Page 1

Also inside... ISSUE 276 SEPTEMBER 2021

TRADE MAGAZINE

Stiltz Homelifts’ fast growth Who to see at Naidex 2021 The digital dilemma

Raising the bar How Peterborough-based Anglian Lifts hopes to set a new benchmark in the stairlift retail sector


Looking to refer for homelifts? Work with Stiltz, the UK’s biggest homelift provider. Ready to become part of our popular Referral Partner Programme? Here’s what you can benefit from: 1. Minimum £1000 commission per sale - guaranteed! 2. An opportunity to refer a unique and desirable product range 3. Same day customer call back to request an appointment to visit 4. Max. visit lead time is 48 hours from receiving your lead* 5. Work with market-leading homelift experts 6. Specialist sales consultants means unrivalled conversions 7. We keep you in the loop every step of the way 8. Your own dedicated freephone number 9. Prompt commission payments 10. Sell just FIVE Stiltz Homelifts and receive a generous loyalty bonus

Referral Partner

Call Stiltz on 0808 231 5529 today! *Unless delay requested by customer

Our other partnership programmes include:

Affiliate Partner

Build the customer relationship, make that high-margin sale. Let Stiltz manage the installation

Premier Partner

Own the customer, manage end-to-end sales AND installation. Full support and training provided.

Email enquiries@stiltz.co.uk to learn how to lift your business to the next level with an exciting partner opportunity.


WELCOME

Inside..

From the editor Welcome!

38 24

52

Features

Regulars

18 Retailers’ Guide to Naidex 2021 22 Guest article: The Digital Dilemma 24 Retailer Spotlight: Anglian Lifts 30 Trade Talk: Medpage 34 Trade Thoughts 36 Supplier Spotlight: Stiltz Homelifts

04 News, deals and people 10 Retailers’ Choice: Bathing and toileting 44 Let’s Get It Clear 46 Opinion: Graham Ewart 48 Buyers’ Guide: Bathing and toileting

The upcoming autumn months look set to be packed full of events for the mobility trade. Naidex, which takes place at the NEC in Birmingham from 15-16 September, is certainly one of the highlights for many, so don’t miss our feature on page 18, which features a selection of some of the must-see exhibitors and products. This issue, I’m pleased to introduce you to Anglian Lifts (p24), a new dealer in the stairlift sector. The Peterborough-based firm is hoping to set a new benchmark in customer service, and has some exciting plans for the future. Of course, one of the major brands it will be stocking is Stiltz Homelifts, an organisation which has experienced remarkable growth over the last 10 years. Turn to page 36 to read our in-depth interview with Mike Lord, its Chairman and CEO. Other features to check out include some interesting debate on the pros and cons of dropshipping (p34), an interview with Mike Dines, CEO of Medpage, and a guest article about the topic of digital marketing (p22) and how you can use it to attract interest in your company, generate demand and more importantly, to close sales! I would also like steer you to a new regular column on page 46, where Graham Ewart, CEO of Direct Healthcare Group, will be commentating on the latest business news and global developments in the healthcare sector. This issue is themed around bathing and toileting aids. As our Retailers’ Choice (p10) and Buyers’ Guide (p48) features prove, there are some truly innovative products that can make a huge difference to an enduser’s dignity and independence.

Editor

Stay up to date... TRADE MAGAZINE

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

@wwwthiiscouk facebook.com/THIIS.Magazine linkedin.com/company/thiis-magazine THIIS is produced by BHTA Engage, Office 404, Tower Bridge Business Centre, 46-48 E Smithfield, Whitechapel, London E1W 1AW BHTA Engage Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any way without the written permission of the publisher. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher and although every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate, the publishers take no responsibility for errors or omissions.

www.thiis.co.uk / 3


NEWS, DEALS & PEOPLE

News, deals & people

WheelAir expands to retrofit rigid backrests with airflow system WheelAir has announced that rigid backrest users will now be able to enjoy full temperature and moisture control following the expansion of its airflow system. The WheelAir System, which helps wheelchair users to regulate their own temperature and humidity, can be integrated or retrofitted into a rigid back in two weeks. The expansion means that WheelAir’s cooling airflow system can now be fitted to almost any seating configuration. The rigid back integration development follows on from the launch of the WAgo and WAcare product lines in May 2021 and provides further support to wheelchair users with more specific and complex seating needs.

4 / www.thiis.co.uk

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

Scooter driving training scheme launched The Department for Transport is supporting a pilot scheme from Driving Mobility to train mobility product retailers and distributors in consistent safe driving guidance for scooter and powerchair end users. The charity, which co-ordinates driving and mobility assessment centres, launched the Powered Wheelchair and Mobility Scooter (PWMS) Driving Safety Assessment training scheme as it said many mobility retailers had voiced interest in driver proficiency training for their scooter and powerchair customers. The free-of-charge scheme combines online training with a half day visit to a local Driving Mobility centre where a qualified clinician will teach the most appropriate way to advise on product provision and road safety. Only one member of staff from a retailer needs to complete the course for the ability to train fellow employees. Those who have completed the training will receive an official certificate of accreditation. Visit www.drivingmobility.org.uk to find out more.


We are committed to building successful partnerships in a global business, putting our partners at the heart of every business decision that we make.

seamless movement

Learn more at accessbdd.com www.thiis.co.uk / 5


NEWS, DEALS & PEOPLE

Lifestyle & Mobility embraces the digital age

in brief...

An innovative interactive digital display has got the thumbs-up from customers visiting the Lifestyle and Mobility showroom in Harlow, Essex. Visitors can check out supplier-specific videos, compare specs and flick through brochures on an interactive touch pad. “We wanted our customers to have something engaging they could do themselves whilst in our store,” explains Darren Macey, the store’s Business Development Manager who commissioned the interactive display. Darren told THIIS: “The digital age is not going away. We wanted to be the first mobility company to bring technology into our stores.” The store, he says, has plans to role out a few more supplier-specific touch pads in store and is working on incorporating another feature on the pads where customers can email themselves a copy of a store brochure.

JENX AWARD RECOGNITION Postural support specialist Jenx has been recognised for its international presence in the export market at the Made in Sheffield Awards. Jenx, which designs and manufactures specialist equipment for disabled children, was presented with the Export Award at Cutlers Hall in Sheffield after judges deemed the manufacturer the region’s most outstanding exporter in terms of its worldwide presence, substantial export growth and high proportion of export sales.

6 / www.thiis.co.uk

AAT GB’S accessible new solution Stairclimber specialist AAT GB has introduced a new addition to its comprehensive range – the Roby – to assist wheelchair users in getting up and down stairs and to optimise the prescriptive options available to occupational therapists. The tracked climber, it says, complements its best-selling S-Max wheeled kinematic stairclimber. The Roby clips onto the wheelchair, eliminating any need for transfer. At a rate set and managed by the operator, the unit fluidly climbs or descends using electronically controlled gearing on the motor. The climber offers optimal adjustment to accommodate most common wheelchairs whilst allowing room for an operator to comfortably move and steer from behind, with minimal effort. When not required, it disassembles into two manageable parts for easy storage and transportation.

DHG TRAINS 10,000 CLINICIANS Pressure care manufacturer Direct Healthcare Group (DHG) has reported that it helped train over 12,000 healthcare professionals since the launch of its Ethos digital learning platform to support district nurses and community care workers who struggled to find easy access to courses during the Covid-19 pandemic. The clinical education service was developed to complement existing nurse training and launched in January 2020. To date, the free service has helped train over 12,436 clinical professionals, according to the firm.


TGA gets set to showcase hands-on test drives and the all-new Scoozy Visitors to Naidex at the NEC in Birmingham on 15th and 16th September will be able to see and test drive the latest TGA product range, including its latest launch – the Scoozy – on an integrated and redesigned stand for 2021. An official Naidex 2021 sponsor, TGA will be on stand F32, where it will be showcasing its product range and offering visitors a handson test drive and advice from friendly experts. The test track course will enable visitors to trial and compare mobility products in a safe environment, giving drivers time to understand how different scooters move and what controls are more suited to their needs, under the guidance of product advisors.

Alongside the test track, TGA will be showing off new products such as the Scoozy, which will be officially seen for the first time in the UK at Naidex. TGA Scoozy utilises the latest technology to produce a flexible and comfortable mobility scooter that can tackle a variety of terrains both on and off road. The stylish scooter is being launched as the latest contemporary option for personal mobility with the advantage of joystick control and many safety features.

RMS ONLINE PLATFORM Mobility equipment supplier RMS has innovated its online platform to make it simpler to access for mobility customers, retailers and healthcare companies. The new e-commerce website, it states, will enable customers to purchase premium products with exclusive discounts. An interactive product builder for the supplier’s customisable mobility products has been included on the site as well as a comprehensive archive of technical data and drawings. An RMS spokesperson stated that trade customers who are logged in will have their unique discount structure applied.

Bruno Lifts appoints new National Sales Manager Stairlift manufacturer Bruno Lifts has appointed Warren Keeton as its new National Sales Manager in the UK and Ireland, following a successful online advertising campaign with THIIS. With over 13 years in the industry, Warren joins the company from Stannah Lifts, where he looked after some of its key local authority accounts in the north of England. Prior to Stannah Lifts, Warren worked for a large independent mobility company specialising in all types of access solutions , including stairlifts, ramps, hoists and bathing. Warren commented: “I am really happy to be part of the Bruno team and have been made to feel welcome already. “I can’t wait to get out to meet all of the Bruno dealers and hopefully some new ones too.” Warren is keen to support and develop partnerships with all Bruno Lifts’ dealers and can be contacted on 07970673387.

CARE & INDEPENDENCE APPOINTMENT Oxfordshire-based Care & Independence has appointed moving and handling professional Richard Gomm as its new Business Development Manager. With two decades worth of experience in the medical device industry, Richard is skilled in business management, sales and medical devices. He will be responsible for driving the company’s community equipment store-focused Comfort Value range of products. Increasing awareness of the new joint-assessment-led Glove sling and premium showering and bathing ranges will also form part of his remit.

www.thiis.co.uk / 7


STOCK NOW IN!

Yes you read it correctly, we have plenty of stock of the 4 Wheel AutoFold Scooter! But as you all know… They will fly out of the door!!

OUR BEST SELLING SCOOTER of 2018, 2019, 2020

DON’T FORGET! DIRECT delivery options to your customers. Let us help!

01274 475116 | sales@drivedevilbiss.co.uk www.drivedevilbiss.co.uk


Rhealthcare launches new retail brand Wheelchair and rehabilitation equipment manufacturer Rhealthcare has announced its new retail brand, Dash Rehab by Rhealthcare, and its accompanying website, dashrehab.co.uk. Operating through an official partner network Rhealthcare has stated that it will be supporting its retail partners with quality products at great value, supported by strong supply and aftersales support. Its website offers a range of new products with the addition of upcoming products in the pipeline as well as updates of existing products going forward. Official Dash Rehab retail partners will be given a website listing, preferred partner-only pricing and free delivery on all products. They will also have first access to all new products and direct access to leads generated from its website and sales team. The manufacturer, which is a supplier to the NHS, offers a range of lightweight products, from powerchairs to rollators. One of its newest products, the Dashi Mg Powerchair (pictured above right) is a magnesium chair

with a weight of 14.22kg, without the removable battery and leg-rests, making it one of the world’s lightest powerchairs, according to Rhealthcare. These, together with products such as the new kids Todo-i Powerchair and Dashi Eco powerchair, will be on show at Naidex on stand J32, where retailers can also find out more partner dealer opportunities.

15th–16th September

Birmingham, UK

More style

More Visibility

More Suspension

Contemporary Design

LED Headlight

NPT Tires System

More Braking Control

More Protection

More Luxury

Front Disk Break

Wireless Locking Key

PU Leather Grips and Seat

Meet us at NAIDEX 2021 and learn all about our game changing ATTO SPORT mobility scooter - A perfect combination of highcaliber functionality and cutting edge design

booth at NAIDEX: F70 To set a meeting, contact: marcel.zwart@movinglife.com

Available from our New UK warehouse - fast and accurate

www.thiis.co.uk / 9


Wondering which bathing and toileting products are grabbing mobility companies’ attention? Each month, retailers in the mobility industry highlight one product that has stood out for them and why…

Bathing and toileting products

10 / www.thiis.co.uk


Tailored Design. Speedy Delivery. • Speedy delivery times on made-to-measure curved stairlifts. • Revolutionary PS4D technology for complete accuracy. • Why delay? Order with Handicare today!

Our market-leading range of curved, made-to-measure stairlifts are all delivered with industry-leading lead times. Call the TPS team to find out more information or to place your order.

0844 225 3121

www.handicarepartners.com


RETAILERS’ CHOICE

Retailers’ Choice: StayPut Bath Mat by Able2

Retailers’ Choice: AquaClean Mera Care Shower Toilet by Geberit “Over many years, TPG DisableAids has strived to become a solutions provider rather than just a seller of equipment for the elderly and disabled. For this reason, we utilise a large portfolio of ‘solutions’ to a broad range of problems. “Maintaining independence whilst coping with significant disability can have a profound effect on the mental, as well as physical wellbeing, of the client. For this reason, we sell and install a number of wash/dry toilets, which allow total independence to be restored. “Our firm favourite in this group of products is the Geberit AquaClean Mera Care Shower Toilet, which incorporates fully adjustable shower jets and warm air-drying technology. Using the remote control or the AquaClean app, all the settings can be adjusted to five individual levels, including spray intensity, arm position, oscillation, and temperature. “It has the modern good looks of a stylish appliance but is very competent in carrying out the basic function it was intended for. With a long warranty period and minimal service requirements, it is a great Alastair Gibbs commercial addition to our range.” Managing Director of TPG DisableAids www.tpg-disableaids.co.uk

12 / www.thiis.co.uk

“There are many products that make life easier and help those less abled or elderly in the bathroom, ranging from the smallest simplest things like a toothpaste squeezer to specialist commodes and shower chairs that can cost hundreds of pounds. “The item I want to mention is the StayPut Bath Mat and Shower Mat. These are simple products but ones that can often be overlooked to be of any benefit. “Over the years I have tried many bath mats and shower mats. A lot don’t stick and slip about, some go mouldy easily, whilst with others the top of them would start to peel the after a few uses. “I then tried a StayPut bath mat and shower mat and highly recommend them. My customers also say that although they are more expensive than a standard mat from the local hardware store, they are extremely better in quality. “They are antimicrobial and are now manufactured in a unique material, which actively inhibits mould and bacterial growth. They are really soft and comfortable too. The strong grip suckers really do grip and they come in white and blue. “Easy to clean and machine washable at 40 degrees, they have successfully completed slip resistance testing by Independent Laboratories to Level 1 of the BS Standard BS8445:2012. “StayPut mats are ideal for an extra touch of security whilst bathing. Easy to place, remove and wash they are a worthwhile addition to your showroom bathing aids.” www.peoplefirstmobility.co.uk

Karen Sheppard Managing Director of People First Mobility


RETAILERS’ CHOICE

Retailers’ Choice: Lift Seat Home Toilet Lift by Lift Seat “At Fortuna we’ve always been aware of the difficulties faced by elderly and disabled people when it comes to using the toilet. Many need assistance with lowering or raising themselves, so the Lift Seat Home Toilet Lift – that gives freedom, independence and reliability – is a welcome addition to our range. “The Lift Seat fits easily over the toilet, and because it comes fully assembled, all a relative or carer needs to do is insert the battery, remove the existing toilet seat from the toilet, and place the Lift Seat over it. “By operating a two-buttoned hand control, the Lift Seat lowers the user into a sitting position over the toilet and raises them back to their feet using a ‘sit to stand’ motion (like a riser recliner chair), which engages the body’s major muscle groups in the correct sequence. Not only does it reduce the need for help from carers, it also minimises the risk of falling or getting stuck while getting on and off the toilet. “The steel frame is strong and compact, so the Lift Seat will fit in the smallest bathroom, and it comes with four self-levelling feet, which can, if necessary, be fitted to the corners of the frame to compensate for uneven flooring. “Another advantage is the Lift Seat can be converted for commode use. It’s also quick and easy to transport and then place in the required position. “I’m very pleased to be able to recommend the Lift Seat to our customers in order to make using the toilet an easier experience whilst retaining their independence.” www.fortunamobility.com

Elaine Ferguson Mobility Services Manager at Fortuna Mobility

Retailers’ Choice: Orca Bath Lift from Invacare

Melanie Jinks Brierley Hill Branch Manager of Snowdrop Independent Living

14 / www.thiis.co.uk

“Without a doubt, my choice for retailer’s bathing and toilet aid of the year would be the Orca Bath Lift from Invacare. It’s my clear favourite because it ticks so many boxes, so it can help many people. It’s especially important for our customers that love having baths but may not usually be able to access one independently. “Being lightweight and transportable is great because with an easy disassembly into two parts, it can be easily hidden and there are no clips or catches to fiddle with that you can’t get to. This means that it can also be easily cleaned by wiping down each individual section. “The best part about the Orca Bath Lift is that it’s an improvement on its previous model, the Beluga, with the battery now incorporated into the lightweight handset of the Orca Bath Lift. “Another great thing about the bath lift is that it can be lowered down to within two inches of the bath floor and this is great for the user because it gives the full therapeutic benefits of a hot bath. The Orca Bath Lift gives the user that added independence through bathing themselves.” www.snowdropindependentliving.co.uk


ALUMA-LITE

OUR LIGHTEST FOUR WHEELED SCOOTER YET!

Experience the convenience of a lightweight, compact travel scooter. The Apex Aluma-lite has a aluminium frame, giving it an overall weight of 28.8kg without batteries. This extremely lightweight scooter can be dissassembled into 5 pieces and has flight safe batteries making it the perfect travel companion. With stylish 8” alloy style wheels and an easy to grip tiller adjustment knob. Come and see us

Follow us on

fti@pride.mobilityuk


RETAILERS’ CHOICE

Retailers’ Choice: Bellavita Bath Lift from Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare “The Bellavita Bath Lift simply had to be our bathing product choice this month due to the brilliant feedback it receives from our customers. With a slimline profile, the Bellavita has an ultra-modern look, making it perfect for most bathrooms and a look that our customers certainly approve of. “It is the lightest battery powered bath lift, and at the touch of a button, it gently lowers users down to the bottom of the bath for easy bathing and relaxing, and then when ready it will raise back up to the top to safely get out. “With a 50-degree reclining backrest, the Bellavita is even suited for those with stiff hips, making a greater hip-to-back sitting angle, all operational by the fully waterproof and floatable hand control. “The Bellavita Bath Lift is an all-round comfortable, safe and easy to use bathing aid that is a proven success with our customers, and a product that we are proud to sell in our stores.” Ellie Barnett Online Marketing Manager at Ableworld (UK) www.ableworld.co.uk

Retailers’ Choice: Ocean Shower Commode from Invacare “We have chosen the Ocean Shower Commode from Invacare as our bathing product this month. There is a good choice of sizes available and a tilt-in-space version if required. A good range of accessories and seat options ensures that the product is suitable for a wide variety of clients. “The Ocean works well as a fleet product and having the ability to use it as a transit-propelled chair, or a self-propelled chair by simply adding the larger rear wheels, makes it extremely versatile.” www.classicmobility.co.uk

Lauren Bromfield Occupational Therapist at Classic Mobility

16 / www.thiis.co.uk

Retailers’ Choice: Bathmaster Deltis Bath Lift “The Bathmaster Deltis Bath Lift has been one of our best-selling bathing aids for some time now. The high-quality and easy-to-use bath lift is a big hit with customers, who like the clean and elegant design, and the fact that it is easy to install and operate. “The Deltis is battery operated, waterproof, with no circuit board built in, meaning there is no need for any cables, and the bath lift stays securely in the bath with four suction feet. “It also has a ‘quick release’ function so it can easily be moved and removed without dismantling or having to use of a screwdrivers. “The Bathmaster will easily fit in most standard bath sizes and can take a maximum weight of 122kg (40 stone).” Julia Phipps Owner of Ability Superstore www.abilitysuperstore.com


Join us on stand E30 Benefit from expert demonstrations of new models as the industry re-connects Key Products

Exclusive Distributor

Covid-Secure Spacious Stand

Professional trade support is our Number 1 priority

We look forward to seeing you there! 15 & 16 September 2021 NEC B’ham


NAIDEX

Retailers’ guide to Naidex 2021

It’s that time of the year again. Taking place in Hall 5 at the NEC in Birmingham on 15 and 16 September, suppliers, charities, consumers, healthcare professionals and retailers will gather together for this year’s Naidex… With so many different stands at Naidex to see and people to meet, knowing the right places to invest time can be tricky for retailers in the trade on the hunt for the next best-selling product for their business. To ensure that potential star product does not slip through the net, THIIS has signposted some suppliers keen to talk trade with retailers, highlighting the need-to-know products and need-to-meet people at Naidex 2021.

STAND NUMBER: F60

STAND NUMBER: G20

TRIRIDE

KARMA MOBILITY

WHY DEALERS SHOULD VISIT TRIRIDE Triride is a power-assisted attachment device that is compatible with most manual wheelchairs and compact when attached. A simple attachment system and intuitive control helps to make the Triride easy to use for all. With advanced electronics, it can be personalised to the end-user’s driving preference too. Meanwhile, its transport weight starting from 7.5kg means that the Triride is light but also powerful for the most demanding situations. Drop by the stand to see some exciting new additions to the range, which provide plenty of exciting opportunities for Triride users to discover a new freedom.

WHY DEALERS SHOULD VISIT KARMA MOBILITY For over 20 years, Karma Mobility has been supplying Karma’s comprehensive range of powerchairs and lightweight manual wheelchairs to the NHS and to end-users through a network of several hundred retailers covering the UK and Ireland. Every product is extensively tested and evaluated before being placed on the market, stands the test of time and proves to be an excellent long-term investment. The team will be on hand to demonstrate the new additions to the product portfolio, answer any questions and discuss potential retailer opportunities.

01252 268220 / info@triride.uk www.triride.uk

Let the Powerpack do the pushing Incredibly easy to fit and simple to remove Designed and made in the UK Range of up to 10 miles

18 / www.thiis.co.uk

0845 630 3436 / info@karmamobility.co.uk www.karmamobility.co.uk


STAND NUMBER: E101

STAND NUMBER: E143

RISE & RECLINE

POLYMORIT

WHY DEALERS SHOULD VISIT RISE AND RECLINE Driven by innovation, Rise & Recline’s furniture range is made in the UK. Built for mobility and comfort, the riser recliner chairs and beds specially help to ease pressure on the joints, neck and back. Furniture is bespoke and comes with medical device registration to ensure clinical quality. Rise & Recline aims to offer some of the shortest lead times in the industry, meaning that retailers can put money in the till quicker. Product training can be provided to ensure dealers’ customers get the right product for them and enhances the retailer’s brand.

WHY DEALERS SHOULD VISIT POLYMORIT Polymorit will be showcasing the Ardoo portable hoist alongside its range of independent living aids. Ideal for car transfers during daytrips and staycations, the hoist folds away in seconds to stow away in a car boot or cupboard. At only 23kg, this lightweight folding portable hoist can be easily operated by only one carer. The hoist can lift up to 140kg from a wheelchair, stairlift, toilet, bed or floor. Compact for use in bathrooms and tight spaces, the hoist converts to a stand aid if required. Distributors are welcomed.

STAND NUMBER: F85

STAND NUMBER: B126

MOTION HEALTHCARE

ALERTA MEDICAL

WHY DEALERS SHOULD VISIT MOTION HEALTHCARE Motion Healthcare works with high-quality and reliable factories around the world to source, develop, import and distribute innovative mobility products to its UK network of approved dealers. Always at the forefront of innovation, with a solid functional base, its range is designed with the user in mind to provide unrivalled features and ensure they are regarded the best in their area of the market. The manufacturer will be showcasing its latest products, including the Aerolite Folding Powerchair, its lightest model.

WHY DEALERS SHOULD VISIT ALERTA MEDICAL Making cutting-edge medical equipment affordable, Alerta Medical is a designer and manufacturer of pressure relief and fall prevention equipment for the healthcare market. Alerta Medical will be showcasing its latest product releases at Naidex. These include the Wireless Fall Prevention Alertamat range, the revolutionary Hybrid mattress, the Care Bed range (with its unique features and matching overbed tables), and its alternating Air, Foam and Gel Pressure Care range. View the product range and find out about the latest distributor opportunities and support.

0115 913 3572/ sales@rise&recline.co.uk www.riseandrecline.co.uk

0330 660 0125/ sales@polymorit.com www.ardoohoists.com

0844 257 8150 / enquiries@motionhealthcare.co.uk motionhealthcare.co.uk

03452 088 097/ sales@alertamedical.com www.alertamedical.com

Call to find out more

01787 888 106 Attaches in seconds

or email trade.sales@tgamobility.co.uk www.tgamobility.co.uk QUOTE: THS20

www.thiis.co.uk / 19


NAIDEX

Retailers’ guide to: Naidex 2021 STAND NUMBER: E30

STAND NUMBER: H35

ELECTRIC MOBILITY EURO

MONARCH MOBILITY

WHY DEALERS SHOULD VISIT ELECTRIC MOBILITY Visit the Electric Mobility stand to experience firsthand the unveiling of newly-launched 2021 products including the Meyra iChair Sky powerchair (UK exclusive) and the revolutionary Vortex 8mph scooter with solid canopy. Visitors can also benefit from seeing expert demonstrations from knowledgeable product specialists, who are on-hand to support its loyal authorised dealer network as the industry reconnects. Electric Mobility’s number one priority, it says, remains its commitment in ensuring its high-quality, innovative and functional mobility products offer choice, value and comfort to the customer.

WHY DEALERS SHOULD VISIT MONARCH MOBILITY Over eight years ago, Monarch Mobility brought the folding scooter in the UK and there has been a massive growth in this style of product ever since. The firm has stated that it has been working hard on new ideas and this year it will be showcasing something new to the market that has not been seen in the UK before. In addition, the firm is excited to share that it has grown its portfolio further with the introduction of a new fleet of 8 mph scooters, 4 mph scooters, power chairs and a new range of carbon fibre products.

STAND NUMBER: E100 & E46

STAND NUMBER: E144

PERMOBIL

DIETZ REHAB

WHY DEALERS SHOULD VISIT PERMOBIL Permobil believes that helping individuals achieve the greatest level of independence is a basic human right, and for over 50 years, that has been the driving force behind its innovative assistive technology. The company says that it is passionate about understanding its users’ needs and helping them live life to the fullest. Its innovative range of power wheelchairs, manual wheelchairs, and seating and positioning products is now even stronger with the latest addition to the Permobil family of the Italian manufacturer, Progeo, which is well known for its active manual wheelchairs.

WHY DEALERS SHOULD VISIT DIETZ REHAB DIETZ Rehab is the UK supplier of the modular and adjustable DIETZ Power range of SANGO powered wheelchairs, which includes ultra-compact indooroutdoor models, to outdoor and rough terrain chassis choices. The manufacturer is urging dealers to visit Dietz Rehab on stand E144 to find out more about its offerings, which include a range of chairs, adjustable and modular seating choices, powered adjustment options and controls for user and/or attendants. Bespoke solutions are also available for end users who are requiring something more individual.

01460 258100 / sales@electricmobility.co.uk www.electricmobility.co.uk

01484 722888 / Customer_support_uk@permobil.com www.permobil.co.uk

20 / www.thiis.co.uk

0800 002 9633 / sales@monarchmobility.com www.monarchmobility.com

07539732718/ darrenlegg@dietzrehablimited.co.uk www.dietz-power.com¬


Visit our stand J32 at Naidex on the 15th and 16th September 2021 Dash Rehab by Rhealthcare have an excellent range of folding powerchairs from the Dash E-Fold which is electric folding powerchair with a key fob. Dashi is our aluminium manual folding chair with a lifting weight without batteries of 19kg. Travel bag standard with the Dashi. Dash Rehab have the very popular Dashi Mg which is full magnesium and one of the lightest powerchairs in the world at 14.22kg without legrest and battery fitted. Travel bag option now available at an extra cost.

Dash Rehab by RHealthcare Unit 25, Whistleberry Industrial Park Hamilton ML3 0ED

Fold down rollator is NEW to the market with its red liquid paint finish and stylish look. The push handles fold down once the handles are together with no levers needed. Total weight 8kg, user weight 136kg.

0845 146 0600 sales@rhealthcare.co.uk dashrehab.co.uk

DELIVERY l Nationwide delivery & installation l Removal & disposal of old products

Experts in Healthcare Logistics

l Manufacturers warranties honoured

CONTACT US TODAY

l 35,000 Square foot warehouse

0330 445 0099 info@hdd-ltd.com www.hdd-ltd.com

l Owned & operated fleet of vehicles

SERVICING l Annual equipment servicing l LOLER testing & inspection l Bed inspections & servicing l Engineer call-outs for repairs

STORAGE l Short term storage solutions

Your Promises. Delivered.

www.thiis.co.uk / 21


GUEST ARTICLE

The digital dilemma On May 11th this year, I was invited to address members of the British Healthcare Trades Association and share some marketing insights and trends to support members as they consider marketing planning as we ‘build back better’ post-COVID and reset the business agenda for the decade that is the 2020s. Often, I hear “It’s all just digital these days, isn’t it?” My answer is yes, and no. Read on for some of the highlights of the talk and top tips to set your marketing on the right track for business success. ATTRACTING INTEREST Digital marketing is an affordable and cost-effective way to attract interest, generate demand and close sales – if your marketing and sales stars are in alignment. The pandemic has accelerated the already rapid rise of digital marketing (including email marketing, social media ads etc.) and has moved more retail, business, and leisure activity online – it’s become a super-crowded digital highway with information overload everywhere. Be aware that people want and need human connection and prefer to buy from people (or brands) they know, like and trust – achieving this remotely is doable but takes extra effort. RAISING YOUR GAME The common problems plaguing underperforming businesses are a low profile, low leads/footfall, and low sales; all three are interconnected, and all three need addressing jointly. To stand out in a crowded digital market, you have to raise your marketing game by embracing strategic marketing thinking, leveraging technology and blending

22 / www.thiis.co.uk

online and offline marketing and sales tactics. To be visible, you have to be on the right platform, be relevant and be consistent. You have to show up with the right message, in the right places and at the right time. UNDERSTAND BUYER BEHAVIOUR The customer journey and sales cycle are not always as linear as we’d like them to be, and you have to work hard to stay in control. Buyer behaviour has increasingly shifted to starting with online search and reading reviews, often trusting third party comments over that of a brand’s own communication. Try to keep in mind that buyers have increasingly more challenges to cope with, including information overload, lack of time and short attention spans. Buyer decision making is swayed by a range of factors out of your direct control, e.g., business, personal and societal. However, you can influence and address these factors. TOP TIPS • To be set up for success, you need to “unlock” your marketing potential. That starts with a strategy. • Build an “authentic” brand story. Know your “why” and develop and communicate your mission, vision, values, and purpose. • Know your “ideal client” and build for them. Take control of the conversation and support their new buyer journey. • Think “attraction factor” to attract the key audiences you need to engage with. Use brand optimisation, go-to-market strategy, and integrated marketing campaigns to become truly attractive.

In today’s challenging and rapidly changing business world, we need our sales and marketing investments to work hard for us. But how do we know what we should be doing, what success looks like and simply what we should be investing our time, effort, and budget into? Jarmila Yu, Founder of strategic marketing consultancy YUnique Marketing, offers her tips…

• Align your marketing strategy and plan to support your business and financial plan. Turn ‘insights’ into action and impact. • Turn digital (and mobile-optimised) marketing to your full advantage, think quality of content and quality of experience. • Humanise the messaging, visuals and technology experience as much as possible by adding human elements back in. • Remember your audiences will be varied: prospect customer, existing clients, partners, suppliers, investors, future employees… HAVE AN ASSESSMENT Before you consider how to optimise your marketing and sales plans, it is critical to know where you are currently. Take this complementary marketing assessment at yuniquemarketing.com/scorecard to find out how your marketing strategy is performing. It will take less than 10 minutes and you will receive a high-level, comprehensive report highlighting the strengths and weaknesses in your current marketing function.

Jarmila Yu is founder of YUnique Marketing, as Consulting Chief Marketing Officer she offers services ranging from basic brand and website work to a complete outsourced marketing function. Web: www. yuniquemarketing.com


Retailer Spotlight: Anglian Lifts: Doing it right! 24 / www.thiis.co.uk

Newly-established Anglian Lifts in Peterborough provides stairlifts, homelifts and other mobility equipment to the East Anglian region. THIIS chats to its managing director Phillip Rice about how the business came together…


Anglian Lifts engineer Gary Soutart ready to get to work

Mobility equipment supplier Anglian Lifts has been getting off to a fast start since establishing itself in June this year as a provider of stairlifts, platform lifts and other access and mobility equipment in East Anglia. The Peterborough-based start-up is hoping to set a new benchmark in customer service and transparency within the stairlift sector while providing a diverse range of solutions from the industry’s best brands. Phillip Rice, Managing Director of Anglian Lifts, explains: “This means doing it right for our customers first and foremost – providing the optimum solution at competitive prices together with great service; and doing it right for our stakeholders by providing growth opportunities to our employees and supporting the local community.” Anglian Lifts will focus mainly on offering new and re-conditioned stairlifts and through-floor lifts for customers needing support to gain access to different floors in homes and businesses. The firm, Phillip says, has access to the majority of lifts on the market today. Brands include Stiltz, Terrys and Pollock Lifts as well as platform lifts from Thyssenkrupp. This has only been possible because he has maintained strong relationships with the suppliers that he used to work with previously. “We’re proud to be an installer for some of the best brands. Our new website is designed to help customers

seeking information about which solution is best for them and it guides customers to contact us directly. We will also be looking to win local council tenders as an integral part of our business development activity.” The firm will provide a full service, maintenance and repairs for most lifts currently in the market, whether purchased from them or not. HOW IT STARTED Phillip established the business with Oliver Mellor. Oliver had been looking for an investment for over a year and was looking for a company that had a social mission as well as a great reputation. “The relationship came about because of a failed asset sale of my previous company, Anglia Stairlifts, where I was Managing Director,” explains Phillip. “That company was put up for sale by the majority shareholder and it attracted several interested buyers due to the good standing of the company. “Oliver, the winning bidder, was all set to go ahead with the purchase but at the eleventh hour my coshareholder pulled out. This left the company in a precarious state with no clear path to continue.

Phillip Rice with his business partner Oliver Mellor

“We gave my previous business partner time to think it over. However, it became increasingly clear that we didn’t have the same vision for its future. I felt it best that I resigned and pursue a new venture with Oliver.” Phillip says that he and Oliver discovered during the sale process that they share a similar ethos and ambition. “Once he’d gotten to know about the business through the due diligence process, he was keen to work with me and the team no matter how the sale turned out.” Oliver is focusing on the business strategy and future growth opportunities, explains Phillip. He will implement processes and technology to automate and systematise the business’ day-to-day operations. The entire workforce of three office staff, two engineers and the technical sales manager also joined their new company. “Incidentally, ‘Anglian Lifts’ was supposed to be a placeholder name as we fully expected to take over the assets and name of Anglia Stairlifts,” explains Phillip. “The challenge is getting the message to our customers about the difference between the two companies.”

‘Anglian Lifts’ was supposed to be a placeholder name as we fully expected to take over the assets and name of Anglia Stairlifts” PHILLIP RICE

www.thiis.co.uk / 25


The firm boasts a centrally-located office

RISING THROUGH THE RANKS Phillip started out as an apprentice engineer at the age of 22 at MediTek, a stairlift manufacturer in Fishburn, before rising through the ranks until he became Managing Director of MediTek by age 30. By the age of 40, he was looking for a new challenge and decided that working in retail was where he could make the most difference and achieve job satisfaction. Now, as Managing Director at Anglian Lifts, Phillip is involved with the day-to-day running of the business. “One of my main roles is to establish and maintain effective links with major customers, local authorities, and key suppliers to ensure that the company is connected with what customers need and has the appropriate range and quality of products. “I also create and implement policies and procedures to ensure that the company complies with all health and safety and other statutory regulations.” Phillip is also on the board of directors at British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA). “I have been a member of the BHTA for the last 17 years, as they are not only very informative and detailed within the mobility industry they also protect the consumer. My membership of the BHTA is partly motivated by me wanting to make a difference and lead by example.” During his time with the BHTA, Phillip has been both Vice Chair and Chairman of the Stairlifts and Access section, and two years ago he was invited to join the Board of Directors. With customer service the priority, Phillip believes in putting the needs

26 / www.thiis.co.uk

Carefully installing a through-floor lift in a customer’s home

of customers first and finding a tailored solution to meet their needs. “Stairlifts can sometimes have a dated image, so we are working to update that image so that people feel as though it is a natural solution to enable them to stay in their home rather than a reminder that they are not as mobile as they used to be.” There will be transparent pricing, no hidden extras, no pressure selling and an unrivalled after-sales support, promises Phillip. “Installing lifts is one thing, fixing problems and maintaining a future relationship with the client is another. Customer loyalty and customer satisfaction is our top priority. We want to provide peace of mind for our clients. We depend on good reviews and word-of-mouth referrals for the growth of our business.” OVERCOMING CHALLENGES Getting the business into a position where it was able to serve customers from the start was fairly plain sailing, he says. This would not have

been possible were it not for the tremendous amount of support given to the firm by friends in the industry. “We’ve been offered equipment, vans, stock, labour and work from competitors and suppliers. The outpouring of support has been incredible and we are immensely humbled by it.” He continues: “They want to help us grow and many of them also have a similar ethos. For example, Obam Stairlifts in Lincoln (who we overlap with) has been very supportive. “We have also had encouragement from Westwood Stairlifts, which is technically a ‘primary competitor’ in

“We depend on good reviews and wordof-mouth referrals for the growth of our business” PHILLIP RICE


this area, so yes, I could say how we are set apart, but we work together. It’s better for everyone in the long run. The fact that this is how I have always done business is why I am able to rapidly set up a new company and grow the routes quickly. I have the utmost respect for these people because of all the help we have received.” Some suppliers from Phillip’s former company have joined Anglian Lifts, which he says demonstrates the faith that they have in him and the team. Anglian Lifts already works with a network of trusted companies that have been hand-picked to bring complementary capabilities and enable the business to cover a wider region. Phillip says that the business has been well received by mobility retailers, but the biggest challenge is getting the name of Anglian Lifts out there, making customers aware of what it stands for, and, ultimately, growing its market share. GROWTH PLANS The firm recently introduced a partnership program specifically for companies without their own stairlift installation and servicing capabilities, giving them another option to the manufacturers’ referral schemes.

As Phillip explains: “The programme enables us to become an extension of their business and allows them to offer servicing, maintenance and repairs to all products rather than just the one.” These companies, he says, will share in Anglian Lifts’ success by referring customers and receiving remuneration whilst maintaining the relationship of each customer. “We are currently trying to engage with retailers to show them what a good deal it is, not only financially but for their own business reputations.” Phillip and his financial partner have ambitious plans to grow organically by hiring more engineers as well as via strategic acquisitions of similar and complementary businesses. There are lots of ideas they are considering, some old and some new. For example, for the trade, Anglian Lifts will be re-initiating the spares business, which in the past has been invaluable for stairlifts installers like themselves that need a reliable source of spare parts at great prices. For customers, one plan is to expand products and services that complement stairlifts, such as alarms, panic buttons and other assisted living products. Additionally, Phillip hopes to acquire small businesses in

complementary trades that would suit its ethos so that the business can grow into a group of companies that add more than the sum of their parts. He adds: “There will also be opportunities to buy businesses in tangential markets, which share the same customer base. “The central thesis is to build a range of businesses that serve a similar client base and are supported by an expert knowledge of elderly and disabled customers’ needs.” Further recruitment of staff is on the horizon too with plans to expand the engineering team as well as the back-office function, once the company has found its feet. “When we acquire companies in the future we hope to retain, recruit and train engineers and office staff to support the growth plan. Individual teams will expand, such as sales and marketing, to support all the new businesses under the group umbrella.” For now though, the first priority is to establish the new business and get everyone busy. “We are very fortunate to have started the company with such an experienced and dedicated team of staff.” For a company that set out to “do it right”, it certainly seems to be on the right track. www.anglian-lifts.co.uk

Staff members at Anglian Lifts have been busy getting the new business established over the last few months

www.thiis.co.uk / 27


TRADE TALK

Trade talk Q&A with Mike Dines, Managing Director of Medpage WHAT IS YOUR STORY WITH MEDPAGE? “Quite a long one. My brother and I started the business in 1984. I had invented an alarm clock called ShakeAwake to wake deaf people and it became a top-selling product. We continued to develop products for deaf people and really caught the innovation bug, introducing the first wireless baby monitor for deaf people, and the first wireless smoke alarm system.”

help local authorities provide more from dwindling budgets. During the coming months, we shall introduce more products to aid diabetes, epilepsy, and dementia care. “Our new dementia aid, the MemRabel 3, is a remarkable product that many local authorities are now using as part of their social care technology provision. For retailers, there are opportunities for direct sales to consumers with subscription commissions.”

WHAT ARE THE MAIN WAYS IN WHICH THE BUSINESS HAS EVOLVED OVER THE YEARS? “The big change was gifted to us by an occupational therapist (OT) who asked if we could reverse our vibration skills (used for alerting deaf people to alarms) to detect a person with epilepsy experiencing a seizure while sleeping. “After considerable head scratching, we produced a solution that worked. It worked so well in fact that the OT notified some epilepsy organisations about our new device. The Medpage MP5 seizure monitor launched us into the medical market, resulting in the development of numerous products to aid social care and independent living.”

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR RETAIL PARTNERS? “We always welcome new retailers on board. E-commerce partners include NRS Healthcare, Medequip, Healthandcare, Alzproducts, and selected mobility suppliers. Retailers interested in our products should contact Grant Morrison, our sales manager (grant@easylinkuk.co.uk). “We are very passionate about our business; our customers are what makes us tick. When we offer our brands for retail, we prefer retailers who can make time to explain the benefits of our products and offer advice to a customer choosing a product. The shoes need to be a perfect fit.”

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT ANY NEW DEVELOPMENTS AT MEDPAGE? “The Medpage philosophy is to produce reliable technology solutions that are affordable for families and

28 / www.thiis.co.uk

HAS THE PANDEMIC HAD ANY EFFECT ON BUSINESS OVER THE PAST 18 MONTHS? “I would be crazy to say no, but we were lucky in the respect that demand increased for our product range, particularly devices supplied to the

Northampton-based Medpage manufactures and distributes medical devices. The firm has over 30 own-brand products to aid independent living. One of its most popular products in the dementia care market is the MemRabel, which was created more than 10 years ago to assist people with memory issues. Its daily time reminders use voice and picture or video alarms to prompt a person to complete daily tasks. THIIS caught up with Mike Dines, Managing Director at Medpage, to find out more about the company and its products…

NHS. Like most other companies, we have suffered lengthy delays with materials, product deliveries, and the ridiculous rising freight costs. Now we have a world shortage of critical electronic components to contend with too.” WHICH PRODUCTS ARE MOST POPULAR WITH MOBILITY/ ACCESS RETAILERS? “We have a number of retailers in the mobility market who supply our GSP trackers and mobile SOS call solutions from their shops. Mobility and independent living product retailers find dementia care products, such as the MemRabel and wander detection alarms, are popular. The larger stores also offer bed and chair occupancy alarm products.” WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR THE BUSINESS GOING FORWARD? “We hope to continue to develop new products based on professional healthcare associate suggestions, feedback from service users and

“The pandemic in some respects has helped raise public awareness to the usefulness of assistive technologies and TECS”


All chairs are not the same

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

www.thiis.co.uk / 29


TRADE TALK consumers. Despite the challenges throughout the pandemic, our company managed to introduce a new brand of fall prevention and management products, TumbleCare. “There are always risks associated with investing in new products, particularly with the withdrawal of trade shows for almost two years. The health and social care wheels have started to turn again, albeit gradually, and our biggest hope is to continue doing what we have done for the past 36 years: to deliver affordable technologies that help people live more independently with a better quality of life.” WHAT DO YOU THINK THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR THE HEALTHCARE ELECTRONICS SECTOR? “The pandemic has helped raise public awareness to the usefulness of assistive technologies and TECS. We have witnessed the older generation using smart devices to communicate

The new MemRabel 3 dementia aid has been employed by local authorities

with their family, doctor, and order weekly shopping. This may not have happened so quickly without the restrictions caused by lockdowns and social isolation. With this increased awareness and the acceptance that

gadgets are of use, it provides a path for companies to introduce electronic healthcare solutions to a previously oblivious audience.” www.medpage-ltd.com

SEE US AT NAIDEX ON SEPT. 15/16 2021 STAND H 10

PAWS

TRACK WHEEL

POWER ASSISTED WHEELCHAIR SYSTEMS

CONVERT YOUR WHEELCHAIR INTO AN AGILE TRICYCLE

PAWS CITY STANDARD CONTROLS, AUTOMATIC EASY CLAMPS, 14” WHEEL

Rehasense UK

30 / www.thiis.co.uk

+44 (0) 0333 220 0704

TRACK WHEEL SINGLE ARM, CARBON FIBRE

ukadmin@rehasense.com

SPACE CF THE ELEGANT CARBON ROLLATOR

SPACE CF CARBON FIBRE, TPE WHEELS

www.rehasense.co.uk


Come and see us

quantumrehab.co.uk

Q - LOGIC 3 ADVANCED DRIVE CONTROLS WITH BLUETOOTH STEALTH PRODUCTS CUSHION WITH COOLCORE TECHNOLOGY 3.5MPH iLEVEL 12” POWER SEAT ELEVATION

20.5” BASE WIDTH SRS (SMOOTH RIDE SUSPENSION)

CAPTAIN’S SEAT NOW AVAILABLE ON THE STRETTO!


NEW REAR SUSPENSION | IMPROVED COMFORT | EXTEND

T H E

A L L

N E W

SMARTI NOW IN

STOCK

ENQUIRIES 0808 102 1032 W W W. M O N A R C H M O B I L I T Y. C O M trade@monarchmobility.com


DED REMOTE CONTROL RANGE | MOTABILITY approved

SUS

WIT

HR

PEN

CHOICE OF COLOURS

AL L NEW SUSPENSION

EXTENDED RA NGE FOB

WATERPROOF CHASSIS

EAR

SIO

N

A LEGEND UPGRADED Ground breaking when first launched, the Smarti quickly became a customer favourite. A decade of development and the much awaited ALL NEW SMARTI is finally here. One of the only auto-folding mobility scooters with rear suspension. Improved weatherresistant chassis. Meet the next generation of a folding legend!

www.thiis.co.uk / 33


Trade Thoughts Can dropshipping work in the mobility sector? Dropshipping is the practice of a retailer accepting customer orders on goods that it does not have in stock, with a supplier taking care of delivery on their behalf. THIIS asked some industry insiders to discuss their thoughts about the use of dropshipping in the mobility and access sector…

34 / www.thiis.co.uk

Mark Diaj

Carol Elliot

In short, yes. Simple products that are easy to ship are the mainstay of the Able2 product range, and these are the products where dropshipping on behalf of our customers can work well. Here at Able2, drop shipping has been a service we’ve offered our customers for many years; going so far as to provide a more personalised service including tailored dispatch notes to ensure that our customer’s name is front and centre at all times. “Whilst readily offering dropshipping services to our customers can make us a more attractive supply partner – someone who responds to deeper customer needs – the day-to-day benefits are really all about our customers’ experiences. “The Able2 product catalogue runs to thousands of unique SKUs. Far more than any mobility store can stock. By offering a dropshipping service we offer our customers the opportunity to sell all of these products in store and online without having to carry the stock on-site. “This means they can offer an enhanced range of products that they are then able to have delivered directly to their customers: ultimate convenience for the end-user; and a unique selling point to set them apart on the mobility retailer stage. “Offering a delivery service is a massive consideration for any retailer. From choosing a delivery partner to arranging pick-up to tracking delivery, this service has a number of facets for the shop owner to consider. We can take care of that, providing a reliable, cost-effective and timely service on their behalf.

As we specialise in selling scooters and powerchairs, we believe the customer should have a full test drive and demo of the product and have been assessed as competent to use it ahead of ordering, so this isn’t conducive to dropshipping. Just because you don’t have a stock item doesn’t mean you don’t have the product as a demo item. “We receive the order into our workshop as it usually requires a partbuild and we like to give it the once over to make sure it is ordered and in working order. And the customer usually welcomes a reminder of the controls on delivery as well. “We only have an arrangement with one of our suppliers of ready-built very lightweight products to dropship, but then only if the customer is happy to do this (they also get the option to have us deliver to them having removed all packaging and checked the item over) but most choose not to have it dropshipped. “Given that City Mobility covers 41,000 square kilometres, we are open to other suppliers having an item sent to us to build/deliver on their behalf so the customer gets a full handover. A lot of couriers won’t ship directly to postcodes in our area anyway without hefty surcharges so this partnership arrangement can work as we cover every corner! “We had a customer once who we spent time with demo’ing the product and he then decided to order it online to save a few pounds. He came in asking for help as the product had arrived damaged and he had to deal with the courier’s insurance to get a repair price.

Managing Director, Able2

Manager, City Mobility


Alastair Gibbs

David Morgan

Mark Duffield

Dropshipping in the mobility sector has always been a bone of contention. The biggest issue from my point of view is deciding which specific products are able to be drop shipped successfully and which are not due to the requirements of assessment and set-up with the customer. “I have no problem in sending small, non prescriptive, non invasive products by drop shipping. It often means that the client gets the product they require quicker than being sent from a small retailer that may not have it on the shelf. This also clearly reduces the value of stock levels that need to be held by the small retailer. “However, if a product requires a face-to-face assessment and the skill and judgement of the retailer to ensure that it is the correct size or shape, or adjusted correctly to ensure no harm is caused to the client or their carers, then there is a real problem with drop shipping. “A simple tap turner or a pair of wide slippers is one thing, but a pressure-relieving wheelchair cushion, for example, is a different matter. If the cushion is the wrong size or the wheelchair arms are not adjusted to create the correct seat to arm height then this can have longlasting physical effects to the user, resulting in an unhappy client. “Mobility scooters and power chairs are very clearly not on the list of products that a responsible BHTA retailer should consider sending via drop shipping unless they are prepared to be at the clients house to help set them up, and train the client in the safe use of the product.

Drop shipping can definitely work in the mobility sector as long as it’s used to improve customer experience instead of cost-cutting! We serve customers in both physical retail settings and online. Dropshipping service works well when it comes to products that solve simple problems such as jar opener or handi-reacher. With the current shortage of many items in the mobility industry, dropshipping can speed up the logistic process and make sure the customer receives essential aids without delay. “We strongly believe in understanding the needs of the customer, so we provide only the most appropriate products. This means we normally go through a consultation process before purchases are made by our customers. “Coming out of lockdown over the months, seeing a rapid recovery gave us even more confidence in the way we operate. For assessment-led items, a dropshipping service would not be suitable as it takes away the opportunity for us to ensure the product is right for the customer’s personal needs, storage requirement and lifestyle. “Using a dropshipping service sometimes also means a missed opportunity to engage with the customer through delivery, branded packaging and the chance to understand if there are other ways in which we can help. This is why assessing each case when it comes to dropshipping is important. A white label service would definitely make any supplier’s dropshipping service offer more attractive.

In the internet age, there are so many things that can be done online conveniently, but from my point of view, supplying a product is the easy part, assessments, maintenance and after sales care are more difficult to provide, particularly if the product is supplied a long distance from the retailer. “I have been asked on more than one occasion to recommend a wheelchair or even powered wheelchair over the phone or by email without even seeing the user. We have even had complaints on Facebook for not doing so. “I am sure that these customers would be the first to complain if the product they purchased was not right for them. “I am also certain that these customers would benefit from an assessment and discussing their requirements to make sure they are getting the most suitable product for their needs. “In addition, our products are designed to last and given that they have a long lifespan, they are likely to need aftersales care over the course of their lifetime. I do not think any products designed for moving people around are maintenance-free. “Retailers with showrooms are used to offering servicing and repairs for wheelchairs but I do not think that it is something consumers really consider or value until they need assistance.”

Managing Director, TPG DisableAids

Managing Director, Snowdrop Independent Living.

General Manager, Karma Mobility

www.thiis.co.uk / 35


SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHT

Mike Lord, Chairman and CEO of Stiltz Homelifts

Stiltz Homelifts: Moving on up As one of the fastest growing businesses in the homecare and lifestyle lifts sector, these are exciting times for Stiltz Homelifts. The UK firm only started trading in 2010, but it has grown rapidly ever since, with its products now sold on every continent. Mike Lord, Chairman and CEO at Stiltz Homelifts, has had the privilege to see the company thrive over the years as he was involved with working at the company from early on. “To start with, I was coaching the owners to get things better organised

36 / www.thiis.co.uk

and helping with sales and finance particularly. I subsequently invested and became Chairman in 2014. “In 2017 we did a management buyout where three of the four founders left the business. At this point I became CEO (as well as Chairman), working full time within the business.” Mike has been working in the mobility industry most of his working life. Working at Sunrise Medical in its golden era of the 1990s gave him great grounding, he says, in lots of different roles.

Homelifts manufacturer Stiltz Homelifts has firmly established itself as a globallyrecognised brand, with its products available in 37 countries. By the end of last year, on its 10-year anniversary, the growing firm reported a significant increase in turnover. It has also been busy recruiting new members of staff in the UK and moving into its new purposebuilt headquarters in Kingswinford, West Midlands. THIIS chats to Mike Lord, Chairman and CEO at Stiltz Homelifts, to find out more…

He continues: “This culminated in an MBO of Minivator in 2001, growing the business until we sold it to Handicare in 2010. I then spent a number of years investing in various businesses and sectors, with Stiltz being one of these. “We had some good and some bad investments during this time, but Stiltz is definitely the jewel in the crown. “I was also on the BHTA Board for over 10 years serving as Chair and President trying to do my bit to help the industry as a whole.”


www.thiis.co.uk / 37


SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHT BEST-SELLING PRODUCTS Stiltz has kept to doing what it does best, specialising only in homelifts. All of them have different applications and sell well, explains Mike, but the Plus products are becoming the dominant range around the world. Both the Duo+ and the Trio+ lifts have moved the needle dramatically as far as in-home mobility is concerned, he says, not just because of the now well-known dual rail technology making it a free-standing homelift, but because they blend the aesthetics of a stylish piece of furniture with assistive technology. Stiltz products are designed to have multi-generational appeal by being aesthetically pleasing for all. “The differentiator for us though, is our product is far less needs-driven, so our customers make the decision to buy before the need is so great that it becomes a distress purchase. “We want our customers to continue to be proud of their home and the life-enhancing effects of buying a Stiltz Homelift. For us it’s not who pays for the lift that’s important, whether the customer pays privately or calls on a Disabled Facilities Grant, but that everyone gets the best solution for their mobility needs, as well as it being a great looking solution too.” PROUD ACHIEVEMENTS Stiltz have been the proud recipient of many awards over the years, but probably the feather in its cap was receiving The Queen’s Award for

The compact and flexible Stiltz Duo+ Homelift

38 / www.thiis.co.uk

Stiltz and Dolphin Midlands working together to install the DIY SOS Homelift

Enterprise: International Trade last year in recognition of its global export success. As the award is recommended by the Prime Minister, and approved by Her Majesty the Queen, it is considered to

be one of the highest accolades to be bestowed on a UK business. “The proudest though is the fantastic teamwork we manage across the business, which just enables the exceptionally fast growth in the UK, Europe, Australia and the USA.” The growth of the company has meant that Stiltz is on a recruitment drive. As Mike explains: “We have a great management team in place made up from industry specialists as well as those from outside the mobility industry. This makes for an energetic and visionary dynamic. We’re now building these teams further to enable each department to function at full capacity and to really get down to the business of ‘getting things done’.” Stiltz is currently seeking new additions across a number of departments in all three of its UK locations. It is, as Mike adds, particularly keen to speak to experienced installers, lift engineers


FOAM, GEL & STATIC PRESSURE CARE

Alerta Medical offer a comprehensive range of foam, gel and static pressure care systems covering all risk levels and care requirements.

Distributor Opportunities Large stocks for next day delivery Attractive distributor pricing structure Direct carriage paid delivery available Unparalleled distributor marketing support We only supply approved distributors and never sell to the end-user Contact Alerta Medical for competitive prices and marketing support.

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


SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHT and builders as it’s this team which is growing exponentially. “We’re currently running recruitment ads in THIIS Magazine and welcome any applicants with the relevant experience. Lisa Osborne, our Inside Recruitment Specialist, who is a recent addition to our team, is keen to receive any CVs.” Stiltz now boasts over 350 employees worldwide and it needs good people to help continue the growth, Mike says. “We are growing faster each year and so we need to grow the team faster too.” OVERCOMING CHALLENGES Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge, as it has been for many businesses in the sector. However, Mike adds, this was strangely not because it stopped the sales growth, but more about how it impacted on supply chain and logistics. “We have had to make significant changes to how our in-home teams work, and of course our staff had to get used to remote working. On top of that, container shipment shortages, breaks in supply chain (our factory was shut for two months early on in the pandemic) and chip shortages have proved a challenge, which we have now only just recovered from.” Despite this, Mike says that he was proud with the way the whole team responded. In the first weeks of the pandemic, Stiltz decided to keep trading, unlike

UK dealers exploring the brand new Trio+ at the launch event back in 2017

many other homelift and stairlift providers who completely shut up shop, according to Mike. “We felt we owed it to our customers to continue providing our products if there was a need for them,” says Mike. “Naturally, in the first month or two we were learning as we went and therefore proceeded with caution – both to protect our customers and our staff. However, everyone very quickly got into a rhythm with the new style of working and sales rapidly recovered.” He continues: “Once the first lockdown started to ease, our lifts were literally flying out of the door. The demand was unprecedented. And throughout the second and third lockdowns, this demand has continued and Stiltz Homelifts is seeing sales records being broken

A Duo+ located in a bedroom. Perfect for the smallest of spaces

40 / www.thiis.co.uk

in the UK, USA and Rest of World markets, on a regular basis.” COVID safety measures are still in place, says Mike, with Stiltz acutely aware that its target audience are some of the more vulnerable members of society. All of its surveyors, builders and installers who operate in customers’ homes are armed with full PPE and are careful to take customer wishes into consideration. Mike comments: “The overwhelming majority of customers are now happy to have us visit them in the home and prefer personal interaction to video demonstrations. It’s important for our customers to be reassured about such important decisions as lift positioning, levels of building work needed and other fundamentals to installing a homelift.” Another challenge, as Mike referred to previously, has been delays over the last few months caused by a lack of available containers in China. This has consequently caused a significant uplift in container costing, but Mike asserts that Stiltz is still managing to

“The differentiator for us though is that we want to make the product more aspirational, not just needs-driven”


NORTHAMPTON

 “Most comfortable shoes I’ve purchased!”

discover real comfort

Mrs K – Cheshire

Best Extra Wide Fitting Footwear Brand 2020 & 2021 SME News UK Enterprise Awards

LOVED BY

CUSTOMERS

“...beautifully designed for comfort, durability & good looks!” Mrs B – Yorkshire

AUTUMN/WINTER 2021 COLLECTION

AL

S | R EC

D MEN ED

Good for Feet!

O F E S SI O

M

10 00s OF

N

Y

PR

B

footwear for

NEW COLOUR FOR AW21

extra wide

FENWICK LADIES EXTRA WIDE SHOES Bronze/Print

or swollen feet

O

Full range of shoes, slippers, boots and sandals for ladies and men in extra wide (4E-6E) and ultra wide (6E-8E) fittings.

NEW COLOUR FOR AW21

WARDALE LADIES EXTRA WIDE SHOES | Navy

DROP-SHIP SERVICE AVAILABLE, HELPING TO SUPPORT YOUR ONLINE SALES! Rapid Delivery  FREE FREE Display Installation CALL US TODAY  FREE Seasonal Brochures to discuss all stockist benefits  FREE Marketing Support Affiliate scheme 01295 277377  SANDPIPER NO MINIMUM ORDERS For footwear MARGINS For stockists sales@sandpipershoes.co.uk  HEALTHY DIRECT DROP-SHIP Service available  PLUS!


SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHT get deliveries into all key locations. He adds: “While customers are seeing slightly longer lead times, we prioritise our most vulnerable purchasers to ensure they have the product in as short a time as possible.” GROWING DEALER NETWORK The distribution model for Stiltz changes a lot by country, but two thirds of its sales are via the dealer. Stiltz distributes its products using both a direct-to-consumer (D2C) model and a dealer network but the UK is unique, says Mike, in that it is the only place where there is a social services model. “So we are beginning to tackle that too, through dealers where we can,” he says. Stiltz offers different levels of dealer interaction, as Mike explains: “Its Premier Partners manage the whole process including sale, installation and after care, while Referral Partners will just pass leads to our consumer team in return for a healthy commission when the lead converts to a sale. There’s also a hybrid Affiliate Partner level.” Says Mike: “I’m delighted that we’ve got some great Premier Partners who are fully committed to making Stiltz Homelifts a success for their business.” The Referral Partner programme has been running for a few years now and Stiltz is currently looking to reinvigorate and expand it. “We will be reaching out to existing partners in person, by phone and by email to remind them of the benefits of the programme. We will also be targeting dealers who haven’t had a working relationship with Stiltz Homelifts in the past, with a view to encouraging more dealers to take part. “We are also seeking more Premier Partners for long-term strategic alliances in the social services market, so please get in touch if this is your bag!” Premier Partners are offered full product training at the firm’s stateof-the-art Kingswinford Head Office training centre. This enables dealers to consult during the sales process and be able to install and offer after-sales servicing. Enhanced marketing support is provided as well as a full range of assets to assist with the sales process. Meanwhile, Affiliate Partners can

42 / www.thiis.co.uk

The Trio+ Wheelchair Homelift. Stiltz are the only lifts which can install into a stairway void

also benefit from the sales consultation training on offer while Referral Partners can take advantage of a generous commission of £1,000 per confirmed sale, with an added loyalty pay-out at each five-sale marker. Stiltz, Mike shares, is currently working on a fantastic new marketing initiative, which will give UK dealers a unique route to accessing new customers. “We’ll be sharing more about that in the next few months,” he adds. FUTURE LOOKS GOOD Stiltz has hugely ambitious financial plans for the next five years, Mike says. “We’ve continued to grow at an ever-increasing rate and we don’t see this stopping in the foreseeable future. We are the homelift market

leaders and have the resources to continue to invest to make sure we are well in to the future.” Certainly, the market for homelifts is booming and the demand looks set to increase, with anecdotal evidence showing that people are determined to remain in their own homes. The pandemic and associated negativity surrounding care homes has amplified this further. “Homelifts are clearly the future. They are safe, self-contained and the flexible positioning makes them sought after. With the technological and design advances currently being developed, there truly will be a Stiltz Homelift for everyone in the coming years.” www.stiltz.co.uk

“Homelifts are clearly the future. They are safe, self-contained and the flexible positioning makes them sought after”


Refer your customers to a company you can trust

Award-winning customer service

We treat your customers like part of the family

No pushy sales tactics just genuinely nice people

Full home adaptation solutions available, including stairlifts, homelifts and easy bathing solutions

Great rates of commission

Dedicated portal to track leads & commission

Find out more information, give us a call! FREEPHONE

0800 620 0826

www.your-companion.com

Stairlifts

Bathing

Homelifts

www.thiis.co.uk / 43

team@your-companion.com


LET’S GET IT CLEAR

Do no harm! Know your power. Doctors swear the Hippocratic Oath as their moral code for ethical conduct and practice in medicine, which, after starting: “I swear by Apollo the physician, by Aesculapius, Hygeia, and Panacea…” goes on to include the most commonly quoted statement “I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgements and never do harm to anyone.” Although it’s doctors who swear the Hippocratic Oath, surely this should apply equally to everyone involved in delivering patient care? Stories abound of surgeons who have refused to carry on with an operation because they were not happy with the equipment they were being issued with, be it due to it not having been appropriately cleaned and sterilised, or because they considered a piece of procured equipment not being fit for their purposes. For the sake of the patient, shouldn’t all health professionals put their heads above the parapet and make the same stand if they find themselves in a situation of

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

44 / www.thiis.co.uk

concern as to whether they are providing the best solution? SETTING STANDARDS? These days most prescribers of a wheelchair, that would be used in a vehicle, would first ask whether it, and its seating system, had been crash-tested (by crash-tested, they actually mean crash-worthy i.e. that it had passed the test!). What they are really asking is whether the wheelchair had passed BS ISO 7176-191, and if the seating system (if a separate unit) had passed ISO 16840-42. Transportation laws and testing are now part of all of our everyday lives (for example the use of a seat belt when driving). As a result we now take these in our stride and prescribe an appropriate product that avoids any potential ‘harm’ likely to occur in transportation to the wheelchair occupant. (Interestingly, much of the transportation standards were originally oriented around avoiding harm to other vehicle occupants from the wheelchair and its components becoming loose in the vehicle in an accident!) But how do we avoid potential ‘harms’ to wheelchair users outside vehicular transport? The earlier BS/ ISO standards (the BS/ISO 7176 series) concentrated on safety aspects of the wheelchair. From these, purchasers of tested equipment should be confident that the wheelchair will withstand day-to-day use, including on rough terrain, be electrically safe, be fireresistant, be safe in vehicles, etc. The next generation of standards looked more at the safety of the seated wheelchair occupant (the

In this month’s article we look at the duty of care, which should be practised towards our clients by us as prescribers. This is as relevant whether we are working within the commercial sector or as an allied health professional in the public sector. Our duty is always to give our client the very best possible solution for maintaining or improving their health outcome. We know this of course, but what are the obstacles in the way, and what powers do we have to overcome these obstacles?

BS/ISO 16840 series). Despite the importance of these standards, they are still not being used widely enough, either by those managers involved in equipment selection, nor by clinicians prescribing it. Thus this is one area where possible ‘harms’ are still happening . SAFETY IN SEATING Where you require a positioning belt for a wheelchair user, do you demand that it has been tested to BS ISO 16840-33? Many belts may look the same, but many will not pass these tests (see box on next page). Likewise, do you follow BS 86254 when you select and position a belt or harness to a chair (note that this standard covers shower chairs as much as wheelchairs)? BS 8625 arose because ‘harms’ were being reported as a result of wrongly positioned belts and harnesses, with users submarining or slipping under the belts and choking to death. Often this had occurred because pelvic positioning belts were being placed at 45˚ across the hips (like a vehicle or plane seat safety belt) instead of across the thighs. BS 8625 covers clearly, and in more detail, what the differences are, and appropriate requirements for a restraint as compared with a positioning item. While some of the seating standards encompass testing of cushions used in seating, including their physical properties and durability, other standards provide guidance as well. One such guidance document (ISO/ TR 16840-95) is around the use of a pressure mapping system as a dayto-day tool to assess the pressure


redistribution characteristics of a seating system, and at the same time offering feedback to optimise the risks and benefits of different positioning set-ups of the seating system. To help you make the best decisions on equipment, it is well worth asking your suppliers to provide you with these standardised objective data (derived from relevant standards testing), to help you select the best seating materials for your client. A PENNY SPENT, A POUND SAVED To what extent do you feel that your hands are tied by your set-up’s procurement processes? Often those in charge of procurement are tasked to keep prices as low as possible, and thus sometimes can take a short-term ’commoditised’ view of items. Unfortunately, this approach does not necessarily take account of the long-term additional costs that a short-term cheap solution offers. It is therefore important that (if you can!) you, the prescriber, remind the procurement department that these are prescription items, that ‘one size does not usually fit all’, and that medical equipment is not a commodity. The right product needs to be provided to do the right job to meet your professional standards…, and deliver the right outcome for the client. Know your power! Exert it. Why do procurement departments need your help? The reason is that nowadays there is so much choice in the market, arising from many companies investing in designing and producing items that have small, but significant, incremental improvements for selected groups of patients. It is therefore imperative that clinicians bring procurement departments up to date with not

only the new solutions on offer to the market, but also the standards to which they should have been tested. Although sometimes structures and bureaucracy can get in the way, you do have it in your power, and indeed it is your responsibility, to provide the best solution available at the time for the customer. Sometimes this solution may cost a little more initially, but equally may not need to be replaced so frequently long term. Appropriate solutions may well prevent longer term ‘harms’ by correcting or controlling a source of something that otherwise will need correction, with a lot more additional cost in the future. The true costing of a solution needs to bear in mind the life-time costs, both financial and clinical. IN CONCLUSION Your professionalism means that you always want the best outcome for your clients and the principle of ‘Do No Harm’ will resonate with you. Don’t accept second best. Be aware that you really do have the power to exert this principle and effect change.

1. BS ISO 7176-19 Wheelchairs. Wheeled mobility devices for use as seats in motor vehicles 2. ISO 16840-4 Wheelchair seating. Seating systems for use in motor vehicles 3. BS ISO 16840-3 Wheelchair seating. Determination of static, impact and repetitive load strengths for postural support devices 4. BS 8625:2019 Selection, placement and fixation of flexible postural support devices in seating. Specification 5. ISO/TR 16840-9 Wheelchair seating. Clinical interface pressure mapping guidelines for seating 6. For best practice guidelines in transportation, download a pdf of BPG1: Transportation of People Seated in Wheelchairs from https://www.pmguk. co.uk/resources/best-practice-guidelines/ 7. BES Healthcare and MOVE Europe (a charity which provides training for schools and organisations to enable disabled young people to gain independent movement) recently presented a webinar on the Do No Harm topic which can be viewed at https://youtu.be/SMsx9dIx-oo.

BELT SLIPPAGE: BELTS TESTED TO ISO 16840-3 REPETITIVE AND STATIC LOAD TESTS The test shown here is for measuring whether a belt will stay in position under a repetitive load...

Figure 1. The blue dots on the top and bottom webbing indicate the starting position before the repetitive load is applied.

Figure 2. At the end of the test the blue dots are still within 10mm of each other: PASS

Figure 3. At the end of the test the blue dots are more than 10mm (i.e. 56 mm) apart: FAIL

‘Let’s Get it Clear’ by Dr Barend ter Haar One in a series of occasional resumés of aspects in the world of posture and mobility where there are common misconceptions and myths to be addressed, to help promote better practice. Further items can be found at www.beshealthcare.net If you are interested in receiving further information on the topic, please contact barend@beshealthcare.net Dr ter Haar has been involved in seating and mobility for over 30 years, including lecturing internationally and developing international seating standards.

Figure 4. Grommet fixture undergoing a static load test: FAIL

www.thiis.co.uk / 45


OPINION

Opinion: Building back better The digitalisation of the NHS is imperative to overcoming delays, writes Graham Ewart The news recently that the NHS has slipped from the top of a global ranking of healthcare systems is an expected but stark warning for our world-leading provider. The Commonwealth Fund, who compiled the analysis, attributed the NHS’s new positioning (from first to fourth) to the delays patients face in accessing care and treatment, the lack of investment in the service and poverty. What makes the findings even more difficult to swallow is that the UK was the second-worst performer of the 11 countries studied in the mental health category. For over 73 years, the NHS has been the stalwart, showcasing the very best of how national healthcare should be provided. And while the Covid-19 pandemic has unveiled some particularly difficult truths on how the system must be improved, we can remain extremely proud to have a practice in place in our country that provides care for everyone, equally. As these results were released, I simultaneously read an in-depth feature in The Times by one national journalist who has switched her own healthcare to a private provider, concerned by the same growing waiting lists for non-emergency treatment. Both these stories alarm me, but continue to motivate me, as they should any healthcare professional or supplier. As I’ve said countless times throughout this crisis, out of the very worst can come the very best, and

46 / www.thiis.co.uk

now is the time to revive our NHS, and to use an overused phrase, build back better. REAPING THE BENEFITS The bare bones of the NHS showcase a winning, fantastic formula for healthcare, and we now have an excellent opportunity to amalgamate the learnings from both our public system and our private healthcare providers, to build the very best, cohesive service for all. The expertise the private sector can offer the public health system is immense, and can only serve to increase capacity, speed of service and ultimately provide better healthcare outcomes for all. We have seen this start to take place already, as the majority, if not all, GP surgeries adapted ways of working and switched to digitally-led services throughout the pandemic. While there have been serious limitations to virtual appointments for emergency illness, complications and cancer diagnoses, scores of GP surgeries have reaped the benefits for non-emergency illnesses and advisory consultations, extending

virtual appointments post-Covid to ensure rapid diagnoses, freeing up valuable in-person time for GPs to focus on serious ailments, time which was unavailable pre-pandemic. The benefits of digitalisation were echoed by former Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who confirmed in April that, in the UK, 99 per cent of GP practices were offering video

“We now have an excellent opportunity to amalgamate the learnings from both our public system and our private healthcare providers, to build the very best, cohesive service for all” GRAHAM EWART


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

consultations, compared with less than 10 per cent before the pandemic. In May, 73 per cent of respondents asked in a survey by healthtech company Visionable agreed that ‘You don’t always need to see a doctor in person to receive appropriate care’, while four in five saw virtual consultations as ‘vital to the future of the NHS’. A further survey conducted in June for the British Medical Association showed that 88 per cent of GPs want to see greater use of remote appointments continue into the future, demonstrating that both the general public, and those working within the field, think digitalisation of the sector is working well.

ADOPTING INNOVATION These technological systems have been in place for many years in some private healthcare facilities and it was only a matter of time before they were introduced on a wider scale. The shame comes on the realisation that it took a national emergency before these adoptions took place and benefits realised. We need to drive change and a hunger to integrate innovation into the NHS system, and while I’m positive huge swathes of those working in the industry can name multiple immediate improvements, the decisions to adopt them can only come from the top. It’s positive therefore that the NHS has now

published a £75m tender for the provision of online and video consultations going forward. This is only the start however, and we must now start looking beyond ‘what has always been’ to adopt innovation in order to drive forward our NHS and once again reclaim its place as the epitome of healthcare.

“We must now start looking beyond ‘what has always been’ to adopt innovation” GRAHAM EWART

www.thiis.co.uk / 47


RETAILERS’ BUYING GUIDE

Buyers’ guide to bathing and toileting Nuvo Mobile Shower Chair from NRS Healthcare Made with high-quality, corrosion-resistant stainless steel, this flat pack Nuvo Mobile Shower Chair has been designed to be used in a bathroom or shower environment, providing stable seating for those unable to stand during showering. New features include twin-wheel castors that rubber lock. Some basic assembly is required. The maximum user weight is 166kg. It has a seat height adjustment of 401mm551mm. www.nrshealthcare.co.uk

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

RON-WCPAG11 Disabled Toilet Alarm Kit from Easylink UK Perfect for domestic and professional care use, this simple-to-install disabled toilet alarm kit comes with waterproof pull cord transmitter. When the cord – which has a length of three metres – is pulled, a signal is transmitted to the alarm pager. The user can add multiple pull cords, each producing a different device ID on the display pager. The pager has an audible tone and vibration notification alert. The kit comprises of one pull cord transmitter, one caregiver alarm pager and long-life lithium battery. www.easylinkuk.co.uk

Nuvo Bath Step from NRS Healthcare The Nuvo Bath Step allows the user to step into the bath easily and reduces the need to bend and stretch. Designed to reduce the height, the user needs to lift their legs up to get in and out of the bath. The bath step is made of three comfortable, slipresistant stackable sections that can be added or removed to suit the user’s needs, giving confidence to the user even when their feet are wet. This model features a recess so that each section can be picked up easily. The maximum user weight is 317kg. Height options are 51mm, 77mm and 103mm. www.nrshealthcare.co.uk

48 / www.thiis.co.uk


A FIXED RATE INSURANCE PACKAGE

RETAILER ESSENTIALS Exclusive to Retail Members of the BHTA

COVER INCLUDES ✔ ✔ ✔

Material Damage Business Interruption Employers, Public & Products Liability

Option 1: Excluding Employers Liability - £224 including 12% Insurance Premium Tax

Option 2: Including Employers Liability - £280 including 12% Insurance Premium Tax

REQUEST INFORMATION For more information on our insurance packages, please contact Stephen Aldridge - our Client Director who has worked with BHTA’s members for many years. E: stephen.aldridge@verlingue.co.uk T: +44 (0) 208 282 8595 W: www.verlingue.co.uk

Cover provided by Markel (UK) Ltd

ABOUT US Verlingue is the approved insurance broker for the BHTA insurance scheme, which is available exclusively to BHTA Members. We are part of the Verlingue Group, one of Europe’s largest independent insurance brokers, employing over 1,100 people and placing premiums in excess of €2 billion.

Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority


RETAILERS’ BUYING GUIDE

Instant Match Pumped Shower Drainage Kits from Whale Whale’s Instant Match is specifically designed to enable independence by providing a pumped solution for shower drainage where gravity isn’t an option, such as in a flat. It is compatible with all healthcare showers and includes Bluetooth connection to the Mira Advance Flex Extra and inbuilt flood-reduction. www.whalepumps.com

The Gentleman’s Toilet Aid from Gordon Ellis & Co After two years of development, the Gentleman’s Toilet Aid is designed to fit every type of toilet bowl shape, including square toilets and wash and dry bidets. It can be converted easily into a commode and is height adjustable and autoclavable. The full open front offers better access when cleaning. www.langham-ge.co.uk

Kanjo Silverline Bath Lift by H&M Bathlifts Providing perfect hygiene and safety, the Kanjo Silverline Bath Lift offers safety when bathing. The efficiently-designed seat and back can adjust from a fixed to reclining position with the push of a button, allowing the user to relax and bathe in comfort. Fitting most bath types, including corner baths, it is ideal for those who need support whilst using the bath. www.hmbathlifts.co.uk

50 / www.thiis.co.uk

Ropox QuickWash by Ropox The Ropox QuickWash basin requires no electrics, is easy to install, and when in the initial up position is projected off the wall by 530mm and 630mm when lowered. For wheelchair users, the QuickWash can be lowered from its fixed point by 140mm and out by 100mm to increase access. www.ropox.com


Partnerships are our priority. Our innovative, industry leading stairlifts are produced with a commitment to quality and reliability for you and your customers' peace of mind. Plus... They are only ever available through our approved global partner network - we don't sell direct. You can feel confident and supported when recommending Platinum, with direct access to a personal account manager.

When our customers need a stairlift, time is of the essence. This is why we choose to work with Platinum Stairlifts – they provide a quality product for staircases of all shapes and sizes, and with a great turnaround time. Finally, if there are ever any issues, they are always on hand to support us and resolve things quickly.“

Find out more about our partnerships at

platinumstairlifts.com

Platinum Partner 2021

Quality | Reliability | Partnership | Innovation | Caring


RETAILERS’ BUYING GUIDE

Easy Soft Back Hygiene Chair from DHG Healthcare Komodo Hygiene Chair by Komodo Healthcare The Komodo Hygiene six-in-one chair facilitates an efficient hygiene and showering routine within a single transfer while allowing a comfortable working posture for the caregiver. The product incorporates a stand assist raiser, variable height, shower chair, toileting and commode. It is easy to manoeuvre and compatible with select wet/dryer toilets. www.komodohealthcare.com

This hygiene chair is designed with telescoping pillars to create space and flexibility for carers. The chair can be raised, lowered, and tilted forwards and backwards, even with the user in the chair. It is available with a soft comfort seat with an opening at the rear for a more natural, hygienic working method.

www.dhg-healthcare.com

The Indiana Walk-In Bath from Access This UK-manufactured full-length walk-in bath deliver safety and support for bathers with restricted mobility. Featuring a smaller P-shaped footprint, the slimline Indiana is part of the full-length range and combines space-saving design, slip-resistant surfaces, spacious showering and a low access door. The bath encompasses multiple safety features such as pioneering BioCote antimicrobial protection and therapeutic options. www.accesswalkinbaths.co.uk

52 / www.thiis.co.uk


NRS Spa Range Our Spa Range of bathing aids, toileting accessories and daily hygiene products increase safety and independence, whilst creating a stylish, innovative and accessible bathroom.

In order to challenge the perception that using daily living aids is a sign of getting old or losing independence we created the sleek and stylish Spa Range. These aids are an essential part of making life more convenient, safe, and easy! Using these discrete and stylish products creates a contemporary environment that allows for longer independence and confidence in the home.

IDEAL SUPPORT FOR: • Arthritis • Sciatica or other back pain • Joint pain • Fibromyalgia

P23099

• Muscle weakness or pain • Reduced movement • Those prone to dizziness

P23075

P42409

M66569

P01304

M66388

M66399

For more information please contact your local Regional Sales Manager or the NRS Healthcare Customer Service Team

0345 121 8111 customerservice@nrshealthcare.co.uk www.nrshealthcare.co.uk


RETAILERS’ BUYING GUIDE

Rise & Fall Mobile Shower Trolley from Care & Independence This shower trolley helps to make washing and changing easier. It features a top sideways tilt function, providing superb positioning, while the padded dropdown sides add additional safety. With powered functionality and 10 size options, this is a great bathing solution for those who are less able.

Swift Mobil Tilt-2 from Etac This shower commode chair is adaptable to fit many user needs and sizes. It has a unique tilt feature that gives increased security for the user and an ergonomic working position for the carer. Its tilting function can be operated from either side of the chair. This allows the carer to reassure the user when tilting. www.etac.com/uk

www.careandindependence.com

Toilet Frame with Magazine Rack from Drive DeVilbiss

This sturdy free-standing frame was developed to surround a toilet, providing additional support to help assist getting on and off the toilet. Padded armrests provide additional comfort while the armrest is angled in to give improved support when lowering and rising. The lightweight and portable steel frame includes a magazine rack for added convenience. The toilet frame can be secured with non-slip pads and there is an option to secure it to the floor. It has a maximum user weight of 136kg. www.drivedevilbiss.co.uk

54 / www.thiis.co.uk


RON-WC2 Wireless Pull Cord Alarm from Easylink UK The RON-WC2 pull cord alarm is simple to install and maintain, offering a waterproof alarm pull cord alarm solution for disabled facilities. Supplied in kit form (with one pull cord and one wireless alarm receiver) or as part of a multiple facility monitoring system, it is suitable for toilets, showers, bathrooms, and wet rooms. Installation is quick and easy as no mains power wiring or UPS connection is required. Trade, NHS, and local authority discounts are available.

• Care Alarms & Telecare • Dementia & Elderly Care • Fall Prevention • Epilepsy Care Products 01536 264 869 www.easylinkuk.co.uk www.medpage-ltd.com

Medpage Limited T/A Easylink UK 3 Melbourne House Corby Gate Business Park Corby, Northants NN17 5JG UK

www.easylinkuk.co.uk

@MedPageLtd

Medpage/Easylink UK QP Ad.indd 1

21/07/2021 13:10

The Bellavita Bathlift from Drive DeVilbiss This lightweight battery-powered reclining bath lift has a front aperture for improved personal hygiene and comes with a wide range of accessories. The very low seat travel of 6cm from the bottom of the bath allows improved water immersion, ideal for shallow baths. It weighs only 9.3kg and separates easily and quickly into two lightweight sections for ease of fitting/removal, storage and transportation. The backrest reclines to an excellent maximum angle of 50 degrees, which is operated easily by the hand control and enabling the user to relax in comfort. Its contoured, slimline profile further facilitates handling and gives a modern, aesthetically pleasing appearance to suit most bathrooms. The hand control incorporates lithium battery technology. www.drivedevilbiss.co.uk

Over 700 models available from stock. Please contact us for our trade catalogue: Tel 01460 75686 www.classiccanes.co.uk

www.thiis.co.uk / 55


RETAILERS’ BUYING GUIDE

AquaClean Mera Care Shower Toilet from Geberit This shower toilet employs advanced technology to assist users who have difficulty using a conventional toilet, enabling the user to obtain a greater sense of independence in the bathroom. The shower toilet offers a complete solution that can be adapted to take care of the user’s needs, so that they feel cleaner and fresher following a comfortable, convenient and hygienic bathroom experience. www.geberit-aquaclean.co.uk

Height Adjustable Dovedale Commode from NRS Healthcare Featuring height adjustment, a pastel grey and blue colour scheme, commode pan with lid and splayed legs for stability, this flat pack version of NRS Healthcare’s Dovedale commode range makes the user’s daily routine easier and more comfortable. The product can be easily self assembled with no tools required. The maximum user weight is 127kg. It has a seat height adjustment of 415mm-514mm. www.nrshealthcare.co.uk

Portable Bath Step from Drive DeVilbiss The Portable Bath Step is a handy bathing aid that makes stepping in and out of bath easy and safe. A single step used on its own gives raise of 10cm. Modular steps (sold separately) can be stacked on top of each other to give height increments of 5cm to suit different user/bath requirements. The built-in, attractive, padded surface is comfortable and slipresistant for safety. Four circular plugs on upper surface of step are easily removed to allow another step to be inserted into them for secure locking when stacked. Non-slip feet provide stability on different flooring. www.drivedevilbiss.co.uk

56 / www.thiis.co.uk


Product Sales Engineer

WE ARE HIRING Role: Business Development Manager Location: North England Package: Basic salary £25K + uncapped bonus, achieving £50K depending on experience. Car allowance/possibility of short term company car, laptop and mobile phone. Are you a natural, strategic sales professional with a proven track record in the mobility sector? Are you seeking a new challenge with great rewards? Well, then you are the one! SunTech UK (eFOLDi) is no ordinary company. We are new and energetic, entering the mobility market with refreshing ideas. We design and manufacture innovative mobility scooters and power chairs, which are really lightweight, compact and easily foldable. Our eFOLDi scooter won the prestigious title of Best British Invention of the Year. We work with the best suppliers in the world to offer the highest quality and lightest products and peerless after-sales service. As part of our exciting UK expansion plans, we are recruiting a new Business Development Manager for the North Region to include North England, Scotland and Ireland Main responsibilities:

Key skills:

• To achieve annual sales targets by visiting existing Retail customers and prospects to support and grow business in your area • To carry out product demonstrations and training • To communicate with internal customer services and maintain accurate and up-to-date records • To attend exhibitions and meetings to promote eFOLDi products • Some hotel stays away from home will be required.

• Natural sales and communication skills • Self-motivated with a positive ‘can-do’ attitude and determination to succeed • Experience in planning and implementing sales strategies • Ability to build and maintain strong relationships with clients at all levels providing great customer service • Good at planning and time management; • Computer literate, familiar with CRM systems.

We offer a competitive basic salary with a fantastic commission structure, pension, complete with car allowance, laptop, phone, etc

SMART Wheelchairs supply high-end powered, paediatric and manual wheelchairs and seating products to private clients and NHS users across the UK. We are looking for a Product Sales Engineer with a flexible approach, team player and enjoys working within the industry. The role will be to follow up leads from the office, exhibitions and generate own assessments. To be able to modify wheelchairs to suit customers’ individual specifications at our workshop, managing your own diary, liaising with the office, attending Trade Shows around the country to promote company products, carrying out the occasional service call, keeping good relations with existing clients. You may also be required to occasionally stay overnight when necessary. KEY SKILLS WILL INCLUDE: Previous experience in wheelchair sales, knowledge of programming powerchairs using R-net and omni systems, experience prescribing wheelchairs, carrying out seating assessments, a good knowledge of products and parts within the industry to benefit the customer. Must be fully flexible, organised and a proactive team player. Some administration will be necessary within the role. Full clean driving licence. Enhanced DBS and double COVID-19 vaccination will be required as you may be required to work with children and vulnerable adults. Flexibility is a must as this role does require some early starts and late finishes when necessary. In return we will offer a very competitive salary + commission depending on experience, annual bonus (target reached), company van, laptop, mobile phone, uniform, 20 days holiday + bank holidays, optional pension, company expense card, tools, product training. Please send your CV to maxine@smart-wheelchairs.co.uk along with salary expectations

Salary: Basic £25K with uncapped commission, car allowance £5.5K, overall £50K per year depending on sales revenue.

For more information please call Tim Ross on 07716 638305 or email your CV to tim.ross@efoldi.com www.eFOLDi.com

Unit 6 Seven Gables Court, Oldmedow Road, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 4JL 01553 404200

Here at CareCo, we’re all about making life easier for people. It gets us out of bed in the morning, and it sends us home at the end of the day knowing we’ve done our bit to help somebody with their day to day struggles. And as our rapid expansion continues, we’re looking for compassionate, hardworking and ambitious individuals to join our team and help us reach more customers all over the UK.

Showroom Manager CareCo Exeter

Opportunities at Our New Northern Hub

CareCo Exeter is set to open at the end of 2021, bringing our fantastic range of mobility equipment to Devon for the first time. As the Showroom Manager, you’ll be leading a brand new team of mobility experts all working together to help our new showroom make the best possible impression from day one. You’ll be a motivating presence in the store, encouraging your team to meet objectives and sales targets, with the sort of organisational skills that make every day a breeze. And you’ll always be looking for ways to improve our showroom, developing both your own and the team’s awareness of changes in the industry and local market conditions.

We’ve almost outgrown our headquarters in the South East, so we’re pleased to be moving into an additional site in Leeds in the not too distant future. With extra warehouse space to house more stock as well as a new team of mobility engineers on site, we’ll be able to reach more customers across the UK and ensure we offer the best possible service to existing customers too. We’re looking for Home Delivery Drivers to be the friendly faces of our business, as well as Mobility Engineers to help keep our customers active and independent. Could you join our Leeds HQ and help make it a success?

This exciting position is a chance to be part of CareCo’s continued success, with fantastic career opportunities and access to staff benefits including a wellbeing programme, staff discount, free parking and regular colleague engagement events.

For more information on any of the vacancies detailed above, please email recruitment@careco.co.uk


Stiltz Homelifts are recruiting! Behind the on-going success of award-winning Stiltz Homelifts, are an amazing team of people. We are now looking for additional talent to join us to help grow our professional Field Operations teams across the UK. Installation Engineers. All UK locations

As a Stiltz Intstallation Engineer, you will install and commission our homelifts, working in customers’ homes. • You must have a mechanical/electrical background with the ability to carry out basic electrical fault finding if required. We will provide full product training • Experience in a field based role; maintenance or installations ideal • Demonstrate a high standard of workmanship and professionalism • Full UK driving license and DBS check required. You’ll be reliable and resourceful • Qualification in appropriate trade ideal

Multi-Trade Builders/Carpenters. All UK locations

You’ll support the build/installation of our homelifts in customers’ homes. As a Stiltz Multi-Trades Builder/Carpenter you will offer a high quality of workmanship including: • Experience in 1st fix carpentry (floorplan installation; joists and steel work) • Experience in 2nd fix carpentry (fixing architrave and skirting boards, fitting doors) • Proven experience of structural adaptations; joists/beams/columns/plinths/steels • Ability to read and understand architects’ drawings / structural calculations • Ideally NVQ Level 2 in relevant trade • Full UK driving license and DBS check required

Installers’ Assistants. All UK locations

Support our experienced Build/Install teams in the UK. You should have: • Strong practical aptitude • Experience of the building trade and/or allied industries • Ability to prioritise, plan and multi-task • Ideally, previous experience of assisting/labouring with experienced trades • Full UK driving license and DBS check required

Above roles are UK-based and involve travel and occasional overnight stays. If you’re excited by the prospect of working for a highly successful business that puts employees and customers first AND provides excellent staff benefits, get in touch.

OFFICE-BASED ROLES ALSO AVAILABLE! Visit stiltz.co.uk/vacancies/ 58 / www.thiis.co.uk

Our recruitment team are waiting to hear from you! Forward an up-to-date CV to jobs@stiltz.co.uk


The updated Blazer has a number of user friendly upgrades and is now even narrower than before. It is still available with either a Sling or Captain seat and a variety of accessories.

Blazer Captain

Blazer Sling

Manual Recline No Tilt-in-Space Captain Sitting Nominal Seat Width (inch): 18 / 20

Tilt-in-Space/ Standard Seat Sling Sitting Adjustable Seat Depth Manual Stepless Recline Nominal Seat Width (inch): 17 / 19 / 20


FEEL MOVED

The Strongback: award-winning and revolutionary An evolution from traditional wheelchair design, the Strongback solution provides contoured back support with an ergonomic backrest for improved posture and comfort. Available with a wide range of options and features. To enquire about the Strongback

Call 01787 888 106

or email trade.sales@tgamobility.co.uk www.tgamobility.co.uk QUOTE: THSA21

Profile for THIIS

THIIS September 2021  

The upcoming autumn months look set to be packed full of events for the mobility trade. Naidex, which takes place at the NEC in Birmingham f...

THIIS September 2021  

The upcoming autumn months look set to be packed full of events for the mobility trade. Naidex, which takes place at the NEC in Birmingham f...

Profile for thiis

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded