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THIIS Trade Magazine • Issue 237 • June 2018

THIIS

TRADE MAGAZINE

Providing news and views in the trade since 1999

Issue 237 June 2018

A family affair Providing news and views in the trade since 1999

A new retailer shares the experience of his first 12-months in business MORE ABOUT…

RETAILER SPOTLIGHT:

Sandpiper

Mills Mobility

also inside... PRODUCT SHOWCASE: DEMENTIA AND CLOTHING


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welcome

…from the editor On the 21st to the 27th of May, the Alzheimer’s Society ran its national Dementia Action Week campaign, which prompted many companies in the industry to take action to promote their dementia friendly ranges.

I

t seems common-sense to use the momentum built by the campaign to raise awareness of the products available on the market to consumers, yet many in the industry did not take advantage of the opportunity. Keeping marketing targeted and topical are the key keys to impactful, successful campaigns. It requires businesses to keep their fingers on the pulse and think creatively when opportunities such as national awareness campaigns or local events present themselves. Some upcoming awareness campaigns to add to diaries for June are National Patient Participation Week 2018 (4 – 7 June), Men’s Health Week (11 – 17 June) and Carers Week (11 – 17 June). It is important to remember that these weeks usually see a lot of social media activity, so these are great opportunities to take to Twitter, Facebook and more to join the conversation. In June’s Retailer Spotlight, a new retailer discusses his first year in business, providing interesting insights into some of the highs & lows of running a new bricks & mortar store in a period known for being notoriously difficult for new business. This month’s Product Showcase is examining the latest in clothing and dementia related products, whilst shoe manufacturer Sandpiper talks about the opportunity specialist, niche products can offer retailers.

Calvin Barnett

Don’t be shy, why not get in touch...

Editor Calvin Barnett 01933 278086 newsroom@thiis.co.uk

Advertising Sales Manager Gareth Liddiatt 01933 278086 gareth.liddiatt@bhtaengage.com

Editor

Sub-editor Sarah Sarsby sarah@thiis.co.uk

TRADE MAGAZINE

THIIS is produced by BHTA Engage, 2-4 Meadow Close, Ise Valley Industrial Estate, Wellingborough, NN8 4BH • 01933 278 086 • newsroom@thiis.co.uk 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.

You can find THIIS on Twitter at: wwwthiiscouk www.thiis.co.uk | 3


contents

20 A look at 12-months in the world of retail

Features 12 Was the mobility industry immune to spring’s plummeting footfall? 44 Product Showcase: Dementia and clothing 52 The Naidex 2018 round-up

50 Are shoes the right fit for mobility shops?

Regulars 10

Round Up

20

Retailer spotlight

30

Deal On!

36

New to the team

50

More about…

64

Recruitment

66

Training Diary

4 | www.thiis.co.uk

32 Motability pressure mounts

38 The OT’s Perspective

8 Meet… Paul Briggs


The Heartbeat of your

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IS IT TIME FOR A STANDARD SCOOTER ASSESSMENT? Following the success of its new Safety Assessment Track at this year’s Naidex, Fish Insurance’s MD John Garrard discussed the importance of scooter safety, the availability of training centres and the idea of a standard assessment for users.

O

ften being referred to as the mobility scooter capital of Europe, the UK has seen a tremendous growth in the popularity of mobility scooters, with more sharing pavements and roads with pedestrians and other motor vehicles. Together with this rise in the numbers of mobility scooters in circulation however, another worrying trend has emerged. “As the number of mobility scooters increase across the UK, unfortunately, so too does the number of accidents,” said John. “As the leading providers of mobility

scooter insurance, we recognise that safety for both scooter owners and pedestrians is a growing concern.” “We believe a standard assessment should be introduced to encourage responsible scooter ownership.” Whilst Class 3 scooters do have to be registered with the DVLA and are used on roads when exceeding 4mph, users currently do not need

cause problems in the long run. Importantly, the mobility insurance specialists pointed out that many visitors to its track were unaware of the insurance implications resulting from an accident. Highlighting that a scooter user involved in an accident without liability cover could face a large bill arising from both the damage to

“We believe a standard assessment should be introduced to encourage responsible scooter ownership.” JOHN GARRARD

MD John Gerrard talks scooter safety

6 | www.thiis.co.uk

to undergo any form of mandatory training or assessment. Hosting Naidex’s first Safety Assessment Track, John pointed out that the popularity of the feature indicates that more is needed to improve scooter safety. “The overwhelming feedback we received from the visitors to our stand clearly illustrated that training centres should be more widely available to practice skills and increase awareness of road safety,” stated John. According to Fish, the view was one supported by healthcare professionals, with many recognising that whilst mobility aids are a lifeline for a growing number of people, a lack of training options can

their scooter and third-party costs, the company says if a pedestrian is injured, they may raise a claim against the driver with subsequent liability for compensation and legal fees. This risk of litigation further emphasises the need to minimise the number of potential accidents underlined Fish, stressing the importance of adequate training and easy access to information so drivers are competent and confident. Confirming it will continue to champion the safe use of mobility equipment, Fish says it aims to work with partners to run additional awareness training in the near future. www.fishinsurance.co.uk


Ontrack to improve safety

S

upported by partners TPG DisableAids and Kymco Healthcare, Fish Insurance’s Safety Assessment Track provided a variety of artificial off-road terrain, ramps and obstacles for drivers to test their skills and receive advice on how to use their equipment safely. Delighted with the response, John commented: “Our main focus in making the track available to visitors was so that they could gain

important safety knowledge. We also found that it gave peace of mind to prospective buyers about purchasing a scooter. “Over the two days we had 150 attendees who took part in the assessment, generating a huge amount of positive feedback and enthusiasm.” Users had the option of using their own scooter or using equipment provided by Kymco

Healthcare on the track, whilst assessors from TPG DisableAids were on hand to provide guidance on users’ performance. John concluded: “We’re looking forward to being at Naidex 2019 with our Safety Assessment Track, helping consumers gain the guidance they need in responsible powered wheelchair and scooter ownership.”

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meet...

MEET… PAUL BRIGGS, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF TOPRO What does your position involve? Overseeing the day to day running of Topro Ltd. Working internally with the account managers and the customer service manager to ensure the smooth running of the company. Meeting existing and potential customers on a daily basis. I liaise with the Head Office in Norway to ensure they are satisfied with the UK Operation. What do you enjoy most about your job? The variety of people we get to see and work with. We deal with different mobility retailers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, as well as the end-users as well. The variety means the role is always interesting. What is one of your proudest moments in the industry? Seeing how the products we provide our customers have a positive effect on our customers. Also, I’m personally very proud to see how Topro has progressed in my seven years with the company, with it now achieving a seven-figure turnover.

Topro Selling directly through the trade, Topro is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of rollators, as well as providing walkers, rise and recline chairs and more. For further information on the full range of products available from Topro and to discuss retailer opportunities or book an assessment or demonstration, call 0115 8465406 or visit www. topro.co.uk

8 | www.thiis.co.uk

What’s the biggest changes you have seen in the industry? Customers are now looking for more innovation and quality in the products they require. Also, the internet has radically changed the marketplace. If you could bring one new innovation to the market, what would it be? A cure for all illness and aging. Would probably put me out of work but the world would be a happier place. What are your interests outside of work? American football, cricket and football. Also, I really enjoy live music, so enjoy going to concerts. Recently seen Faster Pussycat, Adam Ant and Jesus Jones and I’ve got tickets for The Cult in the summer in Kent which will be good. If you had to do any other job in the world, what would it be? I used to manage a record shop way back when records existed and enjoyed that, so probably something

Quick-fire questions! What football team do you support? Cambridge City. It is my local club and the first game I ever went to was a Cambridge City game. What’s your favourite song? Wildside by Mötley Crüe. If you could have a superpower, what would it be? Invisibility. Favourite place in the world? Michigan, American.

in the music industry. Either that or sports, as these really are my two passions.


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round-up

Sad passing of respected industry colleague

I

t is with great sadness that Keith Stuart McAllister, a business development manager who had been with CareFlex for 16 years, passed away in April. A well-known colleague held in high regard by all in the industry, Keith worked very closely with his band of Scottish distributors and clients, going the extra mile to provide more support. Diagnosed with a brain tumour on the 1st March, Keith underwent an operation to remove the tumour which, unfortunately, proved unsuccessful, with Keith being given just a short time to live. Enjoying each day left to him with friends and family, Keith posted a joyful salutation to the world on Facebook every single day, with his final message being posted on the 25th April 2018. Donations and contributions can be made to The Brain Tumour Charity.

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Manage At Home, Medequip’s online retail store, has released its new catalogue containing a section solely dedicated to dementia friendly aids in response to a growing demand from its customers. Matthew Ward, Head of Retail and Marketing at Medequip, said: “Generally, we are seeing more interest in products that may help those with memory loss or dementia remain independent and living in their own home. “As Medequip are active in supporting the Alzheimer’s Society, our charity partner, we consistently generate interest in dementia friendly products and the extended range we can now offer is a response to the enquiries we receive.” The new catalogue showcases a range of dementia friendly aids, including taking reminders, alarm clocks, devices for monitoring and a bright red range. www.manageathome.co.uk

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opinion

FALLING FOOTFALL Was the mobility industry immune to spring’s plummeting footfall?

I

n March and April 2018, the UK retail industry experienced the most significant year-on-year drop in footfall since the recession in 2009, according to the British Retail Consortium and Springboard. Whilst many traditional high street mainstays look to revise their current retail strategies in the midst of this shifting retail landscape, THIIS spoke with four mobility retailers to discover if the drop in footfall had impacted their business. New data from the British Retail Consortium and Springboard’s Footfall and Vacancies Monitor found that footfall covering the five weeks of April decreased by 3.3 percent year-onyear, a sharp decline to April 2017’s positive rate of 1.6 percent. Attributing the sharp decline to a number of factors, including adverse weather conditions and the shift of Easter into March, Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, stated that in April, nearly one in 10 shops in town centres were vacant. “A wet start to April had a dampening effect on visits across the UK’s shopping locations, adding to the long term downward in footfall resulting from changing consumer behaviour,” said Helen. “That shift in the way we shop, coupled with a highly challenging business environment, is having a significant impact on the nation’s high streets.”

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Despite the drop of 3.3 percent in April being lower than the 6 percent fall experienced in March, Diane Wehrle, Springboard Marketing and Insights Director, highlighted that combined, the two months of consecutive falling numbers spelled trouble for retailers. “Much could be made of the adverse impact on April’s footfall of Easter shifting to March, but even looking at March and April together - so smoothing this out still demonstrates that footfall has plummeted,” she said. March and April 2018 combined saw an unprecedented drop of 4.8

and bars, rather than in bricks and mortar stores. “The parlous state of retail trading is highlighted by the fact that footfall post 5pm recovered in the last two weeks of the month, rising by 5.9 percent, whilst day time footfall dropped by 0.1 percent,” explained Dianne. “It is clear that retail trading is doubly challenged by a thrifty consumer in concert with a continuing predisposition towards leisure rather than retail spend; reflected by a rise in the vacancy rate to 9.2%.” The numbers reflect the plight of many established high street retailers that have struggled to remain

“Not since the depths of recession in 2009, has footfall over March and April declined to such a degree” DIANE WEHRLE

percent in footfall in two months compared to 2017. “Not since the depths of recession in 2009, has footfall over March and April declined to such a degree, and even then, the drop was less severe at 3.8 percent,” added Diane. With numbers of shoppers sliding, the figures also suggested a shift in consumers’ shopping habits, as more consumers opt to spend money on leisure activities such as restaurants

competitive in the everchanging retail environment, with Toys R Us and Maplin having recently entered administration whilst Mothercare and Carpetright teeter on the edge. In spite of the somewhat gloom and doom generally surrounding the UK’s bricks and mortar retailers, a number of mobility retailers have found that their businesses are bucking the trend.


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opinion

WHAT MOBILITY RETAILERS HAD TO SAY… Four mobility retailers provide insights into whether April’s falling footfall figures impacted trade. CARL DRAKE, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF RISE MOBILITY AND FURNITURE

After a fantastic start to 2018, despite the snow and heavy rain during late February and into March, sales during April wasn’t in line with the record number of enquiries we received. We put this down to a combination of the timing of the Easter holiday and smaller order value sales.

both showroom retail operations and online shopping. The harsh reality is that our customers’ needs do not go away because of concerns over Brexit or public spending; it just means that we need to be more proactive in finding the required solutions in a manner that is both desirable and affordable. I suspect those in this industry that have nothing other than High Street stores and are reliant on footfall may well be experiencing a different outcome.

KAREN SHEPPARD, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF PEOPLE FIRST MOBILITY

ALASTAIR GIBBS, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF TPG DISABLEAIDS

Whilst TPG DisableAids appreciates that pure retailers are having a tough time at the moment and recognises the factors that may affect the spending confidence of our target customers, we have positioned our business to not rely upon any one market sector and therefore, have not been adversely affected by the consumer downturn in spending. We have multiple contract customers that are obliged to maintain the equipment they are responsible for and to carry out their statutory obligations on the provision of certain facilities. This provides a regular, reliable source of income for our business which is supplemented by

14 | www.thiis.co.uk

People First Mobility actually saw a slight increase in April, with only the months of February and March showing a slight decrease. This was due to the Beast of the East and the heavy snowfall and bitterly cold temperatures but overall, for the whole financial year, we are up by 10 percent on last year and 20 percent on the previous year. This is due to a combination of listening to what the customers want and implementing ideas and stock, as well as going the extra two miles in customer care. Working hard and working many hours, winning the awards and getting the recognition, plus word of mouth for our customer care and referrals from existing customers is definitely reaping benefits.

TRACY SIMMONS, BUSINESS MANAGER AT PARKGATE MOBILITY

We have had a record first quarter and a good April, with sales of large ticket items such as scooters, powerchairs, furniture and stairlifts all up on last year. Service and maintenance work has also increased over last year’s figures. We are planning to have two new shops up and running in Leeds, one in a couple of weeks and the other in about six weeks’ time, so we have not personally noticed any downturns in the retail sector or economy. I would not say the industry is immune as I have heard a number of manufacturers say they have had a slow start to the year and perhaps this was down to the snow and wet weather at the beginning of the year. I would suggest the market for mobility products is increasing annually as the population grows, however, I think things are definitely harder than they were and I feel this is more down to customers’ expectations rather than a downturn in demand. The dealers who have got to grips with providing exceptional customer service and efficient working methods in any market sector will always do well; it is more about marketshare going to those dealers who are doing a good job to the cost of those who are not.


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marketing advice

MULTI-CHANNEL MARKETING IN THE MOBILITY INDUSTRY

Accord Marketing’s John Corellis

Even though there have never been so many channels for manufacturers and retailers to reach customers, it can be tricky for businesses to know where to invest marketing time and money. TV? Radio? Pay-per-click? Facebook advertising? Print? John Corellis, Senior Account Manager at Accord Marketing, explains the importance of a strategic approach to multi-channel marketing.

I

n April’s issue, we tackled the necessity for mobility brands to have engaging and user-friendly websites. But, of course, this raises another question. How do you get consumers to visit your website in the first place and, crucially, how do you make sure they’re the right consumers? THE PERFECT MARKETING MIX Of course, there is no universal marketing approach that will make your business instantly successful. Motivating customers to respond often requires tackling a mountain of inertia - which is not surprising when

you consider that the average person is exposed to literally thousands of marketing messages every day. To reach the right audiences at the right time, you firstly need to understand how they use each channel and then devise highly personalised and persuasive campaigns that compel them to act, react and interact. For example, if you’re looking to secure short-term sales or promote specific offers, PPC is one of the most powerful and cost-efficient forms of generating leads. Similarly, programmatic retargeting enables you to reach people who have previously been on your website but not converted. And if driving brand awareness is a priority, then TV, print, out of home and radio all offer

the opportunity to create attentiongrabbing ads that make it clear what differentiates your products or services from the competition. TAPPING INTO DIGITAL Once complicated and expensive, technology is now simple to use and very affordable. So, whilst many marketers assume that the over-50s are not active online, studies have shown this couldn’t be further from the truth. Older customers are out in force. With just under 70% of them regularly using the internet, today’s “mature” population are more curious, inquisitive and technologically adept than ever before. This highlights the need for brands and retailers to have a clear understanding of how their content is being consumed across multiple devices.


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marketing advice In fact, a recent survey conducted by Accord found that one-third of mobility product users aged 50 plus research online before purchasing. From this insight, it is clear that even for customers who ultimately purchase in store - many go online first to research offers, service guarantees and product brochures. A WINNING COMBINATION The moment when someone chooses your brand or store - that’s not luck. It’s the result of an integrated campaign that unites multiple

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TAKING MULTICHANNEL ACTION DURING DEMENTIA ACTION WEEK

A

bleworld, the UK’s largest mobility retailer, actively supported Dementia Action Week across various marketing channels whilst simultaneously highlighting its dementia friendly products to customers. The retailer advertised in local newspapers and created content on its website to make customers aware of the dementia friendly aids it stocks, building on the momentum of the national dementia awareness campaign. Additionally, it actively shared posts from the Alzheimer’s Society across social media, as well as promoting its own content. www.ableworld.co.uk

18 | www.thiis.co.uk


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retailer spotlight

Greg Mills opened the doors of Mills Mobility 12-months ago

MILLS MOBILITY: A LOOK BACK AT THE FIRST 12 MONTHS IN BUSINESS Having worked in the industry for close to 12 years, Greg Mills decided the time had come to set out on his own and open the doors to his own mobility store in June 2017. Now, 12 months on from opening his store, Mills Mobility has made it to the finals for a prestigious business award and even saved its local shopmobility. THIIS caught up with the young owner to discover how he has found his first year at the helm of a mobility retail business during a time when bricks and mortar stores are facing growing pressures. CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND PRIOR TO OPENING MILLS MOBILITY? Before opening Mills Mobility, I was working in the industry for about 12 years at some well-established mobility companies in the region.

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I also did a two-year stint at a community equipment loan service, which gave me in-depth insight into what happens within the loan service. It was a great learning experience. Before working in the mobility industry, I was an undertaker, so quite a change!

WHAT WAS IT THAT MOTIVATED YOU TO LEAVE AND ENTER THE WORLD OF MOBILITY? It is a vital job but being an undertaker can really get you down, especially being young, so I wanted to do something that was friendlier and more customer focused.


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retailer spotlight

A close-knit family operation

It was purely by luck however that I ended up in the mobility industry, applying for a job at a local mobility store. I learned a tremendous amount in a short amount of time there, working with wheelchairs, seating, stairlifts and hoisting. It felt like a more rewarding career because I could see the improvements we were making to the quality of customers’ lives, which gave a far bigger feel good factor. WHY DID YOU TAKE THE DECISION TO OPEN YOUR OWN SHOP LAST YEAR? After working for a number of companies for quite some time, I saw a bit of a gap in the market. Many companies may only operate a 9am to 5pm service from Monday to Friday because staff will do the hours they are contracted to do. I saw an opportunity to fill that gap of evenings and weekends, which would be particularly useful for people who have been discharged from hospital for example. My goal was to provide a sevenday-a-week, unrestricted service where if somebody needed something, it could be accessed.

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This was the central premise to Mills Mobility, the idea of going the extra mile. Importantly, I also wanted to ensure that the store and the team maintained high standards, as I am aware how it is possible for one member of a team to let everyone else’s hard work down.

Gloucester, pooling their resources in regards to the engineering background. There are certain areas of business they do which we do not cover and vice versa. Rather than the two of us competing against each other, we complement each other’s services in areas we think the other business may

“I think this clinical aspect is something more dealers could look at adopting, especially given the amount nurses are paid currently.” GREG MILLS

HOW MANY MEMBERS ARE THERE IN THE MILLS MOBILITY TEAM? The set up at the moment is myself, my mother who was a nurse for 37 years – bringing the clinical background to the company – my sister who has a retail management background, as well as my father, who was a technician for over 20 years. It is very much a family focused business at the moment. We also work alongside a mobility and care services company in

have more skills. It doesn’t seem to be the ‘done’ thing within the industry but it is working well for us. It is all about collaboration. YOU RECENTLY DECIDED TO TAKE OVER A LOCAL SHOPMOBILITY, CAN YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT WHY YOU DECIDED TO TAKE IT OVER? Again, this happened purely by chance to start with. I was walking through the town and came across a sign for a local charity, The Wellbeing Information


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retailer spotlight Service Helpdesk, which helps provide advice to people regarding different charities, funds, benefits and other support they could be entitled to. I popped in to see if there was any business to be done and part of their remit is operated by Services for Independent Living, who were running the local shopmobility. They explained the troubles they were having with operating the service because of funding constraints. At that point, I said that any repairs, servicing or work of that nature they needed doing, we would do free-ofcharge for them to help alleviate some of the budget issues and help the service to continue to run. It was a little bit short notice and we even explored the idea of establishing a retail arm in the shopmobility for them to help them generate an income because they had lost most of their council funding and other sources of funding over the years. Unfortunately, in March of this year, the doors were going to close for good because they had completely run out of funding.

HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU BELIEVE IS IT FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES TO SUPPORT ITS COMMUNITY? For us, it is very important. An example is in Hereford, we have a group pick up all the litter in the local area because the council’s budget is tight and some of the streets are looking a bit run-down. I was really impressed with what they were doing so I called them up and donated a box of mobility grabbers which could be used as litter-pickers. It is the little acts of generosity that any dealer could do that will help generate good publicity and more importantly, show your company is caring and compassionate. In this marketplace, it is important to be seen as somebody who cares. We are in business and we do want to make a profit but there is a right way and wrong way to do it. People are more likely to recommend their friends and family to you if they know your company truly cares and are not just in it for just a quick sale.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO STEP IN AND SAVE IT? It didn’t seem right to me. I think companies have a moral obligation to the community and I am firm believer that if you help the community, the community in turn will respect you as a business and will buy local. That was the business justification for it. We made a generous donation to Services for Independent Living to enable them to support other parts of their service and took over the running of shopmobility aspect. We are in the process of replacing all the old scooters in the original fleet with new scooters and that is at a cost to ourselves and not to the Service. We are also maintaining the current pricing the Service ran before. It is not profitable at all but what we are hoping is that off the back of us running the shopmobility service, it will draw customers into our showroom and embed us as a local business that supports the community.

SO, THIS IS YOU EMBEDDING YOURSELF INTO THE COMMUNITY FOR THE LONG RUN? Definitely. With the shopmobility, we have saved a service that was running in excess of 35-years and made it sustainable for the future because I’ll be operating it out of our building and using my staff. It reduces the running costs substantially. Off the back of that, we are replacing some of the older, smaller scooters with bigger models because we are a bit further out from town. This means if people want to go off to other parts of the county, they are no longer restricted to just the city centre. If they want to go to the cathedral or check out some of the sights, they will have the option to go where they wish. I think it is sensible step and hopefully, if they enjoy using the scooter, they may see the benefit of purchasing one for themselves and come back to us, which is the business side of it.

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It is a win-win really and early on, we had some people asking why we moved the service further out from the town. Once we have explained the situation of the old service going bust however, they were glad to see a service still available. We are offering the same pricing as before which helps, as well as giving free lifetime membership to people who had been a member of the original service. They were supporting the original service so I wanted to support them now. It doesn’t cost us anything but it is a sign of good faith and it is targeting the client group we want, whereas putting an advert in the newspaper will cost a small fortune and often not reach the desired target audience. WHAT HAS THE FEEDBACK BEEN FROM THE COMMUNITY? The feedback has been positive and the footfall in our showroom has increased massively since the news spread in the local papers that we were taking the shopmobility on. Before, we had the odd few customers pop into the showroom, whereas now, we have customers coming in daily. It has done wonders for the footfall. People are aware of who and where we are now, which is great. YOU WERE RECENTLY A FINALIST FOR AN AWARD IN THE FEDERATION OF SMALL BUSINESSES’ (FSB) CELEBRATING SMALL BUSINESS AWARDS 2018. WHAT IS IT THAT MILLS MOBILITY IS DOING TO STAND OUT AND RECEIVE RECOGNITION? Entering last December, we made it to the shortlist of the regional finals for microbusiness of the year and considering the calibre of applicants we were up against, it was fantastic to make it to the finals. Unfortunately, we didn’t win but we got down to the last four for the whole of the West Midlands, which was quite an achievement in itself. It is down to the fact that we started as nothing at the end of last year


and now we are at a point where we are taking on a community service, helping the local community and upscaling quite quickly. We have huge volumes of stock now at the premises and all the money the business makes is reinvested back into the business. Also, we were nominated before our announcement of taking over the shopmobility, so it was off the merits of our work prior to shopmobility news. The business really has grown in the last 12-months and I am very proud of where we have managed to get to. A lot of it comes down to the support of the suppliers and manufacturers that are working with us. For many, it required taking a leap of faith and putting their trust in us. Many of them know me from old so having those relationships helped, especially as we were asking for an account with them even though other companies in the area already held an account. It was a big ask. There are a few companies however who have stuck by me through thick and thin and I really appreciate their support. WHAT FACTORS DO YOU BELIEVE ARE MOST IMPORTANT FOR BEING A SUCCESSFUL RETAILER IN THE INDUSTRY? Having staff that know the products and never comprising on the quality of service are so important to being successful. There was once an occasion where I have had an issue with a stairlift

The company plans to expand its operation in the coming years

stairs for the night. Starting at seven o’clock the next day made for a very long day but I think these are the lengths you have to go to sometimes to be successful. If a customer is in trouble or in need of help, then handling that quickly is what sets you apart. What it really boils down to is that a happy customer will tell close friends and family and you will get some good word of mouth advertising. An unhappy customer will tell the masses. Our aim is to ensure every

“It is the little acts of generosity that any dealer could do that will help generate good publicity and more importantly, show your company is caring and compassionate.” GREG MILLS

at eight o’clock at night and I have jumped in a van and done a 120-mile round trip to get it sorted because I wasn’t willing to have someone struggling to get up and down the

single customer is a happy customer. The gradual increase in positive word of mouth recommendations is what is causing the business to grow and that is driven by not accepting

anything but the best in terms of standards, qualities and products. HAS THERE BEEN ANY STAND OUT MOMENTS YOU ARE PARTICULAR PROUD OF? I wouldn’t say there has been one stand out moment, but rather, each time we help a customer, it makes me proud. The whole experience has been rewarding. WHAT HAVE BEEN THE STRUGGLES OVER THE PAST 12 MONTHS? The most difficult thing is creating our place in the local marketplace against some of the more well-established, reputable companies. A lot of people thought we were just doing the same thing when we opened up but we are trying to demonstrate to customers that whilst some of the products are similar, we are not the same and we offer services that differ in the marketplace. For example, any customer who purchases with us is given my mobile number so they can contact me personally, any day and any time of


retailer spotlight

the week, in the event of something going wrong. That leads onto to the other challenge; there simply are not enough hours in the day. It has been pretty flat out since we started, however if you put the hours in, you reap the rewards. Another challenge is the internet. It is already a competitive market and the internet is a very difficult thing to compete against because the prices online are so much lower and customers can compare there and then instore. The challenge is letting the customers know that when you are buying from us, you are not just buying a product. You are buying everything that comes with it. If there is a problem, you can come down and see us or we can come and see you and if it is broken, we’ll lend you another one. Essentially, you are selling a package, not just a product and it is a challenge educating people about this.

26 | www.thiis.co.uk

HAVE YOU FOUND YOURSELVES HAVING TO EDUCATE PEOPLE TO LOOK BEYOND THE INITIAL PRICE? All the time. Everything has a value and a cost associated with it, so I always tell customers that if they buy that scooter online and something goes wrong with it, how much is it going to cost to send it back. The best way I demonstrate this is asking the customer to think how many stamps they will need to pop onto the box to send that scooter back. Then explaining that by buying from us, they will never need to worry about that. Essentially, we are selling peace of mind along with the product. If they have an issue, it will be resolved and they have a face and name to put to the product. AS YOU CONTINUE TO SCALE, DO YOU THINK YOU CAN CONTINUE TO OFFER SUCH A HIGHLY PERSONALISED SERVICE? We are careful to scale up at the right pace. We don’t want to run before we

can walk and we don’t want to lose the core values of the business, those being that we are a family-run business that truly care about our customers. In the first 12 months, we have scaled up quickly and we are getting to a point where we need to take a step back and focus on the direction of the company. It is also about looking after our existing customers and as we get busier, it gets more difficult. Later this year, we plan to increase our staffing levels again but it is vital we take on the right members of staff. HOW DO YOU TRY AND STAY COMPETITIVE IN THE MARKET? It is trying to do ideas that haven’t been attempted before. I am also very lucky to have my mother in the office, who has been working as a nurse for the last 37 years with adults and in paediatrics, so she has a very strong clinical understanding. Having a registered nurse who understands the conditions and can help advise which products would be best for their needs really helps set us apart.


retailer spotlight I think this clinical aspect is something more dealers could look at adopting, especially given the amount nurses are paid currently. It gives the customers a lot more confidence dealing with a registered nurse because they can really trust the advice and the company. WHAT RANGE OF PRODUCTS DO YOU SELL? We sell quite a diverse range of products, including mobility scooters, stairlifts and overhead hoists. Ultimately, we are trying to get to the point of being a one-stop shop. A core part of our portfolio is Kirton as we are a Kirton dealer, so we do a lot of the Kirton healthcare chairs, as well as a lot of riser recliners as well. We also do full bathroom conversions, having just completed our fourth one in as many months so we are literally installing a bathroom a month which is great. We carry these adaptations out ourselves and I have a team who comes in and we project manage the whole thing so that the customers do not have to worry about a thing. They just tell us what they want and as a general rule, we can get the conversion completed in a week.

IS THE BATHROOM ADAPTATION WORK GROWING? It is growing. To undertake bathroom adaptations requires a pretty specialist skill set, making it important to make sure to use the best trades people to do the job. We are very choosy about who we use and there is an awful lot of work that goes into actually completing a project, as well as needing access to the right products as well. The projects can be very difficult and very time consuming which is why I think I it puts a lot of dealers off taking it on, whereas a stairlift can be fitted in two to three hours. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR MILLS MOBILITY? There are plenty of ideas in the pipeline, including looking into the possibility of a lease-service for mobility scooters now that we have the shopmobility. The lease-service would give people the opportunity to lease the scooters on a more long-term basis, potentially up to a year, which is important for palliative clients, as well as those who are a bit unsure or who just want a scooter for a few months in summer. It will be almost like a local

alternative to Motability, where we will provide the service, the scooter, the insurance and if the needs change, we can change the product. Also, we can be flexible on the pricing for those who do not just require new. So, it is about making mobility equipment accessible for all. That is something we are looking into launching towards the end of this year. We also have full training facilities onsite, which we can rent to care homes, nursing homes, healthcare professionals and more so they don’t have to do training away from their setting and have access to overhead hoists, hospital beds, transfer equipment and more. That is another string to our bow. We have spread our wings a little bit but we will only ever take on the work that we can manage. At the moment, we are trying to keep our feet firmly on the ground whilst trying to continue the growth we have seen so far. www.millsmobilityaids.co.uk

CREATIVE WAYS OF REACHING CARE HOMES With Mills Mobility being located further out from the town rather than in the high-street, the company does not rely on passing trade and footfall. To raise the profile of the company and get in front of his target audience, Greg has explored different approaches to marketing his store. “One of the initiatives we are exploring involves the care homes we work with. There are a lot of private customers in care homes that can’t get out to the store, so where we have a bought a volume of product quite cheaply, such as walking frames, commodes and even slings, we are going into the care homes and giving the

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equipment away with no obligations and no ties,” he said Giving away products may sound like a business lunacy but for Greg, it is a powerful way to build meaningful awareness and relationships. “Our labels are on the products and what that does is if they haven’t had new equipment in the home for a while, it encourages them to come down and visit us, or contact us if they are looking for something else,” explained Greg. “The cost of this equipment is actually cheaper than advertising. For example, slings are an important commodity in care homes and the price for a local ad in the newspaper would be around the

same as eight slings. “So, for the cost of one generic advert in the newspaper that would hope to reach a small percentage of its circulation, I could instead do a favour for eight different care homes and get our name out there with key customers. This is a key approach we are using for building the business.” This long-term approach to reaching target customers works on multiple levels for the shop according to Greg, gaining favour with care homes, providing equipment which will act as a constant advert in the environment, whilst additionally doing wonders for Mills Mobility’s reputation.


Mobility Technology supplied to the Mobility Trade

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trade deals

DealON! Looking for a deal? Then this is the place to come. Deal On features the best trade deals you will find this month. Just pick up the phone to take advantage... All offers are valid until June 30th 2018 unless otherwise stated.

££

June retailer promotion from Repose Furniture Repose Furniture is offering a free spray on Staingard fabric protection treatment on all general domestic fabrics from its Homecare chair range. The special offer is available until June 30th 2018 when retailers quote the reference JUNE2018. Call 0844 7766001, email info@reposefurniture.co.uk or visit http://www.reposefurniture.co.uk

Two Free Home Delivery Smartphone Apps (worth £750)* UNIQUS® iRetailer. Stock & barcode management software specially designed for the VAT complexities of mobility retailers. Affordable subscription. No big initial outlay. Fully integrate your quotation, sales, purchasing and stock process on one platform. Cloud based and paperless, iRetailer CRM will help you gain efficiency, save time and increase sales opportunities. See our advertisement in this issue or visit www.assistivepartner.co.uk/iretailer.aspx *Requires Windows Smartphone. Order before end of June 2018 to qualify.

Installer Partner Programme Stiltz Home Lifts are looking to develop their new, exciting Installer Partner Programme. Signing up for both sales and installation will make the Stiltz business far more profitable that a straightforward sale. Full training will be provided. For more information, call/email Trade Sales Director, Gino Farruggio on 07940 437 835 / gino.farruggio@stiltz.co.uk

Free Haze smart charger... ...with your first order of four or more batteries (18Ah and bigger) Please call Easystart on 01536 203030 or email sales@easystartbatteries.co.uk for more information

Single unit orders available with no minimum order quantity! John Preston Healthcare is supplying five new products to the trade which can bring new customers to businesses: ATTO / Airwheel H3 / Foldachair D09 / Firefly / Nino Call Aidan McCormack on 028 92 633 798 or email marketing@johnpreston.co.uk to find out more

30 | www.thiis.co.uk


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PRESSURE MOUNTS ON MOTABILITY OPERATIONS After Motability Operations was found to have accrued £2.4bn in reserves and paid its Chief Executive £1.7m in 2017, the operator of the Motability Scheme has come under increasing scrutiny over the management of its finances and led some MPs to question the scheme’s very structure.

A

n inquiry into the Motability scheme by the Treasury and Work & Pensions Committees unanimously-agreed that senior pay at Motability Operations is “unacceptable” and the organisation’s large reserves are out of proportion to the risks it faces. Contracted by Motability (the Charity) to operate the Motability Car, Powered Wheelchair & Scooter Scheme, Motability Operations has run the scheme since the late 70s with the objective of providing a ‘worry-free’ mobility vehicle leasing to qualifying recipients. With 1.8m people in receipt of a qualifying allowance allowing them

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to choose to lease through the Motability, there are 629k customers who currently choose to use the scheme through 4,800 approved Motability dealers across the UK.

Tax, providing a 20 percent discount on the value of the car and Insurance Premium Tax, providing a 12 percent discount on the insurance element of leasing the vehicle.

A MONOPOLY IN PRACTICE? The report stated that Motability Operations has a monopoly in practice as the only private organisation to receive welfare payments for the leasing of vehicles; an opportunity awarded to the company by Motability without a competitive tender. Additionally, the inquiry identified that Motability Operations enjoys two types of tax relief on Value Added

RESERVES DEEMED DISPROPORTIONATE Underlining that no other mobility leasing company is – or can be – so heavily dependent on public

Motability Operations reserves 328% increase in 9 years 2008: £568m 2017 to £2.4bn

!


funding, the Committees judged the organisation’s reserves to be out of proportion to the low level of risk faced by operating the scheme. Motability Operations justified its reserves on the grounds of its inability to diversify out of its only product base and customer base, however, the Committees determined that the Scheme could afford to lower its prices or make more charitable donations. EXECUTIVE PAY COMES UNDER FIRE As well as its large reserves, the amount paid to top executives at Motability Operations also came under scrutiny from the Committee. Motability Operations has consistently maintained that the pay of its senior executives is related to achieving rigorous customer service targets and claimed the renumeration of CEO Mike Betts and others was comparable to that of FTSE 250 companies.

Highlighting that Motability Operations does not face the same risks as FTSE 250 companies because of its privileged market position however, the inquiry found the levels of renumeration to be unacceptable. Commenting on the report, Frank Field MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said: “The levels of pay pocketed by its executives and

CEO’s total remuneration package 78% increase in 9 years 2008: £954k 2017 to £1.7m

!

Nicky Morgan MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee, said: “It seems that Motability may have lost its way.

“It seems that Motability may have lost its way.” NICKY MORGAN

the cash reserves it is hoarding are totally out of whack with reality of its position in the market.” CALL FOR NATIONAL AUDIT OFFICE INVESTIGATION Following the findings of the inquiry, the Committees recommend that the National Audit Office should conduct a value for money investigation into Motability.

DWP should ask the NAO to carry out a full inquiry into the value for money of the Motability Scheme. This could help ensure that those who rely on the scheme are able to access it on the best value terms.” In response, Motability Operations has said it welcomes the review by the NAO and is committed to engaging with the Office as it conducts its investigation.

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focus

MERGERS, ACQUISITIONS AND INVESTMENTS NHS GETS FUNDING GREEN LIGHT TO INVEST IN FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT Forty NHS hospitals and community services will get £760 million to modernise and transform their buildings and services in the year of the NHS’s 70th birthday. Set to be the biggest investment of its kind in the NHS in over a decade, the NHS says it will spend the money on vital local programmes and refurbishing health facilities. The Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin sustainability and transformation partnership will receive £300 million to transform local hospital services. The remainder of the money will be awarded to 39 smaller projects, including six-million-pounds to upgrade services of eight trusts across Yorkshire, eight-million-pounds for a new health and wellbeing centre to join up local NHS services in Kent and £13 million for two new urgent care centres in Newton Abbot and Torquay.

Multi-millionpound prosthetic investment

I

celandic firm Össur has signed an agreement with Scotland to invest £5.6m over a three-year period to develop myoelectric prosthetic hand and arm solutions at its Touch Bionics operations. Scottish Enterprise has supported the investment with a £1.3m grant to Touch Bionics, allowing the company to produce research and development projects and enabling four new additional jobs at its Livingston facility. Acquired by Össur in 2016, Touch Bionics has worked with Scottish Enterprise for the past 15 years, receiving support in areas such as product development, regional selective assistance and through its investment arm, the Scottish Investment Bank. Since its acquisition, Össur has continued investing in Touch Bionics’ research and development operations, leading to the company’s product portfolio to grow.

www.touchbionics.com

SELF-PROPEL STRONGBACK Universally suitable • Lightweight 7.9kg frame • Quality 135kg user capacity • Advanced lumbar support The UK’s leading range of mobility products since 1985

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34 | www.thiis.co.uk

01787 882244 orders@tgamobility.co.uk tgamobility.co.uk


FOURTH ACQUISITION IN TWO YEARS Direct Healthcare Group (DHG) has enhanced its product offer with the acquisition of UK-based manufacturer Qbitus Products.

T

he company will now join DHG’s other brands pressure care and seating brands, with the Group highlighting how the Qbitus range will fit in and complement its existing product offer. Graham Ewart, CEO of Direct Healthcare Group, commented: “The synergies with our DHS pressure care and Kirton specialist seating portfolio, through the provision of Qbitus’ highly bespoke, pressure-relieving cushions, deliver an offering that is truly unique.” DHG has seen a sustained period of growth over the last 24 months, completing a number of high-profile acquisitions as it cements its place as a leading manufacturer of pressure care and seating solutions in the market. Graham continued: “Through this acquisition, we will continue to provide the quality and individually unique products that is expected of Qbitus, whilst taking the business into its

next phase of growth.” Founded over 30 years ago, Qbitus has built a reputation as a primary supplier of bespoke, pressure-relieving cushions to the NHS and Wheelchair Services. Discussing the acquisition, Mike Leighton, CEO of Qbitus Products, added: “The knowledge, research and development, and business management systems in place at DHG will help to ensure that product quality is maintained and improved upon whilst the opportunity to integrate the range into their current portfolio offers something unique to the market.” www.directhealthcaregroup.com

Compact folding

Quick release 24” wheels

CEO Graham Ewart

QR scan to watch

Unique contoured backrest 15/01/2018 10:24

www.thiis.co.uk | 35


new to the team

Healthcare professional returns to retailer Expanding its team of healthcare professionals, Emma Dobson has re-joined Kent Mobility in a sales and advice role. A registered occupational therapist with over two decades of experience, Emma worked in the NHS for three years before moving abroad to live in Malaysia with her new husband. On her return a year later, she joined Medway Hospital’s Wheelchair Service before moving to Kent Mobility in 1998. Having carried out assessments for wheelchairs, seating systems, cushioning, armchairs and shower chairs for the following 16 years, Emma took a break before returning to the NHS in 2015. Having expanded her knowledge in new areas for the last three years, she has reprised her role at Kent Mobility, adding specialist armchairs and powerchairs to her repertoire. Visiting people in their home, hospital or care home to offer free-of-charge assessments, advice and product knowledge to customers and their families, Emma helps match the right equipment to suit particular needs. www.kentmobility.co.uk

BETTERLIFE’S PARENT COMPANY APPOINTS NEW CEO Celesio UK, the parent company for LloydsPharmacy and sister brand Betterlife, has appointed Toby Anderson to be the new CEO of the company from 1st September 2018 onwards. He joins the company from health and beauty retailer A.S. Watson Group, which owns Superdrug, where he is chief executive of Asia and Eastern Europe. Brian Tyler, Chairman of the Management Board of McKesson Europe, said: “Toby is committed to navigating the current and future challenges that our company faces and helping us to truly transform healthcare in the UK.”

HERIDA TEAM GROWS WITH NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Building on its continued growth, Herida Healthcare has employed Nicki Nalton as a new business manager. Responsible for working with existing customers and creating greater product awareness for prospective customers, Nicki joins the company whilst also currently studying Business Management at University of Leeds to further her commercial acumen. Sue Dolman, National Sales Manager at Herida Healthcare, told THIIS: “Our rapid growth has given us the opportunity to expand our sales team even further to continue to support our customers and provide a first-class customer service experience.” Bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience in business development and account management from various industries, Nicki’s last role was in chemical manufacturing and included infection prevention and control. www.heridahealthcare.co.uk

www.celesio.co.uk

Do you have a new team member? Why not let the industry know? Just send us a short news item and photo. 36 | www.thiis.co.uk

(From left) Nicki Nalton and Sue Dolman


Unique opportunity...

FAMILY MEMBER JOINS THE GROWING WILCARE TEAM Wilcare, a manufacturer of rise and recline furniture based in the UK, has appointed Molly Kiff to the position of administrative assistant. Working alongside her sister and office manager Lauren Kiff to run the admin team of 10 to ensure smooth operations, Molly will be responsible for handling customer orders and queries. Aged 18, Molly joins Wilcare having successfully achieved A-levels in Food Technology and Photography, as well as a Welsh Baccalaureate, from Cowbridge Comprehensive School in the Vale of Glamorgan, close to Wilcare’s manufacturing base. The role will also see Molly involved in customer service and purchasing whilst liaising with the Wilcare sales, production and management team. www.wilcarewales.com

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OT perspective

THE OT’S PERSPECTIVE

DRESSING WITHOUT STRESSING How to help your clients to dress in a way that allows them to live independently and have a sense of identity.

O

ver the past few months, we’ve been looking at various aids that can assist clients in living the life that they want to live and experiencing as ‘normal’ a life as possible. Today, I want to tackle one of the most fundamental things to consider;

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clothing, and how retailers can help their clients choose the right clothes. Lots of us work with clients with dementia and for those people, daily living is far more challenging than for most of us. This why it’s vital for us to consider clothing in light of the kinds of issues they may face on a daily basis:

• • • • • •

Toilet access Incontinence Removal of underwear and socks Ability to pull on trousers, do up shirt buttons or pull up zips Sore feet Lack of co-ordination


It’s against this backdrop that we must help clients make the right choices when it comes to clothes. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the key pointers for anyone helping people with physical disabilities, dementia or other ailments that make the right choice of clothing extremely important. SHIRTS AND TOPS Fiddly buttons or arms through sleeves just don’t work, so consider adapted clothes that can help with this. Velcro, poppers and magnetic fastenings are potential solutions which allow a shirt or blouse to be opened and closed quickly and with ease. Shirts opened through the back are also useful, as well as shirts with wider sleeve openings. “Occupation” as a term refers to practical and purposeful activities that allow people to live independently and have a sense of identity. This could be essential day-to-day tasks such as self-care, work or leisure.” Royal College of Occupational Therapists

SKIRTS Whilst skirts are a relatively easy item to put on, an elasticated waist will make it comfier to wear and skirts with long side-zips can also make dressing easier. SHOES I can’t overestimate the importance of the right shoe – it’s essential. Some shoes are designed to be orthopaedic, which basically means that they’ll provide a lot more support than many standard shoes, particularly around the arch of the foot. Many comfier fitting shoes feature thick soles with no or very low heel, soft upper material and Velcro fastenings so they’re easy to do up. It’s important that shoes fit well as balance and co-ordination can become compromised for someone with dementia, so sturdy, balanced and well-fitted shoes can help to offset that.

BRAS Bras can be extremely fiddly to put on and do up; especially those that fasten round the back. I recommend non-wired, front-fastening bras, as it’s much easier to see what you’re doing and the lack of wiring makes them more comfortable. SOCKS AND SOCK AIDS Circulation tends to get worse as you get older and even though thermal socks keep a person warm, they can pose a challenge to put on and take off. A sock aid may assist your client if they have difficulty bending forward to put their socks on and if a client requires compression stockings, they will definitely need specific aids or the socks will not go on properly. TROUSERS For men, front opening or ‘drop front’ trousers let you open up the trousers at the front, without having to pull them down, which provides easy access when using the toilet. Open-back trousers are useful for people who are wheelchair bound or need to sit down to put trousers on. DRESSES Dresses that are wrap fastened or open to the waist will be easier to do up or step into, as there’s no twisting to fasten the dress at the back. Back opening dresses are easy for continence care. UNDERWEAR Dignity is paramount, even more so when reliant on a carer, so adapted underwear can help. Side opening underpants and knickers make them much easier to remove when using the toilet and also make them easier to change if the person being cared for has an accident.

TOP TIPS FOR DRESSING CLIENTS Dressing time can be a useful chance to have a chat with your client, particularly if they’re feeling awkward. You can talk to them about the weather, or even about an item of clothing that might remind them of something they wore when they were younger. When helping someone with dementia to dress, lay out clothes in the order the person will put them on. Remind them sensitively which garment comes next, or hand them the next item that they need. SWIMWEAR Swimming is a fantastic activity for older people because it is a nonweight bearing exercise, putting minimal strain on joints and muscles. You can get both ladies swimming costumes and men’s swimming shorts with built-in incontinence designs to allow for both liquid and faecal incontinence. BELTS AND TIES Anti-buckle belts look just like a regular belt, but rather than having to thread it through the buckle to fix it, you simply wrap it round your waist and it is fixed in place with carefully hidden Velcro fastenings. Likewise, if fastening a tie is starting to prove tricky you might want to consider a clip-on tie to solve this problem.

Stuart Barrow of Promoting Independence is a member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and a recognised expert in the field of home adaptations. His experience is sought by manufacturers and service providers looking for an expert opinion. Stuart also runs the Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference (OTAC).

www.thiis.co.uk | 39


round-up

Makeover to enhance shoppers’ experience

C

ompleting what it calls the first step in an ongoing project to update and improve its facilities, Hertfordshire Action on Disability (HAD) has recently finished a re-fit at its equipment centre in Welwyn Garden City. Stocking an extensive range of mobility equipment, the centre has created more space by replacing the unused multi-sensory room with an area for beds and seating clinics as well as installing extra shelving to better display product ranges.

Nigel Dotchin, HAD chair (pictured second from right with customers and staff)

Officially opening the refreshed centre, Nigel Dotchin, HAD Chair, said: “The result of all this work is not just good news for our customers, it’s great for our staff. Centre manager Cherie West and her team have been

working in cramped conditions for a long time, so they will benefit too.” Additionally, the centre has added another cash desk to accelerate the payment process. www.hadnet.org.uk

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round-up

TGA’s rebranded retail outlet launches

P

reviously operating under the Hexagon Healthcare moniker, TGA Mobility has reopened the remodelled Farnham showroom under the ‘TGA Living’ name, bringing it in line with the parent brand. Improving the front door access, lighting, showroom layout and décor the company says the new store carefully considers showroom design in accordance with recommendations

from the Alzheimer’s Society. Commenting on the decision to rebrand, Daniel Stone, Managing Director of TGA, said: “From an overall reassurance point of view, our Farnham showroom now displays the TGA name which is synonymous with outstanding service and customer satisfaction across the UK.” Highlighting the importance of talking face-to-face with customers in

order to provide the right advice and products, TGA says having residents be able to touch and test products is the reason why it invested in the store during a period when many high street retail stores are closing. www.tgaliving.co.uk

HANDICARE UK’S MD TO DRIVE GLOBAL GROWTH AMBITIONS Clare Brophy, Handicare UK’s Managing Director, will now lead the Group’s commercial strategy for stairlifts in Europe and Asia, focusing on achieving organic growth from existing and new customers, new markets and new products. With growth in the stairlift market predicted at one to three percent and the size of the market estimated at £385 million, Handicare will look to build on its current market share of around 20 to 25 percent. Becoming a Handicare director in 2010 when her retail company, Companion Stairlifts, was acquired, Clare became the UK’s managing director in 2017, responsible for all the Group’s UK activities. Her new role will see Clare manage the creation of a more efficient, commercial global organisation, the implementation of Group-wide commercial initiatives and geographic expansion, including expanded dealer networks. The change in role will also see Clare join the Group’s management team and report directly to the company’s CEO, Asbjorn Eskild. www.handicare.co.uk 42 | www.thiis.co.uk

Clare Brophy


NEW Trade Days is coming! Exclusive launch in next THIIS issue

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product showcase

PRODUCT SHOWCASE

DEMENTIA AND CLOTHING CHERYL DELIVERS COMFORT AND SUPPORT

D

escribed as perfect for those with difficult feet, the Cheryl ladies ultra-wide sandal from Sandpiper is a classic twin strap, sandal design with extra adjustment, enhanced heel support and soft leather. The sandal opens right out, making it easy to put on and take off, whilst the

lightweight design and supportive sole provide great arch support, combined with extra-long straps to deliver great adjustment across the instep. Part of the Sandpiper range for a number of years, the Cheryl has consistently been one of its year-round bestsellers according to the company, with customers’

appreciating its comfort, adjustability and support. The Cheryl Ultra-Wide 6E Sandal also features full leather lining, a removable washable insole, backin heel, padded ankle support and comes available in sizes 35-43 and nine colours. www.sandpipershoes.com

The Cheryl sandal

44 | www.thiis.co.uk


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product showcase

Problem-solving Fabric Shoe

A

ccording to Cosyfeet, the Margaret indoor-outdoor shoe is the ideal problem solver for ladies with swollen or bandaged feet. Coming in an EEEEE+ fitting as standard and with a touchfastening strap which is easily adjustable, the lightweight yet supportive shoe is soft and cushioning. With a seam-free toe area to protect vulnerable toes from chafing, this feminine style has cotton-rich uppers with a soft cotton lining, allowing the feet to breathe in warmer weather. Machine washable at 30 degrees, the Margaret comes in a choice of lemon or marine fleur. It is available in sizes 3 to 9 and retails at £38.00 (or £31.67 if a customer qualifies for VAT relief due to a chronic medical condition). Extension straps also come available for especially swollen feet. www.cosyfeet.com

AWARD-WINING TOILET SEAT HELPS USERS SEE RED Gordon Ellis & Co’s Ashby 4 inch raised toilet seat is a perfect addition to anyone’s bathroom who may be having visual recognition issues says the company. A white toilet and grab rail against white tiles can make it hard for people to find their way around the bathroom, resulting in anxiety and loss of dignity. Research has shown that increased brain wave activity can stimulate the production of adrenalin in the bloodstream and by using the colour red, which is a colour associated with alert, attracts the brains attention and allows the person to recognise and understand their environment. The dementia friendly raised seat also includes a one-piece moulding which makes it easy to clean, sterilise or autoclave and is easy to fit with two over moulded brackets for a secure hold. Built for comfort and durability, the Ashby can fit onto a square toilet and also comes in navy blue. www.gordonellishealthcare.co.uk

46 | www.thiis.co.uk


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Jubilee Waterfall Size Guide: * Also available in Petite - measurements Seat H 16” x Seat W 18” x Seat D 16” - on Made to order Small Medium Large Seat height 45.7cm / 18’’ 50.8cm / 20’’ 53.3cm / 21’’ Seat width 45.7cm / 18’’ 50.8cm / 20’’ 55.9cm / 22’’ Seat depth 45.7cm / 18’’ 50.8cm / 20’’ 53.3cm / 21’’ Arm height 19.1cm / 7½’’ 19.1cm / 7½’’ 19.1cm / 7½’’ Back height 68.6cm / 27’’ 73.7cm / 29’’ 78.7cm / 31’’ Overall width 76.2cm / 30’’ 81.3cm / 32’’ 86.4cm / 34’’ Overall height 108cm / 42½’’ 110.5cm / 43½’’ 113cm / 44½’’ Weight limit 20 stone / 127kg 25 stone / 158.8kg 25 stone / 158.8kg

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The Breydon fireside chair provides a low cost multi-function high seat chair for those who need the comfort of a robust high seat with carefully shaped arm cushions and long handgrips to assist in standing. The removable seat cushion enables the seating to be adapted to suit individuals who require specific pressure care solutions.

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The Jubilee is our UK Premium Tilt-in-Space (TIS) Dual-motor Cosi Chair designed to maximise support throughout motion with a range of stylish back designs & upholstery options to provide exceptional postural seating positions to suit all individuals. The Jubilee is available in Waterfall or Lateral Back from stock with other back options & fabrics available Made to order.

Choose our furniture with confidence All riser recliner chairs are tested by FIRA The leading authority in furniture safety by design.

Avon

Choose our furniture with confidence All riser recliner chairs are tested by FIRA The leading authority in furniture safety by design.

Fireside chairs available from STOCK in the following fabrics

Riser Recliners available from STOCK in the following fabrics

Solid seat base with a removable zipped cushion Exposed wooden arms for easy grip Shaped back for lower lumbar support with wings Solid wood frame in Light Oak finish with mortise and tenon joints offering strength and stability 2-Seater static sofa available on Made to order Other fabrics are available on Made to Order Quality Craftsmanship, BRITISH MADE

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Button Back design for head and neck support Pocket sprung seat base for super soft comfort Exposed wooden arms for easy grip Upholstered sides with mortise and tenon joints on frame offering strength and stability Light Oak frame available from stock & choice of Natural, Teak or Mahogany frames on Made to order Available with wings on Made to order Other fabrics are available on Made to order 2-Seater static sofa available on Made to order Quality Craftsmanship, BRITISH MADE

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One size 48.2cm / 19’’ 49cm / 19¼’’ 48.2cm / 19’’ 18.4cm / 7¼’’ 73.6cm / 29’’ 59.7cm / 23½’’ 119.3cm / 47’’ 18 stone / 114.3kg

Seat height Seat width Seat depth Arm height Back height Overall width Overall height Weight limit

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ORDER electricmobility.co.uk Due to a policy of continual improvements, Electric Mobility Euro Ltd reserve the right to change specification without prior notice.

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One size 49.5cm / 19½’’ 48.2cm / 19’’ 48.2cm / 19’’ 20.3cm / 8’’ 72.4cm / 28½’’ 60.9cm / 24’’ 116.8cm / 46’’ 18 stone / 114.3kg

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electricmobility.co.uk Due to a policy of continual improvements, Electric Mobility Euro Ltd reserve the right to change specification without prior notice.

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product showcase

Making Nailcare EASI-er with EASI-GRIP

H

aving created the original long reach toe nail cutter with bright blue long loop handle back in the early 1990s, Peta (UK) says it felt it was time to differentiate with an improved and updated product after the original’s success led to many “me-too” copies. Drawing on its design expertise and in response to customer feedback, the handles were redesigned to make them larger, curvier and more comfortable before adding a “soft feel lining” which guides finger positioning. Tested by a focus group who had swollen joints, all found the design was far more comfortable to use. Lastly changing the colour to make it more attractive, the company says the finished result may cost more but receives consistently good reviews and is one of three nail care items in the Easi-Grip nailcare range.

A MEMRABEL AID With over a hundred pre-installed videos, photos and voice reminders covering typical daily living reminders such as medication, daily routines, home safety and appointments, the MemRabel 2 has helped thousands live more independently through the use of personalised memory prompts set as daily alarm reminders. The latest version, the MemRabel 2i, provides all these functions with the added benefit of setting reminders via a smartphone with the new MemRabel 2i APP, allowing someone to record short videos, voice memos and send photos from anywhere where an internet connection allows. With the idea of viewing phone messages or video calls a non-reality for those unable to use a smartphone, either from age, disability or medical condition, the MemRabel 2i will automatically play a personalised message on the 8-inch x 6-inch video screen, even if the user is overseas. Described as a simple tool to help people stay connected, users can set a daily reminder to play a photo slideshow of the grandchildren, show a short holiday video or just sing happy birthday. www.medpage-ltd.com

www.peta-uk.com

DISPENSING MORE INDEPENDENCE Pivotell’s Automatic Pill Dispenser aims to provide more independence to those with a confusing or complicated pill regime. By presenting only the right dose at the right time, the dispenser can form an important part of an overall ‘home care package,’ enabling easy maintenance of a prescribed pill regime. With risks of potential stress and unnecessary ill health to a user by not taking medication as prescribed, the Pivotell automatic pill dispensers enable self-medication and avoid the need for carers (whether professional or family) to be present on each occasion that medication is due. According to Pivotell, this can reduce care costs, as well as relieve the pressure and stress on family. Enabling users to remain living independently at home and improve their quality of life, the automatic dispenser can be stand-alone, linked to Telecare or with text/email alerts. www.pivotell.co.uk

48 | www.thiis.co.uk


more about...

MORE ABOUT…

SANDPIPER SHOES: ARE SHOES THE RIGHT FIT FOR MOBILITY SHOPS? For many retailers, diversifying product ranges to cater for more customers’ needs is one of the most important elements to staying competitive and whilst shops may often consider big ticket items, many may not consider smaller, niche products such as footwear. Michael Railton, of Sandpiper Shoes, discussed how introducing shoes to shelves could help benefit mobility shops all year round. 50 | www.thiis.co.uk


A

s the ageing population of the UK continues to grow, so too does the amount of people who have problems with their feet. As feet Michael Railton age, changes in the skin and joints result in feet losing some of their strength and elasticity, often seeing them spread and lose the natural padding around the heel and ankle that cushion them. To help address the growing foot problems, specialist shoes such as the range supplied by Sandpiper provide carefully designed, super soft, flexible footwear to suit more difficult feet and, according to Michael, also fill a vital gap missing in the current retail market. “The way retail is evolving, people with foot problems are finding it increasingly difficult to find outlets that offer a range of footwear specific to their needs,” he said. DRIVING FOOTFALL THROUGH FOOTWEAR Providing an opportunity for retailers to step in and fill this gap in the market, Michael highlighted how specialist shoes are a natural fit for mobility shops, helping increase both footfall and repeat business throughout the whole year and not just at peak seasonal periods. “Footwear featured in local adverts attracts attention more than any other product in a mobility shop and a good range on display, visible from the window or entrance, has been proven to increase footfall,” explained Michael. “Additionally, our brand’s customers are loyal and give retailers regular, repeat business. Building up a loyal following of Sandpiper footwear customers in a mobility shop brings those same customers back time and time again, not only for their footwear, but also for higher priced, specialist mobility products.” EXTRA SUPPORT FOR STOCKISTS AND CUSTOMERS Understanding that introducing a

new, specialist product line into a store can be difficult, the company says it provides a level of service and support to make it easy and effective for mobility retailers to offer this type of niche product to customers. In particular, Sandpiper boasts its own in-house marketing team which collaborates with its network to deliver unique marketing campaigns, something Michael feels sets the company apart and gives its retail partners an extra edge in the market. “Our in-house marketing team works closely with retailers to provide graphic design, high-quality personalised printed brochures and flyers, as well as innovative digital and online marketing in a unique and highly effective way to drive customers instore. This provides a unique level of marketing support found nowhere else in the healthcare industry,” he commented. “Being a wholesale company, our whole ethos is to support and enhance our stockists, which includes attractive margins and multiple ways to make footwear work in a mobility shop, regardless of the size of business or location.”

Stocking shoes can increase footfall and repeat custom says Sandpiper

manufacturing processes and is easily identifiable by the stylish design to keep wide feet looking smart.” Stating that the shoes’ innovative fitting properties also contribute to a reputation of providing superior comfort, Michael underlined that the company’s values were just as important as the shoes’ product features. “Quality, service, innovation, integrity and loyalty are what the brand is built on, which is ever more important in this increasingly challenging and competitive environment,” he added. www.sandpipershoes.com

“Our whole ethos is to support and enhance our stockists, which includes attractive margins and multiple ways to make footwear work in a mobility shop” MICHAEL RAILTON

In addition to the marketing support, Sandpiper regularly advertises in a number of high quality national publications to actively help promote the brand and drive customers to its stockist network, as well as being recommended by thousands of podiatrists, chiropodists and healthcare professionals. STANDING OUT IN SPECIALIST SHOES Discussing what makes the brand stand out in the market, Michael told THIIS: “The brand is well known for its high levels of quality in materials and

AN OVERARCHING OBJECTIVE A long-established family business Sandpiper works towards a simple goal: Happy customers with comfortable feet. The company says ‘happy customers’ relates to the service element of the brand’s philosophy of caring for customers, whilst ‘comfortable feet’ links to the product aspect of the brand, aiming to deliver comfort and satisfaction to wearers.

www.thiis.co.uk | 51


Naidex2018 Best show in a decade says Prysm Group

T

he Prysm Group, organisers of the show, declared 2018’s Naidex a success that ‘reinstated trust in the hearts of its visitors and exhibitors’ for the first time in 10 years. Bringing together end-users, healthcare professionals, charities and companies at the NEC in Birmingham on the 25th and 26th April 2018, Naidex is one of the industry’s longest

52 | www.thiis.co.uk

running exhibitions dedicated to disability. Its second time running the exhibition after acquiring Naidex from the i2i Events Group in 2016, Prysm stated that this year’s show – Naidex’ 44th edition - saw 12,517 people, including Paralympians and celebrities such as Warwick Davis, visit the event. Taking place over two-days – a

reduction from the three days the year previously – the organisers highlighted the Home, Design & Build Summit, an extensive speaker timetable, its new Moving & Handling Lab, as well as its Panel Debate as being particularly popular features amongst visitors. Next year’s Naidex will take place on the 26 and 27 March 2019. www.naidex.co.uk


The Moving & Handling Lab saw crowds of healthcare professionals gather to see talks from speakers such as A1 Risk Solutions Deborah Harrison (pictured)

The show received a visit from noted celebrity Warwick Davis

The Panel Debate was noted as a popular feature

www.thiis.co.uk | 53


Naidex2018

IN SEARCH OF RETAILERS Three trade opportunities for dealers to be aware of from this year’s show:

Motion Healthcare and its Lithilite boot scooter Motion Healthcare unveiled its latest addition to its portfolio, the Lithilite, confirming it is looking for retailers for the new lightweight scooter, as well as its folding Foldalite powerchair. Tim Mills, Head of Business

54 | www.thiis.co.uk

Development at Motion Healthcare, says the Lithilite is able to split into various light elements, with the heaviest part weighing just 15kg. The boot scooter also features a 5kg lithium battery pack capable of

achieving a 26-mile range. “The Lithilite is really completely priced and its USPs and quality really help it stand out in a pretty saturated market,” said Tim. www.motionhealthcare.co.uk


PRECISION REHAB AND ITS UPnRIDE Revealing the UPnRIDE to UK audiences for the first time at Naidex, Precision Rehab’s Matthew James says the company is keen to hear from dealers regarding its new, innovative standing wheelchair. An innovative powered standwheelchair, the UPnRIDE enables users to be fully mobile in both standing and sitting positions in most urban environments - including outdoors, indoors and on slopes. Matthew James, Director of Precision Rehab, told THIIS: “We are especially keen to hear from dealers in Scotland, Ireland, the North, Midlands and the South West, however, we welcome anyone interested to get in touch.” www.precisionrehab.co.uk

MOUNTAIN TRIKE LOOKS TO EXPAND UK DEALER NETWORK Tim Morgan, Managing Director of Mountain Trike, is searching for more retailers to help those with mobility needs access the great outdoors. “We are looking for new dealers, particularly in the South East and also the North East, as these are areas quite difficult for us to travel to from our base in Cheshire. It would be great if we could fill some of those gaps,” said Tim. The young inventor first conceived the Mountain Trike whilst at university, launching the first trike

in 2011. Since then, the company has followed up the success of the original product with its MT Push and MT Evo models. “The kind of companies we are looking for are not just necessarily the big, mainstream dealers. Some

of the smaller, more independent ones have been really successful with the range because they are looking for innovative, more niche products,” he added. www.mountaintrike.com

www.thiis.co.uk | 55


Naidex2018

SHOW SUCCESS Three exhibitors that saw success at Naidex 2018:

ASSESSMENTS BOOKED AND AGREEMENTS SIGNED Showcasing a number of walking aids from its range, Topro engaged with healthcare professionals, end-users and retailers at Naidex.

P

aul Briggs, Managing Director of Topro, said: “We booked a significant number of assessments and demonstrations and signed agreements with several new retailers.” Featured on Topro’s stands were

56 | www.thiis.co.uk

its Rollz Motion 2, the Odyssé rollator and the Troja Forearm Walker, along with other models in its range. Only selling to trade, Topro offer group demonstrations, staff training and individual client assessment on site or in a client’s home and an

extensive training and customer service programme to assist OTs and their clients, both before and after purchase. www.topro.co.uk


Test tracks and product launches With two new products to attract attention and its test track, TGA Mobility says it enjoyed significant visitor footfall throughout the two days. The mobility specialists introduced visitors to the new WHILL C Personal EV, a unique powerchair developed

by talented Japanese designers that the company says is unlike any other affordable power wheelchair. In addition, TGA also presented its Autofold Minimo mobility scooter, which allows powered folding through the touch of one button. Alongside its stand, TGA’s mobility

test track was busy throughout the show, providing consumers and the trade the opportunity to test TGA’s vehicles’ performances. www.tgamobility.co.uk

SAFETY FIRST To help tackle the worrying rise in mobility scooter accidents, Fish Insurance hosted Naidex’s first Safety Assessment Track. To find out more about the safety assessment track and Fish Insurance MD’s thoughts regarding ensuring safer scooter use, turn to page 6. www.fishinsurance.co.uk

58 | www.thiis.co.uk


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Retail price – £35.99 Inc VAT 360° pivoting base for better stability Folds out instantly FREE wrist strap & travel case

Available in 3 colours

Special Offer

£19.99 Ex VAT

Quote “THIIS Hurrycane”

Quote “THIIS Fiddle Muff”

Offers valid until 30/06/18. Prices correct at time of going to print. Products and offers are subject to availability.

Dedicated account manager

Order today – Call us on 0330 311 6498 or email trade@betterlife.co.uk

Bespoke seating solutions for your home and healthcare environments Luxury handcrafted furniture designed to the customer’s requirements

Contact us for your free brochure.

For more information call us or visit our website:

www.reposefurniture.co.uk Tel: 01384 567401


Naidex2018

STAND-OUT SEMINAR SUMMARY The key takeaways from three fascinating seminars:

How to use Facebook to grow your business KAZ LALJEE Helping those affected by multiple sclerosis (MS) to look at it in positive way and take a can-do approach to the condition, Kaz Laljee set up PositiveAboutMS after being diagnosed with the disease. Having built an online community of close to 20,000 people on Facebook for PositiveAboutMS, he shares his top tips for reaching a target audience using the social platform. Know your audience Discussing his audience, Kaz explained how he understood that those affected by MS can struggle to go out and about but were still keen to remain

social, making Facebook the key tool for him to build his community. How to target them Facebook gathers heaps on information on people through their interactions and engagements on the platform. Kaz reinforced that the better a company understands the people they are trying to reach, the more effectively they can use Facebook’s data to engage with them through paid advertising. Set the budget Kaz highlighted that setting a daily and total budget for reaching people is key for boosting posts and adverts, allowing companies to have complete control over how much they are willing to invest.

Page likes Likes equal authority according to Kaz, helping build trust with customers. Seeing a lot of thumbs up from others will naturally provide authentication to others viewing a page. Tracking statistics Knowing how an audience is interacting with a page can help companies better understanding what is working, what isn’t and learn more about their audience, helping better inform future campaigns.

Stay in the know Sign up to our weekly email round-up to keep up to date with the latest industry news, jobs and products.

Subscribe at... www.thiis.co.uk/trade-news-service.aspx 60 | www.thiis.co.uk


The 4 Wheel Auto Folding Scooter This lightweight Folding Scooter has been designed to allow users to simply transport and store their scooter, making it ideal for easy travelling.

Lightweight folding scooter weighing only 27.5kg (60lb)

A simple press of the remote control and it folds within 12 seconds ⊲ Top speed of 4mph ⊲ Puncture proof tyres ⊲ Maximum range of 13 miles ⊲ Digital LCD displaying speedo, battery gauge, odometer and driving time ⊲ Available in Electric Blue and Cherry Red

Digital LCD display Watch the video on Youtube

DDHRetailUK Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare Drive Devilbiss UK

0845 0600 333 www.drivedevilbiss.co.uk


Naidex2018

Hazard perception in motorised mobility scooters (MMS) users at road crossings DUNCAN GUEST With some estimated 350,000 mobility scooter users active in the UK and growing at a rate of 10 percent per year, the need for mobility scooter training has been growing more prevalent in the society. Duncan Guest, Principal Investigator on a two-year project at Nottingham Trent University, discussed a new study aiming to address the shortage of mobility scooter hazard perception training by looking at the world through the eyes of those on the devices. The study There were three different elements to the scooter study: • A questionnaire to 270 mobility scooter users • A route for the scooter users

to drive on containing various crossings A discussion of the route and the hazards the users faced

• The findings From the questionnaire, the results highlighted that: • 16% of users were under 50 years old • 78% hold a driver’s license • 81% own a mobility scooter • On average, the people sampled had owned a mobility scooter for about seven years • Only 13% received any training on how to use their scooter • 91% said that more could have been done in terms of training From the route, the mobility scooter users found that: • Pedestrians can act unexpectedly and unknowingly walk straight in front of scooter users • It can be difficult to break on a

mobility scooter Scooter users’ view are restricted as they can’t use their full body to turn and look around One of the biggest hazards in shopping centres is people walking out of shop exits on their phones, as they are not paying attention

The solution From the findings, Duncan hopes to create training materials, such as a DVD or online content, about hazard perception on mobility scooters to help scooter users handle difficult scenarios when driving.

Only 13% received scooter training 91% say they needed more training

Timeless principles of great business MARTYN DRAKE A business consultant with a decade of experience to help companies fly high, Martyn Drake gave five valuable pointers to the Naidex audience for business success. Know what you’re selling A customer buys from you for a reason, so understanding why they choose to buy from you is essential. It may sound simple but are you really aware of why customers choose you? Is it customer service? Price? Convenience?

62 | www.thiis.co.uk

Have a business strategy Highlighting that companies with a strong strategy but a weak execution tend to last a longer than those with a weak strategy and strong execution, Martyn stressed that having a long-term strategy is vital for future success. Good management Emphasising how important good management is for maintaining morale and keeping good employees within the company, Martyn stated that from his experience, 25 percent of managers were what he considered bad.

Think ahead Looking further ahead and thinking strategically is vital for a business to thrive and having conversations with your employees about what direction your company should head in can be useful. Have a purpose When organisations have a purpose and people believe in that purpose, they will give far more to that business. The only exception is when a business’ purpose is to make money or make the owners richer because very few workers will be passionate about that.


Are you UP-SELLING at every opportunity? Create more revenue (up-sell to every scooter user)

Increase your net proďŹ t Save Time (Fits in 20 minutes)

Create Happy Customers! (Next Day Delivery) This is why dealers love the Scooterpac Canopy! And scooter users love being Warm, Safe & Dry Plus get all of this...

Special Price FREE Marketing Support

Folding back for summer is an added bonus!

FREE Delivery

0330 124 1733

sales@scooterpac.com


recruitment

PRODUCT DEMONSTRATOR AND DESIGN COORDINATOR (NORTH) Basic salary between £25,000 and £30,000 plus commission and benefits package. Covering the North of England and Scotland. This is an excellent opportunity to join one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of patient care and handling equipment. The existing product range includes baths, mobile and fixed hoisting systems, changing tables and height adjustable washbasins. Reporting to the Sales Manager, the Product Demonstrator will be responsible for demonstrating capital medical products and equipment both to professionals, such as Occupational Therapists, Care Home Managers and Key Care Staff and also end users and their families. The Product Demonstrator will attend appointments booked by the central logistics team and will be responsible for representing the company in a professional manner. With excellent verbal communication skills, the successful candidate will have a natural flair for selling and promoting our corporate brand and image. An ability to understand the sales process will enable you to accurately identify additional sales opportunities when conversing with clients, thus upselling both products and services as appropriate to the end user. There will also be a need to set up and attend exhibitions to showcase our products and services to a wider audience.

for which training will be given. Finally, you will have meticulous attention to detail, as timely and accurate completion of documentation will be an essential part of this role. An understanding of the CDM regulations 2015, which will form part of the responsibilities of this role, would be advantageous, but again, full training will be given if necessary.

UK Sales Representative – North MK Battery is one of the world’s largest specialty VRLA battery suppliers focused on delivering high-quality products along with unmatched customer support. MK Battery, with distribution centers throughout the world, is a subsidiary of a multibillion dollar battery manufacturer. We have an opening in our sales department for an experienced B2B professional that is motivated to succeed, creative and can work with limited supervision. The position will require travel throughout the northern area of the UK and you should be located in that area.

You may currently be a ceiling hoist engineer or kitchen/bathroom surveyor or similar, but this is your chance to take control of your career and move into an exciting and growing company. There is an excellent chance for career development if successful, as well as fantastic working conditions and the opportunity for an additional bonus depending on team performance.

SPECIFIC DUTIES INCLUDE BUT NOT LIMITED TO:

In addition to a competitive salary and commission, we offer a fully expensed company van, pension, laptop, mobile phone, credit card and uniform.

Working closely with product category managers within company to grow business

If this sounds like the role for you and you want the opportunity to advance your career with a company that promotes from within, please apply to Anthony Kilgarriff, anthony.kilgarriff@ astorbannerman.co.uk

Previous battery sales experience is preferred but not essential

To succeed, you will need a good technical knowledge, with an understanding of plumbing, building and domestic and residential electrics. You will also be able to understand technical and architect drawings. You will be computer literate, with the ability to use an in-house CAD package,

Visiting customers and prospects to support and grow sales in the territory Fielding daily phone calls from existing customer base Quoting new business opportunities Attending assigned trade shows in territory Daily communication with customer service group in Kettering, UK office THE IDEAL CANDIDATE MUST POSSESS THE FOLLOWING SKILLS: Minimum 5 years direct B2B sales experience Strong written and verbal people skills Verifiable employment history We offer competitive salary and bonus with complete company benefits including medical, and company car. Please email CV and covering letter to saleseurope@mkbattery.com

Check the ‘Jobs On Offer’ section of the website for more opportunities Take a look at the recently added positions Regional Product Specialist Contracts/Bid Writer Manager Operations Manager Area Sales Manager Product Specialists

www.thiis.co.uk 64 | www.thiis.co.uk


trusted recruiter

Product Specialist Scotland / £25k-£28k depending on experience, plus commission Having been in business for over 40 years, offering a large range of mobility and medical products to end users, hospitals, care home groups and schools across England & Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Maintaining family run business feel and with continuous growth. An opportunity has arisen for a product specialist to promote their range of high end manual and electric wheelchairs. This will be directly to end users, hospitals, schools, care home groups and clinics. Influencing occupational therapists and physiotherapists along with other key decision makers. You will also be required to carry out some repairs and basic installations of products. The ideal candidate will come from a background within the mobility sector or working with mobility products. Must have at least 5 years sales experience in any industry. £25k- £28k plus commission, 25 days holiday plus bank holidays, VW Transporter, phone, tools and pension. Confidentially send a copy of your CV to Antony@trustedrecruiter.co.uk Including job reference 476 to discuss further.

Product Specialist Northern Ireland / Salary is negotiable for the right person Our client is a leading supplier of rehab products to care homes, retailers, schools and hospitals across the UK and Ireland. With well over 50 years in existence and maintaining a family run working environment.

They are seeking an area sales manager to promote and demonstrate with the view to growing sales of the territory. You will be working closely with healthcare workers to assess suitability for products such as walking aids and, moving and handling equipment. On average around 4-5 visits per day. Majority of this will be dealing with existing business opportunities with the view to growing the product portfolio. You will also play a part in trade shows and events. The ideal candidate will have industry experience. Ideally experience of having worked with therapists although other healthcare backgrounds will be considered. Therapists will be considered providing they have a genuine interest in moving into the private sector. £31k basic £45k- £50k OTE uncapped commission, 23 days holiday plus bank holidays, Van, phone, laptop, iPad, pension. Confidentially send a copy of your CV to Antony@trustedrecruiter.co.uk including job reference 475 to discuss further.

Head of Mobility London / A base salary of £40k negotiable plus bonuses Our client is a London-based specialist mobility supplier. They offer a range of powerchairs and mobility scooters throughout the South East of England. Having been established for 10 years and become a market leader in the industry, an excellent and unique opportunity has arisen for the right person. They are now looking to grow their mobility offering by taking on a Head of Mobility to oversee the mobility division, including four fieldbased assessors, and take the lead for all prescriptive enquiries.

You will be promoting their range of adult and paediatric rehab products which include physiotherapy and, moving & handling devices into end-users and healthcare professionals. You will be responsible for delivering product training and demonstrations. Territory covered will include the whole of Ireland.

You will take ownership of specialist mobility enquiries that are passed on from the customer service team, and offer your expert knowledge to understand the customer’s needs, in turn allocating this to an assessor or OT for assessment. Following the assessment, you will guide the customer through the prescription process, including offering quotations from the office, finally liaising with the manufacturers to produce the equipment. You will also provide after-sales technical support as necessary, assisting the workshop with diagnostics and technical problem-solving.

The ideal candidate will be based in Northern Ireland. You will ideally come from a role working within mobility or rehab, although other healthcare related backgrounds will be considered.

While the role is primarily office-based, there will be the requirement to visit clients when assessments require more technical knowledge, for example when special controls are needed for a powerchair.

Salary is negotiable for the right person and based on experience. 20 days holiday plus bank holidays, van, phone, laptop.

You will also work closely with the MD to launch new products and services in the mobility field as the company continues to expand.

Confidentially send a copy of your CV to Antony@trustedrecruiter.co.uk Including job reference 471 to discuss further.

This is a big role for our client and you will be a key player in the business and the face of the mobility division.

Area Sales Manager

The ideal candidate will have experience of working with powerchairs, for example from a technical role within Wheelchair Services or from a mobility dealer or manufacturer. You must have excellent communication and customer service skills, as well as a full UK driving licence.

London and Surrey or Kent / £31k basic, £45k-£50k realistic OTE plus uncapped commission Our client supplies and manufactures a range of postural products, both paediatric and adult, for hospitals, social services, and schools. This is a rapidly growing and stable company.

A base salary of £40k negotiable plus bonuses, pension, 20 days holiday plus bank holidays rising 1 day for each additional year’s service. For more information please send your CV to Antony@trustedrecruiter. co.uk including reference: Thiis472

0333 0144 014 www.trustedrecruiter.co.uk www.thiis.co.uk | 65


diary dates June 11-13, 2018 COT Annual Conference - Belfast Waterfront www.cotannualconference.org.uk June 12-13, 2018 NAEP Annual Conference – Kenilworth www. naep.org.uk June 13, 2018 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) - Hallmark Hotel, Cambridge www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402 June 27-28, 2018 Health+Care – Excel London www.healthpluscare.co.uk July 5, 2018 Kidz to Adultz Wales & West - Bristol www.kidzexhibitions.co.uk July 11, 2018 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) - Stradey Park Hotel, Llanelli www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402 July 15, 2018 27th Disability Awareness Day annual event - Walton Hall and Gardens in Warrington www.disabilityawarenessday.org.uk July 23-25, 2018 Posture & Mobility Group Conference Manchester Central www.pmguk.co.uk September 12, 2018 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) - La Mon Hotel, Belfast www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402 September 26, 2018 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) - Imperial Hotel, Torquay www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402 September 26-29, 2018 Rehacare – Dusseldorf www.rehacare.com October 7-8, 2018 Trade Days – NEC www.tradedays.co.uk October 15-17, 2018 Medtrade – Atlanta www.medtrade.com October 17-18, 2018 The Care & Dementia Show – NEC www.caredementiashow.com November 7, 2018 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) - The Spa Hotel, Kent www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402

Training Diary If you are providing training for the trade, then simply send us the details of the course, the date, any costs, the venue and the contact for booking places and we’ll include it in the Diary. Email info@ thiis.co.uk with any details you have. June Careflex- What A Difference A Chair Makes (OTAC) - June 13th Hallmark Hotel, Cambridge Simple Stuff Works - Measure, Position and Protect – 13th June 2018 – Hallmark Hotel, Cambridge Pride Mobility - Service Training – June 20th & 21st – Bicester

July Careflex - What A Difference A Chair Makes (OTAC) - July 11th -Stradley Park Hotel, Llanelli Simple Stuff Works - Measure, Position and Protect – 11th July 2018 – Stradey Park Hotel, Llanelli – Free of charge

September Sunrise Medical - JCM Postural Management Workshop: Specialist Seating – September 4th 2018 - Sunrise Medical, Brierley Hill Sunrise Medical - JCM Technical Training – September 5th 2018 Sunrise Medical, Brierley Hill Electric Mobility – Servicing / Maintenance & Fault finding for Rascal Mobility Products – September 5th 2018 – Ilminster - FOC including Lunch. Careflex - What A Difference A Chair Makes (OTAC) - September 12th - La Mon Hotel & Country Club, Belfast Pride Mobility - Service Training – September 19th & 20th – Bicester

November 28, 2018 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) - Hilton Hotel, Newcastle www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402 December 5, 2018 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) - Hilton Hotel, Southampton www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402

Careflex - What A Difference A Chair Makes (OTAC) - September 26th - Imperial Hotel. Torquay Simple Stuff Works - Measure, Position and Protect – 26th September 2018 – Imperial Hotel, Torquay – Free of charge

Contacts for bookings

January 28–31, 2019 Arab Health - Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre www.arabhealthonline.com

Pride Mobility – sales@pride-mobility.co.uk or contact: 01869 324600

March 21, 2019 Kidz to Adultz Middle – Coventry www.kidzexhibitions.co.uk

JCM – Contact Martyn Davis on training@jcmfactory.co.uk

Electric Mobility – Call 01460 258158 or email marketing@electricmobility.co.uk

26 & 27 March 2019 Naidex - NEC www.naidex.co.uk

Careflex – Call Julieanne Fewings on 01626 831 843 or email julieanne.fewings@careflex.co.uk

April 17-18, 2019 Medtrade Spring - Las Vegas www.medtrade.com

Simple Stuff Works - Contact Simone McCarthy at Trainingadmin@simplestuffworks.co.uk or call 01827 307870

66 | www.thiis.co.uk


PRODUCT RANGE CHANGES

Martin

Flexx SD

Robin / Dove

Star 2

For further details please call: 0845 630 3436 Karma Mobility Ltd Unit 6 Target Park, Redditch, Worcestershire B98 8YN T: 0845 630 3436 E: info@karmamobility.co.uk www.karmamobility.co.uk


The UK’s leading range of mobility products since 1985

TGA BREEZE S3 & S4 DRIVING YOUR SALES, DELIVERING OUR DIFFERENCE

01787 882244 orders@tgamobility.co.uk Team of the Year

www.tgamobility.co.uk

THIIS June 2018  

The June issue of THIIS brings the latest news, views and jobs from the industry. This month, key features include a look at 12-months in bu...

THIIS June 2018  

The June issue of THIIS brings the latest news, views and jobs from the industry. This month, key features include a look at 12-months in bu...