THIIS June 2024

Page 1

Cutting the mustard

Royal Marines veteran Mark Ormrod MBE helps to officially open Unique Mobility’s revamped Plymouth showroom ISSUE 309 JUNE 2024 THIIS.CO.UK THE UK’S NO.1 MAGAZINE FOR THE MOBILITY, ACCESS & INDEPENDENT LIVING TRADE THE POWER OF EXPERTISE! Marketing advice to stay ahead of the competition CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR Top product recommendations for retailers to stock up on
SPOTLIGHT Z-Tec Mobility's new MD discusses the firm's growth plans

Contract hire

Safely spreading the cost

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With an Invictus Games athlete and local wheelchair rugby players (as well as one or two suppliers) among the visitors in attendance at the official opening of its newly refurbished showroom in Plymouth, Unique Mobility certainly knows how to make an impact on the local community. This issue, we meet Ian Bellamy, owner of South West-based Unique Mobility, to find out more about the business and its fun day of celebrations (p23).

As Ian discusses in our feature, offering a face-to-face service with customers and helping them find the right product for their needs is a priority for his business. With this in mind, it is perhaps timely that our retail marketing expert has some top tips (p19) for how strategic adaptation and a focused online presence can help brick-and-mortar retailers can survive and thrive in the marketplace.

THIIS also chats to Wayne Bennett, the new managing director of West Midlandsbased Z-Tec Mobility (p34), about his plans for the business and its wide range of bestselling mobility products, including the newly launched Falcon XL rollator. Check out our round-up of the best clothing and footwear products on the market in the Retailers’ Choice (p12) and Buyers’ Guide (p50) features. Dr Barend ter Haar of BES Healthcare shares his thoughts on assessment and prescription practices (p46) too.

As ever, if you have any news from your business to share with THIIS Magazine, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me now.

THE UK’S NO.1 MAGAZINE FOR THE MOBILITY, ACCESS & INDEPENDENT LIVING TRADE EDITOR Liane McIvor 07917 784929 ADVERTISING Joe Fahy 07384 258 372 SUB-EDITOR Sarah Sarsby STAY UP TO DATE... @wwwthiiscouk THIIS.Magazine thiis-magazine THIIS is produced by the British Healthcare Trades Association. Printed in the UK by Buxton Press Ltd. Designed by Dan Thompson at TypeStart. 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.
Inside... | From the editor | 3 16 Features 19 Marketing tips for retailers 23 Retailer Spotlight: Unique Mobility 34 Supplier Spotlight: Z-Tec Mobility 40 Trade Thoughts: Lithium batteries Regulars 04 News, deals and people 10 Events 12 Retailers' Choice: Clothing and footwear 46 Let's Get It Clear 50 Buyers' Guide: Clothing and footwear 52 23

News, deals & people

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

Tailor-made support for sitting comfortably

Mobility equipment supplier Oak Tree Mobility has launched a range of custom-made rise and recline chairs in association with British seating brand Parker Knoll.

Established for over 150 years, Parker Knoll gained prominence by integrating Willi Knoll’s innovative spring system in the early 20th century, enhancing the

comfort and durability of its furniture. The rise and recline chairs in the new range are designed to be not only functional but stylish too, with a variety of luxury fabrics and modern designs to choose from.

The collection showcases two bespoke models, The Ashton and The Kingswood, both of which are available

in over 200 fabrics and leathers.

One innovation in the Parker Knoll collection is the split back design, a first for Oak Tree Mobility, which adapts to the contours of the individual's back. Tailored support where it's needed most ensures users can be in comfort without compromising on the aesthetics of their living spaces.

Three-in-one rollators that go the distance

Mobility equipment supplier Dash Rehab has introduced two power rollators to its range to support those who struggle to walk.

The Dash 3-in-1 Power Rollator and Dash Ultra 3-in-1 Power Rollator offer the advantages of both an assisted and electric wheelchair, according to Dash Rehab.

Each power rollator is highly adaptive and supports the user’s needs in a variety of ways: as a rollator, powered rollator, walker, wheelchair or electric wheelchair.

This flexibility extends to transportation and storage. With a compact collapsible frame and swing-away leg rests (which are detachable on the Ultra model), storage is stress-free, and travel is convenient.

4 | News, deals & people |

Furncare’s golden achievement

Specialist furniture supplier Furncare has been awarded A1 and Gold Standard ratings for its dementia-friendly Remini furniture range by the University of Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC).

The firm’s Admonere wardrobes, drawer units, dressing tables and bedside cabinets were awarded the highest A1 rating.

Complementing the cabinet range are highback lounge chairs and visitor chairs upholstered in a variety of contrasting high-performance fabrics.

The Remini Collection features specialist room themes for those with dementia and includes electronic profiling beds, matching curtains, soft furnishings and accessories, which achieved the highest ‘Gold Standard’ rating from the DSDC.

Carl Southal, Managing Director of Furncare, commented that the recognition felt like a landmark achievement. He commented: “Coming from one of the foremost centres of excellence for dementia care research and development, this is a proud moment for Furncare.”

Electric Mobility launches new virtual support scheme

Electric Mobility has launched a new virtual video call support service for its CosiChair retailers. A spokesprson for the distributor has stated that the new CosiChair Remote Repairs scheme intends to offer a more effective collaborative solution for service engineers working on CosiChair riser recliners and Fireside furniture.

CosiChair Remote Repairs will offer support via video call to more swiftly assist with fault finding and diagnosis for CosiChair warranty and nonwarranty products. Electric Mobility hopes this new avenue of support will lead to a faster solution based on a clearer picture of communication.

Luke Kelly, who is heading up the project at Electric Mobility, believes the video service will add an extra level of support for dealers. Luke commented: “Using video to see the exact area in discussion will allow for a speedier demonstration of the fault and fix for a truly collaborative solution, without things getting lost in translation over the phone.”


Medical equipment manufacturer Alerta Medical has added three new rollators to its walking aid range.

The new additions consist of an aluminium indoor rollator available in blue, red and green, a lightweight aluminium two-in-one wheelchairrollator and a four-wheel aluminium rollator with a solid back.

With adjustable height handles across all models the user can feel comfortable and confident whilst walking about, enjoying the comfort of ergonomic luxury handles.


Safespaces, a manufacturer of adaptable spaces and beds, has been honoured with the King’s Award for Enterprise in the category of Innovation. As one of only 59 organisations to be recognised with an innovation award, Safespaces secured the Innovation Award as a result of its pioneering work in creating adaptable spaces and beds for individuals with complex needs. The King's Award programme, now in its 58th year, is regarded as the most prestigious business award in the country. | News, deals & people | 5
in brief...


Multiple UK councils have warned that citizens’ personal data may have been breached following a ransomware attack on the medical equipment supplier Nottingham Rehab Supplies (NRS) Healthcare. NRS supplies health and care equipment to numerous local authorities across the UK. The supplier was hit by the cyber attack in April 2024 which resulted in NRS Healthcare’s website being taken offline.


Automobile company Honda has developed a hands-free selfbalancing wheelchair which can be combined with virtual reality (VR) for an immersive entertainment experience for users. Honda recently debuted its Uni-One personal mobility device with VR gaming as part of an interactive experience for participants at the South By Southwest festival in Texas, an annual festival in the US which celebrates the convergence of the interactive, film and television, and music industries.

Kymco UK appoints new Senior Area Manager

Mobility scooter manufacturer Kymco UK has announced the appointment of Damian Butterworth, Senior Area Manager, to cover Northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

In his new role, Damian will be covering all products from the Kymco range, including motorcycles and scooters, ATVs and mobility scooters and powerchair products.

Ideally placed to cover the important northern region for Kymco UK, due to being based in Leeds, Damian brings extensive experience, due to previously held roles in the ATV and marine sector for manufacturers such as Honda UK.

Bubble therapy device launched

Designed to revolutionise respiratory care, South Warwickshire University NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, in collaboration with Hydrate for Health, have developed a pioneering device called HydroBubble.

The groundbreaking device offers a more sustainable and cost-effective solution to traditional chest physiotherapy methods used to clear the lungs. It helps to keep the user’s airways open by producing vibrations in the lungs to help loosen and move secretions. This, in turn, moves secretions up towards the larger airways, where a huff or a cough can clear them.

It supports adults and children with cystic fibrosis as well as chronic lung conditions. E-mail for further information about HydroBubble.

Reaching new heights

Mobility lift solutions specialist Terry Lifts has launched a two-person/two-stop standing home lift which promises to fit into narrow spaces.

The Lifestyle Affinity Home Lift promises to safely and comfortably take customers between floors. Its discreet rail guides can be fitted neatly against the wall with ease, and its compact design enables easy installation without interfering too much on furniture layout.

There are different colour and finish possibilities in the cabin of the ultra-compact model. Terry Lifts states that every feature has been carefully considered to elevate the customer’s home environment with laminated safety glass as standard, pressure-sensitive surfaces, safe edges, and easy-to-use manual lowering.

6 | News, deals & people |
in brief...

The ‘essential’ mobility scooter that’s really going places

Mobility equipment supplier Motion Healthcare has launched a 4mph compact travel mobility scooter –the first product in its budget-friendly ‘Essentials’ range.

Available in blue, black and red, the eTravel offers an affordable option for end-users who want to experience the freedom of a reliable and compact travel mobility scooter without breaking the bank.

With 7.5 miles of range, a 21-stone user weight limit and with its heaviest part weighing 15kg, the lightweight scooter can be easily disassembled, easily fitting into almost any car boot.

A Motion Healthcare spokesperson stated that quality isn’t compromised with a strong steel chassis, wide seat base and soft, solid tyres. More products in the Essentials range are expected soon.

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WHEN? 12-14 June 2024

WHERE? Warwick, West Midlands conference-2024/


WHEN? 14 July 2024

WHERE? Warrington, Cheshire www.disabilityawarenessday.


WHEN? 9-10 October 2024

WHERE? NEC, Birmingham

Our guide to the key upcoming events in the UK and abroad for the mobility and access sector...


WHEN? 28-29 June 2024

WHERE? Exeter, Westpoint exeter/


WHEN? 25-28 September 2024

WHERE? Dusseldorf, Germany


WHEN? 7 July 2024

WHERE? Windsor Great Park windsor2024


WHEN? 15-17 July 2024

WHERE? The International Centre, Telford

If there’s an event you would like to see included here or you would like to advertise your event please email

10 | Events |


Shower Stool with Back, Aluminium

Shower Stool, Aluminium

The Alerta Shower Stool and Shower Stool with Back enjoys a simple but cosmetically attractive design, with a lightweight aluminium frame.

They are the perfect companion to aid support and transfer whilst showering, benefitting from adjustable height for ease of use, integral handles, and the added safety features of moulded drainage holes and nonslip rubber feet.

Constructed from corrosion proof materials, extra stability is afforded with angled leg design and suction style foot tips. They also benefit from a left and right-hand side built in shower head holder.

The Alerta Lightweight Shower Stool features a wide back rest, giving excellent back support, a feeling of security and a comfort-enhanced washing experience.

Direct carriage paid delivery available Industry leading distributor support DISTRIBUTOR OPPORTUNITIES

Large stock holding for next day delivery

Attractive distributor pricing structure

Contact the Alerta Medical team for attractive trade prices, technical information and marketing support.

+44 (0)3452 088 097 | | ALERTA’S TOILETING & SHOWERING RANGE

THE RETAILERS’ CHOICE Clothing and footwear

Wondering which clothing and footwear are grabbing mobility companies’ attention? This month we asked retailers in the industry to highlight one product that is standing out for them…

Adaptive clothing from The Able Label

“In the realm of adaptive clothing and footwear, The Able Label stands out as a beacon of innovation and inclusivity.

"Offering a diverse range of adaptive clothing solutions, this brand excels in catering to individuals with varying mobility needs, making dressing a seamless and comfortable experience for the wearer.

“The Able Label’s collection is a testament to thoughtful design and attention to detail. Its Debbie Midaxi Skirt (pictured right), Amy Dress, and Dotty Shirt exemplify this.

"The Debbie Midaxi Skirt features a velcro brand fastening, ensuring ease of wear for those with limited dexterity. The Amy Dress, with its tiered design and velcro closure, offers both style and functionality, while the Dotty Shirt blends comfort and sophistication with its velcro brand fastening.

“One of the standout reasons to recommend The Able Label to fellow retailers is its unparalleled supplier support.

"We have been working with Katie Ellis for 10 years, and from comprehensive product training to responsive customer service, the manufacturer goes above and beyond to ensure retailers have all the tools they need to effectively showcase and sell their products.

"This level of support fosters a strong

partnership between retailers and the brand, ultimately benefiting both parties and, most importantly, the end-users.

“The Able Label emerges as a top recommendation for retailers seeking to enhance their offerings in adaptive

clothing and footwear. With its innovative designs, exceptional quality, and unwavering supplier support, this brand embodies the ethos of inclusivity and accessibility, making it a valuable addition to any retailer’s inventory.”

12 | Retailers’ Choice |

160kg The Handicare 4000


Increased weight limits 136kg = standard version 160kg = heavy duty version

Smoother ride Improved crimp joints

Fits narrower staircases

Small footplate available

Faster installation

Pre-installed footplate

Perfect for the tightest of bends

The new Handicare 4000 is more versatile, capable of carrying up to 160kg around corners and over landings. Our team has worked hard to create a stairlift featuring this expanded capability, without compromising on looks or performance.

Don’t forget to make the most of the online 4000 training for your engineers, now made even easier to access on demand.

Speak to your BDM to learn more or call TPS on | /handicare-stairlifts-uk 0844 225 3121

Rolyan Post-Op Shoe from Performance Health

“When it comes to post-operative footwear, stabilisation and support are crucial. That’s why this shoe is made with a rigid sole, providing high levels of support to the sole of the foot. Complete with a gripenhancing tread, this sole allows the wearer to walk comfortably and confidently, while ensuring the foot avoid any unnecessary strain.

“The D-ring straps with hook and loop closures make application and the large wide adjustment of the shoe effortless, ensuring a secure and customised fit for each user.

“Made with soft nylon and a rigid sole to provide both comfort and excellent stability to the patient while they recover, the shoe also features an open-toe, latex-free design, allowing the foot to breathe while ensuring allergy inflammation risks are eliminated.

“Additionally, a reinforced heel back reduces slippage, providing added stability to the rear of the foot.

“The shoes are sold in ones, not a pair and there isn’t a left or a right shoe as they are universal. Available in a variety of sizes, the post-op shoe accommodates different foot shapes and sizes, making it suitable for a wide range of users. Its spacious design allows for comfortable fitting over postsurgical bandages or casts, providing compression, protection, and security for various foot conditions such as broken toes, foot ulcers, bunions, and post-operative care.”

Splash Poncho from Able2

“One of our favourite items of clothing is the Splash Poncho from Able2. This poncho is designed to give both warmth and wet weather protection to those using a wheelchair or mobility scooter, and it is one of our most popular-selling items of wet weather wear.

“The poncho has a full-length heavyduty zip, which allows it to easily be put on and later removed (some ponchos only have a small zip, which can make it a struggle to put on and take off without help).

“Its sleeves are also cut generously to give plenty of room for the arms to allow for maximum movement. They end in soft ribbed cuffs to provide comfort when wearing and to ensure that no draughts wander up the arms when being worn.

“It is a unisex dark navy in colour with reflective tape on the sleeves and the rear section, providing good visibility at night. And, even better, the item comes in two versions – one unlined and the

other lined with a brushed cotton, to ensure additional warmth.

“This Splash Poncho is consistently of high quality, and we rarely receive any returns on this item. So, all in all, a good product for those looking for a long lasting piece of outdoor clothing for a wheelchair or mobility scooter.”

Brompton Slipper by Gardiner Bros

& Co.

“As we move into the heart of spring, our priority remains providing the utmost comfort to our customers while aiding their independence in daily life.

"Selecting the right footwear is essential for smooth everyday activities. This is why we are excited to spotlight our Brompton Slippers from Gardiner Bros & Co., which are tailored particularly for those grappling with swollen feet.

“Crafted for comfort, these slippers boast a spacious, open-toe design, ideal for accommodating swelling. Their double-velcro fastening straps ensure effortless wearability, allowing for a snug fit tailored to individual comfort preferences.

“They are lightweight for easy portability, and their slip-resistant soles provide added security while

walking. Moreover, the anti-shock cushions mitigate the impact on your feet, ensuring a comfortable stride.

“A bonus is their antibacterial treatment, which keeps odours and bacteria at bay. Plus, their machinewashable feature at 30 degrees simplifies maintenance, ensuring they remain fresh and easily clean.”

14 | Retailers’ Choice |
Julia Phipps Director of
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offer an extensive range of both Gel and AGM batteries 01536 203030 We are the UK's sole importer of batteries

Wide fitting footwear from Cosyfeet

“In recent times, the general public are looking for comfort when it comes to shoes and are opting for casual shoes or trainers. We are also finding when customers visit our showrooms for wide-fitting shoes, they are now opting for trainer styles.

“Our customers often come in to our showrooms struggling to get footwear to suit them, due to having swollen feet and other medical conditions. The range of Cosyfeet shoes and slippers are specially designed to fit and flatter swollen feet. Extension straps are also available for the shoes to make them


even roomier on more swollen days.

“Cosyfeet offer a great range of shoes and trainers that come in a 6E width for women and 3H width for men. Trainers such as the Tango and Gigi are proving very popular amongst our female customers. They love the colours they are available in and think they are very stylish and most importantly, comfortable to wear.

“Within the men’s range, the Matty and the Angus styles are very popular with our customers. The Matty looks like a proper trainer with the lace design but comes with a zip fastening for easy access.

“The Cosyfeet footwear range is recommended by UK healthcare professionals nationwide giving you peace of mind you are buying good-quality shoes. Our showroom advisors also recommend Cosyfeet to our customers when they visit our showrooms.”

Ladies & Mens Dunlop

Slippers/Booties from Able2

“Here at TPG we have, as many do, a showroom facility as well as a mail order and field sales force.

“Inevitably we therefore need a comprehensive range of solutions to assist our customers with many of their daily living needs.

“By selling these add-on solutions it not only enhances the invoiced value, but leaves the customer with a feel-good factor that encourages them to return.

“One of those feel-good products are the range of slippers and booties from Able 2. They are high-quality Dunlop products that are ultra reliable and give total satisfaction.

“Obviously no small store can stock every colour in every size and every style, so to have the swift delivery options from the supplier is great for retailers and ensures that money is not tied up in unnecessary stock.

“Added to this the option for those same products, and many more, to be delivered directly from Able 2 to your customer, makes them a sure-fire winner.”

16 | Retailers’ Choice |


Stealth Products proudly presents the i-Drive Loonz video game, available for download on the Apple® iTunes® App Store®. Developed in collaboration with Trident Research, the i-Drive Loonz game is designed to work seamlessly with the i-Drive 4.0, providing an entertaining experience for children while doubling as a valuable driving assessment tool for therapists and parents.

The i-Drive Loonz video game effectively bridges the gap between able-bodied users and those using wheelchairs or strollers. With the ability to use the i-Drive alongside a battery pack, it facilitates driving assessments and gameplay on a manual mobility base.

For more information about the i-Drive Loonz, please visit or contact our Stealth specialist on 07731 999192.

Ent the awards today...

Get recognised for your hard work, or share your appreciation by nominating someone else...

Whether you’re a healthcare professional working with assistive technology every day and have come across a truly innovative product, or want to shine a spotlight on an exceptional retailer providing excellent customer service, the British Healthcare Trades Industry Awards 2024 celebrate excellence within the healthcare and assistive technology sector. scan me to ent !


Honours exceptional events dedicated to the advancement of the healthcare and assistive technology industry.


Celebrates the remarkable contributions of companies that go above and beyond, whether it’s a revolutionary device or a life-changing application.


Recognises and celebrates outstanding achievements within the healthcare and assistive technology retail sector in the UK.


Honours companies with healthcare and assistive technology manufacturing operations in the UK that have demonstrated exceptional performance over the past 12 months.


Recognises organisations at the forefront of genuine innovation in the pursuit of environmental goals, making significant strides in the past year towards creating a more sustainable future.


Pays tribute to individuals or teams who go above and beyond in making significant and sustained contributions to the healthcare and assistive technology in their community.


Designed to recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of those whose lifelong dedication has made a tangible and lasting difference in the healthcare and assistive technology field.


Recognises and celebrates individuals who have brought a fresh perspective to the healthcare and assistive technology industry.


020 7702 2141 • SPONSORED BY

Survive and thrive in retail


strategic adaptation and a focused online presence, brick-and-mortar mobility retailers can survive and thrive, as Mike Glynn explains…

In 1794, Napoleon described England as “a nation of shopkeepers”. These were hard-working local small-scale productive enterprises that provided jobs and served the community. Today, despite the digital revolution and the internet, brick-and-mortar retailers stand firm, a testament to their resilience and adaptability. In 230 years, nothing has changed!

Apart from the digital revolution and the internet, which have transformed how we live, work, and shop, the retail landscape has not much changed over the past two centuries. The convenience and seemingly infinite choice offered by e-commerce

platforms have lured customers away from physical stores. In the age of digital dominance, brick-and-mortar retailers face an unprecedented challenge…


Buying from a physical shop is one of many options for consumers, and they no longer require the shop owner’s expertise to give them information about the goods’ features.

Once the cornerstone of shopping experiences, physical specialist stores compete against the vastness and convenience of the online marketplace. Although the mobility retail

marketplace still has a high level of personalisation, the internet is growing in influencing customer choices. However, all is not lost.

With strategic adaptation and a focused online presence, brick-andmortar retailers can survive and thrive in their local areas, retaining and acquiring customers.

Many mobility businesses are family owned and started by the previous generation many years ago. Having a shop and serving the local community as the local expert was acceptable then, but more is needed.

The owners are older and have got to the stage of selling and retiring or looking for the next generation to | Insight | 19

take over. Some businesses are at an advanced stage in this transition. The next generation is already in control, pushing the company forward, whilst others wind down operations.

Rising operating costs and internet competitiveness have accelerated this trend, but people still like to buy from people! Having another person validate or endorse your purchase as the best option is still valued, whether through review or recommendation. This is why a physical mobility retailer has the upper hand.


Mobility retailers have the advantage of being able to interact and reassure customers face-to-face. They are not faceless, remote and slow to respond if something needs to be fixed.

To get an advantage today’s mobility retailers need to be better at knowing their numbers – not just sales, margin, and profit but all the other numbers that lead to the sale. These include customer acquisition cost, average order value, conversion rate, and customer lifetime value. Understanding these metrics can help you identify areas for improvement, make informed business decisions, and ultimately drive profitability.

There’s a lot of information available in one form or another, but many retailers need to take the time to

view these numbers in greater detail. The numbers, however, are your business’s subconscious feedback on its performance, which you can only improve if you listen.

The numbers will indicate what to do next. Reviewing these numbers more often improves the probability of success and minimises the risk of going off course.


But does it really matter what you do next without a plan or a schedule? For mobility retailers it is time to fight back and reclaim lost ground online.

Over 60 per cent of mobility retailers are struggling with uncertainty and just getting by, so it’s time for change.

The 21st century retailer needs to be more targeted and scientific in its approach to business growth, using data to create information.

The key lies in leveraging the unique strengths of physical stores while embracing the opportunities presented by the digital world (see sidebar).

Remember, the power of exceptional customer service is in your hands. Make it easy for customers to contact you with questions or concerns online or offline. Respond promptly to inquiries, address any issues or complaints with care, and go above and beyond to exceed customer

"While the rise of online shopping has posed significant challenges… it has also opened up new opportunities”

expectations. Doing so can empower your customers and build solid and lasting relationships.

In conclusion, while the rise of online shopping has posed significant challenges for brick-and-mortar retailers, it has also opened up new opportunities for growth and innovation. Brick-and-mortar retailers can compete effectively in their local areas and beyond by embracing digital marketing strategies, leveraging their expertise, and prioritising customer engagement. With the right approach, they can retain their existing customer base and attract new customers in an increasingly competitive landscape.

To discuss your digital marketing strategy and how to adapt to the digital age, contact Mike Glynn at or call 07480801256.

5 strategies for retail success:


Brick-and-mortar retailers often boast a wealth of knowledge and expertise in their respective fields. This expertise can be a powerful tool for engaging customers online. Whether through informative blog posts, how-to videos, or live Q&A sessions, sharing valuable insights can help establish your store as a trusted authority in your niche.


Establishing a solid online presence is essential for reaching customers beyond your local area. This includes having a user-friendly website, active social media profiles, and an e-commerce platform for online sales. Ensure your online presence reflects your brick-and-mortar store’s unique personality and offerings.


One of the biggest challenges for brick-and-mortar retailers is capturing customer data for follow-up communication. Unlike online retailers, physical stores often need more means to collect customer information

directly. However, you can implement strategies to overcome this, such as email sign-up forms, loyalty programmes, or in-store surveys. These methods can help you gather valuable contact information from online visitors and in-store customers, enabling you to build a database for future marketing efforts.


Personalise the online shopping experience using your customer data. Send targeted email campaigns, offer personalised recommendations based on past purchases, and meaningfully engage with customers on social media. You can foster stronger relationships and encourage repeat business by making customers feel valued and understood.


Strive to create a seamless customer experience across online and offline channels. Allow customers to research products online and seamlessly transition to purchasing in-store. Offer options like click-and-collect or in-store pickup to cater to varying preferences.

20 | Insight |

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Unique in the industry

With an Invictus Games athlete and local wheelchair rugby players among the visitors in attendance, Unique Mobility recently celebrated the official opening of its newly refurbished its showroom in Plymouth. THIIS chats to Ian Bellamy, Director of Unique Mobility, to find out more…

South West mobility retailer Unique Mobility has recently been celebrating the official reopening of its newly expanded and refurbished showroom in Plymouth. Along with its other showrooms in Launceston, Cornwall, and in Exeter, Unique Mobility supplies a broad range of products from across the sector from mobility scooters to complex rehab equipment.

Owner and director Ian Bellamy couldn’t be more proud, after seeing his business thrive over the years. It was

in 2001 when Ian came to establish the business. He explains that he used to own a bathroom-installing company and was often being asked for solutions for safe bathing from older customers.

Noticing they were also struggling with other aspects of trying to live

independently Ian began looking at other mobility equipment to help enhance his customers lives. This led to him establishing Unique Mobility and opening his first showroom in Launceston, Cornwall.

As Company Director Ian oversees

“Although we are a business, we are also caring, compassionate and ethical in what we do” | Retailer Spotlight | 23
The Unique Mobility team outside the Plymouth showroom with an adapted demo vehicle

the business as a whole, although he says that he still enjoys getting stuck in serving customers in the showrooms and getting hands on in the workshop. “Helping others is my primary motivation and ultimately what led me into the sector,” he says. “Although we are a business, we are also caring, compassionate and ethical in what we do and I’m very proud to be able to say that.”

Unique Mobility’s customer demographic is broad across the business, explains Ian. “We cater to all, from paediatrics with specialist car seats and 'specially adapted wheelchairs and powerchairs for children, right through to our elderly customers facing mobility challenges.

“Vehicle adaptations is a large part of what we do and of course we are a Motability dealership so we assist with a large number of Motability claims across all eligible products.”

In addition to customers who visit its showrooms, Unique Mobility also offers mobile assessments, sales and servicing across the south west, from way down in West Cornwall all the way up to Bristol and Somerset.

But for Ian, nothing beats offering an excellent face-to-face service with customers. “If it’s a specialist piece of equipment then people will travel for the right advice and choice and we are proud of our reputation with regards to our customer service and ethics,” he says.


The Plymouth showroom and assessment room was originally opened in 2014. Ian explains: “We were often travelling to Plymouth to carry out assessments, repairs and deliveries from our Launceston showroom so it was an obvious step to open a showroom there.”

The store is located within a business park on a busy road so has a prominent position alongside big-name national retailers as neighbours and lots of level parking and access.

He adds: “When we first opened, it became the largest mobility showroom in Devon and Cornwall, and now the refurbishment programme is complete, it’s even bigger!”

The showroom boasts dedicated areas for each product category, including Class 2 and Class 3 mobility scooters, rollators, wheelchairs, powered wheelchairs, active wheelchairs, adjustable beds and rise recline chairs. Ian likes to ensure that there is a wide selection of brands across all categories for a broad representation of products across the sector to give customers a great choice and to cater for different budgets.

As an example, Ian explains that its Plymouth showroom currently has six different standing powerchairs on display from four separate manufacturers, all available for assessments.

“Keeping our customers on the move and helping to maintain their products is a key part of our offering”

“I don’t think many other suppliers can say that,” says Ian. “As part of the refurbishment we also took on an additional dedicated workshop unit specifically for vehicle adaptations and the service and repair of mobility equipment. Keeping our customers on the move and helping to maintain their products is a key part of our offering.”

Unique Mobility’s best-selling products vary considerably depending on individual stores, seasons and customer demographic.

Over the last 12 months Ian has noticed that they are seeing a much greater demand for mixed-terrain powerchairs and bigger Class 3 scooters, as people are wanting to explore the south west more independently.

One of the newer products to make an impression in the showroom is the Magic 360 by Sunrise Medical. “Its allterrain capability is incredible,” says Ian.

24 | Retailer Spotlight |
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“Yet its functionality indoors competes with all of its competition. It’s proved a very popular product to date, and now, alongside the Magic X8, the south west is more accessible than ever!”


Work to refurbish the showroom this year went well, explains Ian. “It was a big undertaking and I project-managed the refit myself, leaning on my previous experience in the building trade,” says Ian.

"We took the decision to keep the store open throughout, however, in hindsight, there were a couple of days, especially where walls were coming down and power-tools were being used, which didn't provide an ideal environment to be serving customers in. However the disruption was minimal and our customers were very understanding. Everyone who visited during the works were very positive and said they were looking forward to seeing the finished result.”

News of the showroom’s reopening spread like wildfire amongst the local community after advertising went out in local newspapers. Ian couldn’t be happier with the response to the revamped showroom, and he and the

staff have been busy across the board.

Footfall has been positive too.

Ian continues: “We have received some fantastic feedback about the showroom, both during the work and since completion from customers, case managers, therapists and suppliers alike. We hope customers will enjoy the new environment when they come into the store.”

The official opening of the refurbished showroom took place in April 2024, and the business was honoured to have local Royal Marines veteran and Invictus Games athlete Mark Ormrod MBE attend.

Unique Mobility carried out Mark’s vehicle adaptations previously through the Motability Scheme, and he had recently become a Motability ambassador.

Wheelchair rugby players from Team Endeavour Punishers, which has been sponsored by Unique Mobility for the last three years, paid the showroom a visit, and customers could enjoy workshop tours and test drive wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs).

Ian adds: “The ‘specially adapted demo car was a huge hit with demonstrations being carried out throughout the day.”

The showroom was also visited by representatives from a number of key

suppliers, which brought additional products with them on the day for demonstrations.

Ian says: “We provided tea, coffee and delicious locally sourced cakes throughout the day with special offers and discounts across the whole showroom. All the staff got behind the opening and have put so much work into creating an exceptional open day.”


An increased social media presence has also played a part in attracting attention to the new showroom. A website can be easy to overlook when you’re busy, explains Ian, which is why he recently

“It is so important to have a conversation to fully understand the customers’ individual needs before supplying a product”
26 | Retailer Spotlight |
Mark Ormrod MBE and Ian Bellamy, director of Unique Mobility, celebrate with staff, industry specialists and customers

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appointed a marketing manager. The marketing manager has already made a big impact on both its print and digital campaigns, he says. “You will have noticed a change in the look and feel across our website and all our social media platforms and we have big plans in the coming months to improve them all even more!”

Having an up-to-date, relevant website is important, although Ian explains that Unique Mobility primarily uses the website as a tool for providing information and advertising its products and services, rather than as an e-commerce business.

Dealing with customers face-to-face is a priority, explains Ian, despite the competition of online sales.

Says Ian: “We are moving away from customers being able to complete a purchase online as it is so important to have a conversation to fully understand the customers’ individual needs before supplying a product. Carrying out a detailed assessment is essential and I believe we have a duty of care to our customers to fulfil this prior to completing a sale.

“We frequently have customers come in that have bought something they

have seen online without receiving proper advice and have at best, ended up with a product that isn’t suitable for their needs, and at worst, been either unsafe or detrimental to their condition.

Ultimately whilst having a digital presence is increasingly important, you can’t beat that face-to-face conversation for really understanding your customers.”

The success of Unique Mobility is down to a “brilliant team” of 22 staff members working across the business,

Ian says. “If you were to remove any of the cogs from the machine, it wouldn’t run as smoothly.”

The sales team, includes “incredibly knowledgeable” product specialists, who Ian says prioritise understanding customers’ needs and help to ensure Unique Mobility delivers the best possible outcomes.

Its specialist team of engineers are also integral to the business and carry out servicing and repairs across the full breadth of mobility equipment.

28 | Retailer Spotlight |
Members of the Team Endeavour Punishers Wheelchair Rugby Team pay a visit. Pictured left to right are: Richard Rochester, Wayne Sibley (Product Specialist), Rob Greenwood (Store Manager), (front centre) Ian Bellamy (Owner & Director), Will Eddy and Danielle Dyson


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Ian says that Unique Mobility is able to offer the full package of engineering after-care support in a service which he says sets it apart from the majority of independent retailers. He comments: “We have the capability amongst our team, to carry out custom builds including full vehicle adaptations and bespoke controls for powerchair users with complex rehabilitation needs.”

Also busy working behind the scenes is Unique Mobility’s finance and operations team who Ian believes are the cornerstone of the organisation by enabling the business to run effectively and profitably.


Fortunate to have a great team of staff behind him, Ian feels like that one of the biggest challenges for the mobility sector at the moment is recruitment. He says: “As many in the industry will testify, good people can be hard to find. As we grow year-on-year getting the right staff is paramount. In the last 12 months we have grown our staff considerably, including taking on two apprentices and it’s been rewarding to see them grow and continue with us after passing their exams.

“My management team and I have built a great team which I am very proud of. As we know, it’s a relatively small industry that needs fresh talent to continue to grow and it’s nice to be a part of that.”

Another area proving challenging across the mobility sector is the increasing costs and lead times that the business is facing as a result of the Red Sea crisis affecting global shipping

routes. Ian comments: “I know we are not alone in dealing with this challenge but it’s certainly a difficult one to manage and we are working with our suppliers to keep products in stock and communicate with customers.”

As for the future, Ian says that he is

happy where Unique Mobility is in the marketplace at the moment. “Quality of life for myself and my staff is very important, however now the showroom project is finished, we are in a process of analysing and learning from the past 12 months which will inform our growth strategy.”

In time Ian plans to refit the Launceston and Exeter branches as well and just focus on continuing to grow the business’s mobile capability across the whole of the south west.

Ian reflects: “It has been a very busy 12 months with the expansion and refurbishment of the Plymouth showroom, the addition of usedapproved WAV sales to our portfolio and we have welcomed an additional eight members of staff across the business. There are lots of plans set for the next 12 months but you’ll have to keep an eye on our socials to see them! #watchthisspace!”

30 | Retailer Spotlight |
Plymouth showroom staff (left to right) Laura Ashford, Rob Greenwood (Store Manager), Ian Bellamy (Owner & Director),Wayne Sibley and Rachel Britton


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Moving forward from A-Z

THIIS chats to Wayne Bennett, the new managing director of Z-Tec Mobility, about why the firm is looking forward to an innovative future…

Based in the West Midlands, Z-Tec Mobility is a supplier of mobility and healthcare products serving mobility dealerships, pharmacies and other healthcare outlets throughout the UK and Ireland. Its products include a wide selection of wheelchairs, including children’s wheelchairs, transit and selfpropelled models, and heavy-duty wheelchairs.

Having successfully run Z-Tec for many years as the mobility distribution arm of Murrays Pharmacy, Ian Reekie became the company’s managing director in 2019 after purchasing it from

“I will be looking at new products and suppliers to help achieve our growth plans in the coming years”

the community pharmacy group.

In March 2024, and after 16 years in the business, Ian Reekie stepped down as Managing Director of Z-Tec Mobility. His previous business partner at Z-Tec, Wayne Bennett, is now handling the day-to-day running of the business as its new managing director.


“It’s exciting times whilst making time for these new and exciting products and still running my other businesses. I look forward to enhancing part of our

existing range to keep up with both our trade and retail expectations. I will be looking at new products and suppliers to help achieve our growth plans in the coming years.”


“Our bestselling product is the Falcon rollator, which is one of the lightest rollators on the market at 5.5kg. It is

34 | Supplier Spotlight |
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“We currently stock a 601 Lightweight Transit Wheelchair which our dealers love. They have a reasonable retail price with a very good profit margin. The wide new colour range for these wheelchairs will help this product evolve into today’s market.

“Constructed from lightweight aluminium, its folding backrest and removable footrest mean that the wheelchair can be folded into a compact size, ideal for storage or for transporting in a car. The 601X comes with attendant-operated handbrakes which provides additional control for the carer/attendant.

“Another one of our constant bestsellers is the Aluminium Folding Tri-Walker which comes with a basket, tray and shopping bag. Weighing 6.5kg and available in three colours, it is compact and lightweight for easy storage and transportation. It has height-adjustable handles and three strong 19cm wheels with loop brakes for added safety.

“The riser recliner range is a proven product with a lower budget for our traders. It offers excellent value for money for members of the public whilst using the latest high-quality Okin motors rather than the cheaper and inferior quality motors.

“We strive to offer this cost-effective and quality item as an alternative to some of the more expensive alternatives on the market. Keeping to the two base colours enables us to focus on maintaining its quality.”


“Soon, we are about to land stock of our new Falcoln XL rollator. We have redesigned this and made it two inches taller, making it beneficial for taller individuals. Despite this increase in height, the Falcon XL retains its lightweight design at only 5.9kg. It comes with enhanced quick-change height-adjustable handles to ensure a comfortable grip for the end-user and to make it easy to lower for easy car storage.

“It also has a seat and backrest for when rest is needed, and ample storage space for personal items. The bag that attaches to both the Falcon and Falcon XL is removable as

a shopping bag with a full shoulder harness, a feature unique to Z-Tec Mobility.

“The rollator comes equipped with smooth-rolling wheels that can tackle a variety of surfaces, making it versatile for indoor and outdoor use. The Falcon XL will be produced in vibrant new colours along with some speciality colours following shortly. It is a very cost-effective product that still leaves a good profit margin for our retailer partners.

“It has been well received from our client audience so far and has had exceptional presales with further stock already ordered.”


“We would always look to expand our dealer network and support dealers whilst always maintaining contact and supply to our loyal and existing traders. All new enquiries can be sent to or by calling 01384481111.

“For dealers who come onboard we offer advice and pricing deals as well as appropriate marketing support where it is needed.”


“With ever-rising costs across the globe with both manufacturing costs and employment costs, along with an everyday battle of higher shipping costs that appear to rise daily we are trying to maintain a sensible

pricing structure for our dealers so they maintain a healthy profit on many of our great products.

“Z-Tec Mobility has not made any major price rises within recent years, and, as we all know, with the current political situation within the UK and worldwide, we have done well to keep our business running well in what has been difficult times over recent years. With things now looking on the up for the future Z-Tec can look forward to an innovative future.”


“All products are sourced and checked to ensure that they are electrically certified with full CE approval and any batteries meet the recommended standards for shipping purposes.

“Our items are supplied with batteries already in if appropriate to the model and once off-loaded we also store them in a separate ‘safe’ area to minimise any risk. While it has been expensive to maintain our high standards we feel it was an important task for us to get right.”



“We feel that our plans and product range will expand over the next two years with investment and innovation working hand in hand. Watch this space…”

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Trade thoughts

Do you think mobility suppliers should take more responsibility for the shipping and disposal of lithium batteries?

“This is certainly a hot topic in the current climate as lithium batteries are being used more and more in the mobility market.

"As technology grows lithium batteries are being more heavily regulated and when transported the relevant mode regulations must be followed. We expect our suppliers to protect any shipping of this product and of course, collect and dispose of the batteries when needed. There is a debate about who is responsible for out-of-warranty batteries, however, should a battery fault during the supplier warranty period then Ableworld will expect the supplier to arrange safe disposal.

“Working closely with our suppliers the following feedback was given

by our senior engineering manager Paul Rowland. Paul commented: “As a retailer that provides a full aftercare engineering department, we have worked with our suppliers to provide collection and disposal of the lithium batteries that have been supplied to us. We have implemented safe storage and transportation of these batteries to our collection points from which our suppliers will collect these to go back to the original manufacturer for safe disposal and recycling where possible.”

“As a retailer, Ableworld believe that our suppliers should take more ownership and responsibility for the safe transportation and disposal of lithium batteries. There are several agreements of dangerous goods acts for transportation. Suppliers must adhere to

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40 | Trade Thoughts |

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“The discourse surrounding the shipping and disposal of lithium batteries is of paramount importance in contemporary society, given the widespread use of electronic devices and electric vehicles.

"When pondering the most suitable entity to oversee this responsibility, mobility suppliers emerge as the optimal choice owing to their specialised knowledge and vested

“My short answer is ‘no’. But what should happen is that they should be made to accept their existing responsibilities.

“Rather unfortunately many retailers are being left out in the cold by their suppliers and are not informed of the actual law and their rights as a retailer.

“It is very clear that the logistics and the costs associated with the disposal of end-of-life or damaged lithium batteries lies with the company that first put them on the market in the EU.

“That may be the importer or the manufacturer, but it is rarely the retailer. So the safe system of disposal is down to the manufacturer.

“All too often the waste is thought of as the retailer’s problem. It is not. It may well be that the retailer chooses to dispose of other streams of waste that may coincidentally have a residual value, but if there is a cost involved it is the responsibility of the manufacturer.

“Many retailers are still illinformed and may be putting this class of ‘extremely hazardous’ waste in skips or wheelie bins, which is

"Mobility suppliers are ideally positioned to assume greater responsibility for the shipping and disposal of lithium batteries"

interest in ensuring safe handling and disposal practices.

“Electric Mobility, in particular, is noteworthy for offering some of the safest lithium batteries on the market. Its advanced technology and rigorous safety standards set them apart, providing consumers with peace of mind regarding battery reliability and security.

“Primarily, mobility suppliers possess extensive expertise in lithium battery technology, boasting a deep understanding of its properties and associated risks. This knowledge equips them to implement proper packaging, handling, and shipping procedures effectively to mitigate potential hazards.

“Furthermore, mobility suppliers

totally illegal.

“It is so dangerous that it is not just ‘hazardous’ it is ‘extremely hazardous’, and there have been numerous cases of fires caused by thermal runaway after inconsiderate or inappropriate handling.

“Additionally, of course, it is important that each retailer has their own waste carriers’ licence to permit them to document waste transfers and movements.

"As with many of the problems and difficulties around this issue, knowledge and communication is key.”

have a direct stake in the safe transport and disposal of lithium batteries as they constitute integral components of many mobility aids such as electric wheelchairs and scooters. By assuming responsibility for shipping and disposal, suppliers can uphold their commitment to customer safety and environmental sustainability.

“Recent discussions at the Countrywide Care Network underscore the importance of proper battery storage and handling protocols. Holding returned batteries in metal battery boxes away from main properties is a prudent measure to minimise the risk of fire or other accidents, highlighting the critical role of suppliers in ensuring safe practices throughout the product lifecycle.

“Mobility suppliers are ideally positioned to assume greater responsibility for the shipping and disposal of lithium batteries. Their specialised knowledge, vested interest, and commitment to safety render them the most suitable entities to manage this crucial aspect of product stewardship. By actively engaging in responsible battery management, suppliers can contribute to a safer and more sustainable future for all.”

Do you have a view on this topic? If so, THIIS Magazine wants to hear from you. Email us at to share your views.

42 | Trade Thoughts |
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Sound bases for clinical practice

Where do we get the assurance that our assessment and

prescription practices

are following best practice? Often this comes by word of mouth, but sometimes the words can get corrupted by the process of ‘Chinese Whispers’.

Procurement departments frequently rely on clinicians to advise them as to what to order, while clinicians often hope their procurement departments have the training to source appropriate products. The end result can be the blind leading the blind, and the patient not necessarily getting the best solution – and in many cases the lowest price option is not the best long-term solution. This article addresses one direction to which one can turn for sound advice. Most individuals involved in prescribing assistive products will probably have been through a relevant college or university course, though how ‘relevant’ this teaching is to many real life situations is a key question. An occupational therapist, for example, will have finished their course with very little related to wheelchair prescription or the principles behind sound seating assessment having been covered. What does a product need to have achieved to be considered to be an appropriate medical device, and why is this important? Where does one go

for advice on best practice, for advice on what and where to ask the right questions concerning the different clinical properties of possible solutions, or for advice on what is safe for the client and also safe for the carer?


A product is a medical device if it has a medical CE mark and/or, since the UK left the EU, a medical UKCA mark. To have this mark, the product needs the manufacturer to have stated what claims of patient benefit they are making for the product, and then a supporting technical file providing the evidence for these claims. The nature of the claims will lead to the product classification. Class I products will be self-certified by the manufacturer, but if a higher class, this means they will have had the documentation verified by an external body. To justify their claims, the manufacturer will have carried out clinical trials, if feasible, or otherwise tested their product against appropriate standards or methodology.

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International, and European, standards variously provide internationally agreed means for safety testing and are therefore a good starting point for a CE/UKCA technical file. In addition, there are also international performance standards which can be used to support the clinical claims made by the manufacturer. But standards do not just stop there – they can also offer internationally agreed approaches to best practice. For general requirements for Assistive Products visit ISO 218561, and for wheelchairs EN 121832 and 121843, as starting points. In the following part of this article, examples of the different types of standard for these criteria have been selected from the standards for seating systems.


A first element of safety for any assistive product is that it will not

46 | Let’s get it clear |

catch light if near a heat source or that any fire self-extinguishes quickly. ISO 16840-10 4 specifies a surrogate cigarette test (see Figure 1) for this and has been described in more detail in a previous THIIS article5

For any wheelchair user who also uses positioning belts and harnesses, it is important that the webbing and buckles will stand up to continued use and forces, and that they do not move or slip when in position. ISO 1684036 covers pass/fail criteria that these and other postural support devices

should be tested to. Figure 2 shows an example of a failure of a pelvic belt tested to this standard.

Where a seating system is used as a seat in a wheelchair in a vehicle, the wheelchair needs to be crashworthy. Its seating system can be crash-tested on its own on a surrogate wheelchair base: this testing is covered in ISO 16840-47


How do you know that one cushion is better for your client than another? There are up to 30 criteria by which the performance of one cushion can be compared with another. Some of these criteria relate to tissue integrity, some to postural management, and some to aspects of functionality.

These are not pass/fail criteria but measures of performance. An example of differential requirements might be that one client wants a cushion with a slippery cover so that they can slide off it easily, while another client wants one that stops their sliding about. So clearly one cushion will suit that one client while another will be better for another client.

This is why it is so important that procurement exercises are conducted around clinical outcomes and not around what a product is made from. A previous THIIS article8 looks at cushion performance testing in more detail, and includes performance testing from the likes of ISO 16840-29, and

the changes with accelerated aging of these characteristics, as covered by ISO 16840-610


However, international standards do not just cover testing methodology. They can also address terminology and best practice. The first of the seating standards, ISO 16840-111, described measures of the body and of seating systems, and from this a consistent way of measuring, say, the degree of a pelvic obliquity (see Figure 3), and its changes with time. The technical aspects have been converted into a Clinical Application Guide12 which gives advice about how to take the measures described in the standard.

Other guidelines include one on pressure mapping (ISO 16840-913 - the key content of this can also be found

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Figure 1. A surrogate cigarette flammability test apparatus | Let’s get it clear | 47
Figure 2. Failed test where to pass the standard a maximum of 10mm slip is permitted Figure 3. Figure 2.25 Frontal pelvic angle from the Clinical Application Guide12

on the PMG Best Practice website14 There is a useful summary document (ISO/TR 16840-1415) which covers the differences between pressure, shear and friction. The most recent guideline publication is ISO/TS 16840-1516 (which replaces the British version BS 8625) which gives guidance on the selection, placement, and fixation of postural support devices.

A further good resource for advice on best practice can be found on the RESNA website17 in the US.


ISO wheelchair standards work is in process around developing the same degree of coverage for back supports as there is for cushions. In the meantime, the committee is also working on new documents covering assessments, with one on the value of a seating assessment, including a listing of a minimum dataset and categories to be measured and another on how to translate Range of Motion assessments into linear seating measures. Measurement of shear forces and

This topic is the subject of a panel discussion on 19 June at the European Seating Symposium in Dublin.

Meanwhile, a guide to all the wheelchair standards can be found on the ISO TC173 website library at https://committee. files/Library/Wheelchair%20 Standards%20guide%20202312-13%20with%20table.pdf

What can we take from this? Newcomers to the arenas of wheelchair and seating prescription have a specialist furrow to plough. It’s a threedimensional world and where sitting in itself is an activity. With each client having each such individual needs, it takes years of hands-on experience to gain the depth of knowledge to do the job instinctively. But there are some valuable starting points that will lead to better practice and more appropriate solutions for your clients. Unfortunately, today’s lower cost solution may well lead to more costly interventions tomorrow! Procurement processes should be looking at both immediate and also long-term outcome benefits and total lifetime costs.


1. ISO 21856:2022 Assistive products – General requirements and test methods

2. EN 12183:2022 Manual wheelchairsRequirements and test methods

3. EN 12184:2022 Electrically powered wheelchairs, scooters and their chargers - Requirements and test methods

4. ISO 16840-10:2021 + Amd1:2024 Wheelchair seating — Part 10: Resistance to ignition of postural support devices – Requirements and test method

5. Medical Device Flammability Testing THIIS April 2024

6. ISO 16840-3:2022 Wheelchair seating — Part 3: Determination of static, impact and repetitive load strengths for postural support devices

7. ISO 16840-4:2009 Wheelchair seating — Part 4: Seating systems for use in motor vehicles

8. What make a good cushion? 7. Standards of evidence THIIS June 2022

9. ISO 16840-2:2018 + Amd1:2024 Wheelchair

seating — Part 2: Determination of physical and mechanical characteristics of devices intended to manage tissue integrity - Seat cushions

ISO 16840-6:2015 Wheelchair seating — Part 6: Simulated use and determination of the changes in properties — Seat cushions

ISO 16840-1:2006 Wheelchair seating — Part 1: Vocabulary, reference axis convention and measures for body segments, posture and postural support surfaces (under extensive

Waugh, K and Crane , B (2013) A Clinical Application Guide to Standardised Wheelchair Seating Measures of the Body and Seating Support Surfaces resources/best-practice-guidelines/bpg-archive ISO/TR 16840-9:2015 Wheelchair seating — Part 9: Clinical interface pressure mapping guidelines for seating

BPG 2 Clinical guidelines for the use of interface pressure mapping for seating https://

15. ISO/TR 16840-14:2023 Wheelchair seating — Part 14: Terminology and concepts related to managing external forces to maintain tissue integrity

16. ISO/TS 16840-15:2024 Wheelchair seating — Part 15: Selection, placement and fixation of flexible postural support devices in seating


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

One in a series of regular resumés of aspects in the world of posture and mobility where there are common misconceptions, and myths to be addressed, to help promote better practice.

Further items can be found at

If you are interested in receiving further information on the topic, please contact

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

Figure 4. Figure 1 from ISO/TS 16840-15 showing preferred positioning placements of a pelvic positioning belt when managing posterior pelvic tilt.
48 | Let’s get it clear |



Spokz is a UK-based company specializing in products and services aimed at enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities. Established in 2008, Spokz offers a variety of equipment and accessories, including wheelchair parts, sports equipment, and wellbeing products.

Our product range is extensive, covering everyday wheelchair needs such as tyres, wheels, and seating solutions, as well as specialized sports wheelchairs and off-road equipment. Additionally, we provide various lifestyle and fitness products.

Spokz has an extremely good reputation in the industry and has very good relations with both suppliers and dealers. We are currently a distributor for the Freewheel range of products, the Wheelchair Bearings range of products, Dezziv specialist wheelchair brakes and Maxxis wheelchair tyres.

We also have a large customer base, many of these who are loyal repeat customers.

• Turnover in excess of £230,000.

• Offers a variety of products, including wheelchairs, sports tape, wheels, utility bags, cushions, and off-road Wheelchairs and equipment.

• An exclusive provider of items from across the globe, with potential to increase the product range.

• Opportunity to expand marketing activity to introduce its products to new customers and suppliers.

• Offered as a fully relocatable opportunity.

• Being sold to pursue unrelated, alternative business ventures.

For more info please contact


l Nationwide delivery & installation

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l Manufacturers warranties honoured

l Owned & operated fleet of vehicles

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Buyers’ guide to clothing and footwear

Discover key products to consider offering to customers...

Cheryl Ladies Ultra Wide Sandal from Sandpiper Shoes

The ladies’ ultra-wide sandal, Cheryl, has been given a new look recently with new colours in the range.

This classic twin-strap sandal has been a mainstay of the Sandpiper ladies’ range for many years and is still going strong.

Featuring padded ankle support, extra-long straps and lightweight construction this style will tick all the boxes for customers with swollen feet or ankles this summer.

Suitable for diabetics, Cheryl sandals include a removable, washable insole to accommodate custom orthotic insoles. Cheryl sandals in multiple colours are in stock now and ready for immediate despatch. Retailers can email

Splash Universal Ponchos from Able2

These all-in-ones can be used on a wheelchair or on a scooter to protect the user from the wind and the rain. Slipping over the head, the fully waterproof hooded ponchos are simple to put on when caught out by rain showers.

Ties at the bottom enable the garment to be attached to the scooter or wheelchair to prevent billowing. Available in sleeved and unsleeved options, the former is especially suited to use on a scooter or for where the wheelchair user needs to have independent use of their hands.

The elasticated cuffs and generous sleeves allow a full range of movement. They are available unlined or lined with a brushed cotton lining for additional warmth.

50 | Retailers’ Buyers Guide |
 “Finally got some shoes to fit my Best Extra Wide Fitting Footwear Brand 2020 & 2021 (SME News UK Enterprise Awards) footwear for extra wide or swollen feet | MMOCER E N D ED BY 10 0 0s OFPRO F E SLANOISS Good for Feet! NEIL Men’s 6E Sandals BECOME A STOCKIST IN 2024 FOR THESE BENEFITS AND MORE... ADD OUR NEW & POPULAR STYLES TO YOUR DISPLAY! SUMMER RANGE AVAILABLE NOW... ORDER YOUR STOCK NOW CHLOE Ladies 6E Sandals FREE Rapid Delivery FREE Display Installation FREE Seasonal Brochures FREE Marketing Support         PLUS! NO MINIMUM ORDERS For footwear HEALTHY MARGINS For stockists DIRECT DROP-SHIP Service available ONLINE TRADE PORTAL Order 24/7 01295 277377 CALL US TODAY to discuss all stockist benefits EXTRA WIDE & ULTRA WIDE SHOES | BOOTS | SANDALS | SLIPPERS FOR LADIES & MEN NEW COLOUR FILTON Ladies 4E-6E Shoes

Filton Ladies Extra Wide Shoes from Sandpiper Shoes

The best-selling Filton ladies shoe has this year been refreshed with a new colour option, rose/mosaic, and is available in all sizes (4E-6E).

Filton is ideal for those with swollen feet or ankles or troublesome toes, with a deep and wide toe box, low cut vamp and soft and padded interior. They feature two removable insoles as well as quality leather uppers, padded, seam-free interior and fully supportive, lightweight soles. The removable insoles can be replaced with an orthotic insole if required. Retailers can email

Flat Hem Poncho from Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare

The Flat Hem Poncho was designed to provide wheelchair users with some weather protection from unexpected showers. It features a hood, zipper and has a tie point to fasten it to a wheelchair frame for extra security.

The poncho features slots to accommodate the wheelchair pushing handles. Its nylon fabric has a reflective strip for added safety and is lightweight and easily stored.

It is available in universal sizing and comes with a zip closure and drawstring hood. It also folds up into its own bag with a carry handle.

Button hook/ zip pull from Able2

This easy-to-hold device makes handling fiddly zip pulls and buttons a much simpler task thanks to its bulked-up rubberised body.

The user simply threads the metal loop through the button hole and around the button to pull it through in one quick movement.

The hook can be used on the other end to add extra leverage to zip pulls; reducing the likelihood of the zipper teeth snagging. In either scenario dressing becomes more manageable for those with limited dexterity and reduced fine motor control.

52 | Retailers’ Buyers Guide |
Wet Weather Wear and Accessories because we care For more information or to become a retailer, get in touch: 01254 619000

Excursion Trainer from Friendly Shoes

Created by an occupational therapist, this wide-fit trainer is designed to help people put their shoes on independently.

The wide back zip opening makes it easy to slide the shoe on and off. There are laces for the wearer to set the tension for optimum fit, and then they can just use the zip. The large zip toggle works with a dressing stick.

The memory foam insole is removable to accommodate orthotics or AFOs, or if extra depth is required.

The Excursion is lightweight, cushioned and virtually seamless, with anti-slip tested soles and a wide toe box. It is available in a variety of colours for men and women, sizes 3-13.

Splash Wheelchair Macs from Able2

The elasticated hem of the Splash Wheelchair Mac fits snugly over the chair footplates to keep the mac in place and slots in the back allow the handles to remain in use if required. Drawcords and spring locks on the hood mean the user can pull the hood snugly around the face as required,

Wooden Dessing Stick from Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare

This handy dressing aid assists users who have pain or stiffness in arms or shoulders or have the use of only one arm to pull on and pull off clothes.

The wooden shaft provides a long reach of 46cm to minimise movement of arms or shoulders. It features a plastic coated “S” hook at one end, helping to retrieve clothing and a small “C” hook at other end for pulling garments on/off, for grasping belt loops or for pulling up zips and straps.

Shoe Helper by Helping Hand Company

This combined reacher and shoe horn is designed for those who are recovering from surgery or have limited mobility and struggle to bend or reach their feet. The long-handled grabber can be used to retrieve items around the home while the integral shoe horn can help with all types of footwear. The extra-long length reduces the need to bend, enabling an independent lifestyle. Smooth and round edges are gentle against the skin. This two-in-one aid is a cost-effective alternative to a metal shoe horn.

54 | Retailers’ Buyers Guide |

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Open-flat Sandpiper Slippers from Sandpiper Shoes

These open-flat, extra wide slippers are designed to be opened out completely flat and ‘rolled up’ around even the most swollen or bandaged feet.

Perfect for customers with oedema or bandaged feet, the specialist design without internal seams in the toe box make them excellent for diabetics, with a reduced risk of irritating sensitive feet or toes.

These slippers feature the Sandpiper two-in-one fitting system with a removable insole to adjust the width fitting as required. Slippers are machine washable at low temperatures, helping to keep them fresh.

Available for ladies (Wendy) and gentlemen (Walter) these slippers are available in sizes 3-9 for ladies and 6-13 for men. Retailers can email sales@sandpipershoes. for more information.

Ultra-roomy Slippers from Cosyfeet

The roomiest slippers in the Cosyfeet range are the Emma for women and Ernest for men, which are bestsellers through mobility stores.

Boasting a versatile wrap-around design these slippers can accommodate very swollen or bandaged feet and are easy to put on and off. The rubber sole allows them to be worn inside and out, and they can also be machine washed which is important for many. Made in Britain, they are suitable for diabetics and other conditions that result in swollen or sensitive feet.


Splash Scooter

Capes from Able2

This practical garment provides protection from the wind and rain for both the user and their scooter. The clear panel on the front allows oncoming cars and pedestrians to see your lights, whilst also enabling the user to clearly see all of their control panel instruments.

To the side of the control panel section are two Velcro slots, which enable the wing mirrors to sit outside the garment, ensuring the user can see behind them as well as in front. Furnished with a heavyduty side zip that opens down the full length of the cape, the cape can be placed over the scooter to make it easy for the user to step in and zip themselves up.

Ezy-On-Tall by Helping Hand Company

The strong robust metal frame of the Ezy-On-Tall is designed to keep pressure stockings open – making it easier to get the stocking on while reducing hand stress caused by pulling the stockings open. It is suitable for users to put on compression garments quickly and easily whether they are lying down or sitting, increasing circulation, and treating conditions such as DVT and lipoedema. Chunky foam handles are easy to hold, and non-slip feet ensure safety.

56 | Retailers’ Buyers Guide |

Class 2 3 actuator


• Power tilt 0°to 50°

• Power seat lift with 305mm telescoping tower

Articulating foot platform with simultaneous extension and articulation

Tension adjustable front and rear suspension for comfort and easy obstacle clearance

Class 2 Single Power 3 Actuators

•Multiple seat-to-floor height options 419 - 559mm

•Adjustable seat width and depth 406 - 559mm

Choice of Seating Solutions

Seat Width


9mm adj. in 25mm increments

Seat Depth 406-559mm adj. in 25mm increments

Technical Specs

240W Controller PG 24W VR2-A2 60A

�eries 34Ah/U1 or 55Ah/22NF

Overall Weight 174 kg (Elevate, Tilt, AFP, 22NF Ba�s) 18 Months: Motor & Electronics 5 year/ limited life�me frame 1 Year Ba�ery


Seat-to-Floor Height (no cushion) 419-495mm Leg Length (AFP) 254-457mm Overall Length 914mm Overall Width 610mm Overall Height 1016mm Li� 305mm telescoping
Capacity 136kg Maximum Speed 8 km/hr Per-Charge Range up to 19.3km (30.5 km w/22NF)
Backrest Height 553-584mm (457-609mm ProForm)
Gradient 6° Caster 152
Turning Radius 660mm including footplates Ground Clearance 64mm Motor DC 24V,
6A off-board
x 51
Drive Wheel 356 x 76mm Base 68 kg

Fuller Fitting Socks from Cosyfeet

Designed to fit exceptionally swollen or bandaged feet, these socks are made using specialist machinery and super-stretchy material to provide the extra room needed.

The lightly ribbed design ensures they stay up without causing pressure or restricting circulation whilst the smooth toe join prevents rubbing on tender toes and skin. They come in a

Sock/stocking aid from Able2

The unique shape and flexible material of the sock/stocking aid makes pulling socks and stockings onto the feet much easier.

The pliable trough can be bent to suit the size and shape of the foot and will accommodate most socks or stockings; enabling the user to roll the sock over the trough which will hold in place while the foot is placed into the opening. 91cm long handles mean the user can easily lower the sock to the foot without the need to bend down and balance is maintained much more readily.

choice of calf and knee lengths, with cotton-rich, wool-rich and thermal options to choose from.

Voyage Shoe from Friendly Shoes

Ideal for people who struggle to put on shoes or have reduced mobility, the Voyage trainer is easy to slide on thanks to a deep side zip.

The cushioned memory foam insole is removable to accommodate custom orthotics or AFOs, or for extra depth. Wide fit with a generous toe box, the shoe is virtually seamless and extremely lightweight. The wearer can set the tension with the laces on first wear, and then just use the zip. It is available for men and women in a variety of colours including classic black in sizes 3-12.

58 | Retailers’ Buyers Guide |
Responsibility for the next generation Made in Norway 0115 846 5406 - keep on moving You Can Trust VERSATILE 5G The Great All Rounder FEATURE RICH 5G The Benchmark for Premium Rollators or a Free Hestia (any colour) Call us on 0115 846 5406 for more information 5G Silver * *

Wheelchair Cape with Sleeves from Drive DeVilbiss

The cape with sleeves offers wheelchair users great protection from the weather and provides greater independence for those who want to propel themselves. Its elasticated cuffs help prevent draughts. The cape includes a hood as standard.


to join an award-winning specialist bath manufacturer?

Become our latest Product Assessment Manager (PAM) in SE England

Salary: £32,000-£37,000 (dependent on experience) plus commission scheme

Reporting to the National Sales Manager (NSM) and being a member of the sales team, the PAM will be responsible for supporting the NSM in the South East of England. You will occasionally be required to support the NSM with assignments in the South West and North region.

The PAM will be working from an Abacus demonstration vehicle attending bathing assessments across the region, visiting bathers, private homes, care facilities and occupational therapists etc. The vehicle is fitted with Abacus bathing solutions allowing the PAM to conduct product assessments and demonstrations in a safe and realistic setting near where clients live. Anticipated yearly mileage is 30,000-35,000 miles.

Abacus Specialist Bathroom Solutions is a market leading manufacturer of assistive bathroom equipment for paediatric/ young adults with disabilities. The pathway to clients involves close co-operation with case workers, healthcare professionals, Local Authorities, councils and building contractors etc.

We proudly offer the widest range of high-quality assistive baths and Abacus is one of four respected brands from the Gainsborough Healthcare Group (GHG).

To apply please contact:

Standard Fit Slippers from Cosyfeet

In a move away from its trademark ‘extra roomy’ fitting, these E-fitting slippers benefit from all the great features of the popular Cosyfeet Holly slipper – just without the extra room – making them perfect for feet that are not swollen.

They are ideal for those who need a supportive, adjustable, secure fitting slipper that is machine washable and can be worn inside and out. They are available in sizes 4-9 in a range of colours.

Soxon Sock Stocking Aid by Helping Hand Company

The Soxon is an ideal dressing aid for anyone recovering from surgery, has back hip or knee problems, limited movement or reduced joint mobility.

Easy to use and kind to the skin – the Soxon can be used with everyday socks and stockings. The bamboo fabric is naturally hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial and breathable. Eco-friendly and made with recyclable fabric the hand loops enable independent dressing, avoiding painful bending, stretching, or twisting.

60 | Retailers’ Buyers Guide | 2023 AWARDS BEST ON-STAND EDUCATION
2413ABA-jobad_May24v4.indd 1 15/05/2024 08:34
An event hosted by Who else wants their product in front of HUNDREDS of Occupational Therapists? OTAC® is the UK’s only FREE occupational therapy and adaptations conference, giving retailers valuable opportunities to showcase their products, and OTs crucial knowledge of products that can make their clients’ lives better? Alternatively contact Sarah directly at: or simply register FREE for an event near you by visiting our website To talk to us about exhibiting at OTAC®, call us now and ask for Sarah on: 029 2190 0402 OTAC® Events 2024 27 JUN OTAC® Midlands Molineux Stadium 12 JUL OTAC® West Wales The Halliwell Centre 26 SEP OTAC® Chester The Queen by Best Western 07 OTAC® Reading Hilton Reading 14 NOV OTAC® Kent The Spa Hotel, Tunbridge Wells DEC OTAC® Cardiff St David’s Hotel (voco) 12 DEC OTAC® Southampton Hilton Southampton Utilita Bowl Occupational Therapy Adaptation Conference #OTAC otac_uk otac_uk OTAC®

Force Shoe from Friendly Shoes

Ideal both as a supportive house shoe as well as for out and about, the lightweight Force is easy to put on and off thanks to a deep side zip that opens the shoe up.

The user can remove the insole to make space for a custom orthotic, then slide the foot in and zip back up. The zip toggle has been designed for people with reduced hand function. Made from

fly knit, the Force shoe is wide-fit, with anti-slip tested soles. It is available in black or grey and runs in sizes 4-13.

MOTIVATION THROUGH INNOVATION Max Your Power Over and under-charging are the main causes for premature battery failure. Following a simple, efficient charging and maintenance regime will ensure that you maximise the lifespan of your mobility batteries. The Strident range of Chargers and Testers has been carefully developed to provide consistency of charge resulting in optimum battery performance. GOOD PRACTICE FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR MOBILITY BATTERY through efficient batter y charging Strident Innovations Head office address: 50 Turbine Way Ecotech Business & Innovation Park Swaffham PE37 7XD T: +44 (0)1362 300102 | F: +44 (0)1362 300103 | sales@strident uk com To find out more about the Strident range of Mobility and Medical focused power products please contact our salesteam now GUIDE STRIDENT BATTERY CHARGING THIIS ADVERT APRIL 2024_Layout 1 22/04/2024 14:08 Page 1

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

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Ergo Lite 2 Transit Wheelchair Ergo Lite 2 Self Propel Wheelchair THE ERGO LITE 2, PROUD WINNER OF


Breeze S4 with solid canopy

Take on new terrain with TGA Mobility

The Breeze S4 brings you the ultimate in advanced comfort, performance and looks that have set the standards within the mobility scooter industry.

With all-round, active, adjustable suspension and powerful motor, kerbs and rough ground are simply a breeze. Keep going, no matter the weather with the solid canopy option designed to help keep out the elements. | | 01787 888 106 FEEL MOVED

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