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THIIS Trade Magazine • Issue 241 • October 2018



Providing news and views in the trade since 1999

Issue 241 October 2018

Quantum leap in innovation A new marketing approach for a new product launch

Providing news and views in the trade since 1999




Style 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 enquiries@stiltz.co.uk or call Gino on 07940 437835


…from the editor I know it sounds cliché but people really do buy from people.” As Trade Days approaches and professionals in the industry come together to do business, these wise words from Paul Briggs, Managing Director of Topro, seem all the more prescient.


aul was discussing how Topro managed to find success in the UK with high-end products in a price-sensitive market, highlighting how the business relationships forged by the Topro team were a key factor in helping the company reach a seven-figure turnover. This will come as no surprise to many in the industry that understand the value building good working relationships can have on a company’s bottom line, however, building genuine bonds can also lead to more than just sales opportunities. There is no better example of this than Quantum’s latest marketing campaign for its new powerchair, with the company working alongside a social influencer to raise awareness of the product amongst end-users. The opportunity came about by the team at Quantum taking a real interest in Shona Louise’s blog and has resulted in a trusted voice backing and promoting the new chair to her engaged audience. The theme of working relationships is one also emphasised by Style Mobility’s director Dominic Goldsmith in this month’s Retailer Spotlight. With a year under his belt, he quickly learned the merit of working with other mobility retailers, especially in regards to getting hold of spares, and the positive outcomes it has had for his customers and business. Ultimately, the idea that no man or woman is an island really rings true in the world of business and the more open companies, both manufacturers and retailers, are to building constructive relationships, the more unique and worthwhile opportunities will present themselves. Running a giveaway on our stand this year at Trade Days, we will also be welcoming anybody and everybody to our stand to have a chat, meet the team, forge relationships and see what opportunities there could be to collaborate on something interesting. Swing by stand TE20 and we will be looking forward to seeing you at the show.

Calvin Barnett Editor

Don’t be shy, why not get in touch...

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

Advertising Karim Uddin 020 7702 2141 karim.uddin@bhta.com​

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


THIIS is produced by BHTA Engage, 2-4 Meadow Close, Ise Valley Industrial Estate, Wellingborough, NN8 4BH • 01933 278 086 • newsroom@thiis.co.uk BHTA Engage Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any way without the written permission of the publisher. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher and although every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate, the publishers take no responsibility for errors or omissions.

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


46 Seven figure turnover in seven years

Features 6 Battling bed-blocking 10 Gaining a competitive Edge 38 Living made easy showcase: Beds, mattresses & pressure care

34 No longer the new kids on the block

Regulars 34 Retailer Spotlight 46 More about…

8 Retail accessibility

30 Retailers’ Product of the Month 52 Deal On! 64 Recruitment 66 Training Diary 4 | www.thiis.co.uk

44 The OT’s Perspective

28 Meet Josh

www.thiis.co.uk | 5

Over 140,000 delayed days across the NHS in April 2018

BATTLING BED-BLOCKING Improvements to procurement policies, better integration of care and social services and more occupational therapists & trusted assessors to deliver quicker assessments are just some of the solutions suggested in a recent BHTA paper to address the problem of Delayed Transfer of Care.


ommonly referred to as ‘bedblocking, the issue has an extensive impact on healthcare provision across the board, with knock-on effects on waiting times causing delayed and cancelled treatments, leading to exacerbating health conditions and slowing down recovery rates. According to NHS England statistics detailing the number of delayed days across NHS Organisations for each month, the figure was 144,997 in April 2018, with a peak in October 2016 of over 200,000 days for the month. Lord Chris Rennard, BHTA Director of Communications, commented: “Delayed transfer of care causes distress for patients and their families and is a particular problem for many older people, especially those who are frail and may have dementia. Their conditions often deteriorate whilst in hospital and there can be significant

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Delayed transfer of care causes distress for patients and their families and is a particular problem for many older people, especially those who are frail and may have dementia. LORD CHRIS RENNARD

muscle wastage due to lack of physical activity.” Amongst the reasons identified for delayed discharges in April 2018, three key causes were patients awaiting completion of assessment, awaiting residential home placement or availability, and awaiting community equipment & adaptations. The paper, Action on Delayed Transfer of Care, contains a number of measures to address these causes

and comes following plans announced at the NHS Confederation conference in June 2018 by Simon Stevens and Ian Dalton, the Chief Executives of NHS England and NHS Improvement, to tackle the problem. One of the key areas highlighted as requiring change is in procurement, where improvements to polies could speed up delivery of vital community equipment and allow people to leave hospital quicker.

Importantly, the Trade Association urged delayed discharges to be treated as emergencies requiring immediate action, recommending needs for equipment be identified and provided generally within five days. Writing to Simon Stevens, Mandie Lavin, Director-General of the BHTA, said: “More rapid assessment of the need for community equipment and a more rapid procurement process could assist significantly to reduce the scale of the problem to everyone’s benefit.” Additionally, the Trade Association says that an improvement in the management of Loan Stock Equipment could also help to reduce bed-blocking through the use of automatic identification and data capture technology to provide better management control. Alongside changes to procurement policies, the importance of better integrating services and combining health and care budgets was also emphasised in the document. In particular, the Association warned against tender contracts being awarded on the basis of

More rapid assessment of the need for community equipment and a more rapid procurement process could assist significantly to reduce the scale of the problem to everyone’s benefit MANDIE LAVIN

Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT), disregarding wider cost efficiencies if they beneficiary is another department or healthcare organisation. A number of case studies from areas such as Norfolk, Kent and Manchester where emphasised in the document, where integration to positive outcomes for patients and cost savings across services. Wrote Mandie: “When needs have been assessed, tenders for the necessary equipment are very largely based upon price (inevitably) and to a lesser degree on quality. But speed of delivery and the opportunity to reduce ‘bed-blocking’ should also be

a significant priority.” On the contrary, the Trade Association noted a case in Durham where the County Council awarded the contract for the supply and maintenance of stairlifts to a supplier based on price rather than taking other considerations, such as the speed of installation, into account. The result was longer waiting times for the supply of vital equipment needed for individuals to leave hospital and return to the community, having substantial cost implications on the NHS. With assessments playing a critical role in helping patients transition backed into the community, the paper calls for more occupational therapists to enable better and more rapid assessment within hospitals of patients’ immediate needs outside hospital. In addition to the need for OTs, the BHTA proposed a case for trusted assessors to assess equipment needs when OTs are not available. As well as procurement and integration, the paper also suggested that tax incentives should be introduced to encourage people purchasing homes with a view of retirement to plan ahead and make adaptations in anticipation of future needs. As the NHS prepares for another winter, the question of reducing bed-blocking and relieving avoidable pressure is one that is guaranteed to receive more attention in the coming months.

NHS England and NHS Improvement announced plans to prioritise bedblocking reduction in June 2018

www.thiis.co.uk | 7

PUTTING ACCESSIBILITY AT THE HEART MOBILITY RETAIL Increasingly, retailers across multiple sectors are realising the potential of the ‘purple pound’ and are investing more into their stores, both physical and digital, to ensure they are fully accessible to disabled shoppers. For retailers in the mobility sector however, accessibility is an absolute must.


n February 2017, the Department of Work and Pensions estimated that there are 11 million disabled people in the UK and the spending power of their households - ‘the purple pound’ - is almost £250 billion. This is a figure that has not gone unnoticed by retailers and on the 13th November 2018, the UK’s first day dedicated to accessible shopping will take place during the run up to Christmas 2018. Named ‘Purple Tuesday’, the event will see retailers across the country – and online – introduce new measures to make the shopping experience more inclusive for disabled customers. The initiative is being co-ordinated by the disability organisation Purple and has been endorsed by the government, with support from retailers such as Argos, Sainsbury’s,

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as well as the owners of some of the UK’s busiest shopping destinations such as Landsec (Bluewater) and Hammerson (Birmingham Bullring). In addition to promoting accessibility

billion in lost revenue in the UK in 2016. “There’s a vast array of adjustments retailers can make that will have a significant impact, and many that can

We felt that accessibility was the most important feature we could offer in our showroom GREG MILLS

in store, the campaign is also highlighting the need for retailers to ensure their e-commerce is accessible as well. According to the organisation, inaccessible websites and apps accounted for an estimated £11.75

be implemented quickly,” commented Mike Adams, CEO of Purple. “Customer service is a perfect example – as part of Purple Tuesday, we’ll be providing a simple training kit to help in-store staff feel confident in assisting disabled shoppers.” For retailers and companies operating in the world of independent living and mobility, this need for accessibility is all the more significant. Due to the very nature of the products mobility retailers offer, a large percentage of their consumers may have additional needs when shopping, including visual, mobility, auditory and cognitive. Recently, mobility retailers have been investing in accessibility in their bricks and mortar stores, ensuring customers are able to enjoy a pleasant shopping experience. Having finished her store refurbishment in early 2018, Katy Brown, Managing Director of Scotgate Mobility, told THIIS that she

Five ways to improve your website’s accessibility Add alt-text A simple means of improving accessibility and search engine optimisation. The alternative text (alt-text) is the text that appears if an image doesn’t load and is also used by screen readers to describe the image to users. When adding a product image to a website, ensure its alttext contains a description of what the product actually is. Can it be used without a mouse? For a website to be accessible, a user should be able to operate it without a mouse. Many assistive technology devices rely on using the keyboard to navigate a website, so it is important the major features of a retailer’s website can be accessed using a keyboard. A website owner can use the ‘Tab’ key to research how much of their website can be accessed using a keyboard for navigation. High-contrast Colour on a website is extremely important for readability, vital for those with visual impairments. Low-

researched the needs before making undertaking the project. “I am glad we took our time before doing the refit. Had we done it at the beginning of opening the store, we may have made some poor decisions,” she explained. “Instead, learning more about the local market conditions and the way we want to take the business forward was a better way to approach the refit. “For example, previously there was a black entrance mat, however, I learned that people with dementia can find black carpets quite disorientating - as though they are stepping into a black hole - so we consciously

Mills Mobility invested in accessibility to improve customer experience

contrast colours can make text and imagery difficult to identify and read. This is particular important for buttons and calls-to-actions across the website, as these are elements that retailers need to ensure users can access easily. Think about the font Whilst a font may not affect a screen reader being able to read a page, it is important that a website’s font is still clear and easy to read for those who do not use screen readers but may have visual impairments. Avoid small fonts, too many variations and cursive. Keep it simple If a retailer has a lot of text on their website aimed at elderly audiences or those with learning disabilities, it is better the break the copy into smaller paragraphs, ensure correct headings are used and adopt a simple, straightforward language.

decided to change it.” Hereford-based retailer Mills Mobility also invested in making its premises more accessible, removing internal walls to create more floor space, evening out the floor space and installing accessible doors. Greg Mills, Managing Director of

from the retailer’s customers, as well as helping shoppers better see the store’s range. “They like how big it now feels, and how easily they can now see the items that we have in the showroom. The clean and modern feel of our showroom gives it a great professional

There’s a vast array of adjustments retailers can make that will have a significant impact, and many that can be implemented quickly MIKE ADAMS

the Mills Mobility, commented: “We felt that accessibility was the most important feature we could offer in our showroom. “Previously, we had two separate areas with a standard sized doorway, making manoeuvrability harder for our customers. By creating an open plan showroom, we have enabled customers to have the access to the products and sales desk that they require.” According to Greg, the reaction to the changes have been positive

look but we are really so pleased with how accessible it now is!” he added. As accessibility becomes the expected norm across all areas of society, with growing recognition of schemes such as Purple Tuesday and Changing Places, it is essential that mobility retailers ensure their online and offline properties keep pace with consumers’ growing expectations. For retailers interested in signing up to take part in Purple Tuesday, visit www. purpletuesday.org.uk www.thiis.co.uk | 9

USING INNOVATION TO GAIN AN EDGE IN THE POWERCHAIR MARKET When launching a new innovation into the mobility market, an innovative approach to raise product awareness to consumers is also required. For Quantum Rehab, the company decided to employ a relatively new marketing method that is often underused in the mobility industry to create a buzz around its latest powerchair. 10 | www.thiis.co.uk

An innovative powerchair In mid-September, Quantum Rehab released what it describes as its most advanced powerchair yet, the Q6 Edge 3. The new powerchair boasts a number of industry-first features which the company says the UK mobility industry has been waiting for.

elements to shout about, Quantum Rehab formed a partnership with 21-year-old disability activist, blogger and influencer Shona Louise to engage with her digitally-engaged audience of end-users. The company is one of the few in the mobility sector to fully integrate

The UK market is ready for a more advanced chair and I believe the Edge 3 is going to exceed people’s expectations all over. KEVIN ATKINS

“The Edge 3 is the culmination of eight years of product improvement based on consumer, clinician, and dealer input toward the award-winning Q6 Edge series,” explained Nycole Scourfield, Digital Marketing Executive at Quantum Rehab. The most notable upgrade to the new Q6 Edge 3 relates to its innovative iLevel technology, providing end-users the ability to now travel up to 4.5mph whilst elevated at 12-inches. A first in the powerchair market, the enhanced feature will allow users to achieve a greater speed at the same time as having the chair raised and will prove useful in situations such as crossing busy roads. In addition, the Q6 Edge 3 incorporates Smooth-Ride Suspension (SRS) technology, ensuring for a smoother, more comfortable ride for those in the chair, according to the company. Discussing the new powerchair model, Kevin Atkins, Senior Quantum Sales Manager, commented: “We are thrilled to finally get our hands on the Edge 3; the UK market is ready for a more advanced chair and I believe the Edge 3 is going to exceed people’s expectations all over.” On top of enhanced speed and comfort, the new powerchair includes LED fender lights, USB charging facilities, wheel accent colours and an extended colour range, all as standard. With a variety of new and enhanced

social influencer marketing into the promotional activities of a new product launch. Brands, influencers and the power of trust In the world of advertising, social influencer marketing is a relatively new phenomenon which some industries, such as fashion and beauty, have leapt upon. In the mobility domain however, companies have been slower to jump aboard the growing marketing trend. Social influencer marketing builds on the tried and tested concept of companies using ambassadors to promote a brand or product. Traditionally, ambassadors would be respected or famous public figures, however, with the rise of the internet and social media, influencers

now come in many forms and are not necessarily in the public eye. Online, individuals are building their own communities through blogs, videos and social media posts across a multitude of different areas, from high-end fashion to deep-sea fishing, engaging with interested, like-minded people. Bloggers, vloggers and more are known as influencers because it is often through their continuous posting of advice, insight, thoughts and opinions around a specific subject that they gain the trust and loyalty of a community who value their views. It is this trust that makes social influencers so attractive to brands. For companies in any industry, building trust between their brand and their target consumers is crucial and influencers present companies with a tremendous opportunity to

The Q6 Edge 3 allows users to travel an ‘industryfirst’ 4.5mph whilst elevated 12-inches

www.thiis.co.uk | 11

position their brands and products with a trusted voice amongst a key demographic. For mobility companies, this need to create trust amongst consumers is ten-fold, with the products and the brands playing such a key role in the lives of those who rely on them. An innovative marketing approach An early adopter of the marketing trend, Quantum Rehab worked in collaboration with blogger Shona to help raise awareness of the new Q6 Edge 3 amongst her audience. Launching her blog in 2011 at just aged 14, Shona originally started writing her blog about beauty, however, with the deterioration of her genetic condition over the last six years, she now uses her platform to raise awareness of marfan syndrome and examine topics around disability, ableism and accessibility. In September 2017, Shona had a demo of the Quantum Q6 Edge 2.0 and started fundraising to reach the £11.5k needed to purchase the chair privately, after being told by the NHS that she did not meet their criteria. Reaching her target in February 2018, Shona took delivery of her powerchair and took to her blog to let

her audience know the impact it had on her life. Writing regular updates and showcasing exactly how the powerchair had given her a quality of life back that she describes as unimaginable, her posts grabbed the attention of the team at Quantum. “Her blog, www.shonalouise.com, had become a must-read within the office with people from all over the

lunch and see how this relationship could develop. We initially met up with her in St. Albans and very quickly began talking regularly.” The company invited the young blogger to visit Quantum HQ, showed her around Oxford and naturally developed a good relationship with her over the following months. When the time came to prepare launching the Q6 Edge 3, the decision

She is a trusted member of the disability community and her reviews and opinions are trusted, so to have her talking about all the great things she’s done… is absolutely great. NYCOLE SCOURFIELD

company tuning in to read her latest blogs on both issues with disability and to check up on what Shona had been getting up to on her Quantum Q6 Edge 2.0,” explained digital marketing exec Nycole. “From the very beginning, Shona was a great brand ambassador for us, focusing on the benefits our chairs provide and how they enrich users’ lives. We knew we had to meet her and at the very least, take her out for Brands working with social influencers is a growing marketing trend across multiple industries​

to work with the influencer was an easy one says Nycole. “With the Edge 3 launch in the near future, we knew fairly early on that we wanted to collaborate with her, so after a few discussions, here we are,” she noted. “In preparation for the launch of the Edge 3, we knew we wanted to produce a feature and a lifestyle video with end-user feedback on how the chair can and has really improved people’s lives, but to do that we needed someone in the UK to own a chair. “For us, Shona was the obvious choice – she had used her platform to demonstrate how important and crucial getting a good powerchair is and the impact it has on how a person lives their life.” As part of the collaboration ahead of the product launch, Quantum Rehab offered Shona a brand-new Q6 Edge 3 and invited the blogger to Oxford to star in a promotional video and photoshoot. In addition, Shona’s old Q6 Edge 2.0 – which she had been using for only six months – was to be donated to a deserving person of Shona’s choice. Social influencer marketing masterclass? With more than 15,000 followers across Shona’s combined social networks and an engaged audience of

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like-minded readers, many themselves disabled, Quantum Rehab’s launch campaign is an interesting example of how to raise product awareness amongst a key target demographic. “From a marketing perspective, it was a no-brainer to approach Shona,” said Nycole. “Her writing is impeccable and you could see from her social media and blog that people really listened to what she had to say. Her blog is read monthly by the thousands and she has previously spoke on various TV/Radio & written for national news outlets regarding issues within the disability community.” The campaign is one that offers a win-win for all involved, with a loyal Quantum user having the opportunity to share her experiences of her new chair with her audience, whilst the company benefits from having a

trusted voice endorse the brand, as well as achieving some newsworthy stories to publicise. “She is a trusted member of the disability community and her reviews

“It provides a great case study for Quantum! We’re so lucky to have someone as fantastic as Shona using our chair to live her best life.” As brands seek new ways to reach

From a marketing perspective, it was a nobrainer to approach Shona. NYCOLE SCOURFIELD

and opinions are trusted, so to have her talking about all the great things she’s done, such as go to the theatre, go for long walks with her family over fields and woodlands or simply be able to go out for a full day with friends without having to return early due to having no pain management, is absolutely great,” continued Nycole.

consumers in an authentic and trusted way, Quantum Rehab’s campaign emphasises how thinking creatively, forming meaningful relationships and staying tuned in to the channels where their potential users are engaging can deliver innovation in the world of mobility marketing. www.quantumrehab.co.uk

How to identify social influencers? Finding social influencers often requires someone in an organisation, preferably in marketing, having their finger on the pulse of the industry and a deep understanding of their target consumers. It needs a company to keep a keen eye on what channels their target audiences are engaging with.

Trade Days: Stand TB41 Or please contact us for our new trade catalogue: www.classiccanes.co.uk

www.thiis.co.uk | 13


Ottobock takes centre stage in Recare’s showroom


xforshire-based Recare is the first mobility retailer in the UK to adopt a new Ottobockbranded section for its showroom. The striking new merchandising includes wall coverage, plinths

displaying the latest products in Ottobock’s range and looping promotional product videos played on the showroom’s TV display screen. James Holland-Oakes, Commercial Director at Recare, commented: “We

pride ourselves in supplying quality products to meet individual needs, and our new Ottobock-branded point of sale décor enables us to show off its luxury and well-built range. “Additionally, customers can see we have an excellent relationship with Ottobock, and this will build more trust, both in us and in the manufacturer.” Rob Redgewell, Ottobock UK’s Retail Business Development Manager, added: “We are delighted to see Ottobock branding take pride of place at Recare. It showcases our range excellently and we are sure it’ll be a hit with customers too.” www.recare.co.uk www.ottobock.co.uk

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• More Plates, More Power • Up To 46% More Capacity • Vibration Proof Design • Extra Long Cycle Life • Full Range Held in the UK

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Website: www.easystartbatteries.co.uk Email: sales@easystartbatteries.co.uk

www.thiis.co.uk | 15




n a move to enhance its brand and product exposure amongst occupational therapists, Your Mobility, a supplier of lightweight and strong seating solutions, is exhibiting at this year’s OT Show. The Herefordshire-based seating specialist will run educational activities at stand A58, allowing healthcare professionals to test and learn more about its new and updated range of chairs.

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With those with mobility needs often spending long periods of time in chair, Lyndon Duke, Founder of Your Mobility, says he particularly wants to communicate the importance of comfort and pressure management to OTs. Your Mobility will demonstrate the ease of transferring in and out of the chairs, as well as showcasing the range’s adaptability and manoeuvrability through narrow

doorways and passages; all key considerations for healthcare professionals. The OT Show will be held on the 21st -22nd November at the NEC in Birmingham. www.yourmobility.org


The Edge 3 is the culmination of 8 years of product improvement, innovation and user feedback. With innovative Smooth Ride Suspension technology, LED fender lights as standard and 4.5Mph optional iLevel TM , the Edge 3 is Quantum’s most advanced power chair yet.

Upgraded Smooth Ride suspension A smoother ride experience. SRS technology is automotive-grade, dampened suspension making for a more comfortable ride.

55 Ah Batteries

More miles per charge. 55 Ah batteries allow for increased range for the most active user. Easy access through front shroud.

New colours 8 new bold colours to select from including our new carbon fibre shrouds.

4.5Mph optional iLevelTM Optional iLevel® is available at 4.5mph with up to 12” of power adjustable seat height.


Quantum Rehab | www.quantumrehab.co.uk | 01869 324600


Small screen debut for Medstrom


edstrom, a specialist healthcare equipment provider, has supplied beds and mattresses to feature in popular British soap opera Emmerdale. Advanced Medstrom 5000 beds and Dolphin Therapy mattress systems will be featured in future

storylines involving key characters being admitted to Hotten General Hospital. The inspiration behind the unique product placement came from national clinical manager Debbie Newcombe, a fan of the long-running ITV series.

“My husband and I are big fans of the show, and working in the healthcare sector has given me a keen eye for the quality of medical equipment, no matter the situation,” she explained. “When the opportunity arose, I was delighted to suggest their old props be replaced with state-of-the-art alternatives. Medstrom 5000 beds and Dolphin Therapy surfaces are helping many thousands of patients in the UK to recover from illness in comfort and safety, so to think that some of my favourite characters may soon be joining them is really exciting for me as a fan.” www.medstrom.com

Debbie Newcombe, National Clinical Manager and Paul Hartshorne, Sales Support Technician

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Offer an extensive Collection of Fireside Chairs - perfect for Autumn promotions!






CosiChair Fireside chairs are available in a choice of luxurious fabrics with back options to suit everyone. Combine your customer’s favourite Fireside with a matching Sofa, Static Armchair, Footstool or Riser Recliner to offer to complete lifestyle look.

Let your customers experience the comfort for themselves in your showroom, place your order now!



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sales@electricmobility.co.uk www.thiis.co.uk | 19


Stiltz rises to new status


ollowing an assessment and inspection, Which?, the UK’s largest independent consumer organisation, has awarded Stiltz Homelifts trusted trader status. The through-floor-lift manufacturer had to pass a series of checks carried out by the registered charity to become eligible, including Trusted Trader officers conducting face-toface interviews, checking customer references, examining its business procedures and obtaining credit

reports to assess the financial health of the company. Gino Farruggio, UK Trade Sales Director for Stiltz Homelifts, says the endorsement will provide consumers with extra peace of mind when dealing with the company. “Gaining Trusted Trader status is extremely coveted and only one in four companies obtain it so we are very proud to have passed all the checks,” commented Gino. “Providing the best customer

service possible is the very ethos of our business and our homelifts are designed to immediately improve people’s lives. This endorsement also gives our trade partners even more confidence that they are working with a company that really cares about its customers.” www.stiltz.co.uk

What is a Which? Trusted Trader Having tested products and services for 60 years, the Which? Trusted Traders endorsement scheme is designed to help consumers find reliable traders and give businesses the recognition they deserve.

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www.thiis.co.uk | 21


Clear commitment to customers of closed down competitor


learwell Mobility has put in place arrangements to provide support to customers affected by the recent closure of Tunbridge Wells Mobility in Southborough, which entered into creditors’ voluntary liquidation in late August. With a showroom based in Tunbridge Wells, Clearwell Mobility, in conjunction with its suppliers, has agreed to continue to supply parts to customers who purchased scooters, powered wheelchairs, riser

recliner chairs and profiling beds from Tunbridge Wells Mobility. Duncan Gillett, Managing Director of Clearwell, commented: “In these circumstances, the focus should be on helping affected customers. I can understand that customers of the closed showroom will be anxious about what to do if their equipment develops a fault. “I am pleased we have been able to put in place these arrangements with manufacturers to protect vulnerable

customers who find themselves without the support and backup they thought they could rely on.” Where these products are still covered by a warranty, Clearwell Mobility will obtain replacement parts free of charge for customer and additionally will make its engineers available to affected customers to provide fault diagnostics and routine servicing. www.clearwellmobility.co.uk

Clearwell comes to the rescue of excompetitor’s customers

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SAFEHIP Product Announcement Alerta Medical have been successfully appointed by Safehip as the distribution partner to represent the brand across the UK to all trade including distributors, mobility shops and other stockists. Safehip products, well known and proven in the UK market over many years, will be available from Alerta Medical from 1st October 2018. The Alerta Medical range of fall prevention nurse call alarm products will be very well complemented by this addition of the Safehip Hip Protection range. Distributors will enjoy Alerta Medical’s high standards of; Large stocks for next day delivery Unparalleled distributor marketing support Attractive distributor pricing structure Supply of Safehip products will soon cease to be available from your current UK supply source, please contact Alerta Medical today to ensure a seamless transition.

www.thiis.co.uk | 23 +44 (0)3452 088 097 | www.alertamedical.com | sales@alertamedical.com


A warm retailer offer


hroughout October, Repose Furniture is offering its UK retailers a Relaxor heat and massage system for just £99 (normal trade price £155). The Relaxor heat and massage system helps soothe muscles with gentle vibration and warmth. A separate handset controls different vibration zones built into the chair to massage upper back, lower back, upper and lower thighs and calves, allowing the user to choose their own intensity and speed of each of the pairs of pads. The heat pad in the bottom lumbar of the back cushion completes the relaxing process. “We have offered our retailers a special discount every month in 2018

and the response to this initiative has been extremely positive. We have taken the decision to offer the heat and massage system in October as we know many of our end users benefit from the positive effects of warmth, especially at this time of

year,” commented Lisa Wardley, Managing Director of Repose. To benefit from the offer, retailers should quote October2018 between the 1st and 31st of October. www.reposefurniture.co.uk

Driving awareness of car seats suppliers for disabled children


iDC (The Research Institute for Disabled Consumers) and Driving Mobility have collaborated to launch a new awareness campaign focusing on specialist car seats for disabled children. In response to a growing demand from families and carers with disabled children, RiDC has introduced qualified information about specialist car seats and harnesses which will be shared across the 20 independent organisations overseen by Driving Mobility. The campaign aims to ensure that children who require additional postural assistance whilst travelling in a car, can benefit from greater safety and comfort. Additionally, the initiative will signpost specialist suppliers, such as JCM Seating, R82 and Recaro, as well as provide information about key product features and estimated prices. www.drivingmobility.org.uk

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Meet the Retail Sales Team

Craig Beesley Business Development Manager Retail Key Accounts

Chris Dawson National Sales Manager Retail

Come and see us at Trade Days!

We’re at Stand TC50 - book your appointment with your Account Manager by emailing your details to contactus@drivedevilbiss.co.uk

Karl Smissen Account Manager South East / Home Counties

Dave Downing Account Manager Midlands / South West / South Wales

Putting the customer at the heart of everything we do!

Neil Short Account Manager Scotland / North East / East Midlands

David Ward Account Manager North West / North Wales

www.drivedevilbiss.co.uk www.thiis.co.uk | 25


Fred Nurse, Justina Nurse, Stuart Nurse and Charley Nurse in the Willington showroom

Family business finalists for first award


erbyshire-based Stuart Mobility is a finalist in the Retail Excellence of the Midlands Family Business Awards, the UK’s only independent, not-for-profit annual awards recognising family businesses in the Midlands. Representatives of Stuart Mobility will meet with an independent judging panel, consisting of a leading family business individual, a sponsor

26 | www.thiis.co.uk

representative, an industry expert and a representative from the Midlands Family Business Awards team, ahead of an awards ceremony on the 22nd November. Justina Nurse, Director and Coowner of Stuart Mobility, said: “This is our first award nomination and we are so proud to be recognised. One of the reasons for starting this business was to help our sons, especially Fred who

is autistic, so these Family Awards are a perfect fit.� Specialising in rise and recline chairs, as well as healthcare and bespoke seating, Stuart Mobility started in May 2015 by husband and wife duo Justina and Stuart to create more transparency, clearer pricing and better service within the industry. www.stuartmobility.co.uk

Comfortable luxury & performance! The brand new “K-ACTIV CAPTAIN” available from stock Don’t miss out, order yours now, contact your local Area Manager Mini Comfort letting your customers take their pick!

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South West – Martin Garrett 07850 501634

South East – Keir French www.thiis.co.uk | 27 07515 282647


MEET… JOSH COLES, MARKETING MANAGER AT SCOOTERPAC What does your position involve? My role involves getting information out there about Sooterpac’s fantastic, innovative products, particularly the Cabin Car, the Canopy and the Tandem, which are our main three. I market Scooterpac’s message to our dealers with an aim of getting new dealers on board, both nationally and internationally. I’ve also been organising the trade shows recently: we’re going to Rehacare in Germany and then we’re also at Trade Days.

I then moved back down to the east and was in involved in promotional activities in the education sector, including all the design work, social media and online activity for a big sixth-form college. Very much like this industry, my previous roles were about helping people. That’s my passion and that’s what I’d like to get through to anyone I talk to. For me, it’s really important that we’re assisting people’s lives and marketing that message.

What do you enjoy most about your job so far? Having been with the company for just over a month, I think the most enjoyable part so far has been working with products that I think are really unique to the industry and the product I’m most excited about is the Cabin Car. It is a really unique product for the European market and even further afield in the American market. That’s the most exciting part at the moment, but I think I’ll enjoy the trade shows the most as I’m looking forward to interacting with dealers and forming relationships.

What attracted you to this role? The challenge. It’s a completely different sector and my new role has more responsibility than what I’ve had in my previous roles. I have the ability to shape messages and put together a strategy going forward.

What is your background? My original background was in media production, so I’m hopefully going to try and bring some of those skills to my role at Scooterpac. I ran a small production outfit up in the north east for a little bit, which involved producing promotional videos for local businesses and I worked on marketing for some of the universities as well.

28 | www.thiis.co.uk

Quick-fire questions! Describe yourself in three words Positive, empathetic and efficient What’s your favourite song? Another star – Stevie Wonder What was the last movie you watched? The Children Act If you could have a superpower, what would it be? Time-travel Favourite place in the world? 2,000km up in the Alps. It’s so tranquil and quiet up there. The air is fresh and I find it very cleansing.

What do you think to the industry so far? So far, certainly here at Scooterpac, everyone seems very welcoming and I get the impression that everyone knows what they’re talking about and that they don’t just give you grey answers. Of course, people want to sell a product that they’re passionate about, but within that, everyone’s goal seems to be to want to help the end-user. What are your interests outside of work? I do pilates once a week to keep healthy and active. I’m also into musicals, so I go to the theatre a lot, whether it’s in London or a local theatre.

If you had to do any other job in the world, what would it be? If I had to do another job, I would probably stick to marketing, but in the environmental industry. Outside of work, I’m passionate about the environment, so a role in that sector would be great.

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www.thiis.co.uk | 29

pick of the month


WHAT PRODUCTS ARE RETAILERS IN THE INDUSTRY RAVING ABOUT? Wondering which products are grabbing retailers’ attention? Each month, retailers in the mobility industry highlight one product that has stood out for them and why… 30 | www.thiis.co.uk

Alastair Gibbs, Managing Director of TPG DisableAids

Pick of the month: AJ Way Chatsworth

TPG DisableAids Ltd is a multi-disciplined retailer that covers a whole range of solutions for our customers. One of our staple offerings is the A.J. Ways, Chatsworth Riser / Recliner chair. Now whilst there are many riser recliners on the market, they are not all the same. We choose to sell this as a quality solution because we know it is built to a really high standard and is actually covered by a seven-year warranty. It has solid beech wood frame which is doweled and glued with a proper seat suspension system that stands the test of time. We have found other, less expensive chairs to be made up with poor quality fibre board or used off cuts of plywood which is just stapled together which allows twisting and creaking, utilising cheap foam inserts for padding. The ability to have the chair tailored to size for our customers further enhance the flexibility of this chair. “From a business perspective we must realise that a client is only likely to buy one chair so we must maximise our opportunity and ensure they are not let down by the experience which may reflect on their confidence to buy from us another product. It would be annoying to lose the sale of a stairlift because they were uncomfortable in the arm chair!


PICK OF THE MONTH: DRIVE’S TRISUPPORT CANE TIP Michelle Mossford, Senior Marketing Manager of Ableworld

This was originally brought in because at the time Ableworld were not stocking anything like it. The tri-support cane three-tier tip provides better grip and control, increased stability than a conventional cane tip and allows the cane to stand on its own which can be extremely useful for those people that have arthritis or any condition that weakens hand grip.


www.thiis.co.uk | 31

pick of the month

Dominc Goldsmith, Director of Style Mobility

Pick of the month: Pride Apex lite

The Pride Apex lite has proven incredibly popular this month for us. We are based in a busy sea side town with a large number of caravan parks in and around the area, therefore people are looking for a simple, light weight and robust car boot scooter to enable them to make the most of their break. “The Apex lite certainly ticks all the boxes. It’s ease of use and durability have made it a winner for us and, with dozens sold, not one machine has been returned under warranty; it speaks for itself.


Karen Sheppard, Managing Director of People First Mobility


The Drive InStore 4mph car portable mobility scooter has been a really good seller this month. This is due to the fact it is unbranded from the manufacturer and so we can brand it ourselves, giving it a unique name of our own. “This means when the customer comes into the store and we show them the scooter and give them the details, they cannot then go to a competitor or online to find the same scooter. This leads the customer back to us for their purchase.


32 | www.thiis.co.uk

www.thiis.co.uk | 33

retailer spotlight

STYLE MOBILITY: NO LONGER THE NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK Back in November 2017, THIIS covered the story a new mobility shop that had opened on Britain’s east-coast, Style Mobility. Located in the resort town of Great Yarmouth, directors Dominic Goldsmith and Simon West discussed the challenges of being newcomers in an area with wellestablished competitors on their doorstop. A year on since the store launched, Dominic reflected with THIIS on the challenges, achievements and learnings of the past 12-months and considers what the future holds for the company.

Co-director Dominic Goldsmith appreciates the value of cooperating with other mobility dealers


aving both worked for a local mobility company in Great Yarmouth, Dominic and Simon decided to take the leap and start their own mobility retail operation in September 2017. Taking inspiration from car showrooms and his experience in hospitality, Dominic explained that the company aimed to create a modern, stylish space that reflected the growing emphasis manufacturers are putting on making mobility products more stylish. With long-established retailers a short distance away, the two directors were confident they would be able to carve out a place in the local market for their new store but for any new company, the first year is often the most turbulent time.

Great Yarmouth’s latest mobility shop is celebrating its one-year anniversary


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Being willing to test and able to adapt Discussing the first full year in business, Dominic explained the importance of being able to be flexible and experiment. “As a new company, the first 12 months have been a steep learning curve,” he said. “Certain ideas and plans that we had before we opened perhaps didn’t work so well in practice as they did in theory and had to be scrapped or altered to suit the reality of how the business turned out. On the other hand, some worked better than expected. Overall it has been a lot of work but we have enjoyed every minute!” Still as enthused as when he first opened the doors to the store, 31-year-old director Dominic highlighted that one particular area that was thriving was reconditioned equipment, leading the store to bolster its workshop operations. “We have seen a great deal of success with the supply of good quality, reconditioned scooters and powerchairs, as used machines are more affordable and accessible to more people,” he noted. “Our service and repair workshop is up and running now at full pace and we have a strict, fast-turnaround policy on repairs and servicing. We are lucky enough to have an exceptionally

The company’s promotional stand in an area of high footfall raises awareness of the store

qualified engineer in control of the workshop operation and it has proven to be a success.” In contrast to the growing refurbishment business, one of the areas that has not taken off for Style Mobility was its bathroom adaptation venture. Originally, when the store launched, it dedicated one of the spaces in its three-room showroom to the adaptation arm of its retail operations, however, after trialling it, the directors decided it was not right for the company. “We decided after a few months that we were not going to continue with our bathroom and wet room

“I think that the proud moments have definitely been when major suppliers and manufacturers have recognised us and the work we are doing.” DOMINIC GOLDSMITH


20’’ seat width self propel version

fitting,” said Dominic. “Although we fitted several successfully, it just didn’t work out to be as lucrative as we had first thought.” Overcoming challenges As well as one of the most turbulent times for a business, the first year can also often prove to be the most challenging for a fledgling retailer and that was no different for Style Mobility says Dominic. “There have been several challenges that we have had to overcome, mainly supplier and account issues, and, as with any new business, establishing trust with local people is always going to take time, especially given the nature of the business and the cost of some mobility products,” he said. Considering how Style Mobility overcame these challenges, particularly around building trust as the new shop in town, the young director described how customer service and the right promotional activity played a key role in becoming established.

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“In order to build trust in the community, we make sure our service is second to none; we will do everything we possibly can to ensure our customer is left satisfied. Consistency is incredibly important to us and the standard should always remain the same,” he explained. “We live in a small seaside town made up of close-knit communities so word travels fast, good or bad. Fortunately, it has remained good!” In addition to prioritising customer service, the company takes out a promotional stand in the town centre two to three times a month to raise the store’s profile amongst local residents. “It helps us to connect with both new and existing customers,” added Dominic. “We try to make sure we are constantly active and being noticed.” With a year of successful trading under Style Mobility’s belt, Dominic says the support of suppliers that have acknowledged the company is a great source of pride to the team. “I think that the proud moments have definitely been when major suppliers and manufacturers have recognised us and the work we are doing, giving us accounts so we are able to stock and sell their products,” he remarked.

We have learned the importance of mutual respect between dealers DOMINIC GOLDSMITH

“It was a good feeling to go from being newcomers trying to get started to being recognised in the industry as a rapidly growing business that we hope is here to stay.” The appreciation of mutual respect With the retail landscape for bricks and mortar stores often being defined as one increasing competitive pressure, Dominic interestingly underlined that the last year had taught him the value of cooperation with other mobility retailers. “We have learned the importance of mutual respect between dealers. It is majorly beneficial for businesses and customers if we help each other out,” he outlined. “It is near on impossible to stock everything and we may have something they need and vice versa. A company near us also manufactures a fairly unique product so it’s great to be able to offer that to our customers too.”

“We live in a small seaside town made up of close-knit communities so word travels fast, good or bad.” DOMINIC GOLDSMITH

36 | www.thiis.co.uk

Looking to the future Following the success of its first year, the ever-optimistic director is now preparing for the years to follow, expanding the team and taking the retail shop to the next level. “In the short-term, I am keen to get our first sales advisor trained and out and about, hopefully exploring new ways to bring in business,” stated Dominic. “The most exciting thing about this for me is that we are introducing someone young and new to what I believe to be one of the most exciting, interesting and fast-moving industries there is to be involved in.” He continued: “In the long-term, we will be looking to increase the sales team and then, eventually, the size of our premises and workshop facilities.” With big plans on the horizon, Dominic finished by expressing his deep gratitude to some of those in the industry that had helped the company get to where it is today. “We would like to say a big thank you to Steve Howard at Pride Mobility, Ian Bedford and the team at Monarch, Simon Hunter at Sunrise Medical, Louis and Kevin Harmer from Norfolk Mobility and everybody else that who have taken us seriously and given us a chance.” www.stylemobility.co.uk

October Offers Evesham Dual Motor Riser Recliner Chair • RRP £369 ex VAT • Raises to an almost standing position to assist in transferring to and from the chair • Reclines to a comfortable snooze position for ultimate relaxation • Four button handset, allows for independent use of the footrest and backrest • Finished in high quality, soft to touch fabric available in Cream, Terracotta & Chocolate • Includes manufacturing warranty of 1 year on framework and 2 years on electrics


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Bright Light ‘Midi’ SAD Light Box Hello sunshine! When winter draws in and the clocks go back, this lamp provides light therapy in just one hour and can help hormone balance, ideal for those darker nights. It is even small enough to travel with and pop on your desk at work.

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Features • Stylish, attractive design • Ideal for home or office use with a convenient desktop, fold-out stand • Treatment time of 60mins at a distance of 30cm (12”) • 10,000 lux intensity helps to provide optimum treatment times • Please Note – Not recommended for use if you suffer with diabetes or glaucoma Offers valid until 31/10/18. Prices correct at time of going to print. Product and offers are subject to availability.

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living made easy



With close to 1000 suppliers nationwide constantly releasing new products in the mobility and independent living industry, it can be difficult for retailers to keep track of what equipment is available on the market. Living made easy however is aiming to make retailers’ lives easier each month with their product showcase, highlighting new, unique and popular products to busy retailers 38 | www.thiis.co.uk

Children’s cot bed


he Flores cot bed has a high sided wooden surround with an electrically operated profiling bed frame. The traditional bars have been replaced with side panels fitted with macrolon windows, giving the child a 360-degree view from the cot. A side access for a mobile hoist is available if required. It can be fitted with a safety bar or all-round bumpers to minimise the risk of injury or harm to the child. According to the manufacturer the concept will help encourage better sleep patterns and bedtime routines, thus giving peace of mind even with the most challenging child.

COST EFFECTIVE ALTERNATING OVERLAY MATTRESS Developed and aimed at those who are at low risk of developing pressure ulcers, the Domus 1 Mattress Overlay is a lightweight pressure relieving mattress system composed of 64mm high bubble cells with extension flaps on the top and bottom to prevent sliding. The fire-retardant PVC pad has a weight indicator reference for optimised pressure setting and adjustable hangers, designed to be compatible with most electric profiling beds.

Silent, maintenance free mattress


he Opera Synergy is a hybrid pressure mattress system that combines air and foam through a non-powered self-adjusting technology to provide pressure relief. Airfoam cells inset into the mattress and re-adjust according to the mattress user’s body movement, enabling intelligent pressure care. Other features include a tapered pressure relieving heel-zone, mattress platform securing straps, 240-foam node surface, handling loops and a high-quality two-way stretch vapour-permeable cover with welded seams that provide fluid ingress protection. As there is no need for a pump, this mattress is intended to have a silent operation and be maintenance free.

info@dlf.org.uk 020 7289 6111 www.thiis.co.uk | 39

living made easy

PORTABLE SAFETY SLEEPER This fully enclosed and portable bed system from Abram’s Nation is designed to prevent a loved one from unattended wandering


ccessed through a zipped side entry, the unique design aids the user to wind down and go to sleep by reducing visual stimulation and the opportunity to play or roam. Its safety feature also removes any entrapment fears for individuals who suffer from night-time seizures or injure themselves when falling out of bed. A coverlet is included, along with an air mattress and pump, stabilising

straps and frame pads. The Safety Sleeper Enclosed Bed comes in a range of colours and can be taken apart and packed away in the travel suitcase for transport. Twin and full-sized mattresses are available, including bespoke. The pro model has four multi-functional access points for use with feeding, oxygen tubes etc and a convertible side entry with two zipper access on both sides.

If you are a supplier and would like to list your products on Living made easy, contact DLF’s data services team at data.services@dlf.org.uk Already listed? Remember to use our self-service site to keep your company information and products up-to-date. Living Made Easy is part of the Disabled Living Foundation (DLF)

40 | www.thiis.co.uk

RICHMOND ADJUSTABLE BED This half-divan fully adjustable bed comes with a heavy-duty frame and Reflex mattress. It stands on legs and has castors for ease of movement – ideal if you need to get bed tables or hoists underneath. Complete with a Belgian damask upholstered surround, there’s the option to choose from a range of mattresses and headboards. The base comes with or without drawers. A massage facility, cot sides, grab rails and leg lifers are also available.

The next generation Baltic Centrobed’s Arctic Independent Bed is a variation of their Baltic bed. The metal frame is made up of different sections, making it possible for the user to turn left or right whilst staying in the seated position. The legs can be moved independently, helping to reduce risk of pressure sores and paraesthesia. The bed itself can lower and raise to different heights reducing the risk of injuries to the carers. The bed comes in a variety of bright colours. Sizes range from paediatric to bariatric and can also be made to measure.

info@dlf.org.uk 020 7289 6111 www.thiis.co.uk | 41

living made easy

Specifically designed for a person who requires carers With a maximum rise height of 18 inches, the high/low action on this adjustable height profiling bed allows for a person to be turned in bed at a comfortable height. It also assists the user to stand up from a seated position on the edge of the bed, in much the same way as a rise and recline chair works. Manufactured by Laybrook, the bed comes with a choice of frame sizes and mattresses, with options for under bed space for hoist legs or higher weight capacity.

FLOATING ON AIR The Squirrel Diamond MRS is a patented design low profile active alternating dynamic air mattress that has been designed to aid in the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers. Consisting of 58 air cells over two layers, its intelligent design addresses the issues of self-initiated movement and due to its quiet digital pump and subtle massage is effective at inducing sleep. The mattress is fitted with a waterproof and vapour-permeable stretch PU quilted mattress cover.

If you are a supplier and would like to list your products on Living made easy, contact DLF’s data services team at data.services@dlf.org.uk Already listed? Remember to use our self-service site to keep your company information and products up-to-date. Living Made Easy is part of the Disabled Living Foundation (DLF)

42 | www.thiis.co.uk

For more information, see our website: www.z-tec.co.uk

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www.thiis.co.uk | 43

OT perspective


HOW TO ASSESS CLIENTS FOR BEDS, MATTRESSES AND PRESSURE CARE Sleep is HUGELY important, and on a daily basis, thousands of occupational therapists will be working with their clients to help them to: 1. Get more sleep 2. Have a more comfortable nighttime arrangement 3. Get help with tasks that need completing during the night-time hours All of these things are hugely important for the simple reason that if a client is getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis, then good occupational performance and engagement in daily life is far more likely.

44 | www.thiis.co.uk

On the other hand, if sleep is a struggle, daily activities can then become compromised and chronic illnesses can occur. Where do OTs fit in? Occupational therapists use their knowledge of physiology, sleep disorders, sleep hygiene and sleep promotion to look at and address sleep insufficiency in occupational performance areas of daily living.

Key questions to users ask when assessing for beds, mattresses and pressure care: Does the person live alone? Does the person sleep alone? How much time does the person spend in bed - do they have day naps or shorter stints throughout the day and night? Any activities undertaken in bed that are important to the client such as reading or watching television? Does the person get up at night? Can the person lay down from sitting up and vice versa? Does the person use equipment to assist with bed mobility? Does the person need help to position in bed?

A brief example of occupational therapy input is a child with Autism An OT might speak to the child’s family and suggest changes to bedtime routines, patterns and behaviours. They may use methods like reinforced praise to help encourage good night-time behaviour, lightweight or weighted pyjamas to help influence movements, posters that map out a routine and stickers and rewards for good routine. There will also likely be some emphasis on managing the environment, by introducing calming activities before bed and/or a bathing/showering routine that fits in with the family’s lifestyle. Is there risk of entrapment? Does the person have any pressure areas? When at the edge of the bed for sit to stand, is a stick or other equipment required? Is a table or inappropriate equipment currently used? What type of mattress is in situ? What is the height of the bed? What is the width of the bed? Does the person reside in bed 24/7? Does the person reside in bed for

periods of time due to a medical condition? How can a supplier or manufacturer assist OTs with this? A supplier or manufacturer with good insight into their own products and healthcare issues may be able to suggest equipment that is not commonly known or funding opportunities available to fund

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).

equipment or a new bed. Often a client will know what they require but costs prevent them making the purchase, so advice and expertise on equipment, bed and funding opportunities is absolutely key.

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www.thiis.co.uk | 45

more about‌



When Paul Briggs received a call from Topro in 2011 asking if he wanted to take on the distribution of the high-quality Norwegian range of mobility aids, he knew the challenge such an opportunity involved. Selling welldesigned, stylish and expensive Scandinavian products into a UK marketplace still reeling from the worst financial crisis of this century was no mean feat, yet, seven years on, the company is achieving a sevenfigure turnover and has built up a list of loyal customers. THIIS spoke with the determined managing director to find out how the company managed to thrive whilst so many other businesses were struggling to survive. 46 | www.thiis.co.uk

How did the opportunity to build Topro’s UK business first arise? I was approached by Topro whilst working for another mobility supplier and decided to take the opportunity presented to me. It was the chance to join the company in its infancy and take it forward. What convinced you to join Topro? The range of products and the opportunity to sell these products not only to mobility retailers but going

Is it this customer service element that you feel makes Topro different to other suppliers in the market? It is a major factor. As a smaller company, we really do have to go the extra mile because even though our products are good and have a lot of unique selling points, they have been copied many times. We have to make sure we do something more for our dealers to ensure they want to continue working with us and selling our products.

Not everyone is price obsessed and dealers and healthcare professionals are looking for products and services which sets them apart from everyone else. PAUL BRIGGS

into the NHS and demonstrating the products to members of the public.

The fact that the entire team is pushing towards that goal and willing

Joining Topro seven years ago, MD Paul Briggs is confident about the years to come

to go further for the retailers we work with time and time again is what sets us apart and helps drive the company forward. With a small team, is it difficult to maintain that high level of customer service? If anything, I would say it is easier. We are all accountable and will all be able to talk to our customers regarding any issues or products they are enquiring about. We learn about any issues or trends via our customer service and this is an extremely productive way of understanding which products our customers wish to see. If there are

How has company grown over time? We have grown considerably over my time with the company whilst working within tight budgetary constraints. Initially it was just myself working in the UK but that has now grown to four and we are looking at adding additional members of the team in the coming months and years. How did the company manage to find success in those early years, particularly in such a price-sensitive market? Recognising the challenges involved, I knew it would be essential to sell the brand, ourselves and in particular, the service we could offer. For me, going the extra mile with customer service was and still is something that is essential to success. We are all passionate about the brand and service we offer our customers and be it an order for £10 or £10,000 we will still offer the same level of service.

Topro’s Roy Day (centre) with Millercare’s Steve Starkie (left) & Phil Worthington (right). Building close relationships with such retailers has been key to its success

www.thiis.co.uk | 47

more about… Building and developing these personal relationships are what good, sustainable business is built on and we don’t want to be a large, faceless corporation, otherwise dealers could go and buy from anyone else.

The company produces its highquality range from its Norway-based production facility

any issues then our customer services is the first port of call. Essentially, because we are such a small and close-knit team, we are all passionate about what we do and making sure we go above and beyond to maintain our relationships with dealers. Offering good customer service is down to each member of the team, if we are asked to do something then it will be done. All our phone numbers are available to our customers and we are all contactable to ensure customer satisfaction. Being a small team, it is sometimes a challenge but we all understand the

48 | www.thiis.co.uk

bigger picture at Topro and know how important it is to not hide behind a job title and we all job share and work together to ensure customer queries are answered satisfactorily. Do you think it is this personal touch that has helped Topro build its trade network? We really try hard to help our trade network where we can, be it with loan stock, user demonstrations, representation at trade events and more. It is important that dealers aren’t just dealing with Topro, but dealing with Paul, Katie, Roy or Stephen.

You are exhibiting at this year’s OT Show and you also exhibited at Naidex, why do you focus a lot of your attention on healthcare professionals? We want to be seen as the rollator experts and it is the reason why we invest in doing shows like these, even though we do not sell directly to endusers or healthcare professionals. The OT Show gives us a wonderful opportunity to showcase our products to the healthcare sector. We know it is good exposure for the brand and a great chance to meet the people that are using or recommending our products, giving us an opportunity to advise and educate. Being visible at these shows and engaging with healthcare professionals means we now have occupational therapists contact us and ask us for our advice. Importantly, when our products may not be the right for their patient or for a customer, we point them in the direction of others that can help. For me, it is about making sure that those who need our products are looked after, even if that means it isn’t by us. It has also led to healthcare professionals really trusting and valuing our advice. Being willing to advise someone to take on a competitor’s product may shock many in business who wouldn’t dream of such a thing. I imagine it would, but for us, we want to help people and I hope that is why all of us are in this industry. If a company operates with the goal of doing right by people, success naturally follows. How effective is this approach of engaging with healthcare professionals and endusers for driving customers to your trade network? It seems to be effective. We

Topro want to be known as the rollator company in the market

send targeted marketing emails to occupational therapists and physiotherapists and because we do not sell directly to the public, all the user-demonstrations we do are then passed on to local retailers. Our role is very much helping to facilitate our dealers to successfully sell our products. Do you think this is why your network appreciates working with Topro? I would like to think so. We try hard to look after our retailer network as much as we can. Personally delivering products on tight deadlines or attending demonstrations in some pretty far flung places for our dealers is part of the service we try to offer our dealers and think this sets us apart from others. Your products sit on the more expensive-end of the price spectrum, have you seen a trend in your customers prioritising quality over price? We firmly believe in you get what you

pay for. Not only must our products be of the highest quality but our service must be as well. Not everyone is price obsessed and dealers and healthcare professionals are looking for products and services which sets them apart from everyone else. Value for money is important to everyone but so is diversity and unique selling points both of which we can offer our customers. For example, a rollator with single

a quickening over the last few years and now consumers expect their products almost instantaneously - I’m guilty of it of myself when ordering something online at home. For all companies and especially for companies in our industry, keeping up with these growing expectations is extremely important. Are you still looking for more dealers in the UK and what type of dealers are you

I know it sounds clichĂŠ but people really do buy from people. PAUL BRIGGS

sided brakes, ergonomic grips and additional resistance brakes is just one example of the type of products we can offer. As well as product quality, there has been a steep and rapid growth in customer expectations as well. The entire buying process, from purchase through to delivery, has seen

looking to hear from? We are always on the lookout for more dealers nationwide. If they represent the brand and buy into what we do, then that is the retailer we are looking for.

www.thiis.co.uk | 49

more about… How important is it for retailers to be trained in the products they sell? The key to the industry is customer service above all else and this means both the service retailers provide to their customers and the service we provide our dealers. That is why it is essential that we do

the products they are selling in detail, which is why we try to make sure we offer as much training as possible to retailers that work with us. With the rise of internet shopping, is that need for customer service still so significant?

“We don’t want to be a large, faceless corporation, otherwise dealers could go and buy from anyone else.” PAUL BRIGGS

the product training with our retailers, so they understand the product they are selling and are able to confidently sell it to their customers. For retailers to offer the best customer service, they need to know

50 | www.thiis.co.uk

I think for traditional mobility shops, they have to offer something different to the internet because they will

naturally not be able to always compete on price. What they do have is the ability to offer exceptional customer service and aftercare service, which is what creates customer loyalty. I know it sounds cliché but people really do buy from people. Retailers I think have a job to do of educating the sons and daughters - the ones that buy products on the web on behalf of their parents - about the longer-term implications of who they are purchasing from. The initial price online may look attractive but if something goes wrong with the product and it has been purchased 100-miles away, are they going to be able to come out and help that family member quickly or at all? Providing great customer service and, importantly, educating people about why that customer service essential will be crucial for traditional mobility retailers.

Topro and The OT Service team up Topro has partnered with well-known and respected independent OT Kate Sheehan, director of The OT Service, working with the company and its PR Agency, C.A.S Marketing Communications, to develop literature, case studies, social media and clinical articles. The aim of the partnership is to raise awareness of the Topro range of products amongst healthcare professionals and provide clinical advice where required. In an industry where style is often lacking it is exciting to be able to involved with products that are not only functional but also highly desirable. Our aim is to work together to show our clients/customers that they can still be engaged in activities they want to do” commented Kate. What does the future hold for Topro? We have recently added to our team and have a number of plans for expansion going forward. We have just started work in 2018 with Kate Sheehan at the OT Service, as well as Andrew Gubbins at CAS Marketing. Both have taken us into different markets and we are intrigued to see

The UK’s leading FREE Conference for professionals involved in Adaptations and Equipment

where these professionals will lead the company moving forward. We have some really exciting new innovative products to launch in 2019 which we believe will propel the company further forward. www.topro.co.uk

We found it extremely beneficial being able to attend an occupational therapy event. OTAC presented us with a perfect opportunity to engage with occupational therapists. There was a good mix of exhibitors, which definitely complimented the format of the event.

Louise Cusack UK Regional & Specialist Section Manager Royal College of Occupational Therapists

OTAC 2019 Featuring

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To book your FREE tickets visit our website or email sally@promoting-independence.co.uk For more information on exhibiting please contact karen@promoting-independence.co.uk

www.thiis.co.uk | 51 www.otac.org.uk

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 October 31st 2018 unless otherwise stated.


Two Free Home Delivery Smartphone Apps (worth £750)*

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

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

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

In the latest phase of its ongoing retailer support programme, Repose Furniture is offering its UK retailers a Relaxor heat and massage system for just £99 (normal trade price £155). To benefit from this offer, retailers just need to quote October2018 between the 1st and 31st of October. For more information call us on 01384 567401 or visit www.reposefurniture.co.uk

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

www.thiis.co.uk 52 | www.thiis.co.uk





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new to the team

NEW PRESIDENT AND CEO TO DRIVE SUNRISE MEDICAL GROWTH With a background in leading innovation-driven business, Sunrise Medical has appointed Thomas Babacan as the company’s new President and CEO. Before joining the mobility manufacturer and distributor, Thomas was the CEO of AHT Cooling Systems, a global producer for commercial refrigeration and freezing systems, as well as holding senior positions in a number of other manufacturers. Johan Ek, Chairman of Sunrise Medical, commented: “In Thomas Babacan, Sunrise Medical has found a President and CEO who in his previous positions has demonstrated strong leadership and strategic skills. “Thomas, with his global sales and operations experience, is well suited to lead Sunrise Medical on its ambitious growth journey.” Thomas will commence the new role on the 1st of November 2018. www.sunrisemedical.co.uk

THERAPOSTURE BOLSTERS CLINICAL EXPERTISE WITH NEW TEAM MEMBER Qualifying as an occupational therapist in 2011, Shaun Masters has joined Theraposture’s team of trusted assessors, bringing a wealth of clinical knowledge to the company and its clients. An avid downhill mountain biker, Shaun was involved in delivering community-based re-enablement in the public sector prior to joining Theraposture. Shaun comments: “As I have been an OT for several years, I have already regularly recommended Theraposture products as they always provide positive outcomes.” With expertise in moving and handling in both adult and paediatric sectors, Shaun will be responsible for service healthcare and consumer clients in South West England, South and Central Wales. Outside of work, Shaun runs to raise funds for charities such as Macmillan and Spinal Research, inspired by his family experience of disability. To contact Shaun, email shaun@theraposture.co.uk Shaun Masters

54 | www.thiis.co.uk




TV Manufactured by Monarch, the Smarti is a small class 2 automatic folding mobility scooter. Using a remote control key fob, the scooter can be folded and unfolded effortlessly, making the Smarti the ideal solution for those who struggle to dismantle scooters.

LIMITED TRADE OFFER* Buy 1 for £1,249 | Buy 2 for £1,229 (each) | Buy 3 for £1,209 (each) | Buy 4 for £1,199 (each) Or buy 1 at £1,395 and get an extra battery (worth £229)

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new to the team

NEW VICECHAIR TO STIMULATE “GREAT DEBATE” IN BHTA MOBILITY DIVISION Head of Ottobock UK’s human mobility business unit for ten years, Simon Tempest has now been announced as the new vicechair of the British Healthcare Trades Association’s (BHTA) mobility section. Comprising of members involved in the manufacturing and retail of mobility equipment, as well as importers, and distributors, the mobility section focuses on the various issues facing the mobility industry, such as end-user assessments and personal healthcare budgets. Simon’s role as vice-chair will see him lead meetings of the section and work with members on future projects. “I feel I have a lot to offer and I’m looking forward to engaging with members, invigorating great debate and encouraging an environment of proactive discussion,” commented Simon. Before joining Ottobock in 2000, Simon worked for a specialist mobility retail distributor for 14 years. “Having worked with both retail and NHS customers for nearly 30 years, I’ve got a broad insight into how both segments of the market work,” added Simon. “It helps me understand consumer needs and requirements and I think this is really important, given the changing environment of funding and the shifting NHS landscape.” www.bhta.com 56 | www.thiis.co.uk

New account manager joins Topro


tephen Will has been appointed to the position of account manager for the South West, responsible for targeting the retail market and the NHS. Having previously worked for Careflex, Stephen brings a wealth of experience to the role according to the company. He will not work alongside OTs and physios within the brain injury, neuromuscular and rehabilitation wards in hospitals and adult social services within the local community. Outside of work, Stephen is a qualified sports injury specialist and in addition to going to the gym and taking part in various sporting activities, he also helps coach a girl’s football team which is managed by his partner. “2018 is proving to be another successful year for Topro in the UK and Stephen’s appointment is the latest step in our continued growth,” commented Paul Briggs. To contact Stephen, call 07932 411849 or email stephen.will@topro.co.uk www.topro.co.uk

NEW STAIRLIFT ENGINEER TO HELP MEET GROWING DEMAND Following a period of steady growth in demand for stairlifts and homecare products, Dolphin Mobility has appointed Andy Fox as a new stairlift engineer. Gareth Watkinson, Managing Director of Dolphin Mobility, says the company, which covers Yorkshire and Cumbria, needed to increase the size of the team to ensure levels of responsiveness remain high for both private and public customers. Speaking of the new appointment, he said: “Andy Fox is amiable and friendly with very high standards and comes to Dolphin with a wealth of knowledge and experience of surveying, installing and servicing stairlifts having previously worked for UK stairlift manufacturers Platinum and Bespoke.” www.dolphinmobility.co.uk


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RS Healthcare, a provider of community healthcare equipment and services to the NHS and local authorities, has acquired Lancashire-based online retailer Complete Care Networks (CCN). Supplying a wide range of mobility and daily living aids for children and adults, CCN retails through a range of online channels, including its own online shop (Complete Care Shop), Amazon and eBay. In addition, the company is an official supplier of equipment to the NHS and has seen continued growth in the mobility market. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed but, according to Welsh corporate advisory firm Gambit who advised the shareholders of CCN, included a multi-million-pound payment at completion together with an earn-out based on the future trading performance of the CCN business. Jerry Benson, CEO of NRS Healthcare, told THIIS: “We are very pleased with the acquisition of CCN. Their product range complements ours well and their access to the consumer provides us with exciting options for the future.” Simon Marsden, Director of Gambit who was part of the team advising the sale, commented: “CCN has achieved significant growth in a competitive

58 | www.thiis.co.uk

Jerry Benson, CEO of NRS Healthcare

Their product range complements ours well and their access to the consumer provides us with exciting options for the future. JERRY BENSON

market and in NRS has secured a highly complementary partner with the financial backing to take the business through the next stage in its growth.” An outsourced supplier of community healthcare equipment and services, NRS was subject to a

management buy-out backed by LDC in 2013, who exited the business in 2014, retaining a minority stake, when further funding was secured from H2 Equity Partners. www.nrshealthcare.co.uk www.completecareshop.co.uk


TRADE DAYS is the SOLE UK trade only event making it a mustattend for the mobility, independent living and assistive technology market. Attend the all-new event – 7th-8th October 2018 at NEC Birmingham to test out new products in the sector and secure the very best deals, discounts and more.


NEW FOR 2018 • Live Auctions • Dealer Days • Product Launch Platform • Free Training • Innovation and Product Launch Trail • AMP Mobility Awards

RETURNING FAVOURITES • Discount Vouchers Booklet • Exclusive Prize Giveaways including: Cabin Car by Scooterpac, Two Raptor Scooters by Pride, Quickie Q100 Powerchair by Sunrise Medical, New Lithilite Car Boot Scooter by Motion Healthcare and more with a prize haul worth over £25k!




PRIVATE EQUITY COMPANY BACKS MBO OF AJM AJM Mobility Ltd (t/a AJM Healthcare), a provider of mobility equipment and maintenance services to the NHS, Local Authorities and private customers, has completed a successful management buy-out supported by WestBridge Capital.


ypically investing in medium sized enterprises, the private equity firm highlighted AJM Healthcare’s potential for expansion of its services and the security of its recurring revenue streams. CEO Mark Perress, who has been running the business on a day-to-day basis for over seven years, and the existing senior management team will now work with the WestBridge Capital

60 | www.thiis.co.uk

as the company pursues growth. Mark Perress commented: “We were highly impressed with the WestBridge team from the outset. We believe that our relationship will deliver a winning combination of management, operational and financial expertise that will work for the benefit of AJM, its service users and customers.” An integrated wheelchair service

provider across London, Kent, Essex, Sussex and Surrey, AJM Healthcare also operates MyHealth Mobility (formerly AJ Mobility), an online retail outlet offering a full range of mobility products to private customers. Operating since 1983, AJM employs over 150 people, ranging from specialised therapists to field service engineers. www.ajmhealthcare.com

The Maybury & The Marriott Dual Motor Lift & Tilt Recliner Chairs Contact us to find out more T: 01977 681400 | E: sales@vanosmedical.com www.thiis.co.uk | 61

diary dates September 12, 2018 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) La Mon Hotel, Belfast www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402 September 26, 2018 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) Imperial Hotel, Torquay www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402 September 26-29, 2018 Rehacare Dusseldorf www.rehacare.com October 7-8, 2018 Trade Days NEC www.tradedays.co.uk October 15-17, 2018 Medtrade Atlanta www.medtrade.com October 17-18, 2018 The Care & Dementia Show NEC www. caredementiashow.com November 7, 2018 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) The Spa Hotel, Kent www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402 November 28, 2018 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) Hilton Hotel, Newcastle www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402 December 5, 2018 OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) Hilton Hotel, Southampton www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402 January 28–31, 2019 Arab Health Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre www.arabhealthonline.com February 6, 2019 Hallmark Hotel, Chester OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402 March 21, 2019 Kidz to Adultz Middle Coventry www.kidzexhibitions. co.uk March 26 & 27, 2019 Naidex NEC www.naidex.co.uk April 17-18, 2019 Medtrade Spring Las Vegas www.medtrade.com April 24, 2019 Weetwood Hall, Leeds OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402 April 31, 2019 Imperial Hotel, Torquay OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402 March 29 30 2019 Living Limitless Sandown Park, Surrey www. limitlesslivinguk.co.uk May 16, 2019 Kidz to Adultz South Farnborough International Centre www.kidzexhibitions.co.uk June 12, 2019 Hallmark Hotel, Cambridge OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402 June 17-18, 2019 COT Annual Conference ICC Birmingham www. cotannualconference.org.uk June 26 27, 2019 Health+Care Excel London www.healthpluscare.co.uk July 4, 2019 Kidz to Adultz Wales & West Bristol. www.kidzexhibitions. co.uk July 10, 2019 Hilton Hotel, Reading OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402 July 15 17, 2019 Posture & Mobility Group Conference Telford International Centre, Shropshire www.pmguk.co.uk July 14, 2019 28th Disability Awareness Day annual event Walton Hall and Gardens in Warrington www.disabilityawarenessday.org.uk September 11, 2019 Hilton Hotel, Southampton OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402 October 22, 2019 Hilton Hotel, Newcastle OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402 November 6, 2019 The Spa Hotel, Kent OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402 December 4, 2019 St David’s Hotel, Cardiff OTAC (Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference) www.otac.org.uk or call Sally on 02921 900402

62 | www.thiis.co.uk

Mobility Networks Group continues European expansion


heelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) specialist Mobility Network Group has completed the acquisition of IAV (formerly CARadap), taking a 100% shareholding in Spanish manufacturer. Following the acquisition, IAV and its products will be added to Mobility Networks expanding product portfolio in the WAV market and will see Mobility Networks create two distinct business units for the Iberian market - CARadap and Mobility Networks Iberia. Wayne Harmer, Group Managing Director at Mobility Networks Group, explained: “CARadap will focus on supplying the local WAV market while Mobility Networks Spain will focus on supplying converters in the Iberian market place with our full range of innovative and quality products to M1, M2 and M3 converters and end users. “The combination of CARadap’s WAV design and installation capabilities will add significant value to this key market.” This latest acquisition follows a string of investment in European companies by Mobility networks Group, including Germany’s TMN Europe in 2014, Italy’s Caroil Systems in 2015 and the merger of the Dutch company Acdeos in September 2017. www.mobilitynetworksgroup.com

The answer is YES!

Now, what was the question?

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We are hiring! Media Sales Manager Salary: Basic £32-35k – OTE £39-42k Location: London Are you a highly motivated sales manager with experience in media who thrives on selling to a professional B2B audience? BHTA Engage, the company behind AT Today and THIIS Magazine, the UK’s longest-running and trusted mobility trade publication, is seeking a highly motivated and capable media sales manager to join its driven team. With the recent relaunch of its popular website and other significant plans in the pipeline, the role is the perfect opportunity for the right individual to contribute and shape the future growth of an already well-established platform. As Media Sales Manager you will sell print and digital advertising solutions to existing and prospective advertisers, targeting relevant businesses and customers keen to get their brands and products in front of mobility trade and healthcare professionals with a view to market, sell and highlight the benefits and values of our titles.

Assistive Product Specialist SOUTH WEST

Would you like your work to contribute to the improvement of the lives of those with disabilities? Are you someone who is very approachable, patient, and great with kids? Do you enjoy problem solving? If you can answer yes to these questions, then we have a rewarding customer focused role for you. BES Rehab specialises in providing assistive technology and products sourced from around the world, and marketleading services, to improve the health of individuals across the UK, directly or indirectly. BES sources innovative and quality Rehabilitation products from around the world and uses a consultative and educational approach to selling these products around the UK. We also produce our own seating, standing, and bathing products primarily for the paediatric market. We are looking for an Assistive Product Specialist to join our Rehab team in the South West of England. The Rehab Division’s customer base is focussed upon the professionals and services which assess and/or prescribe equipment for individuals with disabilities. The day to day work revolves around working with our customers to find solutions to their problems through working with and supporting clinicians (primarily occupational and physiotherapists). Our Assistive Product Specialists perform assessments and fittings and undertake Consignment checks on a regular basis, alongside training and demonstration activities. They work in collaboration with our Business Development Managers whose role it is to work at the senior levels of our customers’ organisations ensuring we are their first choice wherever appropriate. Skills and Experience It is desirable that candidates have a good understanding of human anatomy and have experience of working with clinicians within the NHS, however we’re interested,

KEY TASKS INCLUDE: Attracting and keeping a new client base by crossselling products for different media solutions

equally, in hearing from candidates who are driven and are quick learners with transferable skills from another background. Candidates need to be computer-literate, must be willing to work in a field-based environment, staying away overnight on occasion. Applicants must hold a full driving licence. We are looking for someone with: Exceptional organisational skills Good self-discipline Good presentation skills Self-motivation Good communication skills A desire to achieve The way we work We look for people with skill and aptitude, and work with them to help them learn and apply knowledge. Our company has a friendly working environment, providing every opportunity to excel. We also provide support for any member of staff who wants to further themselves through further education. Benefits and Bonus Competitive Salary Bonus Scheme 23 Days Holiday + Bank Holidays

Pension Scheme Private Medical Plan Membership A desire to achieve

We will provide you with a company vehicle, phone, and laptop so you can carry out your role effectively. Applications To apply, please send your CV, and a covering letter telling us why you are an ideal candidate and what you feel you will bring to the role, to Nikki at nth@bescorporate.net If you have any questions, please do send an email. The job starts as soon as you can.

Meeting and exceeding set targets Reporting, budgeting and forecasting on a weekly and monthly basis Managing established accounts Developing sales opportunities from internal database and own research Attending trade exhibitions to forge new relationships KEY SKILLS REQUIRED FOR THIS ROLE: Previous B2B sales experience preferably within a publishing environment (At least 3 years) Have a proven track record of hitting and exceeding sales targets Good time management skills Entrepreneurial flair Understanding of social media, digital sales & online marketing techniques Experience of selling at all levels, coupled with excellent presentation skills Positive, enthusiastic and motivated achiever THE PACKAGE: In return, you can expect an excellent renumeration package, with a basic of £35k and an OTE of £42k, as well as 20 days holiday (excluding bank holidays), ongoing support and training as well as the opportunity to help build and shape the department TO APPLY

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

In the first instance please forward your CV and a covering letter outlining why you feel you are suitable for the role to Calvin Barnett at calvin@thiis.co.uk

ATtoday The new world of Assistive Technology

64 | www.thiis.co.uk

www.thiis.co.uk TRADE MAGAZINE

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 ‘Game Changing’ products to the Healthcare sector for over 50 years? Symmetrikit Postural Care is the Market Leading Manufacturer of Postural Care equipment providing Specialist equipment to Children and Adults with Complex Physical Disabilities. We sell to the NHS, Social Services, Education Facilities, Charities, Care Homes and also to Private individuals. We have considerable growth plans over the next 5 years and a number of new products in development. To underpin our planned expansion, we are seeking two self-motivated, dynamic individuals to become part of a successful team.

Regional Sales Manager: South

Area Sales Manager – SE London, Kent and Sussex

£40k Basic Salary with a generous Commission Scheme: O.T.E £50–60k

£31k Basic Salary with expected O.T.E of £40 - 50k

We are looking for an energetic, determined and highly motivated person to support our Sales Team in the Southern Region of England. Reporting to the National Field Sales Manager you will be responsible for the delivery of the sales strategies, providing training to further develop the team’s sales skills and champion service excellence.

This will be a career move that will be both challenging, fulfilling and rewarding on a daily basis and will suit an individual prepared to make a long term commitment. You will be joining a successful team and a Company that rewards hard work.

The Successful Candidate will need to have proven coaching and team development skills and an ability to monitor Area Sales Manager performance against an Annual Sales Plan. There will be some requirement to take ownership for Key Accounts and support the Area Sales Managers in developing new business and Contract negotiation. We will be looking for proven experience in this area.

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 successful applicant will be involved in all aspects of selling, but the role also includes conducting physical assessments alongside therapists, setting up / commissioning of products, presenting courses and training customers and Health Care Professionals.

Key Skills: • Ability to motivate people, with a coaching style that builds effective teams and manages performance positively

Key Skills:

• Excellent Team management skills are essential.

• Consultative selling skills

• Good reporting and written communication skills with the ability to inspire a team.

• Negotiation skills

• Strong customer skills with the ability to build long term relationships.

• Time Management

• Motivation

• Presentation skills

• Flexible approach to your work with the ability to develop and implement a business strategy

• Journey Planning

• Excellent negotiation skills

If you are a driven, self-motivated people person, please apply with FULL C.V. to phil@symmetrikit.com

• Good analytical thinking and attention to detail whilst retaining the ability to see the bigger picture.

• Learning ability

A clear track record of success in a leadership role To apply: Please send a covering letter and attach a Full C.V to dbowen@helpinghand.co.uk

For Both Roles: A FULL UK Driving Licence is necessary. A Company vehicle suitable for the roles: Area Sales Manager: A top of the range company van. Regional Sales Manager: A Company car A laptop, Mobile Phone and company credit card are provided. All expenses will be met by Symmetrikit Postural Care

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. START DATE: To be mutually agreed

www.thiis.co.uk | 65


Training Diary If you are providing training for the trade, then simply send us the details of the course, the date, any costs, the venue and the contact for booking places and we’ll include it in the Diary. Email info@thiis.co.uk with any details you have. October Disabled Living – Legal workshop: In the Dock - 2nd October 2018 Redbank House, Manchester - £35 + VAT per person

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

Pride Mobility - Service Training – November 21st & 22nd – Bicester Sunrise Medical - JCM Postural Management Workshop: Specialist Seating – November 27th 2018 Sunrise Medical, Brierley Hill Sunrise Medical - JCM Technical Training – November 28th 2018 Sunrise Medical, Brierley Hill

Careflex - What A Difference A Chair Makes (OTAC) - November 7th The Spa Hotel, Kent

Careflex - What A Difference A Chair Makes (OTAC) - November 28th Hilton Gateshead, Newcastle Simple Stuff Works - Measure, Position and Protect – 28th November 2018 – Gateshead Hilton, Newcastle – Free of charge

December Careflex - What A Difference A Chair Makes (OTAC) - December 5th Hilton Hotel Ageas Bowl, Southampton SimpleStuff Works - Measure, Position and Protect – 5th December 2018 – Hilton Hotel Ageas Bowl, Southampton – Free of charge

Electric Mobility – Servicing / Maintenance & Fault finding for Rascal Mobility Products – November 7th 2018 - Ilminster. FOC including Lunch

March Jiraffe - Training for Life – Sleeping, Standing and Mobility Course – 6th March - Sheffield – FOC

Jiraffe - Training for Life – Sleeping, Standing and Mobility – 6th November Sheffield – FOC Jiraffe - Training for Life – Seating and Toileting Course – 13th November - Sheffield – FOC

Jiraffe - Training for Life – Seating and Toileting Course – 13th March Sheffield - FOC

Contacts for bookings Disabled Living – Contact Rebecca Penny - 0161 607 8200

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

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

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

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

66 | www.thiis.co.uk

Disability Trading Company - John Balshaw – 01925 240064 – j.balshaw@

disabilitypartnership.org.uk Jiraffe – call +44 (0)114 285 3376 or email marketing@jiraffe.org.uk Simple Stuff Works - Contact Simone McCarthy at Trainingadmin@ simplestuffworks.co.uk or call 01827 307870


The new VIP 2 is the updated version of the VIP series of folding tilt in space wheelchairs, building on many years of experience of design and development. As well as 35 degree tilt it now has either fixed or adjustable recline.








It also now comes with an improved headrest design and a deeper seat.


a 35° Tilt-in-Space

a 30° Anti-Sliding Recline

a Foldable and Durable

Tilt-in-space system further enables attendant to tilt the chair up to 35 degrees, allowing user to change to the most comfortable position helping to reduce the potential of developing pressure ulcers.

Sliding has always been one of the greatest concerns for people in a standard reclining chair. The VIP2 solves this problem by locating the reclining pivot point of the chair close to the human hip joint, which synchronizes the motion of the body and the chair.

The VIP 2 is light and folds fitting easily into a car boot. The lateral push-bar strengthens the durability of this foldable chair and makes it easier to push the chair.



www.thiis.co.uk | 67

The UK’s leading range of mobility products since 1985




01787 882244 68 | www.thiis.co.uk


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THIIS October 2018  

In October's issue, Topro's MD discusses how the company grew to a seven-figure turnover in seven years, four retailers pick out their favou...

THIIS October 2018  

In October's issue, Topro's MD discusses how the company grew to a seven-figure turnover in seven years, four retailers pick out their favou...

Profile for thiis