THIIS June 2022

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Also inside... Mobility Scotland’s new stairlift and homelift centre Exhibitors to look out for at Naidex 2022 ISSUE 285 JUNE 2022


How Healthcare Pro aims to offer the personal touch

Ready to roll From Jubilee-themed rollators to clever power add-ons get a taste of the latest mobility and access innovations

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From the editor Welcome!

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16 Trade Talk: Healthcare Pro 20 RISE @ THIIS event overview 30 Retailer Spotlight: Mobility Scotland 40 Trade Thoughts 42 Naidex 2022 exhibitors

04 News, deals and people 08 Retailers’ Choice: Mobility accessories and power add-ons 46 Let’s Get It Clear 48 Buyers Guide: Mobility accessories and power add-ons

One of the many benefits of a trade event is the opportunity it gives to network and create new business partnerships, and that was certainly the case at the recent RISE @ THIIS event in Milton Keynes. Turn to page 20 to read all about how the event went, including the entertaining gala evening and jam-packed conference programme. And from one event to another, THIIS also offers a taste of some of the exhibitors set to appear at next month’s Naidex in Birmingham (p42), and the exciting product launches to expect. Find out what industry leaders think about the importance of trade events (p40), and the factors they consider when attending or exhibiting at them. The consensus seemed to be that while the exhibition scene is not quite as it was, say five years ago, they still have a place, with the pressure very much on organisers to invest in keeping things fresh! In other features, we talk to Billy Finnie about Mobility Scotland’s brand new Stairlift and Homelift Centre in Glasgow (p30). A ‘centre of excellence’ for home access solutions, customers can see, try and experience world-class products under one roof. THIIS also meets Claire Clough, Head of Digital Product Services at Healthcare Pro (p16), to find out more about its revamped website and specialist Wheelchair Service. Dr Barend ter Haar offers his advice on postural support devices (p46), and don’t miss our top retailers’ recommendations (p8) on the best mobility accessories and power add-ons on the market as well as the Buyers’ Guide, which starts on page 48. Enjoy the issue.


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Editor / Liane McIvor 07917 784929 / Advertising / Joe Fahy 07384 258 372 / Sub-editor / Sarah Sarsby

@wwwthiiscouk 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. / 3


News, deals & people

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

Bringing patriotic pizazz to Jubilee celebrations

in brief...

Online independent living aids retailer Complete Care Shop has announced the launch of a unique, limited edition mobility aid in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Festooned with Union Jacks, the retailer is hoping that the rollator – dubbed the ‘Royallator’ – will bring some ‘patriotic pizazz’ to people who want to celebrate in style but need extra support with balance, stability and mobility. According to the retailer, the Royallator is lightweight, allowing the user to enjoy “amazing manoeuverability and support” when walking to and from the Jubilee celebrations. When a well-earned rest from all the street-partying is needed the Royallator is easy to fold down. The Royallator has a large clip-on bag that could be perfect for taking picnic sandwiches, a Victoria sponge cake and maybe even a cheeky bottle of fizz along to the party! For those wanting to decorate a rollator for the day themselves, the standard version of the rollator is also available.

REHACARE RETURNS After a two-year break due to Covid, the 31st edition of Rehacare International in Düsseldorf, Germany returns from 14 to 17 September 2022. Event organisers Messe Düsseldorf cancelled the world-leading trade fair for rehabilitation and care last year due to the risk of COVID-19 for vulnerable visitors. Taking place at the Düsseldorf Trade Fair Centre, Rehacare will showcase the latest innovations and trends to enable people to live an independent life, including wheelchairs, walking aids and custom-refitted vehicles.

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ABILITY MATTERS ACQUISITION Oxfordshire-based mobility equipment supplier Ability Matters Group is hoping to further boost its presence in the prosthetic and orthotic market after acquiring Crispin Orthotics. Leeds-based Crispin Orthotics specialises in producing and maintaining orthotic devices, developing innovative products using digital workflows and 3D printing. Its use of Multi Jet Fushion technology by HP has enabled it to produce parts that are strong and flexible enough to be made into orthotics that can endure a human’s everyday movements.

TOPRO UK appoints new Country Manager Walking aids manufacturer TOPRO UK has announced that its new Country Manager is Terence Clark. Terence has been leading and developing teams within the mobility and rehabilitation industry for many years, working closely with healthcare professionals in assessment clinics, as well as on a one-toone basis. In addition to his time as a large mobility retailer Terence has significant experience in working with the NHS, and the UK public sector.

WHILL wins prestigious design award Advanced powerchair manufacturer WHILL, whose products are supplied by TGA Mobility in the UK, has announced that its foldable Model F mobility vehicle has won the 2022 iF Design Award. Established in 1953, the iF Design Awards are recognised internationally as one of the most prestigious awards within the field of design. WHILL Model F is a foldable short-distance mobility vehicle that is particularly helpful for active older people who have difficulty walking. It

DERBY DRIVABILITY OPEN DAY Derby DrivAbility, part of the Driving Mobility network, will be hosting a free mobility event for healthcare professionals, as well as approved driving instructors and the general public on 14th June 2022. During the event, which will be held between 11am5pm in Kingsway, Derby, the service will offer the opportunity for visitors to explore specialist equipment for driving, wheelchair loading and passenger safety. The Open Day will showcase its services alongside a selection of specialist accessible vehicles and mobility products from experienced and professional suppliers.

is lightweight, which makes it easy to load into cars, and offers a convenient option for air travel. Model F can also be folded effortlessly and quickly, providing a seamless travel experience for those who want to get out and explore. When folded, the product can be stored upright or flat depending on its environment, while the WHILL smartphone app allows the user to drive and lock the Model F remotely, as well as check device information, such as mileage and battery level.

THE CENTAUR TRIUMPHS Centaur Robotics, the company which created the Centaur, a self-balancing personal electric wheelchair, has won a major trophy at the UK’s leading accessibility awards. The two-wheeled Centaur led the field in the Inclusive Guest Innovation category at the Blue Badge Access Awards held in Manchester recently. Judge Michael Vermeersch commented: “We can see the Centaur being used to transport people to their hotel rooms or for excursions during their stay.” The Centaur won in the category for innovative products that improve the quality of visitors’ experience in hotels and hospitality. / 5


Centrobed launches fully profiling bed Adaptive stroller helps families enjoy fun days out Baffin Technology Systems has launched a three-in-one adaptive stroller for children, enabling them to join in with physical activities while ensuring they maintain a good postural position. The Yogi has been designed for children with a wide range of conditions including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular mystrophy, as well as those who have had a spinal injury. Featuring an integrated seat, the Yogi has an adjustable seat depth and the angle of the seat can be adjusted. Additional support and comfort is provided by pelvic stabilisation belts, an anatomically correct headrest, three point safety belt, large rear tyres and adjustable shock absorption system. Weighing 20kg, the Yogi has been designed for children up to a height of 130cm, with a maximum user weight capacity of 40kg. Marzena Komisarczuk, Founder of Baffin Technology Systems, commented: “The Yogi has been designed with the user and parent/carer in mind and will help families enjoy fun days out which might otherwise not be possible.”

Moving and handling specialist Centrobed has launched a new fully profiling low-start-height bed in response to feedback from clients and occupational therapists (OTs). Centrobed creates bespoke, innovative designs as a result of feedback from its clients and OTs and states that it created the Fundy Low Start Bed after discovering that there was a need for a low-start-height bed that can still support fully with moving and handling. The Fundy was designed with safety at its centre, according to the manufacturer. It is a height-adjustable bed with a from-the-floor start height. It can be raised to waist height to deliver personal care or can be used as a changing station. The bed does not have a head or footboards attached to the bed and it comes in a fully padded low-level surround. There are no visible power cables and the bed is operated via a wired handset. In addition, the Fundy as standard is manufactured to a length of 78″, however, it can be made to any bespoke specification to suit adults or children.

New BHTA CEO to champion mobility industry The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) has confirmed that David Stockdale will be joining the association in June as its new Chief Executive Officer. David will join the BHTA following a 12-year period as CEO of the British Tinnitus Association (BTA), where he spearheaded the growth and transformation of the association. During his time with the BTA, David was responsible for significantly increasing its standing and visibility in the world of audiology. He join the BHTA this month,

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where he will ensure the association’s members’ needs are represented during significant reforms taking place across the health and care landscape. Andrew Stevenson, Chairman of the British Healthcare Trades Association, commented: “The Board is delighted to have David join the association. “David will bring a wealth of experience, energy and enthusiasm to the association. We are confident he will amplify the voice of association and the profile of its members.”

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Mobility accessories and power add-ons

Wondering which mobility accessories and power add-ons are grabbing mobility companies’ attention? Each month, retailers in the mobility industry highlight one product that has stood out for them and why…

Retailer’s Choice: Empulse R20 Powerpack by Sunrise Medical “The standard wheelchair powerpack has been around for many years, and is a popular choice for our clients. However the Empulse R20 Powerpack overcomes the obstacle of folding a wheelchair with the powerpack attached. “It has a lithium battery making it extremely lightweight, at less than 5kg. “With a maximum load of 190kg and covering seat widths of 320mm-600mm it is compatible with a wide variety of manual wheelchairs,

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including tilt-in-space. It’s really simple to use and has a handy display showing the speed and battery gauge. “The R20 can even remain in situ if the user wants to self-propel. “We’ve been really impressed by this model of powerpack and hopefully it will be a good product for the upcoming summer season.”

Lauren Bromfield Director of Classic Mobility

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Retailers’ Choice: Buckingham Walking Frame Caddy by NRS Healthcare “At Ableworld we understand the importance of living independently within your own home, and so we aim to provide convenient products that customers need in order to overcome any difficulty. “The Buckingham walking frame caddy is a handy plastic household caddy which helps with moving items around the home for any users who require a walking frame to walk with. “The caddy simply clips onto a regular walking frame, allowing the user to carry items around the home with ease, and most importantly, allowing the user to concentrate on walking. “It has a divided space that can separate items, and a removable plastic tray that is large enough to hold a standard sized dinner plate and a mug holder. The tray can also be used to support food on the users lap too, aiding easy transfer from standing up to sitting down. The caddy is dishwasher safe, ensuring that it can easily be kept clean between uses.

“The functions for the Buckingham caddy are endless – it is handy for all household items, including bottles, plates, books and telephone. “In our stores we receive great feedback about this product from users and their family members too, stating that it helps hugely with various kinds of independence around the home- which we feel is the most important benefit a product can give.”

Ellie Emerton Senior Marketing Manager at Ableworld

Retailers’ Choice: Deluxe Lined Scooter Bag from Homecraft “There are many bags specifically designed for mobility scooters but the Homecraft Deluxe Lined Scooter Bag has to be one of the best, and one of our most popular. “This bag is stylish and efficient and has a lot of room for plenty of shopping and essentials, such as a mobile phone, purse or wallet. “There are many features that you would normally only find on premium bags, such as the two large, zipped pockets on the outside of the bag, and a long elasticated pocket where a walking stick, or collapsible umbrella, can be safely stored, ensuring that it is always close at hand when on the move. “There are also two interior pockets – a small one which is ideal for storing valuables like wallets and purses and a larger one for other essential items. “The bag has a strong zip to the main compartment, ensuring that

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items inside remain secure, dry and safe. “The Homecraft Deluxe Lined Scooter Bag is waterproof and made from durable polyester, which can be simply wiped clean. “The bag itself is easily fixed to the back of a seat on a scooter using the adjustable straps. There are also rubber feet on the bottom, allowing the bag to be put onto wet surfaces, without the actual material of the bag getting wet. “This bag is one of our most popular items and the bag we always recommend to customers enquiring for a strong, sensibly priced bag for their mobility scooter.”

Julia Phipps Owner of The Ability Superstore

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Retailers’ Choice: SmartDrive MX2+ with Apple Watch from Permobil “The Smartdrive has been around for so many years now. It has undergone a few changes but like all great Permobil products they are never complacent in standing still. Some would ask, why re-develop a product when sales haven’t dropped off? “The real reason is because Permobil products are always customer focused, with such a huge online presence in forums and social media groups.

Darren Macey Business Development Manager at Lifestyle and Mobility

“It’s so important that they continue to redevelop this product and offer new and exciting reasons to upgrade. We are so pleased that the SmartDrive is now fully compatible with the Apple Watch. This is a huge advantage compared to the E2 and E3 smartwatch due to the fantastic battery in the Apple Watch. “This also means that the user no longer needs to chose between wearing their Apple Watch or the Push Tracker watch, they simply have one watch that does it all. “Manual wheelchair users push their chairs thousands of times per day, which can lead to serious repetitive shoulder strain injuries. The SmartDrive MX2+ with AppleWatch is literally one tap and off you go! “The reason we love the SmartDrive

Retailers’ Choice: Wheelchair Powerpack Plus from TGA Mobility 12 /

so much is because it empowers an active lifestyle. It supplements the energy that would have normally been used and allows the user to live more independently and have more energy for other daily activities.”

“From fashion to function and performance to preference, there are a great many add-ons and accessories for mobility products around Alastair Gibbs now. Managing “Our regular Director of TPG enhancement DisableAids when the carer is struggling to push their loved one in a manual wheelchair is the Wheelchair Powerpack Plus from TGA Mobility. “It is available in a number of versions depending on the user’s weight and the terrain to be covered, but all are easily detached to allow transport in a standard car boot and at a weight that is manageable for most. “It has often been emulated but is rarely beaten in terms of adaptability, durability and quality. It is certainly a viable alternative to going for a Class 2 powerchair that becomes a more difficult transport problem.”

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Retailers’ Choice: Waterproof clothing range from Kozee Komforts

Retailers’ Choice: Mobility scooter canopies from Vinyl Value “Although we are now heading towards the summer there will still be rainy days and a good way for mobility users to still use their scooter is to have a canopy fitted. The range from Vinyl Value includes Standard, Deluxe, All Window and Polycarbonate. There are several colours to choose from. “The Standard canopies are manufactured in 600 PVCbacked fabric with large, zippered roll up doors on both sides of the canopy for easy access either side. These doors have attachments at the top for keeping the door up if desired. With full windows at the back and the front, and window panels either side, visibility is not impaired, and scooter lights are still visible for use at night. “Deluxe style canopies are manufactured in 840 PVC backed nylon, have the doors at the side but have the added advantage of a roll up back window too, allowing for access to batteries or bags at the rear of the scooter. “All Window canopies are the same as the Deluxe style but manufactured with clear vinyl all round apart from the roof which can be made in any of the Deluxe fabric colours. “Polycarbonate-style canopies are the top-of-the-range canopy. Manufactured with a rigid 2mm polycarbonate front screen, which is delivered riveted onto the framework, this canopy offers all the same benefits as the other styles, but with increased protection from the outside elements. “The screen also comes with UV Karen Sheppard protection. Made from 840 PVC backed Managing nylon, with doors at the side and back.” Director of People First Mobility

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“As we approach the summer, in our country we aren’t always guaranteed the sunshine especially in our neck of the woods in Scotland. For wheelchair and scooter users this can become a challenge to stay dry if they are out in the rain. “At Thistle Help we supply a wide range of protective waterproof clothing to keep customers warm and dry in all weathers. There is a wide range on the market but we stock the waterproof range from Kozee Komforts as it comes in different colours and sizes. The quality of the products is good and priced reasonably. “The range for wheelchair users includes ponchos, full head-to-toe covers, cosy toes, sleeves and arm protectors. “The scooter range includes a variety of protective clothing whilst still allowing the end user to freely move around to operate the scooter. Also available are scooter covers to protect the scooter from the elements if left outside for a short period of time. “This range of waterproof clothing is very popular and they make ideal gifts for people who have everything. “We hope to have a nice summer with lots of sunshine but at least our customers are prepared if we get four seasons in one day.” Laura Hays Director of Thistle Help

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Trade Talk Q&A with Claire Clough, Head of Digital Product Services at Healthcare Pro … WHAT DOES THE NEWLY BRANDED HEALTHCARE PRO MEAN FOR NRS HEALTHCARE COMMERCIALLY? “The new name, Healthcare Pro, scored highly amongst our consumer base, and we know they are looking for the added reassurance of shopping where the professionals shop. “With NRS Healthcare established in 1947, Healthcare Pro focuses on our high levels of expertise in this sector, credibility and professionalism, improves the customer journey and shopping experience, as well as providing easy access to product advice, support and associated services. “Healthcare Pro also gives the business the opportunity to branch off into new opportunities in the digital space.” WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO SET UP THE NEW WEBSITE WHEN YOU DID? DID THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC DETERMINE THE TIMING OF IT? “We chose to launch Healthcare Pro in January this year because the new platform, technical requirements and

refreshed product range all needed to be ready at the same time to ensure we offered our customers the best possible experience. “No, the pandemic and relaxing of restrictions were not a factor in the timing of the launch. We have been operating normally throughout the pandemic and adapted to the situation with the whole of the digital team now based remotely. “We’ve seen some challenges like everyone else with logistics, supply chains etc but nothing that stopped us trading 24/7.” CAN YOU DESCRIBE HOW HEALTHCARE PRO’S SPECIALIST WHEELCHAIR SERVICE WORKS? “The customer journey begins at the product description page. Interested clients complete the enquiry form and then within one working day they will receive an initial telephone consultation. “During the consultation our team will ask questions around the customer’s medical condition and current capabilities, and then listen to the key features the customer is looking for from a new wheelchair.

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

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In January 2022 independent living aids manufacturer NRS Healthcare rebranded itself as Healthcare Pro. Offering a “new and improved” online experience, Healthcare Pro offers over 4,500 independent living aids on its website, all selected in conjunction with its products development team and inhouse occupational therapy team. Its site aims to be a “go-to source” for up-to-date information and guidance on daily living aids, offering peer-to-peer engagement, education and support as well as guiding customers to a ‘right first time’ purchase.

“We’ll then discuss the environment they wish to use it in and how they are planning to fund the chair. Once we’re happy that we have narrowed down the product selection, we’ll look to set up an assessment with one of our wheelchair specialists. “The assessments take place at the best location for the client but predominantly we prefer to do this at their home so we can understand the most likely issues that may be faced during day-to-day use. “By the end of the assessment, we’ll provide a full quotation for the specification of the wheelchair. “If the client is happy to proceed the wheelchair, in most cases, will be made to order and, then once built, our wheelchair specialist will arrange a full handover to the customer, including another demonstration and full instructions on how to use their chair. “But it doesn’t end there! Each product also comes with a manufacturer’s warranty covering the wheelchair should any manufacturing fault become apparent within the warranty period. “We’re also able to offer

“Although digital communication and shopping has been accelerated by the pandemic we know it’s the professional, human touch that gives us our uniqueness”

Healthcare Pro has launched a specialist Wheelchair Service

comprehensive insurance, maintenance and servicing packages and extended warranties packages for complete piece of mind. “Launching this new service was a natural next step for Healthcare Pro because it adds value, choice and support for our customers during what can be a daunting experience for some.” HOW DO YOU MONITOR THE RESPONSE YOU GET FOR HEALTHCARE PRO? WHAT HAS THE FEEDBACK BEEN LIKE TO IT SO FAR? “We have been delighted by the responses to our on-site survey and know that our customers are finding it easier than ever to find what they’re looking for. “We have had some excellent

feedback from the trade and our stakeholders across the National Care side of the business too. “In a market that is fraught with uncertainty, Healthcare Pro clearly stands out by offering an easy-to-use website along with free expert advice and guidance from occupational therapists to help customers looking for products and services to make the right choice first time.” HOW DOES HEALTHCARE PRO DIFFERENTIATE ITSELF FROM ITS COMPETITORS? “We offer something other big retailers don’t; our network of healthcare professionals to support our product range choices. “We offer all customers free, professional advice on the products they need and we can help them with

advice and guidance through our comprehensive content too.” WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR HEALTHCARE PRO GOING FORWARD? “We have ambitious plans for 2022 and will be testing a lot of new services, bringing some unique new products to the market and continually looking for the right partnerships like the one we recently agreed with Mangar (Winncare) and Stiltz Home Lifts to offer customers a greater choice from a professional’s point of view. “Although digital communication and shopping has been accelerated by the pandemic we know it’s the professional, human touch that gives us our uniqueness.”

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Visitors to the event enjoyed views of the Stadium MK football ground

How RISE @ THIIS rose to the challenge Mobility trade exhibitors and retailers alike came together for the RISE @ THIIS event in Milton Keynes last month to make connections in a relaxed and fun environment… Leading manufacturers in the mobility and access trade came together for the RISE @ THIIS event in Milton Keynes last month, enjoying a successful day meeting up with both new and existing retailers, with some coming together to enjoy a few laughs the night before. The trade-exclusive event, which was sponsored by Motion Healthcare and delivered in partnership with the British Healthcare Trade Association,

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THIIS Magazine and RISE4Disability, took place at the Hilton DoubleTree Hotel in Milton Keynes – a hotel built into the impressive Stadium MK football ground. LAUGH-OUT-LOUD FUN In addition to the trade exhibition and conference on 10th May, the industry had a chance to connect in a more relaxed way the night before at the celebratory gala dinner.

A drinks reception prior to the gala dinner, sponsored by Handicare Stairlifts UK, took place first, offering smartly dressed visitors the chance to network and connect with their fellow trade professionals in a relaxed and informal setting. The guests were then seated in the gala dinner room, where they were served up a three-course meal while the good times continued. In-between courses, entertainment

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The good times continued in the gala dinner room

came in the form of hilarious standup comedy team Abnormally Funny People, a collective of mainly disabled comics and actors who have done much to prove that humour is a powerful tool for changing attitudes towards disability. Simon Minty, who regularly appears on Channel 4’s Gogglebox with his sister Jane, was the host for the evening, and he hilariously entertained the crowd with his thoughts on life as a small person. The laughs kept on coming with left-wing comedian Don Biswas, who took to the stage to entertain the audience with his razor sharp one-liners and amusing observations about living with dyspraxia and Asperger’s Syndrome. His quirky take on how those with Below (left to right): Simon Minty, Don Biswas and Steve Day provided the laughs

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learning difficulties cope with the workplace and a flawed benefits system, along with the expectations of a traditional middle class Indian family, certainly had the audience in stitches. Completing the comedy line-up was Steve Day, with his warm, witty and engaging banter on the dilemmas of being a deaf man in a hearing world. Steve describes himself as Britain’s only deaf comedian [apparently, if there are any others, he says, he hasn’t heard!] The evening was topped off with a spot of karaoke, with mobility and access trade professionals belting out songs such as Sweet Caroline and a few Tom Jones classics. Michelle James, Head of HR at EA Mobility, commented on “a very

enjoyable” evening. She said: “It was a positively delightful evening spent with respected colleagues in the field, celebrating our individual contributions to assisted living whilst making new connections to further strengthen our customers experiences.” Darren Macey, Business Development Manager at Lifestyle and Mobility, agreed adding: “The RISE @ THIIS gala was a fantastic night, with great comedy too. Well done to all those that organised it!” Reflecting on a successful gala evening, Helen Kitchen, PR and Communications Director (Global Brand) for Handicare Stairlifts UK, stated: “Handicare was proud to support the BHTA Gala Dinner, which proved to be an entertaining evening

in an impressive venue. “It was good to see such a wide variety of organisations represented at the event, reflecting the diverse membership.” AN IDEAL LOCATION Exhibitors from across the industry showcased their latest offerings to buyers, installers and distributors from across the sector for the next day’s main event. These included some exciting

product launches, such as Motion Healthcare exclusively launching its new Evolite car boot scooter at the event, and the latest model of its foldable mLite lightweight scooter. Meanwhile, Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare’s launched its new AirFold Carbon Fibre Powerchair, and Karma Mobility showcased its lightweight Agile wheelchair. Mark Duffield, General Manager for Karma Mobility UK, commented: “I enjoyed speaking to our customers in a relaxed environment. The show wasn’t huge, so we had some great discussions with our retailers.” Certainly, many retailers were happy that they stopped by at the event. Haley Evans, Marketing Manager for Snowdrop Independent Living was impressed with the location. She said: “It was lovely to meet so many industry peers for the first time and tick off another football stadium! It was a fantastic event with great, thought-provoking sessions. I leave Milton Keynes having gained new knowledge, which will only help me and Snowdrop Independent Living.”

“Handicare was proud to support the BHTA Gala Dinner which proved to be an entertaining evening. It was good to see such a wide variety of organisations represented at the event” HELEN KITCHEN, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR (GLOBAL BRAND), HANDICARE STAIRLIFTS UK

Craig Vernon, Chair and Seating Specialist for Derbyshire Mobility, also remarked on an “enjoyable day”. He commented: “It was great to catch up with familiar faces such as Calvin Barnett, the Head of Marketing and Communications at BHTA, and new faces from the manufacturers we deal with on a daily basis. “It was a very informative

Exhibitors showcased their latest offerings

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“It was a very informative conference with lots of products and presentations on display”

See below for a taste of what was discussed at the RISE @ THIIS conference sessions… ‘Expanding your products and services into public sector frameworks and public and private sector commissioned service contracts’ – By Andrew Stevenson, Chairman of the BHTA Andrew discussed how the selffunding assistive technology sector is growing and how this presents a significant opportunity for businesses in the industry. Sustainability should be a primary focus for providers looking to get products and services in front of the NHS and local authorities, as the sectors continue pushing towards ‘net zero’. ‘Industry-focussed business management with RISE Consult: How to generate leads and have customer traceability’ – By Jade Godier and Alan Wallace, Directors of RISE 4 Disability This talk focused on the importance of using an effective CRM system to improve customer trackability and time efficiency. Attendees learned about marketing, task automation, campaign reports, and integrating appropriate marketing channels into CRM systems like social media and mail campaigns.


conference with lots of products and presentations on display from Karma Mobility UK, DIETZ Mobility UK, Motion Healthcare, Access Your Life, and plenty more. “A big thank you to British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) and THIIS Magazine for organising and sponsoring the event. I can’t wait for the next one!” ENGAGING CONFERENCE SESSIONS The RISE @ THIIS Conference proved to be very popular among show attendees, who were spoilt for choice with a range of insightful and educational sessions for business leaders. From the importance on inclusive marketing in reaching a wider consumer base and how to get your services and products into public sector frameworks, through to what occupational therapists look for when ordering products and how to generate high-quality leads, there was something for everyone

at the comprehensive conference programme. Retailers, marketeers, suppliers, and installers all enjoyed the bustling conference programme, and the speakers enjoyed sharing their knowledge and connecting with attendees. Conference speakers also benefited from great interaction with their audiences and found the event to be valuable. Andrew Stevenson, Chairman of the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA), gave attendees invaluable insights into the booming assistive technology market for his conference sessions. Reflecting on how his presentation went, Andrew said: “I enjoyed the conference session, the audience was engaged with the topic, and we covered a significant amount of ground in a market channel which product and service suppliers should be focusing on over the coming years. “There is a major opportunity for product and services on both local,

‘An insight to social care funding: The process of product procurement and order processing from the occupational therapist’s perspective’ – By Jane Miller, Principal Occupational Therapist for Kent County Council

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Jane’s presentation explored what OTs look for in terms of product suitability at equipment review groups as part of the procurement process. She advised all suppliers to take on any feedback OTs give them about their products, as they have very in-depth knowledge of what works – and what doesn’t – for end-users. ‘Effective Content for social media: Why your marketing content should speak to your client base and how to effectively reach the consumer market through inclusion in branding’ – By Lauren Matthewson and Felix Ledger-Beadell, Directors of Access Your Life Lauren and Felix’s session explored how mobility and independent living can more effectively and accurately serve their customer base with inclusive marketing on social media by using positive images of younger disabled people. ‘Putting your products to test with recognising quality solutions: How an efficient product evaluation can help enhance your company’s credibility within health and social care’ – By Sharon Rindsland and James Smith, Founders of Recognising Quality Solutions (RQS) Sharon and James explained how RQS can give suppliers an efficient and clinical product evaluation to help them get their products in front of the NHS and end-users. The service provides a ‘stamp of approval’ that products are fit for purpose along with a full risk assessment.

Jane Miller, Principal Occupational Therapist at Kent County Council takes to the stage

regional and national levels and this demand will remain constant.” Jade Godier and Alan Wallace, Directors of RISE 4 Disability, who discussed the importance of using an effective CRM system to improve customer trackability in their sessions, also enjoyed presenting at the event. Commenting on how their joint session went, Jade said: “We had a really good interaction with our audience. It was great for us to learn that CRM systems are becoming more recognised as a need for business process. “There was a genuine interest in developing overall data management and customer lineage within our audience attendance.

‘Sleep posture: A cheat’s guide to good sleep’ – By James Leinhardt, CEO of Levitex James discussed why getting a good night’s sleep is important for enhanced productivity and optimising sales performance.

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James Smith, Founder of RQS

“We hope our attendees gained an insight on how to improve their customer trackability, lead generation and time efficiency by utilising an effective CRM data management system.” Visit to find out how RISE Consult can assist with lead generation and CRM set-up, or for any further information or advice. Jane Miller, Principal Occupational Therapist for Kent County Council, explored what OTs look for in terms of product suitability at equipment review groups in her session. She also found the chance to speak at the conference to be fruitful, as she connected with company representatives and discussed how they can better work with OTs. “It was fabulous to have the opportunity to speak at the conference direct to suppliers and company reps, regarding how to work with the therapist in health and social care, explain the process for authorising equipment orders behind the scenes and how to get their product evaluated and considered for inclusion on the ICES contract catalogues,” she said. “It triggered a lively debate on how to create and promote new products which are cost effective and robust (i.e. can be recycled many times therefore providing maximum effectiveness and value for money),

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Participate in our on-site or virtual training session (around one hour) Host a product introduction to your local Occupation Therapists and other potential customers led by one of our sales representatives (around one hour)

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Purchase demonstration units Set up demonstration bath and shower area in your showroom Participate in extended training on options, accessories, assessment, and maintenance.

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‘Do you know the score?’ – By Mike Glynn, Retail Consultant at MG Retail Consulting Small business learned how to find the key numbers that drive the business and the importance of keeping a scorecard. Mike highlighted the relationship between numbers and how they influence others. ‘Introducing a new accreditation scheme for suppliers of AT: DLF’s Trusted Assessor scheme aligns to the national qualification recognised and used UK-wide’ – By Janet Seward, Programme Manager at the Disabled Living Foundation (DLF)

and hopefully offer some handy hints on how to make the best use of company time with rep visits and team contacts.” The session by Lauren Matthewson and Felix Ledger-Beadell, Directors of Access Your Life, discussed the use of inclusive marketing on social media. Lauren recalled: “It was really an honour to be invited to speak at the RISE @ THIIS trade expo earlier this week. “It was not only important for us to connect with other industry experts in person, but to share our

unique perspective of being both a wheelchair/service user and a disability industry business owner. “This was particularly helpful during our Effective Content for Social Media conference session, as it allowed us to advise other businesses on how to create realistic content, adverts and campaigns that are both inclusive and enticing for all ages. “We know how it feels not to be represented by the companies we rely upon, so we are looking forward to helping others make positive changes within their business!”

Suppliers heard how they can reach thousands more end-users and prescribers every month with free product listings with the DLF. A key focus of Janet’s talk was the announcement of a new scheme to accredit suppliers as Trusted Assessors, which is based on the national framework recognised by health, social care and housing providers.

A message from the organiser... “We would like to thank all that came out to support the RISE @ THIIS trade event. It was a delight to see the industry back together at our ‘Back to Business’ gala dinner, enjoying some delicious food and side-splitting humour while having the chance to reconnect with contacts, new and old. And it was a pleasure to hear some great conversations were had between suppliers and buyers at the exhibition, along with the conference content being well received. “Importantly, none of this could

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have happened had it not been for all the exhibitors and sponsors that committed to making it happen. In particular, our gala dinner drinks sponsor, Handicare UK; BHTA VIP ticket sponsor, Verlingue UK; and especially our overall show sponsor, Motion Healthcare. “We would also like to thank all the attendees that made the trip around the multiple roundabouts of Milton Keynes to visit the event, meet suppliers, pick up some new business insights and brave the karaoke at the gala dinner! “Additionally, thank you to our

partners at RISE4Disability for their hard work and commitment delivering the Calvin Barnett, event. BHTA’s Head of “As the Marketing and mobility and Communications access sector continues to evolve, it is clear that the trade benefits from having a platform to connect and network face to face. We look forward to seeing what we can do to help facilitate this need in the future.”

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Mobility Scotland: Feeling right at home

Mobility Scotland has opened a new showroom in Glasgow dedicated solely to stairlifts and homelifts which it hopes will be a ground-breaking ‘centre of excellence’ in Central Scotland. THIIS spoke to Billy Finnie, Operations Manager at Mobility Scotland to find out more...

When THIIS caught up with Glasgow retailer Mobility Scotland last year it was thrilled to have been recognised for its outstanding levels of customer service in the Motability Scheme’s annual awards. As Billy Finnie, the store’s operation manager, stated at the time, 2020 was a difficult one for the business in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic. The store’s participation in the Motability Scheme brought many benefits, however, including a steady revenue stream all-year-round. But now, the Kirkintilloch-based store is ready to spread its wings having purchased a larger 450-squaremetre showroom which is dedicated solely to stairlifts and homelifts. The National Stairlift & Homelift Centre is handily just a stone’s throw from Mobility Scotland’s original showroom and office. LEADING THE WAY IN HOME ACCESS Over the past few years, as Billy explains, Mobility Scotland had already taken steps to restructure its product range, working with fewer suppliers and the best products. “We started repositioning the business by consolidating our supplier base and rationalising our core product range significantly,” Billy says. “We phased out the traditional retail of daily living aids, adopting a signposting process instead and adapted our business within the world of high impact, transformational, home access products.”

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The Technical Team on the main stairlift demo unit, the Handicare 1100 Freecurve and Access BDD Flow X

The COVID pandemic had a “big impact” on the business and the team, especially with the knowledge that another mutant variant could lead to another lockdown, or at best, social

restrictions. It was an experience, he says, that “brought with it a resilience and step-change in attitude by both the business sector and consumers.” Last year Mobility Scotland




Our Most Complete Stairlift THIIS Retailers’ Choice of the Year 2021 Designed for seamless movement, the Flow X provides outstanding levels of comfort, confidence and craftsmanship.


Staff outside the new Stairlift and Homelift Centre

commissioned a survey exploring its customers’ motivations and objectives post COVID and, according to Billy, this comprehensively delivered the findings that when making these significant home access purchases the customer, or their family members, would like to see and experience the product first. Says Billy: “Given the option, 75 per cent of prospective buyers would like the try-before-you-buy experience for these high value, high impact products, hence the new store. “The research helped us determine why and where we should invest and coupled with a step change in consumer behaviour post-COVID, these factors were worthy of the investment for the long-term development of the business.” The findings cemented its vision to ultimately become a market leader within the home access market. FINDING THE RIGHT PREMISES It took about six months to find the right premises, explains Billy, with

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the retailer searching across Central Scotland. It was a challenging exercise, he admits. “The whole world was opening again from COVID, economies were bouncing back, customers were getting back on the high street and buying and landlords, as a result, were hiking up rents and increasing their property let and lease values.” This prompted the retailer to change tact and buy a building outright. The success of Mobility Scotland’s stairlifts division had given the retailer enough buying power to negotiate a decent deal. The main objective was to find a suitable site on a secondary location such as industrial park rather than an expensive retail or business park, explains Billy. It would need to offer around 500 square feet of space, whilst being highly visible to main roads and thoroughfares. “Then ‘boom’,” says Billy. “Our wish list was met by a company whose owner had decided to

There are five vans to cover Scotland

retire and sell the building as a vacant possession.” Ironically, he says, the new premises is in very close proximity to the existing office and showroom, which it will continue to develop.

“Given the option, 75 per cent of prospective buyers would like the try-before-you-buy experience for these high value, high impact products”

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RETAILER SPOTLIGHT MOVING IN The retailer officially moved into the new building in April 2022 after a sixmonth build up period, consisting of major renovation work. The aim was to create an interior with a modern, relaxed vibe, and Billy is confident they have achieved just that. “It’s big, bright, modern, spacious and very inviting, showcasing the world’s top access products. It’s over two floors with access via an amazing Stiltz Trio Homelift, which is a real jaw-dropping showpiece, given the size of the showroom. “We also have the equally stunning Handicare 1100 on one of the

Staff members are fully trained on all the products

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staircases for customers to physically use, and on the third staircase we have the stair-climbing wheelchair option, the brilliant R90, which really reinforces the theme of the building as we market it as a ‘centre of excellence’ for home access solutions. On the ground floor there is an attractive, modern meeting area where staff can sit down comfortably and chat with customers about their needs and objectives. Billy continues: “At the customer’s pace we can lead them to the phenomenal first floor where we have all the straight and curved stairlifts expertly installed and displayed on

“It’s big, bright, modern, spacious and very inviting, showcasing the world’s top access products” the purpose-built demonstration staircases ready for them to try.” There are eight demo units in all, including the Flow X, Platinum Ultimate and the Handicare range of straights and curves. Says Billy: “It truly is unrivalled anywhere in the country, offering an environment where customers can see, try and experience these world class products under one roof.” In preparation for the move the retailer had already started publicising and advertising the showroom across its network of occupational therapists (OTs) and all the local authority OTs who it works with. This means that the showroom is already heavily booked out by OTs looking to bring their clients in for demonstrations. The retailer has now started marketing across its domestic customer base, and plans for an “extravagant” official launch where Billy states there will be number of dignitaries and celebrities present.

The Stiltz Trio Homelift transports customers to the second floor









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“Gone are the days of procrastination and stigmatisation over mobility products. Purchases are being made and will continue to be made”

Staff at Mobility Scotland having a team meeting

Demonstrating a stairclimber

MEETING CUSTOMER NEEDS Mobility Scotland’s typical demographic is the older consumer, although it works with a significant number of customers who span the age groups and have varied physical or neurological conditions. Explains Billy: “Ultimately, we work with customers who for whatever reason have difficulty accessing areas of their homes. We’re all about understanding needs then assisting our customers in achieving safe mobilisation throughout their home.” Working with manufacturers like

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Access BDD, Stiltz, Handicare and Platinum Stairlifts, Mobility Scotland offers a variety of solutions to meet its customer’s requirements which all do well. Billy adds: “The Handicare 1100 has been the most well received by our customers over the last couple of years and has been our bestselling, fastest moving product.” The store has also begun to expand its home access category further. It recently joined forces with Baronmead International and will be taking its “fantastic” Stairmatic stairclimbers to market as well as other models. Adds Billy: “This marks a significant moment for the business as it copperfastens the products which are key within the access at home market. Every product sits nicely within the themed approach and does an alternative job giving options and variety to every customer.” WELCOMING NEW PARTNERS Staff training on products sold at Mobility Scotland is extremely important, explains Billy, especially in the home access sector “Our products are high value, high impact and highly technical so our

knowledge needs to be thorough and super tuned. We have a dedicated technical support division who look after all our own product installations.” Mobility Scotland has also been lending its expertise to some of the UK biggest retailers in home access, delivering its equipment into Scotland and offering technical support. This has been an amazing success, says Billy, with the retailer doing the selling and Mobility Scotland taking care of the fitting and maintaining. “Training and knowledge is paramount and we all have personal development plans in place which commits to circa 80 hours product training per year,” Billy explains. As Mobility Scotland looks to drive its business forward it is asking companies in the UK who would like their business to grow in Scotland to consider working with it. Billy comments: “If you have an access product we could bring into our proposition then please get in touch (we’ll help you grow) or consider utilising our highly skilled technical division as a sub-contactor for installations, servicing and support if you sell direct into the Scottish market. “Also, all mobility retailers out there

Mobility Scotland’s senior stairlift engineer installing a lift at a local hotel


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RETAILER SPOTLIGHT who sell stairlifts on a referral type model please get in touch, we can add value to your customers and business. We want to continue growing and can do this best through collaboration and helping your business grow as well.” Billy adds: “Mobility Scotland have fully embraced the ethos and mutual benefits of collaboration in our quest for business development and growth and we have a proven track record in achieving this.” RETURNS AND REWARDS Diversifying has already begun to deliver returns and rewards, Billy says: “Our stairlifts division alone was born in the early COVID period and is on course this fiscal year to deliver record revenue.” Short-term, the main challenges will come from fragmented supply chains, stretched lead times and poorquality logistics, says Billy.

“Some manufacturers have made changes to their supply chain partners to either reduce costs or improve efficiencies. “In some cases this hasn’t worked and the result is an inferior or unreliable product being delivered to the end-user, or some popular products or features have even been discontinued due to supply chain issues. “The impact of that on businesses is significant on top of already vastly increased operational costs. There is still the lingering impact of Brexit and hiring good people has become an issue, and may continue into 2022 and beyond.” The team at Mobility Scotland feels very excited and optimistic about the future, not just for this year, but “far beyond.” Footfall, explains Billy, has been very positive although the retailer

says that it has managed this in an extremely disciplined way, by working to an 80 per cent appointment routine each day. “We see, and hopefully this is consistent across the UK, a massive change in people’s attitudes and buying motivations.” Customers, he says, have developed “a new mindset” throughout the course of the pandemic and are becoming more decisive when it comes to making purchases, whether it be general home improvements or access within the home products or general mobility products. “Gone are the days of procrastination and stigmatisation over mobility products. Purchases are being made and will continue to be made. “The home has become sacrosanct, and I believe people want a modern, safe, and easily accessible home where they can live and relax and mitigate the risk of accidents, being hospitalised unnecessarily or flirting with the prospect of a care home. “Customers are much more willing these days to buy preventatively, with modern, user-friendly solutions to achieve this. “Mobility access, comfort and safety products have seen tremendous growth recently. This continued trend coupled to consumer decisiveness will ensure the prognosis is healthy.”

Demonstrating Handicare’s 1100 Freecurve stairlift

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The stairclimber in action


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Trade Thoughts What does your firm hope to achieve from attending a trade event for the mobility industry? This month, THIIS asked leaders from the mobility and access sector who are exhibiting at Naidex 2022, to share their thoughts about the importance of an industry trade event, and some of the factors that they believe are key to their success.

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Lee French

Matt James

After the last couple of years, events such as Naidex enable us to once again engage with retailers, healthcare professionals and end users in a friendly relaxed environment. “By attending such events, we can meet far more people than would ever normally be possible in two days and by having a full product range on the stand we can answer any questions people may have while also demonstrating the many unique features of our rollators, manual wheelchairs and powered add-ons. “I think it is important that event organisers do as much as they can to promote the event and who is going to be exhibiting. Attending exhibitions is expensive when you combine the cost of the stand/salespeople off the road/hotels etc so from a return-oninvestment perspective we want to see as many people as possible. But they also need to be the right people for our business. “We are very careful when deciding which exhibitions to attend with past experience, the time of year, target groups just some of the factors we take into consideration. “The exhibition scene is certainly not what it was, for example Naidex has shrunk from three days to two days with significantly less exhibitors than five years ago. “Having said that, I still believe they have a place within our marketing plans, but organisers are going to have to continue to invest to keep things fresh and attract the right visitors and exhibitors.

Precision Rehab attend many events throughout the year focusing mainly on exhibitions such as Kidz to Adultz and Naidex. “We attend these shows which focus mainly on end users and private buyers but of course we look to refresh existing contacts such as OT’s, PT’s and case managers with our current products and new products we have launched or wish to launch at the shows. We usually launch new products at Naidex as it the largest UK show and generates the most interest and footfall. “We have always used Naidex as our primary show of the year as in the industry it is known as the show not to miss by all aspects of the industry – private buyers, OT’s, PT’s, trade, case managers and seating specialists. “It is also a great meeting point for overseas suppliers and manufacturers and allows us to focus on our main goal which is to book assessments for end users while also offering great networking opportunities. “Here at Precision Rehab we supply a lot of paediatric powerchairs from Paravan and Dietz Power UK and we are always looking promote these chairs. “In addition to Naidex we also attend the Adultz to Kidz exhibitions in the South, Middle and North of the UK. These are great little one-day events that allow us to showcase our children’s models to end users and parents without having to travel too far. See us at Naidex and the Kidz to Adultz events this year!

Managing Director, Rehasense UK

Director, Precision Rehab







Tom Henshaw

Daniel Caines

Tim Ross

It’s no hidden truth that the challenges of the last two years have made it difficult for SME businesses to easily commit to various trade events, with our sector particularly being hard to predict as to where our customers stand on leaving the safety of isolation. “With that all in mind, here at Quest we quickly realised that we as a business would have to take the first steps in getting these exhibitions moving forwards. “The public needs to know that when they are ready, we are here to start those conversations again, to showcase what we have been up to behind the closed doors of lockdown and to assist people in finding greater freedom through movement. “With the ongoing pressures of price increases and supply issues trying to steal our gaze at any given moment, we were of course careful in which events we decided to book this year, opting to ‘go big’ at some of the larger exhibitions in the industry such as Naidex rather than spread ourselves too thinly. “You could never predict footfall even before COVID, but you can make sure you are doing everything possible to make the most of every individual that visits your stand. “Put on the best display you can, capture data of course, but most of all listen to what your customers have to say. We are all there to win business, but keeping your fingers on the pulse of the industry is by far one of the biggest reasons to start turning up once again.

The pandemic has taught us many things. Skype, Teams and Zoom have been very useful tools and certainly have a role to play in business, but now more than ever we understand the true power of face-toface interaction. By attending trade shows such as Naidex we hope to meet with as many of our customers as possible in a more personal and meaningful way. “Our regional sales representatives have remained available throughout the pandemic, but a trade show offers a different environment that can be more relaxed and less distracting than a busy showroom or office. This gives us a chance to talk, listen and share ideas outside of a normal working day, building on our already strong relationships. “A good trade event should also attract those who are new to the industry or those who wouldn’t usually attend. Our priority will always be to look after our existing customers; however, a successful trade event should always generate high quality leads, giving us an opportunity to grow our business. “It’s certainly been a challenging couple of years for everyone, and a trade show provides a fantastic opportunity for us to thank our customers for their loyalty and understanding during an unprecedented time. “It is also an opportunity to educate ourselves on the latest technology and innovation within the industry. It’s always a joy to see such fantastic products and to meet the people and businesses behind them. We look forward to seeing old and new faces at this year’s Naidex in July.

As the mobility industry continues to recover in the post-COVID era, it’s important to ask ourselves if face-to-face events like Naidex are still viable. “Previously, exhibitions have been viewed as critically important for raising brand awareness, acting as a platform for launching new products, networking with existing clients, forging new business opportunities, and even acquiring market research. “Crucially, exhibitions are also a great opportunity to physically demonstrate a product, and for customers to experience those products hands-on – something you can’t achieve with a brochure or online content. “On the flip side, exhibiting can be time and resource-intensive, plus the total costs to exhibit can be relatively high, compared to other forms of marketing. Results are never guaranteed, and neither is footfall. “At eFOLDi, we still view an event like Naidex as a unique opportunity to develop our brand, showcase the latest innovations, and strengthen existing trade relationships with our network of dealers and international partners. It’s also a chance for us to meet with endusers who make practical use of our products. Additionally, it allows our team members to remain up-to-date on the latest products and trends. “Exhibitions can also be an occasion to be recognised, and eFOLDi were fortunate enough to win Naidex’s “Innovation of the Year Award” for its new ‘Lite’ travel scooter in 2021. To be recognised as leading innovators in the industry was a huge honour for our team.

Commercial Manager, Quest 88

UK Sales Manager, MK Battery International

National Sales Manager, eFOLDi / 41


Retailers’ guide to Naidex 2022 Why dealers should visit Recare... Recare is a respected family-run rehabilitation and healthcare equipment specialist. At Naidex 2022, it will be offering a specialist seating clinic ‘roadshow’ whereby healthcare professionals, such as occupational therapists, can discuss individual client cases on a one-to-one basis. The Recare clinic signposts towards the most appropriate specialist seating options, with a broad range of manual and powered wheelbases for paediatric to bariatric clients, so the best possible outcomes are achieved for clients with disabilities. It also provides complete support throughout a client’s journey, including follow up appointments and equipment adjustments to meet changing needs.

STAND 0330 3202492

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It’s that time of year again. Taking place from 6-7 July 2022 in Halls 19 and 20 at the NEC in Birmingham, suppliers, charities, consumers, healthcare professionals and retailers are set to gather together for this year’s Naidex. To ensure that potential star product does not slip through the net, THIIS has signposted some suppliers keen to talk trade with retailers.


Intelligent Braking System

Intelligent Cruise Control

M o t i o n D i re c t C o n t ro l




Quality. Reliability. Comfort. Bruno delivers best-in-class stairlifts specifically designed for exceptional comfort and lasting quality.

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Why dealers should visit Monarch Mobility... The world’s lightest four-wheel scooter? Monarch Mobility thinks so. At this year’s Naidex event Monarch Mobility has stated that it will be unveiling something a bit special. In fact, it thinks that it will change customer expectations forever. It plans to unveil, what it says is, the world’s lightest scooter! The firm will also be launching its latest lightweight powerchair. A spokesperson commented: “These new additions to the fleet raise the bar for the mobility industry as we move towards that featherweight holy grail. Celebrating 21 years as the UK’s most innovative mobility retailer, we invite you to see the future at Stand J60.”

STAND 0800 002 9633


Why dealers should visit Kymco UK... Kymco UK has been manufacturing high-quality mobility scooters since 2002 and is proud to say that all of its scooters have been designed with customer requirements in mind. Kymco supplies its range of mobility scooters through its dedicated national dealer network, who always carry out a full assessment of the needs of the customer, to ensure that the correct product is always selected. Ranging from high-end 45-mile range luxury scooters to small compact folding scooters, Kymco UK states that there’s a model perfectly suited to every customer’s specific needs.

STAND 01656 645755

Why dealers should visit Rehasense UK... The Space LX rollator combines intuitive design, smooth lines and high-strength alloy materials and weighs only 5.8kg. Height-adjustable handles with indexed settings provide excellent user comfort while increased safety comes from the quick positive braking system. Available in medium and large and a choice of colours, the Space LX is fitted with a backrest and stick holder as standard along with an integrated removable basket. It has a maximum user weight of 150kg along with a seven-year warranty.

0333 220 0704

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Naidex product showcase for Rehasense Rehasense UK will be exhibiting its extensive range of mobility solutions on Stand C36 at Naidex including the recently launched Track Wheel and Icon 60 manual wheelchair. The Track Wheel has been designed to transform a standard manual wheelchair into an agile tricycle to enable wheelchair users to experience greater freedom. Whether you are out and about around town or going for more adventurous days out over rougher terrain such as in the forest or on the beach, the Track Wheel is the ideal companion. By attaching the 12” Track Wheel, the wheelchair’s castors are raised which slightly tilts the chair backwards and by noticeably reducing the rolling resistance, the user can enjoy increased speed, manoeuvrability and comfort. Weighing from only 2.6 kg and available in single arm carbon and double arm aluminium or carbon, the Track Wheel adds very little weight to the existing wheelchair. The single arm model has been designed for use with rigid wheelchairs while the double arm model is for use with foldable wheelchairs featuring fixed integrated footrests. Attaching the Track Wheel to the wheelchair frame requires no tools and the entire process takes a matter of seconds. The recently launched ICON 60 manual wheelchair from Rehasense is one of the most adjustable wheelchairs currently available in the UK. This latest addition to the Rehasense portfolio which features a lightweight rigid 7000 Series aluminium alloy frame and carbon fibre side panels has been designed to enable the user to adjust various elements of the chair to suit their individual needs.



The Icon 60 & Track Wheel – a perfect combination

The frame length and seat angle are adjustable and for maximum comfort, the backrest - which is foldable to assist with transporting the ICON 60 by car can be adjusted forward by up to 20˚ or backwards by up to 10˚. The seat height can also be easily adjusted with a choice of different heights which in turn changes the centre of gravity to make the chair a more ‘active’ model. As with all Rehasense products, the ICON 60 has been designed to be stylish, user friendly and aesthetically pleasing. With a

maximum user capacity of 120kg and a comprehensive range of colour choices combined with several wheel, tyre and push rim options available, the ICON 60 takes manual wheelchair design to the next level.

Rehasense UK

For more information on the full range of mobility solutions available from Rehasense UK or to discuss potential retailer opportunities call 0333 220 0704 email or visit / 45


What makes a good positioning belt? 5. Harnesses and anterior support The previous articles in this series covered the anatomy of a pelvic positioning belt; choosing and adjusting a pelvic positioning belt; the features and benefits of different belt closures; and means to fix the belts to the wheelchair frame in appropriate positions. In this article we concentrate on anterior harnesses used to optimise the position of the trunk. WHAT DO WE MEAN BY A HARNESS? For this series of articles we have been using the term ‘belt’ to represent a flexible postural support device (PSD), which has two main points of attachment to take the loads and stresses associated with helping to keep the wheelchair occupant in a required position - these ‘belts’ are most commonly used for positioning the pelvis.

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

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Admittedly, some pelvic positioning belts have four points of attachment, but two of those straps are for positioning the person, while the other two are for positioning the belt (to stop it from getting out of position). When we come to positioning the trunk, we often have a wider range of requirements of the flexible PSD. There are some places where a belt, e.g. a chest belt (Figure 1), is appropriate, but more often we are looking for greater surface areas to be covered, and more directions of control. In these cases we often look for a flexible PSD with symmetrically distributed four points of attachment, and refer to these as ‘harnesses’. CHEST VS SHOULDER HARNESSES The selection of a harness needs to be based upon the ultimate aims for that harness. In some cases, as ‘shoulder harnesses’ they are there primarily used to provide shoulder retraction. Shoulder retraction assists respiratory and other physiological functions within the trunk, but too severe retraction can restrict the occupant’s reach and ‘zone of control’. Many shoulder harnesses can be applied in differing manners both to accommodate the amount of retraction required and for comfort (e.g. to avoid pressure on breast tissue). For example, if the harness is used in ‘back pack’ conformation

In previous issues of THIIS in the Let’s Get it Clear series1, we have covered ‘What makes a good cushion?’ over seven parts. An equally important component of many seating systems is the array of postural support devices (PSDs) provided with the seating to complement the cushion and back support elements. The first four parts of the current series concentrated on pelvic positioning belts, whereas this, the fifth in the series, looks at means to position the trunk with flexible anterior PSDs.

Fig. 1 Anterior chest belt

(without any of the harness across the chest), this provides the most retraction and least chest involvement. If applied in X style, one has the least retraction, and lesser breast interference. H style provides a compromise on the degree of shoulder retraction but has the most breast interference. At least, for most shoulder harnesses, there is a choice. Chest harnesses, on the other hand, while offering some shoulder control, primarily offer anterior support to the whole trunk, with the load spread over a larger area, but one does not have the choice of application offered by a shoulder harness. There are also specific safety risks involved with chest harnesses (see later).

posture. The mounting point of the upper straps onto the back support should be close together, thereby reducing the risk of the straps falling off the shoulders Fig 2. Shoulder harness (left) and chest harness (right) Fig 2. Shoulder harness (left) and chest harness (right) (Figure 3). Chest harnesses, on the other hand, while offering some shoulder control, primarily offer anterior The lower support to the whole trunk, with the load spread over a larger area, but one does not have the straps should be positioned to ABDOMINAL SUPPORTS choice of application offered by a shoulder harness. There are also specific safety risks involved with maximise the postural control and Most of the postural supports covered chest harnesses (see below). comfort required for the occupant. in this series of articles have been Abdominaldesigned supports to minimise impact on Please be aware that if the back is reclinable, soft tissues, and have made use of Most of the postural supports covered in this series of articles havesupport been designed to minimise the lower straps will need toanatomy be fastened to applying forces across the bonier impact on soft tissues, and have made use of applying forces across the bonier parts of the in order to parts make use theanatomy leverage that be obtained through these more solid parts control the lower part of to the back support. ofofthe incan order to or adjust the occupant’s posture. Some recline in the back support to make use of the leverage that can accommodate the shoulder blades is be obtained thesesoft more There are places where the through need to support tissues will come into play. These include across the important – if the solid parts to control or adjust the abdomen, where an abdominal support comes into play. The benefits of these supports is: occupant is pushed too far forward, they risk being left occupant’s posture.  Support for sagging abdominal muscles ‘hanging’ on the harness. There are places where the need  Strengthening abdominal muscles and weakened abdominal walls Most harnesses are offered with to support soft tissues will come  Reducing pain while laughing front or rear pull adjustment options. into play. These include across the  Avoiding discomfort while coughing  Avoiding squeezing or cramping up of muscles The best choice often depends on abdomen, where an abdominal  Assisting toning of abdominal muscles the occupant’s preferences. Some support comes into play. The benefits people do not like their carer ‘fiddling’ of these supports are: Placement and of harnesses around in front of them, so do not • adjustment Support for sagging abdominal likeparts theare front pull than option. muscles Chest and shoulder harnesses should be positioned so that any central no higher the Others do not like people behind them, so do • Strengthening abdominal lower part of the sternum. The top straps should come across the shoulders horizontally, and if the top of the back support is not inand a position to facilitate this, then extra will option. be notmounting like thehardware rear pull The muscles weakened required. If the backabdominal support attachment the straps the neck, front pullrubbing optionongives the occupant walls is too high, this can lead to whereas if too low, this will pull the occupant down in the seat intothe a slouched posture. The the straps facility to tighten • Reducing pain while laughing mounting point of the upper straps onto the back support should be close together, thereby themselves, whereas the rear pull • Avoiding discomfort while reducing the risk of the straps falling off the shoulders (Figure 3). option provides greater leverage for a coughing carer tightening the straps. • Avoiding squeezing or cramping up of muscles STATIC VS DYNAMIC? • Assisting toning of abdominal The choice of a static rather than a muscles dynamic harness depends on the needs of the occupant. A static PLACEMENT AND ADJUSTMENT harness provides a greater level of OF HARNESSES positioning and control, especially Chest and shoulder harnesses should for those with low muscle tone. A be positioned so that any central harness with elasticated upper parts are no higher than the lower straps allows for a greater degree of part of the sternum. The top straps should come across the shoulders horizontally, and if the top of the back support is not in a position to facilitate this, then extra mounting hardware will be required. If the back support attachment is too high, this can lead to the straps rubbing on the neck, whereas if too low, this will pull the occupant Fig.3 Placement of upper straps of an anterior trunk support harness down in the seat into a slouched

movement, and helps the occupant back into position as their muscles fatigue over time during the day. Elasticated lower straps allow for more freedom of minor adjustments of position, and accommodate the expansions and contractions associated with breathing. SAFETY ELEMENTS The biggest safety concern is around minimising the risks to the occupant of strangulation and asphyxiation, and for this reason an anterior trunk harness should never be used without a properly positioned and fastened pelvic positioning belt in place. Other concerns are around supporting, but not restricting the physiological functions ongoing within the torso, whether this be digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, and bladder function – and effects on these internal functions being balanced with externally-oriented functional physical needs. We go into more depth around the safety considerations in Part 6 in this series, and this topic is covered in BS 86252. 1. 2. BS 8625:2019 Selection, placement and fixation of flexible postural support devices in seating. Specification

‘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 If you are interested in receiving further information on the topic, please contact Dr ter Haar has been involved in seating and mobility for over 30 years, including lecturing internationally, and developing international seating standards. / 47


Buyers’ guide to mobility accessories and power add-ons

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

Breeze S4 Canopy from TGA Mobility Triride Light 10” from Triride The light model was introduced this year to the Triride range. Aimed at providing cost-effective high performance this entry-level device is lightweight and transportable to maintain independence for the user. Available with the smallest wheel size of the Triride range (10”) it is a great solution for a city-style environment and it is compact enough to easily use in indoor environments. A truly lightweight and capable solution, it has a 7.8kg transport weight and a range of up to 50km. The standard equipment can be enriched with various options and many accessories.

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The Breeze S4 Canopy offers the ultimate in advanced comfort, performance and looks, according to TGA Mobility. Its solid canopy option is designed to help keep out the elements, while the adjustable suspension and a powerful motor ensures kerbs and rough ground are simply a breeze. Ample storage is provided by secure, lockable and waterproof compartments at both the front and rear. The user will find easy-to-use controls at their fingertips with in-built safety systems creating confidence in any situation. Strong tubular framework fixes directly onto the chassis with a perspex screen and roof to keep the user covered in all weathers. Detachable clear vinyl sides make the Breeze S usable all year round.

A First for Drive DeVilbiss, the New…


Remote fold operation

Handy underseat storage

Front wheel suspension

Following the huge success of our manual folding powerchair, we are delighted to launch our first AUTOFOLD Powerchair. This excellent new addition to the range features a remote control function that enables the chair to be easily folded or unfolded in seconds at the simple touch of a button.

Call NOW for our LOWEST PRICE EVER, more information or to request an InStore demonstration! Karen Clarke 01274 475 118

Sandra Conlan 01274 475 121

Nial Hutton 01274 475 116 Information current as of 05_22


PAWS Tourer from Rehasense UK The Tourer is the top-of-the-range model in the Power Assisted Wheelchair Systems (PAWS) range, according to Rehasense UK. It can take the wheelchair users across terrain which would normally be inaccessible.

With a 20” wheel, 4” fat tyres and longer wheelbase for increased clearance and manoeuvrability, the Tourer is equally at home on tarmac or in a true off-road environment. It can easily overcome sand, gravel and obstacles such as tree roots and

Haze AGM-EX Batteries by Haze HZB-EV12-33EX is a completely sealed, maintenance-free AGM battery manufactured by Haze at its factory in China. The EX Range was in development for over five years before its launch and claims to deliver exceptional specifications beyond original box size beliefs. It utilises the empty box space found in most batteries which has resulted in the capacity of the EX batteries being increased by up to 46 per cent compared to standard AGM batteries. Exclusive to Haze, HZB-EV12-33EX offers 41.1Ah in a 33Ah box size, which is ideal for a user who needs more power but has limited space on their mobility scooter. Due to its reliability, this battery is fitted as original equipment on Sunrise Medical scooters.

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very uneven ground which would be impassable in a wheelchair. Available with a manual or automatic clamp and lift system and Tetra controls for users with reduced upper body strength.

100% Gel batteries by Easystart HZY-EV12-80 is a completely sealed, maintenance-free gel battery. Gel batteries are vacuum-sealed units filled with a gel silica rather than traditional acid. The gel makes for a more robust battery as it is vibration and shock resistant. The suspension of the electrolyte also means the battery will hold its charge for a longer period and it protects the plates from sulphating or corroding. Haze claims to be one of very few manufacturers worldwide that manufactures a ‘true’ gel battery. One of the major benefits of a gel battery is its resistance to sulphation, this occurs when a battery is left in a discharged state for a long period of time or is used when not fully charged. As with most Haze batteries, HZY-EV12-80 offers an increased capacity without increasing the physical box size at 87.9Ah. It is perfectly suited to those who use their mobility scooters very frequently as they offer 33 per cent more cycles.

Snug Canopy from TGA Mobility Designed to keep out the elements the Snug Canopy gives users the freedom to venture further without the worry of the wind or rain. It is simple, versatile and incredibly easy to install, converting almost any scooter into transport for all seasons. The retractable hood provides protection from the sun, rain, wind or cold, enabling the user to adapt it to their needs and keep moving in all seasons.

Triride Tribike E-Plus from Triride For users seeking a more active experience the Triride Tribike E-Plus offers a solution. A hybrid handcycle with the same simple and effective Triride attachment system, it offers various configuration options to suit the user’s requirements. Compact and easy to handle, it contains all the Triride technology, with ‘electronics assist’ when

pedalling and a start/walk assist throttle to get the user moving on those trickier inclines. An adjustable pedal position provides a comfortable riding position. Along with selectable assistance levels it truly is a handcycle for users of all abilities. / 51


Powerpack from TGA Mobility

Attaching to almost any wheelchair in seconds, the Powerpack can be turned into a powered chair to help the pusher push. Once fitted a pusher can simply stroll behind it with their thumb on the control, letting the Powerpack do all the hard work. Light enough to take anywhere, in the car boot, train or plane, the Powerpack gives users the extra mobility to go where they want, including up hills, ramps or over uneven ground. The Powerpack can be used comfortably and reliably for up to 10 miles at a time.

Mobility Pannier Bag from Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare This handy mobility accessory provides excellent storage space, making it ideal for users when they are out and about. It features a main compartment and an additional side pocket, and is handy for keeping personal items close to hand. The bag fits to the side of most wheelchair, scooter and powerchair arm pads. It attaches to the arm pad with a strong velcro fastening for extra security. Easily accessible, it has two zippered compartments and two net pockets. The bag can be used on the outside or inside of the arm pad or it can be used as a carry bag with the detachable shoulder strap.

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

Experts in Healthcare Logistics

l Manufacturers warranties honoured


l 35,000 Square foot warehouse

0330 445 0099

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. STRIDENT TYRES THIIS ADVERT DEC 2021_Layout 1 07/12/2021 10:40 Page 1



Strident - a name you can rely on for tyres and tubes With over 20 years experience in the mobility tyre industry, Strident are perfectly placed to offer the widest range of high quality mobility tyres. Our range of solid tyres, air filled tyres and inner tubes are designed to offer excellent levels of grip, longevity and reliability. This comprehensive range is suitable for a wide range of mobility scooters and equipment.

To find out more about the Strident range of Mobility Tyre products please contact our salesteam now. Strident Innovations

Head office address: 50 Turbine Way, Ecotech Business & Innovation Park, Swaffham, PE37 7XD T: +44 (0)1362 300102 | F: +44 (0)1362 300103 |


Special Compact HT from Triride The Triride Special Compact HT helps the user to discover new terrains without the requirement for a powered wheelchair. It provides maximum compactness with a powerful high performance motor, combined with sophisticated electronics. It guarantees maximum performance to satisfy even the most demanding users. It is perfect for tackling the more demanding inclines, and more uneven routes with the ‘allroad’ tyre option. A true “all-rounder” it is available with customisation options, which are available on all Triride products. Its attachment to a rigid or folding wheelchair is simple and easy. Also available with Triride’s remote braking solution, a carer or attendant can safely cut the drive of the device with a simple wireless remote switch and apply the electronic brake.

Todo Drive by RHealthcare The Todo power add-on weighs a lightweight 5kg and enables the end user to transform their existing manual wheelchair into a portable powerchair. It has an easy mounting system which is composed of a motor, controller, main unit, and battery. Only a 5mm hex key is needed to install it and it has a lever action to enable users to switch from manual to power modes.

PAWS Cruiser from Rehasense The mid-range Cruiser from the Power Assisted Wheelchair Systems (PAWS) range from Rehasense UK has been designed for wheelchair users looking for a power add-on to enable them to venture off standard road surfaces and onto more uneven terrain such as a forest trail. With a large 16” wheel the Cruiser offers a smooth, comfortable ride and comes with a comprehensive range of standard features including traction and cruise control. All three PAWS models are available with either a manual or automatic clamp and lift system, Tetra controls for people with reduced upper body strength, have a range of up to 25 miles and charge from empty in five hours.

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Lightweight Powerstroll from Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare The dual-wheel lightweight Powerstroll takes the strain out of pushing a heavy wheelchair and makes easy work of hills, ramps and gradients. Lightweight at 14kg it weighs less than 8kg with the battery pack removed for easy transportation. It can be easily fitted and removed within seconds and adapts to fit many wheelchair sizes with seat widths from 14” to 20”. The Powerstroll also features twin wheels with 8” black non-marking PU tyres. A trigger handset has a variable speed dial and forward/reverse button to suit the attendant and user requirements. An easy-to-use lift up strap helps to increase manoeuvrability. Allowing speeds of up to 3mph, the maximum range of the Powerstroll is 16km, though speed and range may vary depending upon user weight, terrain, weather, battery charge, operating speed, and general driving situation. The Powerstroll uses an airline-friendly 12v 20ah battery and its weight capacity is 115kg.

Seating Specialist LC Seating are one of Ireland’s leading suppliers of rehabilitation and seating products. Established in March 2008, our head office is in Grange, Co Sligo and we operate throughout Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain. We primarily work with occupational therapy/ seating clinics – providing engineered solutions for a variety of complex seating needs. We specialise in the provision of all types of custommade mobility seating and sleep systems. Due to increasing demand, we are now looking to expand our clinical/sales team throughout the island of Ireland. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE ROLE • Establish and maintain seating clinics. This will be achieved by liaising with Occupational Therapists working within the HSE (and perhaps HSC) and directly with private clients. • Carry out seating assessments for clients with complex disabilities. including • Moulded/Custom Seating (Foam Carve and MSI) • Off the shelf combination seating • Wheelchairs – Manual and powered • Make recommendations to the clinic professionals (OT’s/PT’s) responsible for the client regarding the rehabilitation products required. • Prepare and return the necessary paperwork to the accounts department in a timely manner. • Carry out delivery of products, including any fitting or adjustments required to ensure that the client’s needs are fully met by the products supplied. • Working with the production and design team to provide innovative seating solutions and provide input to ongoing product development

SKILLS/QUALIFICATIONS/EXPERIENCE The following will be expected from the successful candidate: • A recognised qualification in Rehabilitation, Biomedical or Clinical Engineering or a professional qualification in a field such as Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy or Orthotics. • Experience in the field of moulded seating, seating and mobility essential. • Full training will be provided in the LCS moulded seating approach as well as for our product range. • Full, clean driver’s licence is essential with a willingness to travel to clinic locations. • Good verbal and written communication skills – especially regarding proactive business development • Working knowledge of Microsoft Excel, Word, Outlook and Internet Explorer is essential. • A good commercial and business acumen including sales experience. • Professional approach to work while maintaining a friendly persona with clients.

Celebrating 40 years in business 1982 – 2022

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION • Package: Salary will depend on level of experience • Bonus: A competitive commission structure is in place • Transport: A company van and fuel card will be provided • Supports: Laptop, phone and tools to complete day to day job will be provided • A relocation package will be considered for the right candidate

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


PAWS City from Rehasense UK The City is the entry-level model in the Assisted Wheelchair Systems (PAWS) range from Rehasense UK. Available with a 12” or 14” wheel, the City has been designed mainly for use around town with the 12” wheel ideal for smooth tarmac roads while the larger 14” wheel can handle

slightly more uneven surfaces. The City can also be used indoors thanks to its turning circle of just one metre. Standard features on every model include: forward/reverse mode, traction control for when setting off on a slippery surface or slope,

cruise control to remove the need to permanently hold the throttle and ‘walk mode’. PAWS requires no frame alteration or additional add-ons to the wheelchair.

Gel Seat Cushion from Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare The Gel Seat Cushion was developed to provide wheelchair users with maximum comfort and support when using their wheelchair. It is also great for many other seating environments, such around the home or at work where the end user may be sat for long periods. The cover has a shower-proof nylon top and nonslip vinyl bottom, which are easy to clean. Viscous gel provides maximum support and comfort while a carry handle helps with easy transportation. The cushion is available in three different thicknesses depending on user comfort requirements. It comes in attractive retail packaging and it has a weight capacity of 115kg.

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

Karma mobility ltd Unit 6 target ParK, redditch Worcestershire b98 8yn T: 0845 630 3436 E:

Ergo Lite 2 Self Propel Wheelchair

Ergo Lite 2 Transit Wheelchair

Minimo Autofold Compact Companion. Minimo Autofold is the perfect fit, folding itself in one simple automated action, ready to load on a plane, train or in the boot of the car. Travel up to 10 miles per charge with a lightweight lithium battery pack. Pneumatic tyres, tight turning circle, good ground clearance, adjustable tiller and armrests, generous legroom, simple fingertip controls and LED lighting all mean that the Minimo Autofold is not just a compact and foldable scooter, it’s a practical, everyday companion. | | 01787 728 271