Thiis May 2018

Page 1

THIIS Trade Magazine • Issue 236 • May 2018



Providing news and views in the trade since 1999

Issue 236 May 2018

Providing news and views in the trade since 1999

Rise shines A new retail kid on the block talks bricks and clicks



Prism Medical

Rise Furniture and Mobility


Partner Programmes 3 options designed for your business

The Stiltz 10-point Referral Partner Guarantee Our entry-level partner programme option will deliver: 1. Minimum £1000 commission – guaranteed! 2. An opportunity to refer a unique and exciting product range 3. Same day customer call back to make appointment to visit 4. Maximum visit lead time is 48 hours from receiving your lead* 5. Market leading expertise in Homelifts 6. Specialist sales consultants guarantee unrivalled conversion 7. We will keep you in the loop every step of the way 8. Referrals treated with same respect as you treat your customers 9. Prompt and efficient commission payments 10. Sell just 5 Stiltz Homelifts, and receive a Generous Loyalty Bonus *Unless delay is requested by customer

Other partnership levels ... Affiliate Partners promote and market Stiltz products, undertake customer home visits and complete the sale. Stiltz will manage technical surveys and installation of the Homelift. You will receive flexible head office marketing support.

Top tier Premier Partners promote and market Stiltz Homelifts to new and existing customers and also carry out installations. Comprehensive marcoms support will be provided as well as full technical and product training.

To discuss how the programme can work for you, email or call Gino on 07940 437835


…from the editor GDPR… the dreaded four letters causing headaches in companies up and down the country. Coming into effect from the 25th May 2018, the new regulations are causing a major shake-up in the way organisations, big and small, collect, store and use data on European citizens.


or many, GDPR spells out additional costs, both financially and in terms of time, and is seen as expensive annoyance. However, a simple change of mindset can allow companies, especially in the world of mobility, to use the new GDPR regulations as a unique and powerful marketing opportunity. As a piece in our May issue examines in more detail, GDPR allows mobility manufacturers and retailers an opportunity to promote how well prepared they are for the new regulations and brag about the processes they have in place to keep vulnerable people’s data safe and secure. Rather than see the four letters and read ‘cost’, savvy companies can use the new regulations as another means of building trust amongst its customers. In THIIS’ May issue, we also shine the spotlight on a new retailer in Harrogate who is aiming to offer an experience inspired by his parents and in our More About feature, we take an in-depth look at Prism Medical following a period of acquisitions and growth. Following headline stories highlighting the problems faced by those with disabilities when travelling via aeroplane, THIIS examines how the mobility industry is responding to improve the experience for end-users. In our upcoming June issue of the magazine, THIIS’ Product Showcase will focus on introducing dementia, aids to daily living and clothing to readers. If you have products that you would like to feature in the next issue, get in touch at

Don’t be shy, why not get in touch...

Editor Calvin Barnett 01933 278086

Advertising Sales Manager Gareth Liddiatt 01933 278086

Calvin Barnett Editor

Sub-editor Sarah Sarsby


THIIS is produced by BHTA Engage, 2-4 Meadow Close, Ise Valley Industrial Estate, Wellingborough, NN8 4BH • 01933 278 086 • 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 | 3


10 How a search for Mum and Dad led to a new store

Features 16 Silver surfers on social media 20 Is your business ready for GDPR 26 Product Showcase: Mobility scooters and powerchairs

34 Handicare’s ‘one family’ to help partners’ fortunes

Regulars 10

Retailer spotlight


Deal On!


Round Up


New to the team


More about…




Training Diary

4 |

38 National meets local

44 The OT’s Perspective

40 Meet Geoff Morris

Max Speed: 6 Mph 21 Stone 6lbs. Weight Capacity

Responsive front-wheel drive power chair with unmatched driving performance.







4-Wheel Stability with

3-Wheel Manoeuvrability Featuring Pride’s® NEW ZERO TURN TECHNOLOGY (patent-pending), 21 Ah batteries, USB charging facilities, front and rear LED lights and much more.

Locate your local Pride® authorised dealer

38” Turning Radius



32 Wedgwood Road, Bicester, Oxon, OX26 4UL | Tel: 01869 324600 | Fax: 01869 323070 Email:

Hannah James, Digital Marketing Manager with Liam Glennon, Buying and Sourcing Manager

EXCLUSIVE RANGE LAUNCHED BY MOBILITY SCOOTER PROVIDER Pro Rider Mobility is adding seven new mobility scooters to their own-brand range, joining the likes of its Road King and Easyfold scooter.


vailable exclusively from the Northampton-based mobility provider, the new scooters will be made up of a mixture of compact, pavement, and road scooters at various price points and in a choice of colours. “Mobility is paramount to our customers and our newest scooters are fantastic additions to an impressive selection of premium quality products,” says Liam Glennon, Buying and Sourcing Manager for Pro Rider Mobility. The company also confirmed that these latest additions will be available to purchase on 0 percent finance, providing support to customers on a more restricted budget. Martin Fisher, Managing Director of Pro Rider Mobility, added: “After listening to our customers and receiving positive feedback, we made

6 |

the decision last year to expand the Pro Rider brand and I’m really pleased to see the end results. We are now able to cater for all our customer mobility scooter requirements, offering

specialists assemble the scooter and deliver directly to the user’s home. The new scooters are available to view and purchase online and also available to test at the company’s

“After listening to our customers and receiving positive feedback, we made the decision last year to expand the Pro Rider brand” MARTIN FISHER

quality, comfort, and reliability at an affordable price.” Additionally, the company offers a ‘try before you buy’ service, an initiative allowing customers to test out a mobility scooter in their own home and provide a ‘white glove, ready-to-go service’, whereby

local Northampton showroom. For more information on the new range contact sales@proridermobility. com or 01604 813428.

LOVE OUR ACCREDITED PARTNERS We love our accredited partners... Below are just a few of the reasons to join us...

Online portal to track your leads. Monthly prize draws. Great rates of commission. P.O.S. absolutely free of charge. Product training and support. We reward your leads not just sales.

To start referring your stairlift and bathing leads, or to find out more information, give us a call! FREEPHONE

0800 620 0826

recruitment tips


Antony Elkington


Recruiting for a new role can be a time-consuming endeavour, which is why increasingly employers are adopting telephone interviews to help separate suitable and unsuitable candidates before meeting for face-to-face interviews. Antony Elkington, Managing Director of Trusted Recruiter, gives his top recruitment tips for conducting effective telephone interviews

arrying out a telephone interview allows you to create a shortlist of candidates you wish to invite for a face to face interview and withdraw candidates earlier on in the process. The last thing you want is to spend time meeting candidates or spending an hour or more interviewing face to face when the answer to a basic question completely withdraws the candidate from the recruitment process. Before the telephone interview, have a think about what are you looking to gain from the telephone interview and what can you find out prior to carrying out a face to face interview that will determine whether the candidate is able to at least carry out the job? What does the candidate need to know about the job that they do not already? Before the call, consider what are the key things you are looking for in the candidate and what your key expectations are. This doesn’t have to be an exhaustive list but it must include essential requirements. Popular things to consider: • What are their salary expectations? • If their CV does not indicate whether they have the required skills or experience for the job, check this with the candidate • Ask them about their hobbies and interests to see if there is a rapport and whether they will fit

8 |

in with your existing team Find out why they are interested in the job and the reason for leaving their current employer • Find out exactly what they are doing currently; don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions • Try to keep them talking! • Things to listen out for: • Are they in a quiet place and prepared for your call? • Do they have phone signal? • Are they rushed? • Are they aware of who you are and what you do? • Is the candidate unprepared for the call, despite having been given sufficient preparation time? I would also recommend writing word for word notes on answers given by the candidate. This will help you to review them when making your decision and allow you to revisit these answers at the second interview where necessary. Try score each answer and candidate as you would in a faceto-face interview, rating their performance and suitability between one to four (one the worst and four being best). Finally, finish the conversation by letting the candidate know the next steps. For those who you are keen on, try arrange the next interview there and then if possible. •

Additional Help and Support: If you would like additional tips or support with interviewing or other aspects of the recruitment process, feel free to get in touch with us. Trusted Recruiter is a specialist recruiter within Assistive Technology and Healthcare. Please get in touch with one of our consultants to discuss your vacancy on 03330144014 or email The agency has industry candidates with experience in Lifting and Handling, Seating and Positioning, Bathing and Toileting, Pressure Care, Medical Devices, Digital Technology and many other disability/assistive aids and services.

Key tips for conducting the telephone interview: • Prepare your questions • Allow sufficient time for each call • Do a brief, polite introduction • Ask the same questions of each candidate • Take notes on their answers • Ask follow up questions • With top candidates, arrange the next interview



SAME BOX MORE POWER! Full Range of Haze GEL Batteries also available Easystart Ltd. Tel: 01536 203030 Website: Email:

retailer spotlight

Angel & Carl outside the new Harrogate store

RISE FURNITURE AND MOBILITY: THE RISE OF CUSTOMER SERVICE For many, the idea of opening a new bricks and mortar store would be a worrying prospect in the current climate, with stores small and large facing the pressures of a shifting retail landscape. This was not the case for husband and wife team Carl and Angel Drake however, who decided to open Rise Furniture and Mobility in Autumn 2017. Discussing his vision of delivering unparalleled local customer service, Carl talked to THIIS about the importance of getting an online and offline offer correct and his aspirations for the future.


ith over 35 years’ industry experience and having previously been the managing director of another retail brand in the market, Carl Drake is no stranger to the world of mobility. Starting life as a furniture designer for one of the UK’s largest furniture manufacturers, he was first introduced

10 |

to the mobility sector when his company began working with house builders who were developing sheltered housing schemes and adaptations for kitchens and bathrooms. “We were designing and manufacturing some of the first fitted kitchens and bathrooms for disabled

people in the industry. This led to the creation of a whole new division for the furniture manufacturer I was with at the time. That was my introduction to the industry,” said Carl. Over the years, the new retail MD has worn many hats in the furniture industry, from designing the early fitted kitchens and bathroom for those

with disabilities to importing luxury outdoor furniture from South-East Asia for clients including National Trust and prestigious sporting venues such as Lords Crickets Ground, as well as most County Councils across the country. His wife Angel, a retired nurse of 25 years and Rise Furniture and Mobility’s co-director, is also familiar with the industry, having spent many years working with vulnerable, elderly adults in social care and sheltered housing. Good enough for Mum and Dad… It was whilst searching online and in store for products to help Carl’s parents, however, that the couple made the decision to bring together their comprehensive experience and knowledge to create a store of their own. “We found that we were spending more and more time online, looking at things for my parents and were getting frustrated by inferior products that were on the market. This was exacerbated by the inherent lack of understanding from sales personnel and their poor customer service,” said Carl. “We didn’t like the way my parents seemed to be treated by some companies and particularly the way in which these companies were presenting their products.” The experienced husband and wife team were confident they possessed the right knowledge and shared the same vision to offer the market a service that would not only meet their

customers’ needs but actually exceed their expectations. “We decided to open our own mobility showroom in my hometown of Harrogate with the intention of selling mobility products that I might buy for my parents,” continued Carl. “We assessed every product

rise recline chairs and beds, stairlifts, scooters and daily living aids, Carl discussed Rise Furniture and Mobility’s method to selecting what products to sell in more detail. “Every customer has different needs,” he commented. “Our philosophy when we started

“We didn’t like the way my parents seemed to be treated by some companies and particularly the way in which these companies were presenting their products” CARL DRAKE

individually and put ourselves in the position of our customers whom might be buying for the first time. Our rationale was if a product was good enough to consider for Mum and Dad, then it would be good enough to sell to our customers too.” It was this initial motivation to purchase products for Carl’s parents that formed Rise Furniture and Mobility’s approach to product selection and customer service. “We treat every customer the same way we would treat my parents, which I think makes a huge a difference when working in this industry,” he added. Products picked by experience… Selling an extensive range of mobility equipment including award-winning

Angel brings over two decades of nursing experience knowledge to its customers

was to buy British or buy the best. We offer our customers a choice of products that are modern and attractive, as well as being functional and supportive, to cater for all budgets.” According to Carl, Angel’s experience plays a pivotal role in helping the new retail store decide what products to place on its shelves. “From her time working in sheltered housing, Angel was all too familiar with her tenant’s buying patterns and what our customers may need,” he said. “Her experience was invaluable when sourcing suppliers and the daily living aids that we offer. She has extensive experience of people living with dementia and it is something very close to her heart, so she is championing our dementia awareness campaign and has selected a range of products specifically for people living with dementia.” Door-to-door customer service… Alongside carefully selected products, Carl says providing excellent customer service is at the company’s core. “We want to provide a pleasant, relaxed shopping experience with the best possible customer service to our customers. It really is something that both Angel and I feel very passionate about,” emphasised Carl. Like many in the industry, Rise Furniture and Mobility offer home visits | 11

retailer spotlight Seeing customers coming back proves we are doing something right,” he said. “We are also seeing a lot of people coming to us from our website. They are browsing and finding out more about us and the store before paying us a visit, which shows us that the website is really working as well.”

A focus on lifestyle over medical

to customers, however, the retailer goes one step further by also offering a unique door-to-door service for local residents. “We understand that some prospective customers may have difficulty visiting the showroom or may be unable to get out of the house,” highlighted Carl. “With the products that we offer and the people we work with, we feel it is important that everyone should be able to “try before they buy”. For those unable to visit us to enjoy the Rise shopping experience for themselves, we offer to collect them from their home and bring them to our showroom so they can browse freely before returning them home again in one of our courtesy vehicles.” Offered free of charge and without obligation to purchase, the company says the service has enjoyed an amazing response in the local community and, in one case, even resulted in a life-changing moment for one of the store’s customers. “We had one lady come to the showroom who had been caring for her husband with dementia until he had sadly passed away,” Carl told THIIS. “After speaking to this lady over a number of phone calls, discussing her needs and gaining a better understanding of her situation, I invited her to our showroom so we could look at helping her. We are on her bus route, but she didn’t feel

12 |

confident enough to get the bus and wasn’t really stable enough to make the journey alone. “I explained to her, that we could pick her up and bring her to the showroom, then afterwards take her back home. In the showroom over a cup of tea, I found we had a lot in common. She had grown up in an area I was familiar with. She told me all about her husband, eventually confiding in me that the visit to our

Matching the experience online… With consumers turning to online as their first port of call for products, information and services, Rise Furniture and Mobility invested heavily to ensure the online experience was able to match what the company was aiming to deliver in its bricks and mortar store. “Since 2011, the number of over65’s shopping online has increased by almost 70 percent, so it was critical we got the website correct. Functionality and user experience is key,” commented Carl. “We wanted the website to appeal to someone looking for themselves, whom perhaps may be elderly and not so web savvy, but also appeal to a family relative; a son or daughter who

“We don’t think customers want to see shelves jammed pack with medical aids because it can be depressing. We think mobility, not disability and our customers like that.” CARL DRAKE

showroom was the first time she had left the house in five years and that we had changed her life! “I was completely staggered and it really highlighted the importance of what we do. To think we had made such a big impact doing such a little thing is very satisfying.” The dedication to customer service seems to be paying off for the new mobility retailer, with Carl confirming that the number of repeat customers has been growing steadily since its September launch. “I think people really enjoy the experience and our unique approach.

is more familiar with online shopping and is looking on behalf of a parent or elderly loved one. “We took the decision not to sell many of the bigger ticket items online that require individual assessment. Instead, we either invite them to the showroom with our door-to-door service or visit them by appointment at home so we can carry out a full assessment.” Nominated finalists for Best New Website at the Harrogate Advertiser Business Awards 2018, the new mobility website has already received praise for its usability and content.

FINALISTS Describing shopping for mobility products online for the first time as being a potential minefield, Carl wanted to ensure that the website was more than just a place to view products and was also able to offer customers guidance. “Our blog is important because it doesn’t simply focus on buying products, it provides valuable information and advice, from tips on getting a good night’s sleep, nutrition or how to choose mobility and daily living aids.” Thriving in tough retail times… With retail footfall seeing a steady decline over the past 12 months, it has been a testing time for many retailers across various sectors, leading many to question what it takes to be a successful retailer in the industry? For Carl, the answer is simple. “Honesty, integrity and transparency. Our “person-centred” approach helps us better understand the needs of our customers,” he stated. Another important element to Rise Mobility’s early success is its shrewdly selected store location. Situated in what is referred to as the bohemian quarter of Harrogate, the showroom is found on the busiest road into Harrogate from Leeds and is less than half a mile away from the town centre. Aiming to ensure the showroom maximises the benefit of the location, its shop front features a contemporary and fully on-brand design, with a modern slate grey and striking teal blue fascia. The large double fronted windows also make the entire interior one large window display. “The right location is absolutely key. We are opposite a church and in between a chemist and a Marks and Spencer’s food hall, so the location really is perfect and paramount to our success,” said Carl. “Importantly, we have free customer parking right outside the showroom and with no steps, it makes the store very customer friendly for anyone with limited mobility visiting us.” It is the combination of all these


Harrogate various elements National Best Advertiser that leads Carl New Business Business Awards to believe his store Awards 2018 2018 Best can effectively Retail Business Company compete against of the Year Website other established mobility retailers in the region and turn customers’ heads. “We are not trying to do what everyone else is doing and we want Wanting to ensure their vision of to be more than the average mobility offering best in class customer service shop. We don’t specialise in what I constantly remains at the very heart would call specialist medical aids and of their business, Carl and Angel have instead, the showroom is far more made sure to embed their inspiration lifestyle-based,” stressed Carl. into their store and website so it is “We don’t think customers want clear for every customer to see. to see shelves jammed pack with “We stand by the sentiments of medical aids because it can be our mission statement. In fact, we’re depressing. We think mobility, not building our reputation upon it. disability and our customers like that. “Helping one person might not Instead, we’ve worked hard to create change the world... but it could a showroom that is full of inspirational change the world for one person.” daily living aids and good ideas for “It adorns our showroom wall and independent living that make our totally sums up what we are trying customers’ lives better. to achieve. It serves as a constant “We really want to show our reminder of why we are doing what products in the best possible we are doing. environment.” “We love what we do and we’re confident this comes the moment we What the future holds… answer the phone, when a customer With several award nominations walks into our showroom or when already under their belt, a growing someone clicks through to the list of returning customers and rising website.” revenues, Carl is optimistic about the future. “After such a fantastic start, the future looks very positive,” he said. “We are committed to growth and meeting the demands of the increasing, ageing population. Rise Furniture and Mobility is reinventing With an award-nominated the shopping experience for the website; growing community elderly or anyone struggling with on social media and attractive mobility by selling products that storefront, the company says people really want, rather than that its most effective means products they need out of necessity. of acquiring new customers is “It’s very satisfying to know that our from one of the most traditional products are changing lives, helping marketing channels available to people maintain their independence to customers; word of mouth. Carl said: “For us, a lot enjoy life at home for longer.” of customers come to us The beginning for any new through word of mouth and it is company is an exciting time, where spreading like wildfire. We have the motivations for starting up are at customers from as far away as the forefront of every business owner’s Aberdeen and Brighton!” mind.

The power of word of mouth | 13

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 May 31st 2018 unless otherwise stated.


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 to find out more

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

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

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 /

14 |

Latest Offers Don’t miss out!

Montreal Dual Motor Leather Riser Recliner Chair


• Retail price £499 with VAT relief • Dual motor operation, allows for independent use of backrest and footrest


• Complete with easy to use hand control • Cushioned backrest offers complete comfort and support • Raises to an almost standing position for easy transfers to and from the chair • Reclines to a snoozing position for in home relaxation, high quality leather finish is available in black


Georgia Riser Recliner Chair • • • • • •

Retail price – £329 Inc VAT User friendly reclining action Double arm padding Contemporary and stylish design Linen upholstery Choice of 4 colours Blue, Stone, Mink and Pomegranate

Special Offer

£189 Ex VAT

Quote “THIIS Georgia Riser”

• Manufacturing warranty of 1 year on framework and 2 years on electrics

Quote “THIIS Montreal Riser” Offers valid until 31/05/18. 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 at



Reduce Reduce sling sling costs costs without without compromising compromising on on quality quality

Universal Universal from £24.00 per sling from(mimimum £24.00 perof 10) sling mixed box quanity (mimimum mixed box quanity of 10)

Available to purchase in packs of 10 Available to purchase in packs of 10 Stripped down to ‘essential’ components Stripped down to ‘essential’ components Same egonimic design and qaulity checks Same egonimic design and qaulity checks Constructed from high quailty quilted polyester Constructed from high quailty quilted polyester Available in small, medium and large sizes Available in small, medium and large sizes

For more information call For more information call

0800 779 7218 0800 779 7218 or email or email

Toileting Toileting from £29.00 per sling from(mimimum £29.00 perof 10) sling mixed box quanity (mimimum mixed box quanity of 10)


Over 60% of over-65s access Facebook

SILVER SURFERS ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA For retailers and manufacturers looking to engage with end-users, social media may be a vital channel to explore. Over three-quarters of Britons aged over 65 who are online are using social media, according to the findings of a recent nationwide YouGov study.


ommissioned by stairlift manufacturer Stannah, as part of its long-running Silver Census series, the study offers a snapshot into the often-overlooked 10 million over-65s which make up part of British society. The research questioned over one thousand adults aged 65 and over online, of which a total of 768 use social media. Results from the survey found that Facebook was the most popular social media platform used by over-65s, followed by YouTube and WhatsApp, with a tiny contingent using Snapchat. Interesting, one-fifth of respondents

16 |

POSTS, SNAPS AND VIDS The survey found:

61% 32% 22% 1% access Facebook

use YouTube

message on WhatsApp

snap on Snapchat

DESKTOP VS MOBILE The survey found the most popular devices for accessing social media are:


personal computer or laptop

34% tablet

said they spend between 16 to 30 minutes a day on social media platforms, with one in ten admitting to spending more than an hour on the sites in a typical day. Commenting on the research, Patrick Stannah, Managing Director at Stannah Stairlifts, said: “As this study shows, retired people are keeping up to speed with new technology, which can help to keep their minds active and encourage them to learn new skills. There’s no reason why older

18% smartphone

Whilst a small proportion said they use social media for news and entertainment, overwhelmingly, the majority of respondents said that they use social media to keep in touch with their friends and family. Patrick added: “It’s clear to see that the popularity of social media transcends the generations, with older people making the most of the technology available, especially to keep in touch with family and friends or update themselves with the latest

“It’s clear to see that the popularity of social media transcends the generations, with older people making the most of the technology available” PATRICK STANNAH

people can’t continue to keep ahead of the technology curve, benefitting from the positive experience that being part of social networks can offer.” Interesting, the research highlighted the popularity of personal computers and laptops amongst the older generation, with personal computers still being the preferred device to access social media sites over newer mobile technology.

news. We know that the over 65s can be at risk of loneliness, so having other ways of keeping in touch with the people closest to them is very important.” The research shows that a proportion of older individuals are active on social media, with the number set to increase as younger generations au fait with the technology continue to age.

STAYING CONNECTED Why do over 65s use social media?

61% to stay connected with friends & family

11% for news and current affairs


for games and content

Paul Harper with Olivia Fleming

Retailer maximises social media publicity following unique request Scotland’s largest mobility retailer achieved impressive social media coverage after helping a Glasgow radio-host surprise his colleague with a mobility scooter. Heart Radio’s drive-time show host Paul Harper contacted Mobility Solutions’ Glasgow store in search of a scooter to surprise his co-host Lynne Miller following a minor operation. Kara Shorthouse, Marketing Manager for Mobility Solutions, said: “Paul came and collected one of our rental mobility scooters from our Glasgow superstore, where staff member Olivia had it ready and waiting for him, along with a bag of Mobility Solutions goodies!” Olivia Fleming, Sales Executive at Mobility Solutions, told THIIS: “We were surprised to hear from Paul but delighted to be able to help Lynne out once he explained what was needed!” Making the most out of the rare opportunity, Mobility Solutions shot pictures and also helped Paul film a reaction video to be shared on the radio hosts’ social media channels and to his followers. Receiving more than 3300 views, the reaction video posted to Facebook features Paul mentioning the retail store by name and driving the mobility scooter out of the showroom. The post also includes a direct link to Mobility Solution’s own Facebook page. | 17


SCANDINAVIAN STYLE TO ENTER THE UK THROUGH EXCLUSIVE PARTNERSHIP Van Os Medical (Excel) has agreed an exclusive partnership with Swedish-based TrustCare, bringing the unique, aesthetically pleasing Nordic-designed aids to the UK and Irish market.


ased in Malmö, Sweden, TrustCare designs and manufactures a range of walking, bathing and daily aids to living, including rollators under its Let’s Go, Let’s Go Out, Let’s Fly and Let’s Shop range. The company also produces chairs, swivel bathing chairs and award-winning crutches. Highlighting its design and manufacturing capabilities as its core strength, TrustCare says it works with one of Europe’s most successful designers in the field, designing and manufacturing all its own products. The company exports to more than 25 countries, with Scandinavia, Germany, The Netherlands and Australia being its largest markets. “The continued growth of Van Os

18 |

Medical (Excel) in the UK market has presented us with this fabulous opportunity to work with a like-minded company in TrustCare,” said Scott Crabtree, Managing Director of Van Os Medical. A Dutch company, Van Os Medical has enjoyed impressive growth since launching in the UK in 2007. Scott outlined the future relationship with the new Scandinavian manufacturer. “The aim is simple, to continue to adhere to our core values and to operate with exclusive dealers in the UK and Ireland, to promote and grow the brands of Excel and TrustCare and to share design and innovation ideas within the group in order to enhance the product range offered to our existing customers,” he said.

Van Os Medical confirmed that a trade price list containing the new TrustCare range is available on request, with the company also able to supply a full marketing pack containing banners and point of sale material. To find out more and register interest, contact


Wet Weather Wear For Scooter And Wheelchair Use

Scooter Accessories

Scooter Storage Covers


Please contact us for further details

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



Jason’s advice: Turn GDPR into a commercial opportunity

GDPR – IS YOUR BUSINESS PREPARED?! On the 25th of May 2018, the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will come into effect, with businesses in the industry - large and small - being required to make changes to the way they handle data. Referred to as the biggest shake-up to data privacy in the last two decades, Data2Action’s Jason Turner failure to comply with the new legislation can have big consequences for companies. Jason Turner of Data2Action gives THIIS readers a brief overview of what the legislation is and some tips on how to avoid the pitfalls on non-compliance.


t a recent business networking event, Angus Long, owner of Impression Marketing, met up with Jason who gave a presentation on GDPR and the impact of breaching the new regulations. As a former director of the BGL group, owners of brands such as ‘Compare the Market’ and ‘Budget Insurance’, Jason has unparalleled knowledgeable and experienced in the commercial use of data and more importantly, how to turn this important asset into real value. “The new GDPR regulations are a significant elevation in data protection. It’s been over 20 years since the data protection act was introduced and in that time there have been some

20 |

significant changes both in technology and in the way we now interact and communicate both in business and socially,” explained Jason. “In today’s modern environment, businesses use a vast array of databases, mediums and equipment, both physical and virtual, to hold and processes personal data on almost everyone. “Indeed, according to a report from IBM Marketing Cloud, 90 percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. That’s 2.5 quintillion bytes of data a day! And, says the report, the data growth rate will likely accelerate even more. “This, coupled with the increasing

risk of accidental and deliberate data breaches, rise in fraud, identity theft and unwelcome contact has meant it was time for a radical shake up of how personal data is to be collected, stored and processed.” The origins of the GDPR lie with the EU, which has long recognised a need for a more coherent and harmonised approach to data protection across member states, combined with a desire to increase the individuals’ control over how their data is collected, used and stored. Even though the UK has elected to leave the EU, GDPR has already been passed and as such, UK businesses still need to comply. In fact, the government is already

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

working on adopting the principles of GDPR legislation into UK law under the proposed ‘Data Protection Bill,’ meaning the new regulations are here to stay. It is fair to say, almost every single business and organisation, large and small, will be required to adopt and comply with this new data protection legislation. However, it is also probably fair to say that the homecare industry may well be high on the regulators radar, given the large amount of data on elderly, disabled and vulnerable people held. Given that the penalties for noncompliance can be fines of up to four percent of a company’s turnover or €20 million, it is undoubtedly serious business. But perhaps, consequences of failure are much more far reaching than a fine. With the ‘human factor’ often identified as the greatest risk to security, organisations that fail to adequately protect personal data could well have their brand and reputations damaged. In today’s digital era, it is all too easy to lose consumer trust and confidence when personal data is compromised. What does this mean for business owners and businesses? Jason believes the first thing people should do is not to panic and secondly, try and look upon GDPR compliance as not so much regulatory red tape but more as a commercial opportunity.

THE SIX-POINT GDPR CHECKLIST Jason suggests business owners should work through this checklist to help navigate their GDPR journey:


Conduct a comprehensive data audit and find out what data is held, where it is stored and what you are doing with it. This is fundamental because if you don’t know what you have or where it is, how can you protect it?


Understand and become fully aware of the rights and principles of the new data regulations. If you are a business that processes personal identifiable

22 |

information, you will need to deliver a detailed and structured plan. At its very heart, GDPR wants to ensure that organisations are much more accountable and as such they need to proactively demonstrate that: • Any data collected is processed lawfully, fairly & in a transparent way by organisations • Any data collected is for specific, explicit & authentic purposes • Any data collected is relevant & limited only to what is needed • Organisations communicate clearly why data is being collected • Organisations keep data and records accurate with data only being retained for as long as necessary • All data is processed appropriately to maintain security and organisations manage and maintain documentary evidence demonstrating their compliance


Have in place, clear and robust documented policies and processes. The plan will need to consider the people, procedures and technology aspects of your business and should start with identifying all the data you process, ensuring you have a legal basis to be capturing and using it in order to demonstrate you are, and have been, proactive in addressing the regulations and keep documentary evidence of how you are complying. As your plans progress, it’s imperative that you engage and educate your teams and you all

understand the revised rights of Data Subjects, plus the key principles that GDPR now place on businesses handling their data.

4 5

Re-audit and re-evaluate on a regular basis.

Look upon compliance to GDPR as offering a commercial advantage. Become compliant before your competitors and promote the fact. Consumers will be more assured and Local Authorities may well take compliance into consideration when evaluating suppliers for public sector contracts.


Don’t worry or struggle. There are a great many websites and organisations offering information and advice on GDPR. But, like most things, the quality will vary, so it’s important any advice or information comes from an authorised or accredited source. Data2Action have a long pedigree of leading businesses in heavily regulated environments and are used to dealing with regulatory change. Our team of accredited GDPR practitioners can support businesses with a wide range of services including: workshops and staff awareness training, full project management support, independent review of processes, systems and plans. For more details contact info@ or 0333 202 6397

A mobility retailer’s approach to GDPR TPG DisableAids’ Alastair Gibbs highlighted his companies approach to GDPR. “Here at TPG DisableAids, we started planning our compliance with GDPR many months ago. We started by identifying all of the places we hold anything that could be considered as data. “This uncovered a number of localised records that were uncontrolled and so it gave us the opportunity to centrally store that information. We then determined the reason for holding that information and rationalised its purpose. “The one thing that it did bring to the fore is the fact that if we have sold to a customer a medical device, they do not have the option of having their records deleted so that we can find them in case of a possible product recall. “We have been asking our customers for their consent to be contacted by us for some time and now feel comfortable in our readiness for full compliance.”


Manufacturers of bespoke rise and recline chairs and handcrafted adjustable beds for the mobility and healthcare market

Delivery in 7 - 10 days* For furniture offering comfort, independence and a higher standard of care, contact;

Tel: 0115 913 3572

email: *On a wide range of products

SOCIAL ENTERPRISE TO PROVIDE A “TOTAL OFFER” Disability Trading Company, the retail arm of Warrington Disability Partnership, has gained Motability accreditation across all three of its retail stores in Warrington and Liverpool.


fter being inspired by a speech he heard at a NAEP conference, Dave Thompson, a founder of the Warrington Disability Partnership, wanted to bring a new approach to retail, rooted in ethics, advice and information. With stories of vulnerable people being taken advantage of in the media and tales of poor mobility retail experiences, the charity decided to launch the Disability Trading Company in 2011 from its Centre of Independent Living in Warrington. Dave told THIIS: “I put to the Board and the Trustees the idea of developing an ethical, values-based trading company that would be owned and operated by the Charity. Once agreed, we spent about seven months modelling it and then sat down with our health and social care funders who loved it. From there,

charity run along the same lines as a small business. This year, across our combined activities, we will turnover around £1.4million!” he said. Now the company has been accredited by charity Motability, who operate the UK’s largest car, powered wheelchair & scooter leasing scheme to individuals receiving qualifying mobility allowances. Highlighting to THIIS that the social enterprise is still having to build its credibility as a major player in the world of mobility retail, Dave explained his delight at having the Scheme acknowledge Disability Trading Company. “We are all very pleased at gaining accreditation from Motability,” he emphasised. “We have spent nearly five-years approaching the Scheme and now we provide our customers with a ‘total

and effort to really develop our retail offer. “Becoming members of the BHTA to understand more about the standards side of the retail business, along with getting the chance to speak with and learn from some of the best retailers in the industry, has allowed us to reach this point.” All profits made by the Disability Trading Company are reinvested back into the Warrington Disability Partnership, a charity that provides 27 services to over 2000 disabled individuals each week.

“This really acts as the final seal of approval for Disability Trading Company.” DAVE THOMPSON

Disability Trading Company started and we have never looked back.” The social enterprise proved to be a success and since its launch, has opened another two stores at Golden Square Shopping Centre in Warrington and in the Lifehouse on Brunswick Dock in Liverpool. Over the last seven years, the retail arm of the company has continued to grow, with Dave confirming that company had achieved an impressive turnover in 2017. “Our turnover is proof that we are a

24 |

offer’, having recently introduced a 0 percent interest-rate finance offer, as well as three-months free insurance.” With 1.8m people in receipt of a qualifying allowance allowing them 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. Dave continued: “This really acts as the final seal of approval for Disability Trading Company. Over the last two years, we have invested a lot of time

Disability Trading Company Showroom at the Centre for Independent Living Warrington

Van Os Medical (Excel) are delighted to announce an exciting exclusive partnership with TrustCare of Sweden, bringing innovative, award winning designs to the UK and Irish market.

The continued growth of Van Os Medical (Excel) in the UK market has presented us with this fabulous opportunity to work with a like-minded company in TrustCare. The aim is simple, to continue to adhere to our core values and to operate with exclusive dealers in the UK and Ireland, to promote and grow the brands of Excel and TrustCare and to share design and innovation ideas within the group in order to enhance the product range offered to our existing customers.

You will find enclosed our very latest Trade Price list containing the new TrustCare range. To see the range in greater detail take a look at the product catalogue featuring the very latest designs for 2018. A full marketing pack containing banners and point of sale material is available upon request and geographic location. To register your interest please contact the Sales Team on

product showcase


POWERCHAIRS AND MOBILITY SCOOTERS Rascal adds new features to its model line-up Electric Mobility is adding high-spec models across its line-up and has launched the Rascal P327 with Seat Lift. The heavy-duty 4mph Mid-Wheel Drive powerchair has a maximum carrying capacity of up to 28 stone & is suitable for both indoor/outdoor usage. Delivering a premium look and feel by blending the XL base practicality & technology and building on the success of the existing P327 XL model, it also offers durable full suspension & outstanding manoeuvrability. The company says to match consumers’ rising expectations, the P327 Seat Lift has a range of up to 20 miles and delivers great performance with 55Ah batteries. This model includes a comfortable & adjustable Captain’s seat with 10-inch scissor lift mechanism. The scissor lift design delivers a smooth & quiet lift action & reaches a maximum floor to seat height of 87 cm when fully elevated. The P327 with Seat Lift is available now through the Motability Scheme. To find out more, contact the Area Dealer Manager, call the sales team on 0800 252614 or email

26 |

Rascal P327 with Seat Lift

Mobility Technology supplied to the Mobility Trade

Ideal for travelling

ATTO Folding Mobility Scooter This innovative travel scooter folds in a few seconds to size of luggage case, looks tremendous and comes with airline battery approval certificate. NOW AVAILABLE TO THE MOBILITY TRADE: Buy in single units • No commitment fee or MOQ • All stock held in UK • Accessories and Spare inventory held in UK • Good margin available

Nino Self Balance Wheelchair

Foldachair D09 Folding Electric Wheelchair

Airwheel H3 Automatic Folding Electric Wheelchair

Firefly Wheelchair Power Attachment

Amazing self balance technology • Lean forward to go and lean back to stop • Futuristic design • Ideal for those who struggle to walk long distances • You can list on your website

Easy to fold and unfold manually • Airline approved batteries • 12.5” rear wheels and range of 15 miles • Joystick controlled

Folds and opens by pushing just one button • Easy to use joystick • 12.5” rear wheels and range of 12 miles

Clips on and off fixed front wheelchair • Reach 12.5mph • Smaller kids frame available • Easy to use and control

NOW AVAILABLE TO THE MOBILITY TRADE: We can deliver demos in your showroom • We pay commission/sales fee • No risk on stock • No complex training requirements for your staff

A family business since 1846

NOW AVAILABLE TO THE MOBILITY TRADE: Buy in single units • No commitment fee or MOQ • All stock held in UK Accessories and Spare inventory held in UK • Good margin available

Call Aidan McCormack on 028 92 633 798 or email

product showcase

Robustness meets elegance with luxury Kensington


escribed as robust and hardwearing whilst remaining sleek and elegant, The FreeRider Kensington is a class 3 which the company says is more saloon than sporty. Featuring 13-inch wheels, five-inch ground clearance and balanced suspension, the Kensington has been designed to smooth out bumps and provide users with a smoother ride on roads and pavements. The scooter has a long 55-inch base, padded Captain’s seat and a maximum carrying weight of 25 stone and also features simple controls, a rear-view mirror, front and rear lights and indicators. Available in a red or blue, the luxury, sturdy scooter also has the option for puncture proof tyres.

Following the success of its award-winning eFOLDi mobility scooter, the SunTech UK team have released its latest addition, a lightweight compact powerchair that folds in just a few seconds at the touch of a button. Featuring lift up arms, a cup holder and under seat basket, the company says the new powerchair is an ideal travel companion and is also AirSafe. With a removable lightweight battery for easy off-board charging, users also have the option of adding a second battery to double the range to 24+ miles. According to SunTech UK, its adjustable back rest, large foot plate and lightweight design set it apart from the competition. The entire chair weighs just 25kg, including the battery and electric power fold, so users will not need heavy duty lifting equipment to get it into a car boot. For companies interested in purchasing the new chair or becoming a partner, contact 0203 143 5168 or email hello@efoldi. com 28 |

FreeRider Kensington

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

product showcase

Award-winning range makes dealers choice a Breeze TGA’s flagship Breeze range from TGA offers renowned performance, quality and reliability to the trade and end users according to the company. The award-winning family includes the Breeze S4, a Class 3, four-wheel scooter which comes available with a rigid allweather canopy for all-season independence. Described as a robust and highly dependable scooter that is popular with most customers, the Breeze range offers a safe and durable mobility solution. The Breeze S3 provides enhanced manoeuvrability and the Breeze Max offers an impressive user weight limit of 39 stone. For dealers seeking all the features and benefits of the Breeze but with a more compact chassis, the mid-range Breeze Midi 3 and 4 have recently undergone improvements including motor, light and design upgrades.

MODULAR DESIGN ALLOWS FOR ENDLESS CHOICES Suitable for conditions including Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, and spinal injuries, Ottobock’s new Juvo powered wheelchair range is designed to be easily adaptable and provide a bespoke mobility solution to people with specific needs. With a wide array of choices including options for front or rear wheel drive, the Juvo provides good directional stability and a small turning circle and has a maximum weight limit between 140kg and 160kg, depending on the model. Additionally, a choice of seating is available, including a new Baxx line of seating solutions with an ergonomic shape, improving postural stability and comfort. Another benefit of the Juvo’s modular design is its versatility in control of the chair. The TEN° Joystick control device provides innovative rotary control with a 10-degree rotation angle, making it easy to access the speed regulation, plus a soft hand pad and high-resolution 3.5inch colour display.

30 |

Breeze S4 with rigid, all-weather canopy

An incredibly high standard

P327 Mini Seat Lift Compact Mid-Wheel Drive Powerchair

elevated - 75

cm / 29.5�

Maximum floor to seat height when fully


- Full suspension - Outstanding manoeuvrability - Ideal for indoor & outdoor use - Dual density, puncture resistant drive wheels - Range: up to 22 miles - Carrying cap: up to 21 stone

Available on

0800 252 614

product showcase

KARMA MOBILITY BLAZES A NEW TRAIL A compact indoor/outdoor powerchair, Karma Mobility’s Blazer features a Captain’s seat which has been designed to provide the user with increased levels of comfort and postural support.


asily adjusted to meet the requirements of the user, the powerchair is able to perform in confined spaces due to its dimensions – a 60cm overall width and 100cm length. With standard large front castors and rear wheel suspension however, the Blazer is equally at home in an outdoor environment according to the company. There are two speed options, 4mph and 6mph and in addition to the standard batteries, larger versions are available should the user require an increased range. The Blazer also has an option of a sling seat which can have a seat depth of 16-inch to 18-inch, adjustable backrest with a range of minus three degrees to 12 degrees, ergonomic armrest which incorporate 25-32cm height adjustable arm pads which also flip back to allow for an easy transfer in & out of the chair and an adjustable headrest system. “We see the powered wheelchair market as being more competitive than ever with new suppliers moving into the market. Karma is constantly monitoring the market to look for opportunities and developing new products to meet market demand, please look out for new developments at Trade Days later this year” commented Mark Duffield, General Manager, Karma Mobility.

32 |

David Harrison, Clare Brophy and Paul Stockdill

HANDICARE’S PARTNER DAY A FAMILY FOCUS TO CHANGE DEALERS’ FORTUNES Boasting an impressive venue, informative presentations, mini-exhibition, dealer award ceremony and celebrity guest, Handicare aimed to wow partners at its Annual Dealer Day as it ‘tackled the elephant in the room’ and introduced dealers to its new, ‘One Family’. ONE FAMILY During the warmest day in April in almost 70 years, dealers gathered at the prestigious Belfry Hotel and Resort in Sutton Coldfield as Handicare revealed how becoming ‘one family’ will help support its trade partners’ commercial activities. Taking over as managing director

of Handicare UK in May 2017, Clare Brophy kicked off proceedings by addressing what the company referred to as ‘the elephant in the room’ – that being the tension between Hanidcare’s dealers and its direct sales arm, Companion Stairlifts. Founded by Clare in 2003, Companion provides straight and

curved stairlifts, as well as assisted bathing solutions, throughout the UK and has steadily grown its market share over the years, competing directly with Handicare’s dealers. “When I took over as MD in last May, bringing the company together as one family was vitally important,” explained Clare.

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

1760TGAad.newstripStongBackFeb18v1.indd 1

34 |

01787 882244

Award-winners of the night with Vernon Kay and Clare Brophy

“When a colleague asked me if I was concerned about the dealer part of the business, I told them that it is the most exciting part for me because if we can work together, we can

partners interviewed about working closely with the new family was national mobility retailer Ableworld. In a feature video at the event, Mike Williams, Managing Director

“Our dealers and partners are hugely important to us, and we wanted this event to be a real reflection of our commitment to helping them grow their businesses” CLARE BROPHY

create something extraordinary.” Bringing Handicare and Companion closer together, Clare says a key ambition is to help support the growth and development of dealers using the expertise and learnings developed from the activities of Companion Stairlifts. The new collaboration will see dealers tap into Companion’s direct sales knowledge with commercial training around sales conversion, solution selling, marketing and lead generation. One of the company’s trade

of Ableworld, said: “Stairlifts are a real importance to us and Handicare delivers excellent training, good support and are always there when

you need them. “To be fair with Handicare, they brought us in and showed us Companion, as well as offering to train us on the phone system and the way Companion work, which is unusual but very helpful.” The sentiments were echoed by Ideas in Action’s MD David Thomas, commenting that whilst the relationship between Companion and Handicare in previous years had been difficult for many partners, the new collaboration was working well for his company. Keen for partners to see Handicare as more than just a manufacturer of stairlifts, Clare stressed a key focus for the company, particularly in the coming 12 months, was the support

Appreciating dealers Paul Stockdill shared with THIIS some insight into what he believes it is dealers appreciate when working with Handicare. “I think our partners trust us. Although we may not get it right every time, what really matters is how we put it right every time and I think that is a big thing. Having that single point of contact so they can always get hold of someone in the office and the right person to solve whatever type of query they have means a lot and it is something they really appreciate.”

Compact folding

Quick release 24” wheels

A celebrity guest added to the glamour of the event

QR scan to watch

Unique contoured backrest 15/01/2018 10:24 | 35

and development of the commercial side of its partners’ business. Speaking to Clare, she told THIIS: “Our dealers and partners are hugely important to us, and we wanted this event to be a real reflection of our commitment to helping them grow their businesses. “Collaboration has already achieved great things for Handicare and Companion and I’m confident that this ‘one family’ approach to sharing best practice will work for all of us moving forward.” Handicare’s National Sales Manager Paul Stockdill also reinforced the shift towards commercially supporting dealers in regards to the private market, as Local Authority funding comes under increasing pressure. “My trips out in the field with the business development managers showed a real desire from trade

Dealers from across the UK came to discover Handicare’s plans for the years ahead

Growth was not only on the cards for Handicare, with Companion also enjoying 16 percent growth in stairlifts and a 25 percent increase in its bathing activity from the previous year. Highlighting the contribution of partners, the rising demand in bathing, the success of promotions

“This year, we have managed to grow our trade sales by another 5 percent on the back of 8 percent growth from the year before.” PAUL STOCKDILL

partners to tap into the private market, with some dealers expressing that they were quite vulnerable with the reliance on Local Authority business and how unreliable that can be,” explained Paul. GROWTH ACROSS THE BOARD The afternoon session included a review of the year, with Paul Stockdill and David Harrison, Sales and Marketing Director at Companion, revealing impressive growth figures across a variety of areas. “This year, we have managed to grow our trade sales by another 5 percent on the back of 8 percent growth from the year before. Our Select Partners grew by 11 percent this year following a 10 percent growth the year before,” described Paul. The most impressive statistic, however, was the growth from the company’s elite partners, up to 35 percent following 19 percent the previous year.

36 |

hosted by TV Presenter Vernon Kay, who reprised his role as the presenter of Family Fortunes for a lively Handicare special episode. The night saw two teams face off to guess the most popular answers to topics including ‘most popular show with a judging panel’, ‘men’s names beginning with P’ and of course, ‘the most popular stairlift brand on the market’. Just in case you were wondering, the answers were X-Factor, Paul and of course, Handicare.

such as its Black Friday offers and the launch of its Accredited Partner Scheme, the organisation has set itself ambitious goals for continued growth into the coming years. THE MINI-EXHIBITION A new introduction to Handicare’s Dealer Day was the opportunity for other suppliers in the industry to come and exhibit their products, as well as special trade offers, to attendees following the end of the conference. The mini-exhibition saw 15 suppliers – TGA Mobility, Freerider, Karma, Primacare, Scooterpac, Z-Tec, Fish Insurance, Ikano, Camelot, Autochair, Sitting Pretty, Future Wellness, Invacare, Pollok Lifts and BBL Batteries – each meet with existing and new dealers on the day to show a range of complementary products. GAMESHOWS AND AWARDS The night was brought to a close with Handicare’s Partner Day Awards,

Awards-season The award-winning Handicare partners: Internet Partner of the Year Stairlift Comparison Retail Partner of the Year Stairlift Sales Essington Mobility Elite Dealer of the Year Liftec Systems New Accredited Partner of the Year The Helpful Hand Select Dealer of the Year Dolphin Midlands Growth Award Liftability Partner Loyalty Award Ideas in Action

TOP TIPS FROM THE TELEPHONE ASSASSIN... Continuing on with the idea of providing expert advice and sharing best practice, attendees also had the opportunity to listen to an engaging talk from Anthony Stears – aka The Telephone Assassin. Here are five useful and pragmatic tips for making the most out of sales calls and winning business from his talk: GOOD MANNERS The expression ‘manners don’t cost a thing’ is particularly applicable when making sales calls and is the building block for developing rapport with someone. DROP OFF A PIZZA MENU “When you make outbound phone calls… I believe your phone call should feel like you are dropping off a pizza menu,” states Anthony. Has anyone ever had a takeaway knock on their door with a takeaway menu and ask to

take an order? It would come across as presumptuous and it is how people can also come across on the phone. Instead, start off the journey with the prospective customer by dropping off a menu and letting them know who you are and what you do. PITCH PERFECT “The best way to perfect your pitch is to share a success story people can relate to,” suggested Anthony. The Telephone Assassin emphasised the importance of getting those all-important case studies and testimonials from happy clients and advised companies not to be afraid to ask for them. TEST DRIVE “You are 78 percent more likely to buy a car once you have driven it,” stated Anthony. Test drives help customers build trust in the product or company

and can be anything from tip sheets to providing quotes or having them actually try the product or service out. Using the language ‘test drive’ is important as it signifies to people that they can ‘try before they buy.’ “YOU CANNOT MAKE TOO MANY NOTES… You can spend too long writing your notes, but you can’t make too many notes.” The more you know about the person you are talking to, the more rapport you can build. Asks questions about somebody to get them talking and remember, a little flattery can go a long way. To find out more about the Telephone Assassin, visit www.

WE DELIVER YOUR PROMISES We are a nationwide delivery company based in the heart of Yorkshire. We specialise in the delivery, installation, demonstration, handover and testing of all types of healthcare products.

Our services include: • • • • • • • •

Delivery and Installation of ALL Healthcare Products Engineering Call Outs Removal and Disposal of Old Products Honour Manufacturers Warranties Customer Service Management Full Annual Services Inbound Receipt and Warehousing LOLER / PUWER Testing


Visit us at @HDDltd


OT perspective


POWERCHAIRS: THE KEY THINGS YOU NEED TO CONSIDER If you recall, a couple of months ago I wrote about mobility scooters and some of the key questions that we all need to ask to make the right choice for our clients. And I sincerely hope it helped. But the reality is that for some clients, mobility scooters just aren’t appropriate. That’s where powerchairs come in.

38 |

WHEN ARE POWERCHAIRS THE RIGHT CHOICE? You might know them as ‘electric’ or ‘powered’ wheelchairs and they’re ideal for clients who perhaps don’t have the strength and stamina to use a self-propelled wheelchair but don’t want to rely on being pushed. WHAT OPTIONS ARE THERE? When it comes to powerchairs, there’s a huge amount of choice so it’s worth thinking carefully about why it’s needed and what it’s going to be used for. Typically, it’s best to divide powerchairs into three categories: Indoor/Portable: These chairs can be used in a home or in places with smooth flooring, like indoor retail outlets. If the chair is going to be used in multiple locations, it’s important to ensure that it’s easy to fold so it can be transported. Outdoor: Generally speaking, these chairs possess bigger wheels which help them to deal with variable ground and some of them feature suspension, making the ride more comfortable. Although they are typically designed to be used outdoors, it’s worth bearing in mind that because they’re bigger and sturdier than indoor chairs, they won’t always fit through doorways. Indoor/Outdoor: These chairs are hybrids that offer a balance between both the indoor chairs and the outdoor chairs. THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN MATCHING A CLIENT WITH A POWERCHAIR How long will the client be out in the chair? Before choosing a chair, it’s vital that you ensure that it’s going to be comfortable enough for long journeys. Lots of chairs may appear to be comfortable when you first sit on them but it is important for your client to test what the chair will be like on an ongoing basis. Does it fit in the car and can it go on holidays? Pretty much all powerchairs fold so it’s usually relatively easy to get one in a car but it’s well worth considering which vehicle the chair will go in and how much space it will take up when being transported.

Because of the motor, generally the frame will be heavier than a standard wheelchair. What do they need the chair for? Is it for popping around the corner or doing the shopping? The answer to this question will inform the type of chair you choose; indoor, outdoor or a hybrid. Similarly, if they’re out and about then it is worth bearing in mind that there’s a large selection of wheelchair specific accessories designed to improve the client’s experience. How is it controlled? Most ‘drive controls’ for powerchairs are essentially joysticks mounted on one of the armrests. These can take a while to get used to and may be over/ under sensitive, so it’s vital to ensure they’re right for your client and that they are used to the level of sensitivity. Where will it be stored? Storage is important – it needs to fit comfortably in the client’s home and – ideally – stored near a socket, allowing overnight charge. Some outdoor powerchairs may not fit in a home and as such will need a garage or another outbuilding to house them. Is the client looking to travel on public roads? There are two types of power wheelchairs: Class 2, which can be used on pavements and Class 3, which can be used on roads as well as pavement. Are there any kerbs or obstructions on usual journeys? Larger wheeled chairs are best in this scenario, as well as purpose-built chairs designed to overcome kerbs and obstructions.

Will the chair be used around the home? If so, the client may be eligible to apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant to adapt the home for ramped access and widened doorways. Does it work ‘off the rack’? Wheelchair manufacturers are pretty flexible which means that there’s a good chance that there’s room for manoeuvre and customisation. On the whole, you can safely assume that you’ll be able to customise the seat size and length, the level of cushioning, as well as footplate and armrest height and position. Some powerchairs allow you to buy a headrest as an optional extra, as well as storage bags designed to fit somewhere on the chair. HIGHWAY CODE FOR POWERCHAIRS If a client is planning to use their chair on public highways then they must abide by the specific section of the Highway Code that deals with powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters. FUNDING Your client may be able to secure funding to help finance the purchase or part of the purchase of a powered chair. Commonly, the funding is released on a means-tested basis, and, on the basis of a GP referral, the money is provided through the local NHS trust. The best first step for the client is to speak to their GP and get the ball rolling. Calling Wheelchair Suppliers! As you know, we run OTAC events, and we’d love to help our occupational therapists understand more about choosing the right chair. If you think you can help, drop me a line at stuart@

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). | 39


MEET… GEOFF MORRIS, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF UNISCAN What does your position involve? In a nutshell, it involves the strategic development of our company and taking it forward. What do you enjoy most about your job? The changes. Everything is constantly changing and the dynamics are always shifting, which presents a new challenge and a new opportunity each day. It is so varied which keeps me on my toes. What is one of your proudest moments in the industry? There have been so many but I think one of the proudest is when the BHTA presented us with an award for assistive technology and customer service. That was a standout moment for the company and the team. What’s the biggest changes you have seen in the industry? Without a doubt, it is the technology. There is an awful lot of new technology coming to the industry and I think the industry itself is constantly and quite

rapidly evolving in a good way. It is far more professional now than it was back in the early days. There is a lot more expertise and knowledge in the industry and I think it is definitely going in the right direction. If you could bring one new innovation to the market, what would it be? I’ve got a couple of things up my sleeve but I couldn’t possibly give them away. What are your interests outside of work? Family and golf are really my two passions. I like all sport in general but golf tops the list. If you had to do any other job in the world, what would it be? Honestly, I don’t think there is any other job for me in the world. I really do enjoy what I do and it is a privilege for me to be the managing director of this company because it has given me the opportunity to carry forth the legacy that my father left behind.

Quick-fire questions! Describe yourself in three words Competitive, humorous and genuine What’s your favourite song? When you say nothing at all by Ronan Keating If you could have a superpower, what would it be? Mind-reading Favourite place in the world Hands-down, no shadow of a doubt, my favourite place in the whole world is Barbados. I’ve been a few times and absolutely love it.

40 |

About Uniscan... Founded in 1983 by Tom Morris – the originator of the lightweight folding wheeled walker with an integral rest seat – Uniscan specialises solely in the production of high-quality walking frames. With over three decades experience focusing on designing three and four-leg walking frames, the familyowned Essex company stands by its claim to be ‘the Walking Frame Specialist.’

The answer is YES!

Now, what was the question?

Primacare manufacture in the UK an extensive range of bespoke Rise & Recline chairs including Bariatric chairs, Care chairs and Porter chairs.

Do you need your chair quickly? It could be made and delivered to you within days! Without comprimise on quality or options, choose from; 2 styles, 3 sizes, 4 fabrics and 3 different actions to make the chair you need now! Ask your Primacare Dealer for full details.

Seating Experts in Assistive Technology

Primacare ltd Unit 26, Heads of the Valleys Industrial Estate Rhymney, Tredegar. NP22 5RL

British made for comfort, quality and reliability.

telephone (01685) 845900

new to the team

Fresh faces at THIIS magazine


HIIS magazine, the mobility industry’s longestrunning trade publication, has expanded its team with the addition of new Sales Manager Gareth Liddiatt and Content Writer and Sub-editor Gareth Liddiatt Sarah Sarsby in April. With over 15 years of advertising and sales experience, Gareth will be working on introducing companies in the industry to the various packages available to help them reach more customers across the various BHTA Engage print and digital platforms. Gareth commented: “I’m really excited to join such a progressive organisation and looking forward to getting to know all the different companies in the industry.” He has been involved in a number of trade and consumers publications over the years, including having worked on titles in the healthcare sector. Sarah Sarsby BHTA Engage publishes THIIS, the monthly trade magazine that has been keeping the industry informed with the latest trade news, products and views for almost two decades. The organisation also owns AT Today, an online resource for healthcare professionals to stay informed about the latest assistive technology innovations on the market.

“We have some big plans in the pipeline over the coming weeks and Sarah and Gareth will be key in helping drive these forward”

PRODUCT SPECIALIST TO COVER LONDON AND THE EAST Working with NHS Wheelchair services to assess adults and children for specialist seating systems, Simon Cook has joined RMS as a new regional product specialist. Previously working as a Senior Specialist for Quantum Rehab for ten years and gaining experience within the NHS, Simon will now cover London and the East of the UK for RMS, offering his advice on adaptions to provide practical and bespoke solutions. “It is exciting to be taking on a new challenge working within a company that clearly has such extensive knowledge. From the Directors to the guys in the workshop, it’s clear that everyone knows what they are talking about and is keen to work towards the best solution for the client,” commented Simon. To contact Simon, email or call 07725 544836


Graduating with a Masters in English Language from De Montfort University, Sarah will be working on all publications, as well as helping to develop new activities. “I’m really excited to start my new role at the company and can’t wait to write engaging content for THIIS and AT Today. I’m also looking forward to meeting everyone in the industry as well as learning about the healthcare industry itself,” commented Sarah. Calvin Barnett, Managing Editor of BHTA Engage, commented: “We are delighted to have both Gareth and Sarah join the team. We have some big plans in the pipeline over the coming weeks and Sarah and Gareth will be key in helping drive these forward, as well as helping us to deliver more high-quality news and content to the industry.” To get in touch with Gareth, contact or call 07384 258372 To contact Sarah, email

42 |

Do you have a new team member? Why not let the industry know? Just send us a short news item and photo.

OBAM STAIRLIFTS INVESTS IN RECRUITS AND FACILITIES Obam Stairlifts has appointed two new members of staff to its engineering team and has also invested in office renovations and an extension to its showroom. Joining the company as the logistics coordinator, Simon Wright has eight years’ experience in planning and logistics, whilst Adrian Hallam, an experienced and qualified engineer from Newark, will handle the servicing and maintenance work, as well as out-of-hours breakdown cover. Having quickly settled into his new role, Adrian said: “It’s a great company to work for. The team are friendly, loyal and trustworthy – which is a great attribute, especially as we work with lots of vulnerable people.” Simon added: “It’s great to see Obam Stairlifts taking a more strategic approach to its planning. In my new role I’ll be looking at where we can make the best use of our engineers’ time, while still delivering our high standard of care to our customers.” Obam Stairlifts Director Chris Butroid said: “This year we’re steadily developing a strong team to take us through the next phase of growth as a business and I’m delighted to welcome Simon and Adrian to the team.” Accompanying the investment in staff and facilities, Chris confirmed the company is also preparing to launch its new website as well.

Simon Wright

Adrian Hallam

“The best Curved Stairlift on the Market” Jack McHugh, Product Support Manager John Preston Healthcare Group (Belfast)

Hand-built in the UK

Curved & straight stairlifts

Suitable for heavy duty

Ideal for narrow stairs

Great dealer support

Fast installation



more about...


PRISM MEDICAL: A NATIONAL REACH WITH A LOCAL TOUCH In 2014, mid-market private equity provider LDC invested in Prism Medical UK, to enable the company’s acquisitive growth strategy. Four years on and four acquisitions later, the moving, handling and bathroom specialist now has three manufacturing facilities, four Regional Service Centres and employs over 450 staff across the UK. THIIS caught up with Prism Medical’s CEO, Stuart Meldrum, ahead of the launch of its South Regional Service Centre to discover more about its expansion and how the company had changed.

Service engineers across the UK help meet today’s increasing service demands

44 |

Two key goals Working with Local Authorities, NHS Trusts and Care Home Groups across the UK, Prism Medical manufactures, assess, installs, trains, services and repairs an extensive range of moving and handling and bathing products, including hoists, slings, stairlifts, shower chairs and bed management systems. In 2014 and 2015, the company made a number of high profile acquisitions, enhancing its business capabilities in a number of areas, from stairlifts with the acquisition of The Mobility Equipment Company to moving, handling & ergonomics training with its acquisition of HME Ltd and two manufacturing companies Mackworth and Smirthwaite. Speaking with Stuart Meldrum, Chief Executive Officer of Prism Medical UK, he explained how expanding its capabilities was a key requirement for the company to achieve two core objectives. “We have two goals that are fundamental to the way we work and our strategy,” he said. “Firstly, we always aim to help the users of our products and services improve their quality of life. Secondly, as most of our products are procured through government funding, our objective is to try to give a good, competitive offer in terms of cost, which is particularly important in the current climate where Local Authorities are very cash-strapped. “To achieve these joint objectives, our strategy has focused on offering good products with short lead times, driven by efficient processes to allow us to offer competitive prices, whilst simultaneously working hard to provide exceptional service.” Products, lead times and efficiencies A crucial element to Prism’s strategy is its product range, with the company investing heavily in acquiring brands to expand its portfolio and its offer to clients. With three manufacturing facilities sites in the UK - following the acquisition of Smirthwaite and Mackworth Healthcare - Stuart stressed the value of UK-based

It’s UK manufacturing facilities allows Prism to closely control lead times and quality

manufacturing for achieving its goals. “Having the manufacturing processes under our control in the UK, rather than controlled by subcontractors or manufactured in a factory thousands of miles away, really helps us with our lead times and quality, both which are essential for helping us achieve our goals,” said Stuart. With its aim of providing competitive prices to Local Authorities with ever-tightening budgets, Prism has implemented Lean Manufacturing programmes to help reduce costs and manufacturing times. The company has also invested in its workforce, taking on more

correct capital equipment.” Alongside developing its product offering and manufacturing capacities, Prism Medical has also been advancing its service capabilities as well. Discussing the service element of its offer, Stuart commented: “Now we can assess what product is required, train people, install the product and carry out the service and repair functions. “Our view is, if we can have a good product and short lead times, underpinned by good service, then that is exactly what end-users need for a good quality of life and it is what our funders need to be able to

“Compared to ten years ago, we are clearly a bigger company but we have worked hard on being more professional at what we do” STUART MELDRUM

apprentices across its multiple manufacturing sites in Newton Abbot, Rhyl and Bridgend. Highlighting the need for UK manufacturers to invest in their capabilities, Stuart said: “You only have to look at the news to see the productivity gap, with UK companies being compared to companies in the USA and Germany for example. The point being that if you are going to be a manufacturer, you need to work hard at productivity and one of the ways you do that is investing in the

give them competitive pricing and costings.” The importance of a local presence Boasting one of the largest national network of service and repair engineers across the UK, Stuart explained the need to deliver a local service nationally to help achieve its desired level of service. “We took the conscious decision a number of years ago to build the national network with our Regional Service Centres to ensure that we were able to offer a more local | 45

approach to how we deal with our customers,” he highlighted. “As a national provider, we’ve found that Local Authorities liked to be served as locally as possible.” This was a point echoed by Lynne Betts, General Manager of Prism’s South Regional Service Centre, emphasising the need to provide a local point of contact for customers. “Our head office is up in Yorkshire, however, we realise the need to have a local presence, particularly with these products, as people need to be seen to as quickly as possible when assistance is needed,” commented Lynne. “The local service centre provides us with the ability to really help support our customers and the endusers and although we are national, I think it is essential to have that local, personal feel to a company.” In addition to benefiting its work with Local Authorities, Prism’s national infrastructure also aids the long-term care side of its business, with Stuart confirming that the network is vital for meeting the service needs of large, long-term care providers and care homes. “Being able to provide a quick, reliable service is certainly one of our core strengths and our customers really appreciate it,” added Lynne. Growth to meet changing expectations Any period of change can be disruptive for companies and if not controlled correctly, can lead to problems of inefficiency, poor communication and a loss of the company’s culture. Following its period of rapid expansion and significant changes, Stuart acknowledged that the

company had worked hard to manage the growth effectively. “I think as a company grows, you have more people come into the business and you have to make sure that not only the culture but also the processes and systems grow in unison,” he noted. “I would say that, compared to ten years ago, we are clearly a bigger company but we have worked hard on being more professional at what we do and have managed to develop our processes and systems year-onyear to improve our service offering.” For Stuart, the need to grow and

value in the company’s approach. “I think our customers see us as having a good, Prism Medical all-around UK’s CEO, Stuart Meldrum service and product range with significant resources and infrastructure,” he remarked. “They see us as being competitive on cost, as well as a specialist in safe patient handling and accessibility.”

“What we’ve found and it is a general thing in society is customers are becoming more and more demanding about the level of service they receive… and quite rightly so.” STUART MELDRUM

expand the company’s service offering was essential as the expectations and demands of society has changed and increased. “What we’ve found and it is a general thing in society is customers are becoming more and more demanding about the level of service they receive… and quite rightly so. “As a company, we have had to respond to that and make sure that when someone calls us up requiring an engineer, we are able to respond quickly. Practices that were common in the industry in the past have now had to significantly improve.” By effectively adapting to these needs and expectations and working towards its two fundamental goals, Stuart is confident customers see the

The future of Prism Medical Whilst not disclosing if there were more acquisition ambitions in the pipeline, Stuart did confirm that Prism’s growth strategies have been successful for the company thus far. “The thing we have had to work on continuously is improving our service levels and we’ll continue to invest in this in the future. “Going forward, it is going to be more of the same,” he said “We always say, put the customer first and the business will take care of itself. That is how we started and how we will continue going forward.”


Sep 2014

Dec 2014

Jun 2015

Aug 2015

Acquired Handling Moving and Ergonomics Limited (“HME Ltd”)

Acquired The Mobility Equipment Company

Acquired Mackworth Healthcare

Acquired Smirthwaite

46 |

diary dates

A NEW AND IMPROVED REGIONAL SERVICE CENTRE IN THE SOUTH Aiming to enhance its service offering in the South for its customers, healthcare professionals and Local Authorities, Prism Medical opened its improved South Regional Service Centre (RSC) in Winchester this May. Launching on 1st May 2018, the day included taster product sessions lasting around 45 minutes each focusing on various moving and handling solutions and fixed equipment, including stairlifts and through floor lifts. With a new showroom, meeting room, training and product demonstration space and storage, the South RSC now offer clients a range of different facilities and services for free to make the most out of. “It’s now easier and more convenient than ever before for our clients to call in for a product demonstration, consultation or chat and our exceptional staff can give sound advice and technical support around our range,” commented Lynne Betts, General Manager of the South Regional Service Centre. “We are acutely aware that a lot of our care professionals that provide care in the community have limited training facilities, so we have a fully stocked training room facility and free meeting room space to offer.” Alongside the training/product demonstration facility, the RSC meeting room is capable of accommodating up to 12 people for internal and external meetings. Lynne continued: “Our fully accessible new showroom also has a selection of our extensive range and is set up so that it reflects the environment that the products would be situated in, which is ideal for those being introduced to the products or being given training.” Additionally, the facility has a large warehouse which can be used for training engineers and fitters on fixed equipment, as well as providing storage space for Prism’s customers who may be working with recycling of equipment. The versatile South RSC is one of four Prism Service Centres found in the UK and plays a key role in the company’s strategy of being able to supply an enhanced local service. Lynne finished: “We’ve tried to make the environment as welcoming as possible so that people, who may be getting introduced to these types of products for the first time, have a friendly, relaxed setting to visit. “Also, it is great that we are able to provide OTs with a centre which they are able to take advantage of to enhance the work that they do.”

May 17, 2018 Kidz to Adultz South – Farnborough International Centre www. June 11-13, 2018 COT Annual Conference - Belfast Waterfront www. June 12-13, 2018 NAEP Annual Conference – Kenilworth www. June 13, 2018 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) Hallmark Hotel, Cambridge uk or call Sally on 02921 900402 June 27-28, 2018 Health+Care – Excel London July 5, 2018 Kidz to Adultz Wales & West Bristol July 11, 2018 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) - – Stradey Park Hotel, Llanelli or call Sally on 02921 900402 July 15, 2018 – 27th Disability Awareness Day annual event - Walton Hall and Gardens in Warrington www. July 23-25, 2018 Posture & Mobility Group Conference - Manchester Central www. September 12, 2018 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) - La Mon Hotel, Belfast or call Sally on 02921 900402 September 26, 2018 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) - Imperial Hotel, Torquay or call Sally on 02921 900402 September 26-29, 2018 Rehacare – Dusseldorf October 7-8, 2018 Trade Days – NEC October 15-17, 2018 Medtrade – Atlanta October 17-18, 2018 The Care & Dementia Show – NEC www.caredementiashow. com November 7, 2018 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) - The Spa Hotel, Kent or call Sally on 02921 900402 November 28, 2018 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) - Hilton Hotel, Newcastle or call Sally on 02921 900402 December 5, 2018 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) - Hilton Hotel, Southampton or call Sally on 02921 900402 January 28–31, 2019 Arab Health - Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre March 21, 2019 Kidz to Adultz Middle – Coventry

The Prism South Team from left: Steve Lucas, Elaine Butler, Alasdair Holdsworth, Stacy Thornton, Pete Davis, Lynne Betts, Molly Deacon and Kevin Forge

April 17-18, 2019 Medtrade Spring - Las Vegas | 47


MERGERS, ACQUISITIONS AND INVESTMENTS Multi-million investment to lead to over 20 new stores Following a £3.8million investment, Middletons is planning to significantly increase its turnover and launch a plethora of new stores over the next three years. The mobility retailer operates stores in Bristol and Newport, selling a range of mobility products and furniture, as well as Oak Tree Mobility, specialising in chairs, bath lifts and beds. Planning on launching a new store in Swansea towards the end April, the company confirmed to Insider Media that it plans to roll-out stores across all of England, with hopes of 24 stores in three years. Founded by friends Tom Powell and Ricky Towler in 2013, Middletons received the investment backing from the Development Bank of Wales and the clients of the Bristolbased Wealth Club. Tom told Insider Media that the Group’s turnover is currently around £23m, however, with the new investment, it hopes to grow into one of the biggest retailers in the UK and exceed £40m.

BRAUNABILITY EXPANDS PRESENCE IN EUROPE BraunAbility, the U.S. market leader in wheelchair accessible vehicles and wheelchair lifts, has acquired the remaining shares of Autoadapt AB. Previously acquiring 47.5 percent of Autoadapt from a 2011 purchase, BraunAbility will also own Autoadapt’s wholly-owned subsidiaries; Unwin, based in the UK and Martech, based in Denmark. The Swedish-based Autoadapt and its subsidiaries supply a range of products specialising in adapted vehicles, with all three companies combined generating more than $50 million (USD) in revenue in 2017. Since its initial purchase in 2011, Autoadapt has been the sole distributor of BraunAbility wheelchair lifts in Europe. BraunAbility is owned by Patricia Industries, a part of Investor AB, the leading owner of Nordicbased international companies. Following the acquisition, Autoadapt will join a roster of high-growth companies in the Patricia Industries portfolio including Permobil, the provider of powered and manual wheelchairs for people with severe functional disabilities. Peter Wahlsten, founder of Autoadapt, said: “There’s nothing I’m prouder of than how far we’ve managed to come with Autoadapt. “Together with our employees and dealers, we’ve brought vehicle adaptation to the masses, including to countries where people with disabilities previously weren’t allowed to drive.”

48 |


The UK is in desperate need of a fresh, new, quality range of hoists. Alerta Medical bring to the market a high quality, sturdy, long lasting, easy to understand Powerlift hoist range.

Alerta Powerlift Hoist Range Welcome to the new Alerta Powerlift hoist range. Alerta Mini 135, Midi 150 and Maxi 175. Designed for use in homecare, hospital, nursing and care home environments. They provide security, functionality and outstanding reliability, easy to operate, easy to move and incorporate anti-entrapment techniques. Alerta Powerlifter hoists also give patients a very restful and calming lift experience with thermoplastic rubber coated, anti-swing spreader bar. The wide range of features make the Alerta Powerlifter hoists a highly versatile and cost effective solution. Large stocks for next day delivery Unparalleled distributor marketing support Attractive distributor pricing structure Buy at manufacturing prices without having to buy large quantities Contact Alerta Medical for further information and attractive trade pricing.

+44 (0)3452 088 097 | |


MediTek Ltd ceased trading in early 2018

MEDITEK STAIRLIFTS LIMITED FORMED FOLLOWING THE END MEDITEK LIMITED Following the recent announcement that MediTek Limited, the UK-based stairlift manufacturer, had entered receivership at the end of February, a new company called Meditek Stairlifts Limited has been formed.


wned by Otolift International BV, a stairlift manufacturer based in the Netherlands, Meditek Stairlifts Limited was incorporated on the 5th March 2018, with Lea Dobby and Andre Ooms – directors of Otolift International BV’s daughter company, Otolift Stairlifts Limited - appointed as the new company’s directors. There has been speculation in the industry that Otolift purchased the assets of MediTek Limited

50 |

following the appointment of RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP as Administrators in February. With the new company’s office being registered at the same address as Otolift Stairlifts Limited, it raises questions regarding what this means for the MediTek brand going forward, as well as MediTek Limited’s former employees and customers. Having worked with dealers across the UK and distributors worldwide, MediTek Limited had manufactured

a wide range of stairlifts from its purpose-built facility in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham - around 25 miles away from Otolift Stairlifts – before the company ceased trading. Founded in 1891, Otolift began producing stairlifts in the 1960s and has grown into a leading player in the stairlift industry. The company released its flagship stairlift, the ONE, in 2011 and founded Otolift Stairlifts Limited in 2012.

GREAT DEALS ON END OF LINE PRODUCTS Get them while you can – call today! Telescopic Wheelchair Ramps 3 Part ramp extends to 7 foot long. Supplied with transit carry bag. WA-2602 £69 Available while stocks last.

Wheelchair Suitcase Ramps Available in 5 different lengths WA-2605 30” x 24” • £37 WA-2604 30” x 36” • £51 WA-2606 30” x 48” • £61 WA-2607 30” x 60” • £87 WA-2608 30” x 72” • £103 Available while stocks lasts

Sports Wheelchair WA-2010 £90 Available while stocks lasts

SHINE INTERNATIONAL 9 Holkham Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough, PE2 6TE

Self Propelled Wheelchair Lightweight Aluminium Frame 18” seat WA-2710 £70 Available while stocks lasts

Tel: 01733 391900 Fax: 01733 391551 Email:


Healthcare company opens first Scottish depot Direct Healthcare Group has further expanded its national network with the opening of its first depot in Cumbernauld, Scotland. The 5,948 sq. ft. site will enable Direct Healthcare Group to deliver an enhanced provision of bariatric rental solutions to the Scottish healthcare system, with official figures reporting that one-third of the Scottish public are obese. A manufacturer of pressure care solutions and seating products, Direct Healthcare Group has enjoyed a sustained period of growth and completed a number of acquisitions in the industry over recent years, having acquired Nightingale Professional Bariatric Care in 2016 and Kirton Healthcare in 2017. The group also recently acquired the Transflo Cushion brand from Karomed in March 2018.


Graham Ewart, MD of Direct Healthcare Group


o help its UK retailers freshen up their showrooms for the summer, Repose Furniture is offering a ten percent showroom discount on its Olympia or Kensington models. The special offer is limited to one chair and one sofa per retailer and is available until the end of May 2018. This offer is the latest in a 12-month campaign by Repose Furniture which has been designed to further support its UK retailer network and help them increase their business within their designated area.

52 |

Retailers wishing to take advantage of this offer should contact their Repose representative directly for further information or to place an order.

Fabric Collection

Brand New Fabrics

Available from stock on all Riser Recliner & Fireside Chairs! Love the NEW Cosi choices you have...

Consider the ideal match for your Cosi Chair... NEW Swatch Rings per product

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

Walden Waterfall Back

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

Avon Button Back

Riser Recliners available from STOCK in the following fabrics

Fireside chairs available from STOCK in the following fabrics

Light Oak frame Seasons Mink

Seasons Oatmeal

Seasons Plum

Seasons Cocoa

available from stock

2 or 3-Seater static sofa available on Made to order

Colours may vary slightly from images shown which are for illustrative purposes only.

Made in the UK



The Walden Cosi Chair is a relaxing single motor wallhugger chair with a pocket sprung seat base and a deep fibre filled Waterfall backrest. The key feature is it can sit very close to a wall or solid object (with a distance of 4”) and still offer a full recline, it manages this by the whole wooden frame moving over its own axis. This chair is ideal for small rooms or confined areas where space is limited.

Wallhugger Single-motor Walden Size Guide: Seat height Seat width Seat depth Arm height Back height Overall width Overall height Weight limit

Kilburn Oatmeal

Kilburn Plum

Kilburn Cocoa

A 3 button power on hand control Waterfall Back design Pocket sprung seat base Scroll arms with wings Arm covers and Antimacassar included Other fabrics are available Made to order 2 or 3-Seater static sofa available Made to order 5 Year Guarantee on frames, mechanisms and all electrics Quality Craftsmanship, BRITISH MADE




2-Seater static sofa available on Made to order

Available on Made to order

Main Features:

Made in the UK

The Avon is a traditional high back chair with a deep back for added comfort. Designed with pocket sprung seating, padded armrests and upholstered sides, the Avon achieves maximum relaxation. Featuring contemporary styling and a new modern fabric selection, the Avon will suit most room settings.



Also Available


Matching Footstool

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

Avon Size Guide:

Local Cosi Chair Retailer:

One size 50.8cm / 20’’ 50.8cm / 20’’ 50.8cm / 20’’ 19.1cm / 7½’’ 68.6cm / 27’’ 83.8cm / 33’’ 110.5cm / 43½’’ 25 stone / 158.8kg

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


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

Light Oak

Colours may vary slightly from images shown which are for illustrative purposes only.

Main Features:

Kilburn Mink

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

Local Cosi Chair Retailer:

Also Available



Matching Sofa

Also Available

Also Available

Made to Measure

Matching Sofa

E. and O.E- v 1 Final March 2018

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

E. and O.E- v 1 Final March 2018

NEW Specification Sheets for each model

New Sales & Marketing Materials available for our Network of Authorised Dealers. Call the Marketing Team on 01460 258158 & request yours today!

To place an order & update your showroom, call the Customer Service Team! BRITISH


Quality Craftsmanship Tested by FIRA




Guarantee Riser Recliners

0800 252 614



Rob Davies

Mobility Choices enters liquidation


ollowing a meeting of its shareholders held in early April, Manchester-based retailer Mobility Choices has passed a resolution to voluntarily wind up the business. At a general meeting of Mobility Choices on the 4th of April 2018, the company’s shareholders passed a special resolution stating the company would be voluntarily wound up. Manubhai Govindbhai Mistry (IP no. 7787) and Hemal Mistry (10770) of

54 |

Horsfields, Bury, have been appointed joint liquidators for the purpose of winding up the company. Operating from its store in Denton, Manchester, since 2008, Mobility Choices closed its doors in early March 2018, along with its website and phone lines. The move came only four months after acquiring Flexyfoot, with the future of the walking aid brand still unknown.

After months of tough trading conditions, Betterware, a national catalogue and doorto-door products business which sold a range of products including mobility aids, has ceased trading Gareth Rusling and Claire Dowson of Begbies Traynor (SY) LLP were appointed as Joint Administrators of Betterware on Friday 13th April 2018. The 90-year-old company had been one of the UK’s most successful shopping companies at one time, selling an extensive range of cleaning, homeware, personal care and mobility products to millions of homes in the UK. Difficult market conditions recently, however, led to cashflow problems for Betterware, resulting in the company being placed into administration and all 94 staff at its Birmingham HQ being made redundant. The Administrators are now in the process of realising what assets can achieve the best possible returns for creditors.

THE UPS AND DOWNS OF AVIATION TRAVEL FOR DISABLED PASSENGERS In the world of access and mobility, great strides have been made in making travel in cars, buses, trains and boats more accessible for those with disabilities.


n the world of air travel, however, the experience still leaves a lot to be desired for disabled travellers. Now campaigners, companies, airlines, airports and associations are working together to bring about change. When BBC journalist Frank Gardner was recently forced to endure a two hour wait on his flight after landing in Heathrow because his wheelchair had been misplaced by ground staff, his predicament shone a light on a longterm issue faced by disabled travellers for years. Sharing his situation in real time on social media, the BBC correspondent’s tweets triggered a significant response and highlighted the need for more attention to be paid to the issue. Similar stories of inappropriate transfers, mismanagement of mobility aids, uncomfortable seating arrangements and degrading treatment has resulted in many

disabled travellers feeling a sense of dread and anxiety at the thought of flying. The problem is one that a number of different parties have begun to address in recent months to find solutions to the problem. Campaign takes off The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) has been working closely with Flying Disabled’s Christopher Wood and Queen Elizabeth Foundation’s Graham Race, as well as a number of airlines, to help find solutions to the difficulties faced by those with disabilities when travelling in an aircraft. Christopher Wood, who has two disabled children, founded Flying

“This is an aspiration to have seamless travel for me and my family so that one day we will not have to transfer out of our chairs” CHRISTOPHER WOOD

56 |

Disability with the goal of one day allowing powered wheelchair users remain in their chair for an entire flight. Christopher said: “This is an aspiration to have seamless travel for me and my family so that one day we will not have to transfer out of our chairs and we will board like any other passenger.” Flying Disabled’s campaign has gained traction and the attention of some big players in the aviation industry in recent months, hosting the first Wheelchair in the Cabin symposium at Virgin Atlantic’s HQ in September 2017. Bringing together a range of different stakeholders including airlines, airports, regulators, Government, trade associations and more, the event led to the creation of a working group to help tackle the issue. Industry works together The BHTA hosted its inaugural Wheelchair Working Group meeting at Sunrise Medical in March, bringing together a number of companies,

A ‘Welcome’ addition to Edinburgh Airport A new assistive technology app called ‘Welcome’ has been adopted by Edinburgh Airport to help provide assistance to people with reduced mobility and hidden disabilities. Launched by Neatebox, Welcome, which is free for users, allows individuals with disabilities to notify Edinburgh Airport of their needs and any specific assistance required prior to their arrival. The app sends a message to Edinburgh Airport’s Passengers with Reduced Mobility (PRM) reception, allowing time for staff to prepare for the passenger arriving and provides an overview of the condition, along with top tips to aid their interaction and assistance.

organisations and consultants in the industry to examine how the mobility and healthcare sector can work closer with the airline industry to find solutions. Steve Perry, Marketing and Communications Manager who is the BHTA lead on the project, told THIIS: “The meeting was a great opportunity to bring the industry together and find ways to tackle the problems faced by disabled flyers.”

reunions with their wheelchairs, the creation of disabled toilets on planes and possibly the removal of seats to allow wheelchairs to be used in cabins. Additionally, the BHTA is working with Christopher and Graham Race to produce an information document called Get Wise to Flying with a Disability. Aiming to provide guidance and useful web links to assist consumers

“We accept people with powered wheelchairs can travel by taxi, train and bus, so the next logical step is by air.” STEVE PERRY

Involved in the meeting were manufacturers and retailers including Unwin Safety, Q’Straint, Proactive Mobility, Pride Healthcare, Advanced Concept Vehicles, TGA Mobility, Bartrams Mobility and RGK Wheelchairs. “The next step is the Heathrow Airport Action Group meeting at the end of April, with us working towards an industry symposium to bring all aviation partners together by the second half of this year,” added Steve. With growing media attention surrounding the aviation industry and the trials faced by disabled flyers, the government has also started to consider new measures to improve air travel for travellers. The measures include a limit on the time passengers wait for assistance boarding and disembarking, quicker

travelling via plane, the Trade Association is requesting anyone with additional information to be added to the document to contact A long road ahead Acknowledging the size of the task ahead, Steve added: “We accept

people with powered wheelchairs can travel by taxi, train and bus, so the next logical step is by air. We understand there are many challenges ahead and will need the help and assistance of the airline industry to work with us over the next five to ten years if we are to make this a reality. “There are many things we can do to improve the travelling experience of people in wheelchairs and other ageing issues in airports today and since talking with other parties about our aims, the project has received a positive response.” Change may not come overnight, but in a world where bad publicity can snowball remarkably quickly with the megaphone that is social media, can the aviation industry continue to afford not making inclusive, accessible air travel a priority?

Hold on! A common problem for disabled travellers is the inability to take their own wheelchairs and powerchairs into the passenger cabin of a plane, with the devices instead being stored in the hold. Many travellers have reported that the devices are often mishandled by ground staff, resulting in damages that can be costly financially, or the misplacement of their wheelchairs. More importantly, with these devices being pivotal to an individual’s mobility, damage or loss also has the potential to leave a user completely immobile. | 57


Homeadapt changes name as Bruno unifies the brand globally Homeadapt, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bruno Independent Living Aids Inc, is now unified under the Bruno name as the company looks to strengthen the brand globally. Launched in 2008, Homeadapt was set up as the UK distributor of

Bruno stairlifts – a US manufacturer of straight and curved stairlifts. Providing indoor and outdoor stairlifts, the company has an installer network covering the UK and Ireland. Bill Page, Managing Director of Bruno Lifts, commented: “We’re

pleased to have our UK office renamed Bruno as the Bruno name is synonymous with providing highquality, innovative stairlifts.”

RETAILER LOOKS TO ENGAGE WITH HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS WITH FREE EBOOK Yorkshire Care Equipment has published its own 88-page eBook full of advice to help healthcare professionals carry out seating assessments. Providing the eBook for free on its website, the Harrogatebased retailer says its team has written the book using decades of experience and knowledge in the area. Combining theoretical knowledge and practical experience on all matters of specialist seating, including postural conditions and different kinds of chairs, the eBook aims to be a one-stop guide for all healthcare professionals to refer to when specifying seating for clients. 58 |

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

View the full exhibitor list online at: WWW.TRADEDAYS.CO.UK

15 EXCITING FEATURES: Live auctions

Industry Awards

Launchpad Product launch platform

Hosted Buyer Programme

Voucher Booklet

Innovation and launch trail

Europe’s sole TRADE ONLY business to business event servicing the mobility, daily living and assistive technology market

@tradedaysuk @tradedaysuk


STUDY SUGGESTS FOUR IN TEN PEOPLE PREFER THE IDEA OF HOME LIFTS OVER STAIRLIFTS A new study commissioned by Stiltz Lifts has suggested nearly 40 percent of people would feel safer knowing their parents were travelling to the upstairs of their home in a home lift rather than a stairlift.


ut of the 2,000 adults aged 40 and over who were in contact with at least one parent that lives independently at home polled, 788 of respondents preferred their mother or father to use a partially enclosed home lift instead of an exposed stairlift. 18 percent (360) did not believe their parent or parents would be any safer in a home lift and 42 percent were not sure. The research, carried out by, showed 69 percent agreed that their parent’s desire for independence was the most important thing to them, with 13 percent stating they wanted to stay at home but make home modifications to make it more accessible. With under one percent favouring moving a parent to a care home when unable to live independently and only two percent preferring moving into the family home, the two options were both the least desirable according to respondents.

60 |

Stephanie McMahon, Head of Research at Strutt & Parker estate agency, explained some homebuyers where actively looking for aids such as lifts as a way of ‘future-proofing’ their homes. She said: “In our latest Housing Futures survey, seven percent of respondents wanted their new home to be accessible for the disabled and five percent said they would like a home lift.” Stuart Barrow, an Occupational Therapist from Promoting

Independence, highlighted that relocating clients from their home can negatively impact individuals, moving them away from their GP, friends and family. As the population continues to age and more emphasis is placed on remaining independent in the home for longer, it is highly likely that the desire for ‘future-proofed’ homes will also continue to grow.

recruitment Sales Executives – Opportunities in GB Seating Matters is a successful and dynamic specialist healthcare equipment manufacturer and provider, supplying markets across the UK, Ireland, Europe, US, Canada and Australia. These opportunities will suit dynamic, energetic, ethical sales executives with the hunger and passion for sales. • Carry out product demonstrations to support therapists with product selection. • Carry out patient assessments to identify best product for their needs. • To make sales calls to develop your area, carry out trials with people in their homes, nursing homes and hospitals. • Delivery and set up of equipment and provide support services for existing products purchased. • Keep accurate and detailed records of customer status and ensure follow ups are completed promptly. • Responsibility for the expansion and development of the client base in their area. The Ideal Candidate: • Passionate to help people and serve their customers. • Proven track record of successfully meeting sales targets. • Self-driven, results-oriented, reliable and trustworthy to complete tasks effectively. • An ability to positively influence existing customer leads, source

Check the ‘Jobs On Offer’ section of the website for more opportunities

new leads and have persistence to successfully book appointments. • Hard working with high standards and attention to detail. • Must have excellent verbal and written communication skills and be computer literate. • Time management skills and ability to prioritise and work under pressure. • Ability to build and maintain strong, collaborative relationships with customers. • Flexibility and a positive, ‘can-do’ attitude is essential. • Must have a full clean driving licence. • A strong appetite for growth and development, to quickly learn new skills and to embrace the company culture of continuous improvement to deliver exceptionally high standards. No requirement for previous healthcare experience, extensive training and support will be provide ongoing within the role. The reward: A competitive remuneration is on offer for the right candidate together with an exceptional opportunity for professional growth. To apply: Submit a CV which clearly demonstrates how you meet the above criteria to

Take a look at the recently added positions Regional Product Specialist Contracts/Bid Writer Manager Operations Manager Area Sales Manager Product Specialists

020 7559 3555

Full-time Showroom Assistant – Southampton

Mobility Showroom Manager – Southampton

OTE £21-23k pa

OTE £25k-£27k pa

CareCo provide top quality mobility products at the UK’s lowest prices. Our showrooms are designed so that out our customers not only have an amazing shopping experience but also by getting the right advice from our fully trained sales advisors on mobility products suitable for their needs, enables them to promote their independence and quality of life both around the home and outside. As a leading independent distributor with over 13 years’ experience within the mobility industry as a group, we, at CareCo, pride ourselves on our growing reputation for supplying quality products, value for money and excellent service. Due to our rapid expansion, we are looking to recruit a full-time Mobility Advisor in our new Southampton showroom, and we provide extensive training to enable you to develop a rewarding career in the mobility industry. Hours of work are 9am to 5pm, five days a week including weekends. Core Functions: •

Promote, sell and secure orders from existing and prospective customers through a relationship-based approach. 62 |

Demonstrate products and services to existing and potential customers

Assist customers in selecting the best products to suit their needs.

Answering Showroom calls.

Keeping the showroom to the correct standards, including general housekeeping.

Requirements: • • • • • • • • • • •

Ideally have a sales background, but not essential as training is provided Good Customer Service Skills Good interpersonal skills – Day to day interaction with customers from all ages and all walks of life Ability to organise own time and multitask Good telephone manner Computer literate Polite Flexible Be driven to succeed Strong team player Excellent verbal and written skills

To apply: Send in your CV for the attention of Paula Sparling at

Position Type: Permanent

Required: An experienced Mobility Showroom Manager for our New CareCo Showroom opening in Southampton.

Planning day to day operations and reviewing results.

Obtaining, interpreting and acting upon sales information.

Training, coaching and appraising staff.

Promoting the business by liaising and engaging with relevant local bodies

We are looking for someone with a strong managerial retail background, and ideally experience in the mobility industry, to make our new showroom in Southampton a success, and build upon the CareCo (UK) Ltd name. You will be responsible for, and be part of, a customer focused team, ensuring delivery of sales targets and KPI’s whilst ensuring our exceptional company service standards are maintained. Job Description: •

Managing and motivating the team to achieve sales targets.

Maintaining and improving operations by initiating, coordinating and ensuring compliance to policies and procedures.

Managing showroom stocks, layouts, pricing, and promotions.

Ensuring staff have the product knowledge to sell effectively and enhancing this knowledge as required through effective communication and training.

Skills: • • • • • • • • • • •

Leadership Sales driven Commercial awareness Confidence, drive and enthusiasm Good numeracy and IT Initiative Eye for detail Good verbal and written communication skills Customer focused Staff Training People handling

To apply: Send in your CV for the attention of Paula Sparling at

Area Sales Managers – Scotland & Surrey and London £30k Basic Salary with Uncapped Bonus Scheme O.T.E £35k-£50k Do you enjoy variety in your daily work? Do you enjoy helping people? Do you have experience of working with the NHS, Charities or in the Education Sector? Would you like to work for an Innovative British Manufacturer who has been delivering Innovative, ‘Game Changing’ products to the Healthcare sector for over 50 years? This will be a career move that will be both challenging but rewarding on a daily basis and is a career move for the long term. You will be joining a successful team and a Company that rewards hard work. Symmetrikit Postural Care is a Division of The Helping Hand Company - the world’s leading manufacturer and supplier of Aids to Daily Living and the Market Leading Innovator in providing Specialist Solutions to Children and Adults with Complex Physical Disabilities. We sell to the NHS, Social Services, Charities and also to Private individuals. Experience of selling in these areas would be preferred but not essential as full training and on-going support will be provided. To meet an increase in demand and

underpin our planned expansion, we are seeking a self-motivated, dynamic individual to become part of a successful team. The successful candidate should be a highly motivated professional with a proven track record of success in a number of key areas within a field sales environment. Should be a team player, flexible and should possess the ability to develop relationships. The role involves all aspects of selling but also includes the successful applicant being involved in physical assessments, setting up/commissioning of products, presenting courses and training customers and supplying market leading, British manufactured, Specialist products to Vulnerable and Physically Disabled people of all ages. A comprehensive, full training package is offered to the successful applicant. This is an Area Sales Management Role - A small number of evenings away from home each month will be essential for this role. Specific Healthcare sales experience is not essential but the following skills are: •

• Consultative selling skills • Negotiation skills • Presentation skills • Time Management • Journey Planning • Learning ability If you are a driven, self-motivated people person, please apply with FULL C.V. A FULL UK Driving Licence is necessary. Additional Benefits: • The role is made much easier by using a van and our top of the range vans are more than suitable for the role. • Laptop, I-Pad and Mobile Phone • All expenses will be met by Symmetrikit Postural Care • Competitive Salary with Uncapped Bonus Scheme • We have a Company Pension available. • Holiday entitlement is 23 days per annum. After each 5 years’ service, you will be entitled to an additional 15 days holiday in the following holiday year. This will repeat in every 5 years following.


NEW Business Development Manager North of England £40k Basic Salary with expected O.T.E of £45k–£70k New Position - Business Development Manager who will be pivotal in driving through our significant growth plans. This role presents an opportunity for Professional growth and considerable financial reward. This will be a career move that will be both challenging but rewarding on a daily basis and is a career move for the long term. You will be joining a successful team and a Company that rewards hard work. Essential requirements - excellent listening skills, a proven history of relationship building, tenacity in pitching to key decision makers with track record in identifying and exploit every sales opportunity The role involves all aspects of business development with focus on: • •

Responsibility for the expansion and development of the Customer base in the North of England Winning new Contracts with Local Authorities and 3rd Party

Contractors. Winning Preferred Supplier Status/ Contracts with Care home Groups • Building relationships and influencing our position with Clinical Commissioning Groups • Maintaining existing Contracts • Market Research into new, Product Specific, market areas The successful candidate should be a highly motivated professional with a proven track record of success, should be a team player, flexible and should possess the ability to develop new relationships and maximise sales potential. •

Do you enjoy variety in your daily work? Would you like to work for an Innovative British Manufacturer who has been delivering Innovative, ‘Game Changing’ products to the Healthcare sector for over 50 years? The Helping Hand Company and its’ Symmetrikit Postural Care Division is the world’s leading manufacturer and supplier of Aids to Daily Living and the Market

To apply for either role, please apply with full CV to

Leading Innovator in providing Specialist Solutions to Children and Adults with Complex Physical Disabilities. If you are a driven, self-motivated people person, please apply with FULL C.V. A FULL UK Driving Licence is necessary. Additional Benefits: • • •

Company Car Surface Pro and Mobile Phone All expenses will be met by Symmetrikit Postural Care • Competitive Salary with Generous Bonus Scheme • We have a Company Pension available. • Holiday entitlement is 23 days per annum. After each 5 years’ service, you will be entitled to an additional 15 days holiday in the following holiday year. This will repeat in every 5 years following. A small number of evenings away from home each month will be essential for this role.

trusted recruiter

Area Sales Manager South East – Salary of £30k + OTE £15k Our client is a global company and a leading manufacturer and distributor of mobility and daily living aids to retailers, NHS and Local Authorities. Due to internal promotions they are now seeking an Area Sales Manager in the South East - London / Hampshire / Sussex / Kent / Surrey / Berkshire / Essex / Hertfordshire / Buckinghamshire / Oxfordshire. You will be responsible for managing the Retail business within the South East territory. Managing, growing and upselling the range of mobility products into mobility retailers the NHS and other distributors for products such as wheelchairs, power chairs, mobility scooters and other mobility aids. As well as growing and recruiting to add to the current client portfolio. Carrying out product demonstrations and training is also part of the role. The ideal candidate will have experience of selling mobility products. Those with experience and contacts within the mobility retail network will be highly advantageous. Salary of £30k + OTE £15k, monthly commission, company van, phone, laptop, 25 days holiday plus 8 bank/public holidays, private healthcare and pension. Confidentially send a copy of your CV to including job reference 470 to discuss further.

Product Specialist Nationwide (Midlands or Central) – £35k Our client is a global company and a leading manufacturer and distributor of mobility and daily living aids to retailers, NHS and Local Authorities. Due to internal promotions, they are now seeking a Product Specialist. This role involves working as part of the marketing team to offer support guidance and training on a range of paediatric and mobility related products. These include seating aids, wheelchairs, powerchairs and mobility scooters and other mobility aids. Must have experience or technical understanding of working

closely with mobility products wheelchairs, powerchairs and mobility scooters. Those with paediatric product experience would be advantageous. We would also consider anyone who has worked out of a retailer. Must be willing to travel nationwide where required to support the sales and marketing team. Salary of £35k, company van, phone, laptop, 25 days holiday plus 8 bank/public holidays, private healthcare and pension. Confidentially send a copy of your CV to Antony@ including job reference 469 to discuss further.

Business Development Manager Yorkshire and North East – £25k-£30k plus commission Our client is a manufacturer and seller of pressure care products into care homes and the NHS. Due to growth, they are currently seeking a Business Development Manager to cover Yorkshire - down as far as Nottinghamshire and up to Newcastle. In brief, you will be responsible for growing the business of the territory by qualifying leads and researching to generate new leads. Carrying out product demonstrations and arranging client visits. This will also involve attending conferences and meetings.

0333 0144 014 64 |

The ideal candidate will have experience of having sold into care home groups. Salary of £25- 30k plus commission 10%-20% of salary. Company car, phone, laptop, 20days holiday - up to 25 days after each year of service. Confidentially send a copy of your CV to Antony@ including job reference 467 to discuss further.

Style, luxury and performance! The beautiful “Midi XLS Champagne Edition” Order yours now, contact your local Area Manager Mini Comfort letting your customers take their pick!

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

South West – Martin Garrett 07850 501634

South East – Keir French 07515 282647

North – Brian McCarry 07714 739763


Training Matters...

Half Day Closing – our website is Open All Hours • • • •

Consultative Selling Customer Styles Awareness Coaching Process Skills Half-Day Closing

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 with any details you have. May 2018 Sunrise Medical - JCM Postural Management Workshop: Specialist Seating – May 1st 2018 - Sunrise Medical, Brierley Hill Sunrise Medical - JCM Technical Training – May 2nd 2018 - Sunrise Medical, Brierley Hill

and Protect – 11th July 2018 – Stradey Park Hotel, Llanelli – Free of charge

Seating – September 4th 2018 - Sunrise Medical, Brierley Hill


Sunrise Medical - JCM Technical Training – September 5th 2018 - Sunrise Medical, Brierley Hill

Sunrise Medical - JCM Postural Management Workshop: Specialist

Jiraffe - Jiraffe, Training for Life – Seating and Toileting Course – 16th May Sheffield - FOC

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

June Careflex- What A Difference A Chair Makes (OTAC) - June 13th Hallmark Hotel, Cambridge

Pride Mobility - Service Training – September 19th & 20th - Bicester

Simple Stuff Works - Measure, Position and Protect – 13th June 2018 – Hallmark Hotel, Cambridge

Careflex - What A Difference A Chair Makes (OTAC) - September 26th -Imperial Hotel. Torquay

Pride Mobility - Service Training – June 20th & 21st – Bicester

Simple Stuff Works - Measure, Position and Protect – 26th September 2018 – Imperial Hotel, Torquay – Free of charge

July Careflex - What A Difference A Chair Makes (OTAC) - July 11th -Stradley Park Hotel, Llanelli

Simple Stuff Works - Measure, Position and Protect – 7th November 2018 – The Spa Hotel, Kent – Free of charge

Simple Stuff Works - Measure, Position

Contacts for bookings or email marketing@electricmobility.

Balshaw – 01925 240064 – j.balshaw@

JCM – Contact Martyn Davis on

Jiraffe – call +44 (0)114 285 3376 or email

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

Careflex – Call Julieanne Fewings on 01626 831 843 or email julieanne.

Electric Mobility – Call 01460 258158

Disability Trading Company - John

Simple Stuff Works - Contact Simone McCarthy at Trainingadmin@ or call 01827 307870

Benmor Medical – Contact Katie Rowsell – 0333 800 9000 – katie. Invacare – Call Joan James on 01656 776283 or email

66 |



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:

Team of the Year

The UK’s leading range of mobility products since 1985


01787 882244