robust, adaptable high-sided bed. Suitable for home, care and respite settings, it has a range of base, height and access opening options and can be dismantled into sections for storage. The Cosyfit’s modular design means the bed compartment or base can be changed to meet changing needs. www.safespaces.co.uk

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Celebrating 37 years of innovation in the caring community Supporters of dravet.org.uk

thevoiceforepilepsy.co.uk

MP5-UT EPILEPSY BED ALARM

Tonic/Clonic seizure movement detection alarm

£170.00 + VAT

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Guardian Smartphone location Make & receive phone calls Fall sensor - BP/HR/Step monitoring Medication/event reminders

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SIM card included With startup credit

We are not attending trade shows this year, but we have a lot going on. Take a look at our website.

Medpage Limited T/A Easylink UK T: 01536 264869 www.easylinkuk.co.uk

THE EAGLE HAS LANDED! We are excited to announce the launch of the Eagle, part of the Mangar lifting cushion range • A small footprint which allows it to be used in tight spaces, including bathrooms • Easy to fold and position under someone who has fallen • Will lift at least 30 stone • Reduces risk of musculoskeletal injury • A slimline version of the Camel, the Eagle has an in-built backrest to give extra support • Portable – able to use inside or outdoors • Air inflation reduces the risk of pressure wounds during a lift

For more information or to book a demonstration please email enquiries@winncare.uk or call 0800 2800 485.


RETAILERS’ BUYING GUIDE

Sensaflex 3000/4 Bariatric Foam Mattress by Alerta Medical The Alerta Sensaflex 3000/4 is a profiling memory foam mattress for effective comfort, care and pressure redistribution of users at high risk of developing a pressure ulcer. The mattress features an antimicrobial multi-stretch and vapour-permeable PU cover that is water resistant and machine washable. Its maximum load is 200kg and its mattress depth is 160mm. www.alertamedical.com

Sleep Posture Mattress by Levitex According to Levitex, the Sleep Posture Mattress has been clinically researched to make sure it provides the end-user with pressure relief, comfort and postural management. Its unique foam helps to optimise sleep posture, enabling the muscles to properly relax and recover through the night. www.levitex.co.uk

G4 Integrated Hybrid Mattress System by MediSmart The G4 Integrated Hybrid Mattress and Pump is just one of MediSmart’s mattress systems designed and made to make patients’ and users’ life easier. MediSmart Technologies is a UK ISO 13485:2016-certified manufacturer of pressure care mattresses and pumps. Its innovative systems are tooled and manufactured at its factory in Bedfordshire. www.medismart.co.uk

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All chairs are not the same

For more information on our range go to... www.primacare.co.uk Chairs featured are Broadway and the Adelphi.


RETAILERS’ BUYING GUIDE

The XXL X’Press Bed by Winncare Casa Elite Low Home Care Bed by Drive DeVilbiss Designed for the community care environment, the Casa Elite Home Care Bed range provides simplified solutions for equipment provision with an innovative modular design. This electrical profiling bed with adjustable head, foot and knee sections supports effective patient care. It offers multiple profiling and positioning benefits, which can reduce other potential complications of immobility. The Casa Elite Low enables the bed platform to be lowered closer to the floor, reducing the risk of a fall from height for vulnerable patients. The bed can be raised/lowered to a height such that a carer’s posture is closer to neutral for the moving and handling of patients. Available in three wood finishes, with a choice of side rails and a range of compatible accessories, the cardiac chair position additionally provides a comfortable seated position for users nursed in bed. Its auto contour function is a pre-programmed profiling position that raises/lowers both the backrest and knee break simultaneously to promote comfort and minimise migration in the bed.

The XXL X’Press Bed is suitable for a home or care home environment and is easy to assemble, transport and store. The transport kit is incorporated into the bed, making it easy to fold and move as required. Designed to lift up to 315kg, the height of the bed is adjustable and it is ideal for bariatric patients while protecting carers from injury. Assembly and disassembly of the bed is tool-free and the easy-move board fastening system means there is a choice of colours and designs of head and footboards. The bed has three electrical functions and is compatible with the Winncare SAM Mobility Aid System. The bed size is 120/140 x 200cm. www.winncare.uk

www.drivedevilbiss.co.uk

Bariatric 2 Alternating Mattress System by Alerta Medical The Alerta Bariatric 2 is a replacement alternating air mattress system with cell-on-cell air cells, a static base section, and 10” deep air cells for effective prevention and treatment of bariatric users up to very high risk of developing a pressure ulcer. The simple-to-use settings and functionality on the Alerta Bariatric 2 allows any care provider to have it set up and operating at optimal pressure for a specific user quickly and easily. Features include individually removable heel cells to create zero pressure under the heel, pillow function, CPR release, robust pump connection and transport mode. The maximum load is 350kg.

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www.alertamedical.com


Beds & Mattresses www.apexmedicalcorp.com

Affordability, Reliability, Quality Working closely with you to provide the best support in pressure area care and mobility. Experts in manufacturing and supplying critical equipment, specialising in beds and mattress for pressure area care and mobility Experience in assisting Home Care & Community settings with the right product for the individual user We care, our dedicated sales and support team are here to assist and help identify the best product for your needs and provide engineer support. Reliable high quality beds and mattresses from a reliable partner that understands your needs.

For a Free Demonstration Contact: SALES@APEXMEDICALCORP.CO.UK

or Call 01905 774 695


RETAILERS’ BUYING GUIDE

Lomond Bariatric Bed by Alerta Medical The Alerta Lomond Bariatric Bed is a 120cm-wide four-section profiling care bed with Trendelenburg and reverse Trendelenburg tilting feature. With a height range of 20-80cm, the Lomond Bariatric is an excellent multi-purpose bed to facilitate many varied care requirements. Features include a 10-function lockable handset; Trendelenburg and reverse Trendelenburg tilting feature; four robust 3” castors with brakes; tool-free assembling and dismantling; and transport system for storage and transporting. Its maximum load is 250kg, and it comes with a height adjustment of 20-80cm. www.alertamedical.com

Duo Divisys Bed by Winncare The Duo Divisys Bed is designed for couples who would like to stay in the same bed, but where one or both of them have limited mobility. Two separate bed bases enable individual independence, and each side can be moved independently into reclining, half seated or a flat position. Suitable for use at home, in a care home or assisted living facility, the

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bed comes with a choice of colours and designs. The Duo Divisys sleeps couples with a combined weight of 270kg comfortably, and the flexible height range makes it ergonomically beneficially for carers. The bed size 140/160 x 200cm. www.winncare.uk

X'Press Medical Bed by Winncare The X’Press is a medical bed ideal for a community environment due to the transport system being incorporated into the bed. Easy to fold, transport and store, the X’Press does not require tools to assemble or disassemble. Once folded, the bed does not take up much space and is stored on its own castors. It can be taken into lifts and small vehicles, meaning a single-person installation is possible. The easy-move board fastening system includes a range of colours and designs, and the bed is also compatible with Winncare’s SAM Mobility Aid System. The bed size is 90 x 200cm. www.winncare.uk



RETAILERS’ BUYING GUIDE

RotoBed Rotating Chair Bed by Opera Beds The RotoBed is designed to enable independence and restore freedom. Its sophisticated engineering allows the electrical adjustable bed to be transformed from a lying position to an upright chair, whilst fully supporting the user in a smooth and comfortable motion.

The chair bed can be specified at a fixed height or with electric height adjustment to ease access and facilitate nursing. It can also rotate to either an oblique or perpendicular exit. The oblique exit position is designed to help when transferring to a walker or wheelchair. With fabric

and colour options, the RotoBed can match any interior scheme. Users can enhance their experience by choosing additional accessories, which include a wireless control, a reading lamp and under bed lighting. www.operabeds.com

Dual-sensor Bed Leaving Detection Alarm with Alarm Pager by EasylinkUK This new technology bed sensor (WPAS10) is designed to reduce falls and false positives for bed monitoring applications. A central sensor detects when a patient lays on the bed. If they roll to the side of the bed, the alarm is delayed. If they sit on the edge of the

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bed, or fall out of bed, an alarm signal is generated instantly. The advantage of this new design is the ability to send an alarm transmission before the person stands away from the bed. The included alarm pager has selectable alert modes for: vibration

only, or vibration with adjustable volume audible tone. Being three-channel, the pager can monitor up to three separate bed sensors, each assigned to an active alarm indicator LED. www.easylinkuk.co.uk



RETAILERS’ BUYING GUIDE

Icon Floor Bed by Apex

Chester Electric Adjustable Bed by Drive DeVilbiss

This electronically controlled ultra-low floor bed combines high-quality construction and top-class functionality to assist individuals and prevent injury. The stylish wooden bed benefits from the additional design features of an adjustable backrest, leg-rest and adjustable bed height to further aid mobility. Using a combination of these functions, the ultra-low bed can also be placed into a comfortable profiling position for activities such as watching television or interacting with visitors, making it the ideal solution for numerous environments, including home, residential or nursing care. It has a platform height ranging from 10cm to 70cm; a back rest angle of 70 degrees; a thigh section angle of 35 degrees; and a calf section angle (when thigh section is raised) of 15 degrees. The maximum user weight is 180kg. www.apexmedicalcorp.com

The Chester Electric Bed offers comfort and support through its five-part fully adjustable ‘Podmatic System’. This innovative feature has been developed to provide a ‘firm zone’ strategically placed at the lumber region to offer improved support. Features include a six-button multi-position handset and an upholstered divan base. A broad range of models and sizes are available and it is ideal for use with memory foam or latex mattresses. It has a maximum weight carrying capacity of 18st (per side). www.drivedevilbiss.co.uk

Rota-Pro Chair Bed by Apex This rotational chair bed is ideal for those who are weight bearing and able to walk but struggle transferring from sitting to standing. There are four options available, which are specific to the end-user’s height and weight: Standard, Low, Bario and Bario Low. With its bed-to-chair function, the Rota-Pro offers unassisted transfer toand-from bed, reducing the cost and need for carers. It is a full profiling bed, offering rotation configuration

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left or right. Battery backup is included, and it comes complete with a specially designed pressure

reducing mattress. www.apexmedicalcorp.com


We are hiring! Your dream role in the mobility and access industry could just be a click away... Visit thiis.co.uk/jobs to see all the latest jobs

Merry Christmas to all our partners

Homelift Installation Engineer South of England/UK

Would you like to become part of our growing Homelift product team? As a Homelift Installation Engineer you will be responsible for the installation and commissioning of domestic through-floor lifts, step and platform lifting products. We are looking for self-motivated and enthusiastic individuals with the ability to demonstrate a high standard of workmanship. We can offer good rates of pay, competitive benefits, and opportunities for further training and development. A valid full driving licence and DBS clearance is essential to the role. The Stannah Group is a world expert in lift products for public spaces, the workplace and the home. Whether you’re a commuter travelling through a major London train station or someone with a mobility challenge in their home, you’re likely to have come into contact with a Stannah product at some point in your life.

family business with an international presence, exporting to 40+ markets worldwide. For more information please contact recruitment@stannah.co.uk or call 01264 341326.

Stannah is a resolutely British brand and we remain an independent

Movinglife wishes you a joyous holiday, much success and fruitful cooperation in the year to come

Partner with the globally renowned Movinglife and expand your business For more information, please contact us via marcel.zwart@movinglife.com

www.thiis.co.uk / 57


British Healthcare Trades Association is recruiting its next Chief Executive Officer Location: London (with home working opportunities and travel required across UK) Salary and package: Circa £75,000 plus executive benefits Closing date: 31/12/2021 Employment type: Permanent

If you are an effective and ambitious leader keen to head up one of the healthcare and assistive technology industry’s leading trade associations during this important period in the world of healthcare provision, then the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) wants to hear from you. The Board and Council of the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) are seeking an exceptional candidate to fulfil the role of Chief Executive Officer for the BHTA Group of Companies. Founded in 1917 and consisting of over 400 member companies, the BHTA brings the healthcare and assistive technology industry together to help shape and improve the health and care of the nation. It operates as the sector’s consumer protection body, with all members required to abide by its CTSI-endorsed Code of Practice. The association also supports the needs of its members through its membership services, alongside advocating on behalf of its members at the highest levels of government and standards-setting bodies. The association also has a commercial media and publishing arm, BHTA Engage, which aims to engage and inform key audiences in the industry through its two flagship titles: THIIS Magazine and AT Today. As Chief Executive Officer, this exciting opportunity will require you to develop strategies to drive the growth of the BHTA and media subsidiary, alongside strengthening its services to members. This role is based in the UK, with attendance at the London office base and a variety of locations across the UK, visiting and supporting members and engaging with key stakeholders. Key responsibilities include: • Sound leadership and direction of the association and strategic and operational responsibility for its management, finances and administration • Develop strong relationships with its members to ensure that the association’s growth and delivery plans reflect its needs • Develop and maintain an effective working relationship with the BHTA Board and Council, ensuring full and open regular communication

• Overseeing the association’s wholly-owned, standalone media and publishing business, BHTA Engage, which extensively covers the industry, the association and its members to key stakeholders and healthcare professionals • Manage and lead the senior management team and team members, to continue to develop their skills, understanding of members’ needs and effective delivery of support and information services • Positively promote the association’s skills and knowledge base with the multiple stakeholders in the public and private sectors, leveraging opportunities where possible to support the strategic aims of the association • Seek to influence national and local government policy and advocate on behalf of BHTA members through the development and maintenance of working relationships with all relevant stakeholder bodies to achieve the association’s strategic aims • To act as the primary spokesperson for the association. The successful candidate will be: • An effective and credible leader • Possess a skill set to develop the organisation through their leadership, communication and engagement knowledge • Demonstrate credibility and authority in developing relationships at a high level • Possess leadership strengths to motivate and engage staff members to maximise their personal development and skill set • Have proven strategic leadership skills gained in an organisation of comparable size and complexity • Commercial experience and acumen to maximise the BHTA’s revenue-generating potential. Salary and package: Circa £75,000 plus executive benefits. How to apply: Candidates who feel that they meet the criteria should email their CV, along with a covering letter, to Andrew Stevenson, Chairman of the BHTA, at Andrew.Stevenson@bhta.com. Closing date for applications: 31st December 2021.


THE ERGO LITE 2, PROUD WINNER OF

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: info@karmamobiliTy.co.uk www.karmamobiliTy.co.uk

Ergo Lite 2 Self Propel Wheelchair

Ergo Lite 2 Transit Wheelchair


The Snug Canopy Keep going, no matter the weather. The Snug Canopy, designed to keep out the elements whilst giving you the freedom to venture further without the worry of the wind or rain. Simple, versatile and incredibly easy to install, converting almost any scooter into transport for all seasons utilising the universal hitch. The retractable hood provides protection from the sun, rain, wind or cold, giving you the ability to adapt and keep moving in all seasons.

tgamobility.co.uk | trade.sales@tgamobility.co.uk | 01787 888 106

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