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Medequip News

See below for the latest news from Medequip. For upcoming events, please visit our Events Calendar page.

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Ipswich Team Embrace Partnership with Royal British Legion

Poppy Appeal collection stand

Giving something back is part of what we do alongside keeping people independent. We strive to support causes both locally and nationally.

In support of the recent Poppy Appeal and our ongoing partnership with the Royal British Legion in Suffolk, our Ipswich team supported by delivering 23 donation boxes and also volunteered on the collection stand over two weeks at their local Sainsbury’s.

Poppy Suffolk said:

Without the practical support of Medequip, our Poppy Boxes and collection pots, distributed by these 'happy chappies', would not be possible and we appreciate their help to ensure communities can support our Armed Forces Community. Thank you Medequip and thank you guys - much appreciated.

We are proud to have helped with this hugely worthy cause supporting servicemen and women and remembering the fallen.

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Medequip Teams Work Together to Support Trek 26

Medequip Team Support Trek 26

Trek 26 is a fundraising initiative set up by Alzheimer’s Society. It takes place in a number of scenic locations across the UK, with participants walking 13 or 26 miles to raise money to support people devastated by dementia. An epic initiative like Trek 26 requires significant logistical support, from equipment delivery through to managing checkpoints as well as supporting walkers and clearing up in the aftermath!

As a strategic partner for Alzheimer’s Society, community equipment specialists Medequip had helped out with practical support for other runs and walks. Discussions between the teams on the ground carrying out this support work led to discussions around how this help could be expanded to reduce costs for the Society and improve efficiencies.

“Medequip operates a number of depots and hubs in the South West, with easy access to local resources and assets, so we made the decision to run a trial support project for Trek 26 covering the South Devon route, which takes in the English Riviera clifftops and beaches,” explained Justin Page. “It also provided an ideal opportunity for Medequip depots to work together in support of our strategic partner. We intended to investigate the scope of what was required, to see whether we could match these requirements and extend our support in 2023 to other Trek 26 routes through the Medequip network.”

It was a significant undertaking. Medequip vans from the London depots collected equipment from Alzheimer’s Society storage facility in Hertfordshire on the Thursday before the event, ranging from marquees and merchandise through to flags, signs and other checkpoint materials. This was driven to Weston-Super-Mare, where it was all transhipped to Medequip vans from the South Western depots. These vehicles then delivered their loads to the hotel where the Start/Finish line for the trek was situated, in Devon.

On Friday, Medequip volunteers from the Emersons Green and Weston-Super-Mare depots then assisted with setting up this hub, unloading the vehicles, building marquees to welcome the walkers and guiding the placement of toilet facilities. Equipment was reorganised onto different vehicles and delivered to the various checkpoints along the walk. The work didn’t stop there, as the Medequip volunteers had also undertaken to manage a checkpoint for the duration of the walk on Saturday. They were at the checkpoint before 6.00, setting out signage and organising food and hot drinks. The first walkers arrived at around 7.30, and it proved a busy day!

“From a logistics perspective, it was an excellent piece of community engagement,” stated Luke Derrick. “It was also a great experience for our staff to meet different people and find out why they had been inspired to do the walk.”

“Lots of people recognised the Medequip name and were grateful for the support they had received for family members using our services,” added Graham Organ. “Medequip was definitely seen as a safe pair of hands, and the volunteers were able to answer many different questions on topics from aids for daily living through to telecare.”

Once the last walkers had passed through the checkpoints, the entire procedure went into reverse, with all equipment returned to the Start/Finish hub and reloaded onto Medequip vehicles for return to the Weston depot. Here, it was met by the London Medequip vans, who delivered it safety back to Alzheimer’s Society storage facility ready for the next event. “Managing waste materials from events had been an issue for the Society in the past,” explained Aaron McGuinness, who also thoroughly enjoyed the experience. “We were able to assume control of this and manage it through our own recycling points, which made an important contribution for our partners.”

Michaela Harris, General Manager for Medequip in the South West and Suffolk, acknowledged the hard work and commitment of the Medequip team. “Trek 26 provided a great opportunity for Medequip to work closely with Alzheimer’s Society, which is so representative of the demographic we serve,” she stated. “We were able to bring our expertise in logistics to the event, reducing costs for the Society. As a trial, the event went very well, and we are now investigating working with other Medequip regions on Trek 26 events with increased participation for 2023.”

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Medequip encourages walking aid returns during National Recycling Week 2022

We are supporting National Recycle Week 17-23 October 2022

Medequip is ready for National Recycle Week which runs from 17th – 23rd October 2022.

Walking aids, such as walking stick, frames, rollators and crutches can be safely refurbished and reused repeatedly. WRAP’s National Recycle Week (17th-23rd October) is a good opportunity to boost return and reuse which will help improve availability for patients, reduce carbon emissions and save money. Patients can find out where to return their walking aids by visiting their local Trust’s website or by using the WRAP Recycle Now Tool: www.recyclenow.com/recycle-an-item/walking-aids.

All 24 of Medequip’s depots are being utilised as equipment drop off points during Recycle Week. Medequip also have 65 amnesty bin drop off points which can be found across the UK.

Placing equipment in blue Medequip Equipment Amnesty bin

As a national provider of community equipment services, Medequip serves a population of over 20million people, providing 1000’s of pieces of equipment everyday to people who are living with mobility issues and disability. The service includes equipment procurement, maintenance, collection, cleaning, and recycling of equipment so it can be re-issued to another person in the community. Medequip has an impressive equipment recycle rate – which is currently 88% of returned items.

Medequip have also focused on carbon emissions in other areas of the business including vehicle fleet and aim to have 25% of service delivery vehicles fully electric by December 2022.

Crutches, frames and walking sticks provide an excellent opportunity for carbon savings due to the high greenhouse gas intensity of aluminium manufacture.

WRAP (The Waste and Resources Action Programme) is a charity working with the government, businesses and citizens to create a world where resources are sourced and used sustainably. NHS England is also supporting National Recycle Week and encouraging trusts to use the week to set up a new scheme or boost return rates for an existing scheme.

Alex Roberts, Engagement Manager at Medequip said:

“Supporting National Recycle Week helps us build on our existing campaigns to encourage people to return unused equipment, in most cases equipment can be cleaned and reused for someone else in the community.”

Suzanne Rastrick, Chief Allied Health Professions Officer, NHS England said:

“Increasing the amount of walking aids, such as crutches, walking sticks and walking frames, that are reused by patients is an important priority for the NHS. As well as helping to reduce the NHS carbon footprint, it can help the NHS to use its resources more effectively and save taxpayers money.”

To find out where you can return walking aids go to: WRAP Recycle Now Tool: www.recyclenow.com/recycle-an-item/walking-aids.

To find out how to return unwanted community equipment please visit www.medequip-uk.com/contact to check if Medequip serves your local authority area.

For more information on the benefits of returning and reusing waking aids, please visit NHS England » Walking aid reuse.

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Working to Be a More Inclusive Employer

Working to Be a More Inclusive Employer

It’s been very busy for everyone at Medequip for quite some time, and if I look forward, I can’t see anything changing soon.

Supporting the health and social care system is an important and demanding task in the best of times, and I wouldn’t say we are in the best of times.

Against this backdrop I find it very challenging, balancing my work life with my personal life. But as someone said, if you enjoy work, finding that balance isn’t quite so hard.

So, I’m always really pleased to hear feedback from people who use the service that shows Medequip staff really care about the service they provide.

Professional, knowledgeable and respectful go without saying. But staff who have been empathetic, patient and kind and put themselves out, can really make a difference to someone’s day. And that feedback helps people find their own balance.

If you have employment that you enjoy, with people you care about and who care about you, then you’ll realise how unfair it is that many disabled people, or those who face barriers into employment don’t have the same opportunity.

That’s one reason Medequip is working hard to be a more inclusive employer. The other is that it makes business sense. Two great reasons to try harder.

Across the country we are Sharing the Journey with Local Authority contract partners, local Supported Employment agencies and Apprenticeship providers. For some people, it’s just some practical adjustments to their workspace that makes all the difference. For others it requires different organisations to work together with the employee, their family or network and their co-workers.

Medequip can’t be experts in everything, but we can proactively reach out and find that expertise to help us be better.

You’ll see more in this newsletter from Kamran Mallick, CEO of Disability Rights UK who is helping us shape our policies and culture. The national work of Laura Davis and the British Association of Supported Employment and the work going on in Birmingham with our own Jo Page, the Local Authority and a number of partners.

Whatever it takes to increase our inclusiveness, we find it makes us a better organisation. More aware of each other and how we all contribute differently. More aware of our purpose and what we need to do to help people stay independent for longer.

More able to find that balance.

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Sharing the Journey with BASE and PURE

Sharing the Journey with BASE and PURE

Achieving a more inclusive recruitment policy is an integral part of Medequip’s HR strategy. The business has been working closely with BASE (British Association for Supported Employment) for some years to develop the policy. This month, Medequip’s Birmingham depot was pleased to welcome their third PURE trainee, with two previous trainees now in permanent employment at the depot.

The PURE project (Placing vulnerable Urban Residents into Employment) is the result of an innovative partnership between Birmingham City Council and a group of eight providers including Midland Mencap, MIND, Birmingham & Solihull Women’s AID, BID Services, Trident Reach, Fry Accord, Rathbone and Swanswell. Part funded by the European Social Fund, PURE brings together a range of coordinated interventions designed to assist the needs of the people with barriers into the employment market.

Depot Manager Jo Page has been a committed supporter of the PURE project for some time now, since her first PURE candidates joined the business prior to the pandemic.

We have been able to welcome a number of PURE candidates, despite a brief hiatus because of the COVID-19 lockdowns, she explained. We were always convinced we had the right environment to support, mentor and guide individuals through to employment, education and training in line with the PURE objectives.

Manjit joined Medequip as a permanent employee in 2021. Adrian became a permanent employee recently, and new candidate David is now completing work experience, supported by the team and his peers from PURE, in particular Manjit who has taken on a significant training role.

We have benefited from great support from local agencies as well as our own Medequip team here in Birmingham, who are completely on board with our objectives, added Jo. Our PURE people are an important and integral part of this team and a joy to work with, as well as exhibiting high levels of commitment and reliability.

As a result of her involvement with PURE and Midland Mencap, Jo was delighted to be invited to present graduation certificates recently at Fircroft College, a specialist adult residential college based in Selly Oak, Birmingham and originally founded by George Cadbury Junior in 1908. The college offers short courses aimed at helping adults improve their skills and confidence and work towards reaching their own personal or work goals.

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Partnering with Disability Rights UK for a More Inclusive Employment Strategy

Partnering with Disability Rights UK for a More Inclusive Employment Strategy

Disability Rights UK is a leading organisation run by and working for Disabled people across the UK, operating with a broad spectrum of organisations and governmental bodies to influence change in terms of better rights, benefits, quality of life and economic opportunities for Disabled people. Disability Rights UK celebrates a decade of action this year; the organisation was established in 2012, and continues to work to enable diverse Disabled people to have a voice and influence and to connect with each other.

Medequip and Disability Rights UK have been working together for some time on the Disability Confident programme, with Disability Rights UK supporting Medequip on the journey to become a Disability Confident employer, thinking differently about disability and making the workplace more accessible. Here, CEO Kamran Mallick talks about the organisation’s involvement with Medequip and his own expectations for how cooperation between Disability Rights UK and Medequip is expected to deliver into the future.

Now that Disability Rights UK and Medequip have been working together for some time, what impression has this insight given you into the Medequip ethos?

It’s been good to put a face to a company I’ve known for many years in terms of equipment supply. Talking to colleagues at Medequip, it’s absolutely clear that the team has a real desire and commitment to do things differently. This is not just a business to the people I’ve met; they’re dedicated to playing a developing role in helping to support people to live independently and well, alongside striving to be inclusive in everything they do.

Has Medequip been an easy organisation to work with?

This is a great people business. The team has been very open to constructive dialogue in terms of working practices, and is genuinely seeking our input to help them improve. I’m looking forward to meeting the wider management team when we deliver Disability Confident training later this year.

Do you believe Medequip is open to both listening and learning?

On the evidence I’ve seen so far, definitely. We’re helping them to examine just who they are, what they are and why as an organisation, defining their drive to be a better, more inclusive employer. We have actively challenged and questioned them around Disability Confident issues, and the responses have been positive and encouraging.

Are there mutual benefits to the partnership?

Definitely. At Disability Rights UK, we’re all about working towards creating an inclusive society where Disabled people can live independent and fulfilling lives, and we provide training and consultancy to businesses seeking to benefit from being a truly inclusive employer. Medequip is one of the many components involved in achieving that goal. Coming together to share knowledge and experience is integral to bringing about change and improvements. We’re all driven by trying to shift society so it’s better for the next generation, and it’s clear that changes made benefitting disabled people benefit everyone in society.

How do you see the partnership with Medequip evolving into the future?

We’re hoping our partnership will develop beyond the framework of the Disability Confident programme at Level 3 Leader status. There are clear opportunities to expand the sphere of influence developed by Medequip in this arena, going over and above the concepts of inclusive recruitment and other programme components. We would like to see this commitment extend to the wider supply chain, with Medequip demonstrating the benefits of inclusive employment to their suppliers and supporting other associated companies operating in this field to begin their own journeys towards disability equality and improved employment opportunities.

Kamran Mallick, CEO for Disability Rights UK, has been a wheelchair user since the age of three. He has been involved in the field of disability equality and rights all his working life, mainly in the not-for-profit sector, and has also served as CEO for Action on Disability.

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BASE – The Leading Voice for Supported Employment Across the UK

BASE

BASE is a members’ charity bringing together a collective voice for the Supported Employment community. We work across government to champion the Supported Employment model, raising standards and quality within the sector and addressing the ongoing inequalities that exist for people with a disability who are trying to access employment. Our objective is to create an environment where everyone who wants to work has the opportunity to do so.

Supported Employment is an evidence-based model helping people who want to work, yet are largely excluded by the mainstream routes into employment. The greatest barrier to inclusion in the workforce is the recruitment process itself. Our model supports employers to explore ways to reduce these barriers and access an untapped workforce with so much to give.

BASE – The Leading Voice for Supported Employment

It’s not just about recruitment but about retention too. Supported Employment agencies work to build employers’ understanding and awareness of how the supported employment model can build the confidence within the workforce to retain talented people with a disability. If you can get it right for people with a learning disability, you’ll also open up the doors to other excluded groups who will bring diversity and talent to your working environment.

It’s not a unicorn – it’s a model that works. Some employers really engage – they get that it’s good for the business, meeting core business needs and not just a CSR exercise. The employers who get it right and recruit to the future potential of candidates have a real opportunity to access a rich and diverse workforce.

There’s a wealth of support out there, with agencies up and down the country who will partner with you and help you to become a more inclusive employer. There’s a misconception around the costs involved, too. Whilst there may be some additional time investment initially, the rewards are significant, and the average cost of a reasonable adjustment is between £30-£180 per individual.

At BASE, we enjoy an excellent working relationship with Medequip. The Medequip team first came to BASE to seek guidance and advice on making recruitment and employment more inclusive. We’ve helped Medequip to connect out to local organisations in areas where they have depots, making introductions and opening up new opportunities. It’s a great partnership where we’re learning together to develop best practice.

Laura Davis
CEO, BASE (British Association for Supported Employment)

BASE also offers training for employers around Supported Employment and is instrumental in developing organisational standards in this field.

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Share the Journey - An Introduction

Share the Journey

It's about the people you meet along the way

Any long project, is like any long journey. However fabulous the destination is going to be, it’s important to be happy along the way.

Medequip have been on a journey of improvement, and truth be told, working in the Health and Social Care system, the destination, whilst always in sight, is always some way off.

That is why we want to do our best today, and tomorrow, for our contract authorities, suppliers, community partners and the people we support.

So, when someone asked me if we ever partnered with or helped in-house Community Equipment Services, I couldn’t think of good reasons why we weren’t and I was curious about the people we would meet. We got our thinking hats on, thought about what we could offer and so the idea of “share the journey” was born.

Share the journey is a three month, fully-funded project team, offered to three Local Authorities or NHS organisations that provide their own, in-house Community Equipment Service in England, Scotland or Wales. We have partnered with the innovative social enterprise Community Catalysts to help us deliver something different.

Whether you want to benchmark your service against best practice standards, reimagine how the service could develop, or simply take stock of where you are, a Share the Journey Project Team could be the answer.

Medequip and Community Catalysts will offer your organisation support, bringing in dedicated people with specialist skills once you agree. You would also be expected to enable key staff to participate. People using the service and local community groups should be included too.

What’s the catch I hear you say. What’s in it for Medequip?

No catch. We just all learn a bit from each other and improve things for people who use our services. I have committed Medequip to its own journey of improvement and I think there is a lot of learning out there and a lot of good stuff Medequip and Community Catalysts can contribute.

The simple application process is explained in more detail in the newsletter, along with stories from people who work for Medequip, suppliers, partners and people who are helping us improve.

I hope you will consider this offer and if you want an informal chat about how this might work for you, please drop me a line.

David Griffiths, Managing Director, Medequip
d.griffiths@medequip-uk.com

Share the Journey - get involved
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Medequip and Community Catalysts - Already Sharing the Journey

Medequip and Community Catalysts

"We were first approached by Medequip just over a year ago with a view to sharing expertise on community, personalisation and coproduction. I must admit that initially, we approached the concept with some level of healthy scepticism. We were wary of how our ethos and values could integrate with a large corporate, how we could maintain the focus on people and communities and make them central to the partnership."

"Our scepticism was short-lived. It quickly became obvious that the Medequip team was working hard to develop itself and its approach, driven by strong values and a commitment to customer service.

A year on and we have just completed a key piece of work, helping Medequip to consider and develop their feedback process, using a coproduction approach. This involved creating a group bringing together users of equipment, their families and equipment prescribers, building opportunities for Medequip to hear the real voices of people using the equipment on a day to day basis. The new feedback system that has emerged from this process is now being tested and in the future will hopefully play an important role in helping Medequip and their commissioners to listen to these voices when they consider the services they provide.

The importance of this work is effectively illustrated by Isaac Samuels, a member of this group and a freelance coproduction adviser, who writes about his experiences here.

We are confident that the Medequip team is genuine in their desire to coproduce and hear people’s voices. As a partner in the Share the Journey project, we at Community Catalysts look forward to working closely with the project team to identify the chosen initiatives and to provide input and mentoring support over the course of the project.”

Angela Catley, Director of Development for Community Catalysts

Other work has included helping Medequip to identify and connect with disabled people, organisations and community groups in areas where they are tendering for contracts, to help them to fully understand individual and local requirements and issues. Our work with Community Catalysts is proving invaluable, stated David Griffths, Managing Director for Medequip. Their experience and credibility creates an important bridge between the people, communities and the voluntary and statutory sectors, and we are constantly learning from their connections with people with lived experience.

Share the Journey - get involved
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Share the Journey - Accora and Age UK

Share the Journey - Accora and Age UK

Richard Smith, Sales Director for medical equipment manufacturers Accora, talks about the company’s link-up with Age UK in Cambridge in the shape of a ‘Listeners’ initiative to befriend and communicate with older people.

"There were a number of contributing factors behind our decision to move forward with a planned CSR programme. Alongside our own desire to add social value and the need to demonstrate our commitment in tenders and other documents, we were encouraged and supported by Medequip, a key customer for Accora, who shared expertise and knowledge with us to help get our initiative under way.

With a network of technicians and representatives across the country, we looked initially at a national initiative, but made the decision to partner with our local Age UK to ensure we could begin by delivering and monitoring something meaningful and commercially viable.

Our ‘Listeners’ befriending programme makes best use of our Support Centre staff, who have specialist skills in telephone techniques and proven abilities to communicate well. In addition, it effectively cuts the shackles of geography and provides us with a foundation which we can extend into other operational areas in the future.

We began the programme with our local Cambridge team, using an allocated percentage of their time to conduct outbound telephone calls to elderly people in the area identified by Age UK. This initiative is working well and proving rewarding, both for our staff and for the local residents they are now chatting with on a regular basis.

One of the great advantages for Accora has been how much the team is enjoying this part of their work, and how well received it has been. Recent feedback has been encouraging, with our staff reporting as follows.

Calls are usually around 30 minutes every Wednesday at 10am which I find easy to fit in with my day job. My service user match looks forward to the calls and has fed back to Age UK that she is happy to continue as am I. It’s a very rewarding call to make!"

Jo, Accora

"I called Allen at 11am this morning – we had a really lovely chat for 30mins and covered quite a lot! I really enjoyed the call and look forward to speaking to him again."

Tanya, Accora

"Once our befriending ‘Listeners’ programme has had a little more time and gained more experience, we plan to look at how we extend this across a wider geographical area, hopefully again in partnership with Age UK in different parts of the country."

Richard Smith, Accora Ltd
Share the Journey - get involved
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Share the Journey - Jade's Story

Share the Journey - Jades Story

From being a person with lived experience, to becoming a member of the Medequip team

Growing up

When I was just 15 years old, I had to have a massive operation on my legs where I needed a Medequip hospital bed, commode and a few other items.

Medequip was super! They delivered all the equipment that was needed for me after my operation. They delivered it on the day of my surgery to make sure it was all in and ready for my hospital discharge.

Once I got home from the hospital, I was thankful for having the bed. As I couldn’t lay down flat, I was happy to have the bed so I could go to sleep comfortably sat up.

Once 6 weeks had passed and I was able to weight bare again, we sent some of the equipment back to Medequip and it was perfect. It was all collected on the date they had given.

Once I was able to weight bare, I then had a different delivery of grab rails and shower stool.

I kept the bed for a few years, just so that I could use the ‘sit up’ function. With every year that passed, they booked it in for a service, to make sure everything was perfect with the bed, which it was!

Once I was ready to get rid of the bed, we simply phoned up our local depot and booked the bed in for collection. It was so easy to do!

A few years later

I managed to get an interview at my local Medequip. I was nervous to start with, but once I was there, I felt comfortable.

After the interview had ended, I was asked when I could start - I was so pleased with myself getting a job as I was finding it hard whilst being in a wheelchair.

I was given 2 weeks training for the job, which made me feel very welcome and got me used to doing everything we need to do on the computers.

Since the training, I noticed that you still learn something new every day, and if you get stuck there is always someone to ask!

It is a great pleasure to be working with an amazing team that all work together to help each other.

I can’t thank Medequip and the people that I work with enough for taking me on for who I am.

Share the Journey - get involved
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Medequip's Community Engagement in Suffolk – a Year in Pictures

Medequip's Community Engagement in Suffolk – a Year in Pictures

As part of Medequip's national commitment to community engagement, aiming to give something back to the communities we serve, each depot has a focused plan to best serve its surrounding area and give back all year round. Medequip's Ipswich depot in Suffolk is a leading example of the work going on nationally throughout the company today.

We refurbished an old bench for the paediatric ward at Ipswich hospital. The aim was so that families had somewhere to sit outside when visiting patients.

ipswich-hospital-bench-referbishment

In January, we took part in a Tree-cycling event for St. Elizabeth Hospice, where staff members collected Christmas trees from Suffolk residents. The trees were then chipped. We have already committed to double our team for next year.

treecycling-volunteering

Three Staff members volunteered as Trail Makers for The Big Hoot 2022. The Big Hoot is a Wild Art trail for St Elizabeth Hospice, where Trail makers check and clean 'Hoot Owls' along the trail. They also give out information and stickers to the public. Currently ongoing and finishing in September 2022, depot staff are volunteering over the next month.

the-big-hoot

Our Ipswich depot has donated a van load of equipment that would otherwise be scrapped to charity, monthly or bi-monthly for several years. We have been supporting Belief In Action, a charity helping to alleviate the suffering of disadvantaged children and adults in Romania. We also donate to Physionet, a charity helping people with disabilities overseas by providing donated specialist equipment.

belief-in-action-equipment-donation

Every Tuesday, we've delivered food parcels locally on behalf of Families in Need. Families in Need or FIND is a local food bank that provides free food parcels and personal care items to help people get through a crisis. We have been doing this since November 2021 and are committed to the cause for the foreseeable future.

food-bank-volunteering

We have donated equipment to our NHS Trust for their Education Team to use with the Community Health teams in Suffolk.

We have produced, printed and distributed leaflets to signpost local services for the Suffolk Disability Forum, Lighthouse Women’s Aid and Headway Suffolk. The Lighthouse Women’s Aid is a charity that provides emotional support to women, young people and children experiencing domestic abuse. Headway Suffolk is a charity that supports local adults with brain injury, stroke and neurological conditions through rehabilitation and therapy services.

We supported the Headway Suffolk Conference 2022, where we stood offering information and advice to those who attended. This is where we were visited by a friendly medical response dog, Bea. Bea is currently in training to one day help someone with a neurological condition.

headway-conference

Our Suffolk team will continue to support local people as part of our long term commitment to Co-production and Community Engagement.

#CommitToCopro

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Medequip Awarded the Norfolk & Waveney Integrated Community Equipment Service Contract

A view along the River Glaven in Cley, Norfolk, UK

Medequip has been commissioned by Norfolk County Council (NCC), lead for the Integrated Community Equipment Service (ICES) for Norfolk & Waveney, to provide the Community Equipment Service with effect from 1st April 2023.

From this date Medequip will be responsible for procuring, storing, delivering, installing, maintaining, collecting, and reusing a range of health and daily living equipment and undertaking minor housing adaptations. Work is already underway to mobilise the new arrangements to ensure a smooth transition. The process for those who use the service is unchanged at the current time.

Medequip are delighted to have been selected and look forward to working within Norfolk & Waveney, supporting people through the application of their vision and values to regain skills, maximise their independence and help the people of Norfolk and Waveney to live longer, healthier, and happier lives, delivering services with empathy, courtesy, dignity, and kindness and undertaking regular user engagement to develop and innovate services.

Commenting on the contract award, Gary Heathcote, Director of Commissioning for Adult Social Care within Norfolk County Council:

“I am confident that in the award of the contract to Medequip, that the service from Medequip will deliver quality in service delivery, value for money, innovation and fully support the strategic intent of Norfolk & Waveney Integrated Care System (ICS), to help the people of Norfolk and Waveney to live longer, healthier and happier lives.”

David Griffiths, Medequip’s Managing Director added:

“We are delighted to have been awarded the contract to deliver the Integrated Community Equipment Service for Norfolk and Waveney and look forward to working with the commissioning team to deliver efficient, innovative and engaging services for the people of Norfolk and Waveney.”

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Medequip Awarded the Somerset Community Equipment and Wheelchair Service Contract

Somerset Community Equipment and Wheelchair Service

Medequip has been commissioned by Somerset County Council and NHS Somerset to provide the newly integrated Community Equipment and Wheelchair Service from 1 August 2022. This will be supported by AJM Healthcare who are a leading provider of NHS wheelchair services throughout the UK and compliment the expertise Medequip bring in the Community Equipment provision.

Our vision is that people should feel safe in their own homes and local communities, so they can live independent lives, reducing the need for health and social care support. To facilitate this the Community Equipment and Wheelchair Service will provide a range of equipment, from simple to complex items on loan for as long as is required by the person using the service. The service includes the delivery and fitting of equipment, wheelchairs and ceiling track hoists, servicing, collection and recycling. We will have a personalised focus by actively engaging with people and listening to their views to shape and enhance their provision to maximise choice and control wherever possible.

Medequip and AJM Healthcare will work closely to ensure they are providing the best service and best value for Somerset’s residents; working together with the council and NHS to improve service delivery and address problems if they occur.

Over the period of the 5 year contract, that will run from August 2022 to July 2027, Medequip expect to introduce new initiatives to evolve the service provision as demands on the service change and emerge across the Health and Social Care sector, particularly in developing technological solutions to mitigate that challenges of service delivery in the rural locations of West Somerset.

Commenting on the contract award, Cllr Heather Shearer, Somerset County Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care said:

“We’re really thrilled to announce the launch of this new service, which combines two services which previously people had to access separately. The new system will allow people to use one portal to access wheelchairs and also a range of community equipment, saving time, and making it easier for people to access the equipment they need. It will also make it easier for professionals to make referrals.”

Michaela Harris, Medequip’s Regional General Manager for the South West said:

“Medequip is proud to have partnered with AJM Healthcare to provide the new Community Equipment and Wheelchair Service contract in conjunction with Somerset County Council and NHS Somerset.

The service includes the delivery and fitting of equipment, wheelchairs and ceiling track hoists, servicing, collection and recycling. The service will have a personalised focus, actively engaging with people who use the service, listening to their views in order to shape and enhance the service provision.

Medequip and AJM Healthcare bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Somerset region and are pleased to be able to provide a new and improved service to this area. We are excited to welcome all the staff that will continue to support the service on the 1st August as well as some newcomers, and we look forward to making a real difference in how the service operates to really help the people of Somerset.”

Medequip will also support Somerset’s aim to be a carbon neutral county by 2030, as Medequip is committed to using power from sustainable sources across its operations and will procure additional fully electric vehicles to service this contract as part of the company’s commitment to clean air initiatives. Medequip has been adopting new technologies to reduce CO2 and NOx emissions since Autumn of last year, and more than 10% of the national fleet is now 100% electric powered.

For further information, please visit somerset-cews.co.uk

Date:

Medequip Achieves The Very First CECOPS Gold Grade at Brighouse Depot

Medequip staff member loading a folded bed frame onto a Medequip van

Medequip is delighted to announce that the company’s Brighouse depot, which provides community equipment services for Kirklees Council, is the first in the country to achieve the coveted ‘Gold’ grade from CECOPS (the Community Equipment Code of Practice Scheme) in a comprehensive assessment covering all aspects of service delivery.

Accreditation to the ‘Gold’ grade confirms that Medequip Brighouse has met and, in some cases, excelled against the requirements of the Code of Practice. It underlines the organisation’s commitment at all levels to proactive monitoring and compliance, as well as continuous improvement and implementation of new ways of working.

Medequip provides community equipment services (CES) for more than 40 local authority contracts across the UK and holds corporate CECOPS certification for each and every one. Achieving a first CECOPS ‘Gold’ in Brighouse is particularly appropriate as this was the first location to achieve CECOPS accredited status back in 2014.

At the time, it was a contractual target for Medequip to achieve accreditation within the first year of the Kirklees CES contact and a visionary specification for Kirklees, making them the first local authority in the UK to be assessed to what was then a new standard focused entirely on CES.

CECOPS CIC is the only independent standards body in the UK assessing the commissioning and provision of all assistive technology services, including clinical and technical aspects. The new CECOPS graded approach has a continuous improvement focus alongside themes including customer experience, quality, safety and performance, governance and risk management, leadership, efficiency and effectiveness and innovation.

Assessments are carried out by independent assessors against the established CECOPS Code of Practice. The objective is to provide a template for commissioning and providing community equipment services, setting out clearly defined and specific standards and measurable outcomes. The results are helpful for commissioning teams when evaluating and awarding contracts, and also help the public to judge how their own providers are performing.

The CECOPS grading system was introduced to help improve services and outcomes, and to recognise those organisations who go the extra mile in terms of quality, safety and performance, confirmed Brian Donnelly, Chief Executive for CECOPS CIC. It is very encouraging therefore that the Medequip Brighouse service has achieved a ‘Gold’ grade, which indicates a very good level of service. Congratulations on this achievement!

David Griffiths, Managing Director at Medequip, stressed the importance of the ‘Gold’ award. Accreditation at this level for Brighouse and Kirklees Council demonstrates clearly that we are leading the field in supplying safe and efficient services, and external validation that our governance structure and processes meet and, in some cases, exceed the CECOPS requirements.

Date:

People of Durham and Darlington Support Local Returns Campaign

People of Durham and Darlington Support Local Returns Campaign

Thousands of pounds worth of forgotten equipment is to be brought back into circulation after a successful 'returns roadshow' in Durham & Darlington that saw hundreds of items returned. Equipment was brought to drop-off points at the Arnison Centre, Durham and Morrisons Morton Park, Darlington, including walking frames, commodes and perching stools.

Earlier this year, Medequip joined a co-production group in partnership with Durham CCG, County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, Darlington Borough Council & Tees Valley CCG. Recruitment of the Co-production group started in November 2021 to gather thoughts from local people on how we could improve elements of the service offered in Durham & Darlington.

This Co-production group homed in on recycling equipment and the difficulties of returning equipment. The key figures soon got to work on reviewing notes from public meetings and putting plans and measures in place to arrange what was referred to as an equipment returns roadshow. Rather than an ’amnesty’ which sounded more like we were holding people accountable for ‘hoarding equipment’ or holding them at fault for not returning the equipment previously when no longer required.

Equipment collected at the returns roadshow

Through advertising of the roadshow via press and social media, the week building up to the event and the week of saw returns to the local Medequip depot skyrocket. From a healthy hoard of around one thousand per week, returns ended up more than doubling, peaking at nearly three thousand during the week of the roadshow.

Medequip helps the NHS by supplying equipment for patient discharge to home. This is why it is vital for equipment on loan from Medequip to be returned when it's no longer needed. No matter what condition the equipment is in, the depot will accept it, as all that's returned gets recycled in line with the NHS's commitment to sustainability.

Equipment drop off:

Time: Monday – Friday, 8:45am - 5pm

Location: Medequip, Unit 3, Beaumont Square, Aycliffe Industrial Park, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham DL5 6XN

Date:

Medequip's Role in Making Employment More Inclusive as a Disability Confident Employer

Aditi Dave taking part in webinar

Medequip Rochester Depot's Operations Manager, Justin Page and Human Resources Business Partner, Aditi Dave were recently invited to take part in a webinar held by the Sussex Council of Training Providers (SCTP) regarding employers who adopt an inclusive approach to apprenticeships. Medequip were one of 4 companies from the area invited to speak, with all three other speakers from different job sectors.

Each company were given 2 sets of questions relevant to their sectors and only six minutes in which to tell their part. written and presented by the pair, the presentation covered questions surrounding how Medequip have made workplace practices more inclusive and why Medequip has invested in inclusive apprenticeships.

During the presentation, Aditi spoke about and explained Medequip’s journey and approach concerning supported employment, Disability confidence levels, the introduction of processes such as working interviews and examples of feedback from our employees. It was received well, and in an email from SCTP Executive Director, Vanessa Potter feedback was provided on the success of the presentation:

"(The) presentation was just amazing, and your enthusiasm, passion, and subject knowledge shone through. You offered a really good overview of your approaches at Medequip and we’ve already received lots of positive feedback about the event. Thanks so much!"
Date:

Medequip Awarded Major Integrated CES Contract in the South West

Is Change the Answer?

Medequip has been commissioned by BNSSG Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Bristol City Council, North Somerset Council and South Gloucestershire Council to manage the Integrated Community Equipment Service (ICES) across the region for a period of five years to September 2027.

Medequip has worked closely with all three authorities and the CCG for a number of years. The latest contract has been collaboratively commissioned by the BNSSG ICES Project Group, bringing together representatives from local authorities, NHS Trusts and Community Health providers to manage ICES under a single contract.

This new approach brings significant benefits for NHS and health service staff working both in the community and in hospitals across the BNSSG area. Local Authority and health staff will share one system, with shared service user equipment records, using a new, improved ordering system and creating a single equipment catalogue.

In addition, Medequip will retain and enhance the teams and premises servicing the contract in Weston-Super-Mare and Emersons Green, building on local expertise and knowledge. The company will also incorporate a number of service improvements, employing a full time Occupational Therapist and an Occupational Therapy Assistant.

These Medequip clinicians will provide advice and support to all BNSSG prescribers, and supplement Medequip’s existing equipment technical specialists. The operational side of the contract will also benefit from a new, improved ordering system and the cohesion of a single equipment catalogue across the BNSSG area.

Commenting on the contract award, Tom Lander, Contracts & Quality Officer for Bristol Community Equipment Service stated: “BNSSG ICES commissioners look forward to continuing our work with Medequip in the coming years, building on our current contractual relationships to provide a valuable equipment loan service for the people of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. The equipment loan service is crucial in underpinning the health and social care systems across the region, benefiting many thousands of adults and children.”

Alongside practical service enhancements, Medequip is committed to using power from sustainable sources across its operations and will procure additional fully electric vehicles to service this contract as part of the company’s commitment to clean air initiatives. Medequip has been adopting new technologies to reduce CO2 and NOx emissions since Autumn of last year, and more than 10% of the national fleet is now 100% electric powered.

Michaela Harris, General Manager for Medequip in the South West & Suffolk, stated: “On behalf of myself and the teams at Weston Super-Mare and Emersons Green, we are all extremely proud to be able to continue working with the BNSSG Commissioning teams and most importantly continuing to provide a high quality service across the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire regions. We look forward to building on our existing relationship and enhancing the service over the coming years.”

The new single contract will commence on 1st October 2022, running for 5 years to 30th September 2027, with an option for commissioners to extend for up to two years after this date. The contract will be held and managed by Bristol City Council on behalf of and reporting to the joint local commissioners.

Date:

Change. Always the Answer?

Is Change the Answer?

My mother-in-law Mary has recently moved into a residential care home. Despite our best intentions, it all happened quite quickly and it was a big change for everyone in the family, especially Mary.

I noticed how we all acted differently, and at different times, to the challenge of the change. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, the classic grief stages.

If life was a bit neater, we would have all experienced the stages in the same order and moved on at the same time. But as life's small print says "no guarantee of neatness can be made".

I've seen the full range in the Griffiths family, so you can imagine the variation in Medequip, with over 1000 people.

As an organisation, and as a group of people, we are ambitious to get better, on a large scale and in small details. This has meant constant change is the new normal and we have had to make sure we understand that change affects everyone differently.

Change is a bit like consistency, sometimes we resist it, sometimes we embrace it so enthusiastically we get a bit carried away. It is quite nice to focus on something new rather than finding renewed focus to improve something that is not working the way it should.

But, when change is required, I've learned that some of us need encouragement, some of us need support, and some of us, well we just need a bit of time and space to process stuff in our own way.

And it's the same with the people we serve, the communities that support them and our statutory and voluntary sector partners. They are all affected by layers and layers of change, experienced by many different people, in many different ways, at the same time as everything around us is changing.

There are things we are learning that help.

Involving people who use services keeps the focus on what's important and can unite different perspectives.

It's not just the big stuff that matters. Keeping an eye on the little decisions that get made every day helps make sure they are moving us in the right direction.

Of course, a good level of communication with people helps, especially if that involves checking in regularly, making sure people understand why the change is necessary.......and my personal recommendation, recognising their efforts and thanking them.

So, I'll wrap this up by saying thank you to all the people that love Mary. Like a lot of change, it wasn't really wanted and the process hasn't been easy, but by going through it together, in all our different ways, we've managed.

Date:

Open Day Demonstrates Medequip’s Medway Integrated Community Equipment Service

Rochester Retail Shop

Medequip, providers of The Medway Integrated Community Equipment Service (MICES), were delighted to welcome guests to the first ever official Open Day at their Rochester Depot on Friday 22 April.

Medequip’s MICES provision commenced in September 2020 in the midst of the pandemic and to date, the company has supported in excess of 7,000 residents to help keep them independent for longer. The contract covers the supply, installation, repair, maintenance, collection and recycling of community equipment prescribed by Health or Social Care professionals.

Repair and Testing

The open day included a full site tour and an insight into how the day to day running of the service takes place - from procurement and storage through to how equipment is cleaned, repaired and safety checked, as well as how equipment is processed once ordered by a Health or Social Care Professional on behalf of Medway residents.

Warehouse

Guests were also able to learn more about Medequip’s environmental aims, such as the Returning Equipment Campaign and continued investment in the electrification of the delivery fleet to meet clean air objectives.

Electric Van

The official opening of the on-site retail shop took place with Councillor David Brake, Portfolio Leader for Adult Services, cutting the ribbon. The retail shop gives people the opportunity to purchase smaller daily living aids to empower independent living and to complete tasks they may be struggling with.

Rochester Retail Shop

MICES is focused on recycling to reduce costs and environmental impact and offers a free and safe collection service for unwanted equipment upon request from the company’s Customer Service Team. To date, the sum total of equipment returned and made available again for the community stands at 86%, with all items unsuitable for re-issue stripped down and recycled. This saves on Medway Council’s Social Care and NHS funding, as equipment can be reissued instead of buying new.

To support this commitment and encourage residents to return community equipment that is no longer needed, Medequip and Medway Council have also set up amnesty bins located at Medway Hospital and Rochester Healthy Living Centre, making it more convenient to return more portable equipment at these designated drop-off points.

Councillor David Brake - Portfolio Leader for Adult Services at Medway Council praised Medequip and the Rochester Team and said:

“You have done a wonderful job. You know your business, so you know what we as customers want. Despite challenges like the pandemic you have served the Medway Community and on behalf of Medway Council and what I represent, I would like to say thank you for what you are doing.”
Date:

Medequip Invests in Clean Air Technology for Delivery Vehicles

Medequip Electric Vehicles

Taking a major step forward in the electrification of its fleet delivering community equipment services around the country, Medequip has acquired a further 25 Mercedes all-electric eSprinter vans. The move makes a major contribution to the company's clean air initiatives; Medequip has committed to ensuring that 10% of the fleet will be 100% electric powered by late Spring 2022.

Medequip has been adopting new technologies to reduce CO₂ and NOx emissions since Autumn of last year when the first electric powered vans were trialled in London, where road vehicles have been identified as the leading cause of air pollution. Medequip is committed to using power from sustainable sources across its operations, so this is a significant step in moving the fleet away from fossil fuels.

Alongside our stated commitment to adopting greener technologies wherever possible across our operations, the introduction of Ultra-Low Emissions Zones (ULEZ) in various cities across the UK has further accelerated our plans to move to all-electric operations, stated Peter Gaunt, Fleet Manager for Medequip. With many depots located in city centres and covering urban routes, we have been monitoring the development of battery technology and are now confident that our electric fleet can perform its duties and help us to improve air quality in urban areas.

Operational capabilities were a key issue in Medequip's decision to replace petrol and diesel powered vehicles with electric alternatives. These vehicles are capable of recharging within 60 minutes; when coupled with efficient scheduling across their delivery areas, they can complete an entire day of deliveries direct to homes on a single charge.

The latest additions to the fleet have been supplied by Mercedes Benz dealer Intercounty Truck and Van Ltd, fitted out by van racking specialists Gentili, liveried by Mediafleet and financed by Lex Autolease.

Date:

Aid for Ukraine - Cefndy-Medequip Team Helps to Make It Happen

Sorting and packing boxes of aid for Ukraine

Often the greatest challenge in getting donations to areas of need is the logistics element of the solution. This was certainly the case in Newport, where a massive effort by community group The Women of Newport had resulted in the collection of everything from food, clothes and nappies through to medicines and medical equipment donated by the local NHS Trust for Ukrainian refugees.

The drive had been so successful that the group had been forced to put a temporary stop on new items. The existing donations filled an entire three floor hotel building, as well as retail units at Newport's Friars Walk shopping centre. The Women of Newport had successfully sourced an HGV to take the donations to a refugee centre in Poland, but they needed to be sorted and moved from the existing locations to a storage facility accessible to the large vehicle.

Step in Cefndy-Medequip, the community equipment service provider for Gwent. Cefndy-Medequip is a sheltered workshop in partnership between Medequip and Cefndy Healthcare, an arm of Denbighshire County Council, who together offer meaningful employment for disabled people.

Manager Ben Giddings made contact with the group to offer practical assistance. Our role is to provide equipment on loan to the people of Gwent to help them stay independent in their own homes for longer, stated Ben. Community engagement and co-production are vital aspects of the work we do. Our people wanted to make a real contribution to the great work being done by The Women of Newport, and we could do this by offering our people and our fleet of vehicles.

Vans from Cefndy-Medequip staffed by volunteers began by removing the stock from the shopping centre, ferrying both palletised goods and loose items to the company's depot on the Felnex Industrial Estate. Here, the team was able to unload goods in a canopied area which could easily be accessed by the HGV.

Volunteers from Cefndy-Medequip then worked to palletise the loose items ready for transportation to Poland, loading the finished pallets onto the vehicle in preparation for the journey. The vans, drivers and volunteers also worked to move more goods from the Westgate Hotel to a more appropriate location for sorting and shipping.

It was a massive team effort, with Cefndy-Medequip staff pitching in all weekend and evenings as well as during working hours to help clear the backlog, explained Ben. The shipment is now on its way to Poland, and we're very proud to have been able to play a part in the project. We're looking forward to continuing our involvement in the near future!

We were humbled and emotional to see the dedication of Natalia from The Women of Newport and her efforts in getting much needed supplies to Poland for the Ukrainian refugees. We are proud of our staff for volunteering to help make this happen - this is a team of fantastic people doing a fantastic job.
Judith Addis, Operations Manager, Denbighshire County Council (Cefndy Healthcare).
The Gwent Wide Integrated Equipment Service who commission Cefndy-Medequip were impressed by the efforts made by the organisation in response to the need for logistics support for the Women of Newport group. It was great to see such a big effort made by the staff at the depot towards such an urgent need.  We hope that this will continue to be supported for much needed supplies to reach Ukrainian refugees.
Louise Ferris, GWICES Advanced Occupational Therapy Practitioner and Andrea Holcombe, GWICES Accountant & Performance Lead.
It was a huge achievement for the team in Newport to be able to support this initiative. They were all energised at the opportunity to assist The Women of Newport and even came in on the Saturday to support the logistics operation needed. I am immensely proud of the team in Newport for the work that they have done and our contribution to the efforts to help the people of the Ukraine who are so desperately in need of these supplies. Well done to everyone at Newport!
Michaela Harris - General Manager South West.
Date:

New Medequip Partnership with Age UK Wirral to Encourage the Return of Community Equipment

Medequip Partnership with Age UK Wirral

Medequip is pleased to announce they have formed a new partnership with Age UK Wirral, the local independent charity that offers a wide variety of services to support older people, their families and carers in the Wirral.

Medequip has supported Wirral residents since July 2015 as providers of the Wirral Independence Service, which includes the supply, installation, repair, maintenance, collection and recycling of community equipment, once prescribed by a Health and Social Care professional.

The Wirral Independence Service also includes telecare monitoring and response, such as falls pick up, along with a dedicated Falls Prevention Service.

The partnership will see Medequip and Age UK Wirral working together to support each other’s aims and ongoing commitments in supporting Wirral residents.

Community equipment drop-off locations

Age UK Wirral charity shops will accept Medequip labelled community equipment that was prescribed to a Service User, but no longer needed. Drop-off locations also include the Devonshire Resource Centre in Birkenhead and the Meadowcroft Community Wellbeing Hub in Bromborough.

Age UK return locations Wirral

Why return equipment that is no longer required?

Local NHS and Social Care Services lose thousands of pounds each year due to missing equipment. All items returned will be assessed, safety tested and either repaired and reused or stripped down for recycling.

Jamie Anderson, Chief Executive of Age UK Wirral said:

"We are delighted to be working with the Council and Medequip to make it easier for people to return and recycle equipment that is no longer needed. More than ever before working together in partnership is essential to make sure that everyone can access the right help and support when they need it."

Roger Chester, Market Transformation & Contracts Lead for Wirral Health & Care Commissioning at Wirral Council said:

"The work Wirral Health and Care Commissioning along with Medequip does to ensure Wirral residents can live independently is extremely important. Supplying community equipment also supports our NHS with hospital discharges, so people can return to their home environment with equipment in place to help with daily living. Working in partnership with Age UK Wirral allows residents to have the option to return equipment that is no longer needed at their convenience. We thank Age UK Wirral for agreeing to have drop-off points within their shops and community centres. This enables us to support others who require that equipment and support the council’s commitment to achieving net zero carbon by 2041."

Alternatively, you can drop-off equipment directly to Medequip’s Bromborough depot or contact Medequip for a free and safe collection. Please call 0151 203 0404 or email wirral@medequip-uk.com.

For more information, please visit the Bromborough service centre page.

Date:

Medequip London Donates Equipment to International Charity

Medequip donates to Belief In Action

Medequip in London & Medway have continued to donate equipment to Belief In Action, a charity that's vital efforts aid vulnerable people in one of Europe's poorest countries.

Belief In Action is a Christian charity helping alleviate the suffering of disadvantaged children and adults in Romania.

They help by providing facilities and resources for people working with support groups, to help and care for both children and adults who have disabilities.

As a part of our current social values initiative, Medequip is aiming to facilitate the redistribution of equipment in order to support people living in countries that have less effective social care than the UK. This is achieved through the redeployment of products that would otherwise not be reused.

Equipment that would qualify includes discontinued product lines, products no longer in use and unsatisfactory to recycle, and product lines described by the contract as obsolete.

In February 2022, the charity donation team collected donated stock from all London and Southeast locations and deliver them to the charity, ready for shipment out of the country.

A total of 72 items have been donated this time round which consisted of various equipment types such as walking aids, beds and commodes.

Justin Page, Manager of Medequip's Medway Depot said, Following the donation, the charity was hugely grateful. We look forward to continuing our partnership, bringing a lifeline to those not so fortunate to access community equipment.

As a business, through this opportunity, we can change the lives of many whilst continuing our mission of keeping people independent for longer - well done London team for your efforts!

Medequip has committed to continue donating from their London and Southeast depots monthly for the foreseeable future.

Date:

Medequip Add the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames to Its Community Equipment Services Contracts

Kingston Council and Medequip Logos

Medequip is pleased to announce that it will be the new provider of the Integrated Community Equipment Service (ICES) for Kingston residents from 1st April 2022. The service will utilise Redbridge Council’s ICES Framework in terms of how the service operates from a commissioned service point of view, with the day-to-day management of the service being led by Kingston Council.

The service supports children and adults who, due to their health or a disability, may need community equipment such as walking frames, hoists, crutches, and minor adaptations to help them live their day-to-day lives to maintain independence and wellbeing. The service underpins the council's priority to help children and adults be as safe, healthy, and independent as possible and to stay engaged with their communities. It also helps reduce pressures on social care and health front line services by hospital admission prevention and supporting discharge.

The Integrated Community Equipment Service (ICES) is jointly funded by Kingston in partnership with NHS Southwest London CCG and the service manages the supply, repair and maintenance of a wide range of health and social care equipment for residents of Kingston.

The Council encourages the residents themselves or family and friends supporting those in need of extra support to contact the Adult Social Care team for details on the support available.”

Kingston Council stated:

"We are committed to supporting Kingston residents to live independently in their own homes by offering individually tailored support to ensure their needs are met. The service gives vital support to residents to remain independent and live at home. It also aids to facilitate safe discharges, preventing admission and support End of Life care."

Medequip is looking forward to collaborating with its new partners and supporting people to live independently for longer.

Medequip also recently confirmed they are the new providers of the BHR (Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge) Integrated Community Equipment Service, which will also begin on 1st April 2022, working directly with health professionals within the London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham and Health and Social Care professionals in Havering and Redbridge.

Date:

New Medequip Partnership Recruiting Panel Members in London

YVHSC and Medequip Logos

Medequip is pleased to announce they have formed a new partnership with Your Voice in Health and Social Care (YVHSC).

YVHSC are an independent organisation that gives people a voice to improve and shape health and social care services.

Part of the 2022 partnership plans is to recruit a mixed panel of representatives across London to help improve the Community Equipment Service, which is currently covering 21 London Boroughs.

Over 200,000 people in London use Medequip equipment and aids prescribed by local Social Care and NHS services to support daily living. Along with the delivery of equipment, the service includes installation, repair, maintenance, collection and recycling.

“Be part of an exciting journey to improve the quality of daily living for thousands of people using mobility equipment and aids”

The new monthly panel meetings will bring together service users, their relatives and carers with community experts, to help Medequip better understand their service. The key aim is to find out what works well, areas for improvement, and help jointly develop a plan of progression.

Role Details:

  • Voluntary role
  • Monthly meetings
  • Expenses paid
  • Apply February 2022
  • First meeting 23rd March 2022

The panels’ role will be to advise, guide and support the project, in a partnership way, ensuring the best outcome for Medequip services users, their relatives and carers. This will be supported by YVHSC who will deliver on decisions made by the panel.

Tim Spilsbury, CEO of YVHSC stated, We are delighted to be partnering with Medequip on a project that gives people a real voice to improve and shape Medequip services. This co-production piece is the start of a journey that will ensure Medequip's valued services can better reflect the needs of the community and that the community can receive an ever-improving service. This will impact over 200,000 vulnerable people in London. We are proud to be a part of this exciting initiative.

If you use Medequip equipment and aids, are a relative/carer of somebody that does or are a community expert from a relevant charity/community/voluntary sector group, please join our panel and help improve this vital service for people in your area and across London.

The first meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 23rd March, meeting monthly for approximately six months to complete the initial work.

Key information and benefits of volunteering with YVHSC:

  • This will be offered initially as a virtual voluntary opportunity. We hope to meet face-to-face in the future, as the coronavirus situation changes.
  • Relevant expenses, including carers back-fill, will be paid per YVHSC’s expenses policy.
  • Participants will have access to all YVHSC’s training resources and be a part of a network of over 250 volunteers.
  • This is a social role where you will meet new people and work closely as a team.

For more information or to register your interest in joining the panel, please call 07944 391 223 or email vip@yvhsc.org.uk.

Date:

Medequip Invests In Cleaner Technology For London

Medequip Mercedes fully electric vans

Following trials with two vehicles initiated last year, Medequip has taken delivery of a further six zero emissions electric vans, already hard at work delivering community equipment services across 21 London boroughs.

With road vehicles identified as the leading cause of air pollution in London, Medequip took the decision to respond positively by investing in clean air technologies to get vital equipment into the community, helping people to stay independent for longer.

The Mercedes E-Sprinters chosen by Medequip produce no CO2 or NOx emissions and are amongst the cleanest vehicles in the world to drive, providing the best environmental solution for the busy streets of the capital.

This is stage one of our planned ‘clean air’ programme, which will see Medequip invest further in electric vehicles for use across the UK, stated Peter Gaunt, Fleet Manager for Medequip. By late spring of this year, zero emissions vehicles will make up 10% of our entire fleet.

The earlier trials demonstrated how well an electric van meets the requirements of the business. With vehicles scheduled efficiently to cover their defined areas, they are capable of completing a day of deliveries to homes on a single charge.

Fast charge capabilities up to 80% in just 60 minutes mean the vehicles can complete a recharge on return to the depots and be on the road again to meet delivery promises. There’s no compromise on storage either, as the electric drivetrain doesn’t impact on load space.

The E-Sprinters were supplied to Medequip by Intercounty Truck & Van Ltd and given their distinctive Medequip livery by specialists Mediafleet.

Date:

Medequip Assist in Set-up of Bristol Care Hotel Project

Medequip Operations Manager, Luke Derrick tells us about Medequip's involvement with a new project that could house up to 35 people that need to recover following their release from the hospital.

On the 7th of December, Bristol Community Equipment Services (BCES) contacted me us following the approval of a Care Hotel project being created in Bristol.

On the 7th of December, Bristol Community Equipment Services (BCES) contacted us following the approval of a Care Hotel project being created in Bristol.

They had a very short deadline to get 35 rooms set up for patients to be released from local hospitals but who remain in a care-provided setting until they have recuperated enough to return home.

The Care Hotel has live-in staff who are on hand to provide round-the-clock care.

We agreed to provide them with the service required. With an extensive list of equipment needing to be ordered, the depot and Medequip's purchasing department had a very short time frame to install it.

The initial requirement was for 75 pieces of equipment to be sent to the hotel. This included beds and mattresses (including bariatric specification products), over bed tables and commodes.

We were given 2 days to install, demonstrate and, in some cases, train the staff, some of whom were recruited from overseas to help. The hotel had to be open by the 20th of December.

Emersons Depot's Technician Team Leader, Joe Parker expedited a team of people to assist with the implementation.

We did not fail a single line, and the equipment was in place for the Care Hotel to go live on the 20th of December as planned.

Tom Lander, Commissioner for BCES spoke about the efforts of Medequip in getting the Care Hotel running. He said, I am very grateful for the support of Luke, Joe, Atlanta and all others in the local team at Medequip, as well as Arijan, Jade and others in the Procurement team in head office. They have been key to the success of this unprecedented project.

Medequip had short notice to procure all the equipment at a difficult time in the pandemic and the run-up to Christmas and New Year holidays. It was reassuring to know that everything was in place and carers trained in time for the first patients to arrive in the hotel.

Since the initial request, Medequip has provided more batches of equipment and will continue to deliver and collect from the hotel as the project progresses.

We are beyond proud of all involved, from start to finish, who helped us set up this fantastic initiative.

Date:

Wirral Falls Prevention Service Talk about the Bedroom in New Safety Article

Wirral Falls Prevention Service

Head of Medequip's Wirral Falls team, Julie Griffiths has collaborated with Independent Living, an established online disability & ageing advice website, contributing to their Bedroom Safety month.

In the article, Julie uses her experience in the field to explain possible ways for falls to occur in the bedroom and how to avoid them happening.

Discussing subjects such as bed safety and blood pressure to positioning and possible solutions, the article aims to teach ways to avoid falling in the bedroom and raise awareness for how easy it is to become a victim of trips and slips in your home.

Read here: https://www.independentliving.co.uk/advice/safety-around-the-bedroom/

Date:

Medequip's Royal Derby Hospital Retail Store Celebrates 2nd Anniversary

Medequip Royal Derby Hospital Retail Store

Medequip's first-ever retail store within a hospital setting has recently celebrated its 2nd anniversary of opening.

Medequip offers self-funding options to empower independent living through choice, outside what can be prescribed through the Integrated Community Equipment Service for Derby City. This was one of the original reasons for creating the Royal Derby Hospital Store.

With the Covid pandemic and restrictions of visitors in place at Royal Derby Hospital, Medequip had to adapt its retail offering.

Unfortunately, in its first year, the store had to close to comply with restrictions due to COVID-19. Sales were then directed through Medequip's online retail store, Manage At Home (www.manageathome.co.uk) ensuring people could still find the equipment and information they were looking for.

Medequip's Retail & Promotions Manager, Alex Roberts explained, “Medequip retail stores have certainly had a challenging time throughout the Covid pandemic. Non-essential retail store closures, resource issues due to government guidance on self-isolation and reduced footfall have all impacted our retail operations. However, we've seen a positive shift towards using online services to purchase much-needed mobility and medical aids, which Manage At Home has facilitated throughout the pandemic.

'We continue to support our customers by offering home delivery services and by taking payments remotely to reduce the need to go to a physical retail store.”

The store has a dedicated team of Trusted Assessors, accredited to offer informed advice on a range of equipment. The friendly team consists of the duo, Andrea Bickerton and Tom Ivens, who can suggest appropriate equipment suitable for specific needs. Recommendations may take into account the user's height and weight requirements, for example.

We asked Andrea and Tom to provide their thoughts on the past two years since the opening of the store and the trials of working through a pandemic:

How did it feel in those first few weeks when you re-opened after the store was forced to close?

It felt great to be back at the shop and serving our customers and having that interaction with them. We spent far too long waiting to get back, so it was a relief when we got clearance!

Describe to us what a typical week would be like in the store?

It can vary, no week is the same! With the volume of customers and sales changing daily, we always have something to do. Outside of retail, we take calls from customers, who are either inquiring about products or wanting to return what they received through the equipment loan service.

Do you feel there can be a positive impact on the local community for being based in the hospital?

Yes. We feel that we are in the right place based at the hospital, and feel that it's also beneficial not just for customers but for the staff too. We'd recommend more of these shops in hospitals!

What are the highs and the lows of working at the store during the pandemic?

Highs are being here for customers who wanted to purchase equipment during the pandemic. Lows were being closed, as we could not provide the service we are here to do.

What were your most popular products last year?

Our popular items are Wheelchairs, Therapy Putty, Male and Female urinals, gel balls, suction mugs, etc... the list goes on! We have a lot of customers coming from nearby clinics as well as hospital visitors who stop at the store.

Describe an instance where you've had to advise products to a customer?

Tom had a customer the other day who wanted to purchase a raised toilet seat. The customer was unsure of the height required as they come in different sizes. Tom used his Trusted Assessor knowledge, using a commode as a guideline with the customer and measuring the seating height. He could tell by the customer's feet on the ground how high the raised toilet seat needed to be, and the customer was happy with the purchase of a 4'' raised toilet seat, ideal for his specifications.

You can find the Medequip Mobility Aids & Equipment Store within the Kings Treatment Centre at Royal Derby Hospital.

Illustration of Medequip Royal Derby Hospital Retail Store location in hospital

Date: 5th January 2022

Medequip Joins Forces with Dutch Medical Equipment Group, Medux

Medux and Medequip Logos

Medequip is the UK’s market leading provider of community equipment and complementary services to local authorities and the National Health Service (NHS). Medequip’s services enable individuals to live independently at home for longer, alleviating pressures on the NHS and other healthcare services. Located in Harmondsworth, close to Heathrow Airport, and with turnover of over £ 200m, Medequip employs more than 1,000 people.

James Ibbotson, CEO of Medequip looks forward to the collaboration with Medux. “This partnership is a major step forward for Medequip. By working alongside Medux, we can capitalise on its vast experience as the market leader in the Netherlands and further accelerate Medequip’s growth. Medux has an impressive reputation in the Dutch equipment market, and we look forward to our exciting future together with great confidence.”

Strengthening services

With a shared focus on ensuring healthcare remains affordable and accessible with an efficient supply of products and services, both Medux and Medequip have strong reputations amongst end users, prescribers and clients. In the Netherlands, Medux supplies more than 1.5 million medical devices annually via its brands Medipoint, HartingBank and Atlas Kidtech. In the UK Medequip visits more than 1.3 million customers every year delivering community equipment services, technology enabled care services (TECS), planned preventative maintenance (PPM) and minor adaptations. By joining forces, Medux and Medequip will strengthen their services and broaden their customer bases.

Significant Opportunities

“This is a big step forward for Medux”, says Jop Pollmann, CEO of Medux, “We are strengthening our position in the European equipment market; a market that is growing rapidly due to the ageing population and government policies to enable people to live at home independently for longer. This is something we are very familiar with and which provides significant opportunities for both Medux and Medequip.”

David Weavers, Partner at Clearwater International who advised Medequip states: “It’s been a pleasure to work with the Siddall family and the management team of Medequip. Medux has committed to further investment which will benefit the company and its various stakeholders. We wish both companies every success for the future.”

The organisations will continue to operate independently of each other. The proposed structure was submitted to the Dutch Healthcare Authority (Nederlandse Zorgautoriteit, NZa) for approval, the relevant regulatory authority in the Netherlands.

Date: December 2021

Back to Conferences and Exhibitions Live

Back to Conferences and Exhibitions Live

November was a busy month as delayed conferences and exhibitions took place, 3 in the month.

The Medequip marketing team firstly exhibited and supported the National Association of Equipment Providers (NAEP) conference held at Chesford Grange, Kenilworth. The conference provides a varied and extensive programme of speakers updating the delegate audience of contract managers and commissioners on the changes in Health and Social Care policy and having a focus on Person Centred Care. Emerging themes included falls prevention, the importance of integrating with community assets for example TLAP and National Voices, and the now published SCIE report A place we can call home: A vision and a roadmap for providing more options for housing with care and support for older people. Over 40 exhibitors included a wide range of equipment manufacturers and service providers. Medequip were delighted to provide sponsorship to the organisers.

Back to Conferences and Exhibitions Live

Later in the second week of the month Medequip attended and exhibited at the National Commissioning and Contracting Training Conference (NCCTC) at the Hayes Centre, Alfreton. Here the key theme was one of developing markets for the future using prevention first strategies and again referenced personalised care and the need to look at a hybrid model, using elements of the open market, partnerships and co-production.

Finally, Medequip exhibited at the OT Show. Back after a year away this popular exhibition and CPD learning opportunity for occupational therapy professionals provides an ideal opportunity to network and receive feedback from the many prescribers who work both with Medequip and others services to provide care equipment to those who need support. The Medequip exhibition stand this year featured a ‘live-scribe’ who, as part of our engagement, feedback collation and ultimately co-production of service delivery, recorded the thoughts and comments the OT Show delegates communicated to the team on our stand. View the full illustration. We spoke to over 500 delegates over the 2 days of the show. The feedback received will now be integrated into our development projects to improve service delivery further in 2022 and beyond.

Date: December 2021

BHRICES Contract Win for Medequip

BHRICES Logos

Medequip is delighted to announce that we have been awarded the BHR ICES contract, comprising of the London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge. The London management team has begun the engagement to guide all three Boroughs through a successful implementation process with a 'go live' date of 1st April 2022. The BHRICES contract is a framework agreement, open to all London Boroughs, and we have already been approached by other London Boroughs expressing an interest.

Date: December 2021

Community Engagement and Co-production in London takes off!

Community Engagement and Co-production in London takes off!

Working with Healthwatch in London

Medequip are in the process of setting up a Co-production Panel facilitated by Your Voice in Health and Social Care (yvhsc.org.uk) who hold the contracts for providing the local Healthwatch services across 6 London boroughs.

The panel will be made up of People who use our Services, representatives of Healthwatch, prescribers of community equipment and colleagues who work for Medequip.

The initial piece of work will be to review and adapt a standard user survey provided by Healthwatch to ensure that it covers all aspects of community equipment service provision, before it is circulated to the wider group of people who use the service.

Stage 2 will involve the collation of this feedback and identification of potential projects to review and change services appropriately taking into account wider Health and Social Care reforms that national and local government and the NHS policy leads and influences.

Volunteering

Medequip policy enables and encourages 8000 volunteer hours per year by our colleagues. Driven by our vision ‘Keeping People Independent for Longer’ we aim to work within our local communities to support projects and give something back.

Examples recently undertaken in London include a gardening project for Parkfield House Nursing Home in Uxbridge, providing support at Sahara Care, Barking and work at “Dexters Adventure Playground” part of the Big Kid Foundation in Lambeth. This is a youth club that has been closed for some time and needs quite a bit of attention to get it back up and running. We have also supported the Forever Young Festival in Greenwich and provided marshals for an Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk.

Employing People Living with a Disability

In July 2021 Medequip agreed to work with the British Association for Supported Employment (BASE) to broaden the training and employment opportunities for disabled people. BASE have assisted in linking up each Medequip depot with local support organisations to recruit local people with a disability. Across the country this has resulted in Medequip employing an additional 8 people with a disability increasing the current total to 59 of our employees who declare they have a disability. In London, work with Dynamic Training Ltd, Forward2Employment and Maximus UK has added 5 new employees to our headcount to date.

Date: December 2021

What a Year

2021 to 2022

David Griffiths, Managing Director shares his reflections on 2021, and his thoughts on the year ahead.

As 2021 comes to a cold, wet and windy end, the people of Medequip continue to amaze me through what has been another challenging year. Their focus, their sense of purpose and their warmth and humanity have kept the show on the road and made my day, every day, including many weekends (with my apologies to Mrs. Griffiths). We recognise this through our Employee of the Month Award and Big Thank-You Day.

I have also been amazed by the resilience of the people we support and their families, the many fantastic community organisations out there, and the wider health and social care system. It’s a system of many moving parts and I am extremely proud of the part played by Medequip.

Through our mature relationships with supply networks and our experience in joint working with Prescribers, Commissioners, and local organisations we were able to maintain, and in some areas help with additional services, which has been so important to peoples’ quality of life and independence.

Through 2021 Medequip has continued to grow and is now working with more partners than ever. So, as a national organisation, in England and Wales, across cities, towns, villages and some spectacular countryside, I am more determined than ever that the Medequip service offer works alongside local communities. We use local businesses wherever we can, and we recruit locally. I have asked Community Catalysts to support us build a community feedback process, and each depot is building links with local organisations to ensure local people are involved in improving things.

As a leading organisation you might expect us to have a lot to say. We do, where we can add value to local or national conversations. For example, in improving the hospital discharge process, in prevention and early intervention, in the switch to Digital Telecare services, and always in increasing efficiency and effectiveness.

As a leading organisation you might also expect us to perform, and we do. Despite significant inbound supply chain issues impacting on the UK we are still completing over 99.2% of our activities on time.

But you might not know we are also an organisation of big listeners. Not passively. No, we believe listening is a doing word.

- If the NHS is to achieve its ambition of proactive, place-based health and wellbeing services,

- If Local Government wants to support people to live in places they call home, and

- If communities want to be involved, respected and supported….

For 2022, we are listening.

Date: December 2021

Disability Confident and Working with BASE

Disability Confident and Working with BASE

2021 was the year of the National Disability Strategy National Disability Strategy (publishing.service.gov.uk) and the year Medequip reached level two of the Department of Work and Pensions Disability Confident scheme. Important stuff for us all.

Medequip have a national working partnership with the British Association of Supported Employment (BASE), who have in turn introduced us to their local member organisations who supported us with recruitment of people with a disability into both apprenticeship and full-time roles working for Medequip.

But for this article we choose to focus on one man, who doesn’t work for Medequip, who we met when the BASE invited us to sponsor an award at their annual conference this year.

Junior Mark Cryle was presented with the David Grainger award for 'Employee of the Year' by Aditi Dave, our HR Business Partner.

You can read more about Junior’s journey and the support and work opportunity that helped him achieve this award Best Practice Awards 2021 | British Association for Supported Employment (base-uk.org) and you can see and hear from the man himself in the video of his acceptance speech.

Date: December 2021

Medequip and Healthwatch – Working Together Towards Co-production

Medequip's focus on co-production has been enhanced and enriched by our partnership with health and social care champions at Healthwatch Suffolk.

Healthwatch recently hosted workshops for Medequip staff on how to best approach co-production. For a national organisation like Medequip, striving to acquire a shared understanding of co-production right across the organisation, from technicians, cleaners, and drivers to senior managers and directors, is a grand mission.

It's about looking at what we can do to truly enhance the service we provide for our service users
Michaela Harris, General Manager

So how did it go?

Su Conquer, Co-production Coordinator at Healthwatch Suffolk, provided us with her thoughts following the workshops.


From day one, Medequip staff showed excitement when they realised how the ethos of co-production could help improve their work with the public, she said. As a direct result of our conversations, co-production workshops now form part of the induction process for new staff at Medequip from the ground up. The engagement and contributions from new starters at the workshops showed how a new culture can be embedded, providing them with a greater sense of empowerment through the knowledge that they have the chance to feed into service improvements too.


Healthwatch Suffolk and Medequip have also joined up with a Collaborative Working Agreement, which includes ensuring a shared understanding of co-production and also a promise to improve the collection of people's feedback.

Healthwatch too has learned from facilitating these workshops. Medequip staff at all levels have contributed to the organisation's thinking about how to embed the principles of co-production into practice. Embedding a training programme across the organisation is a big step forward towards this philosophy, and is the first towards engaging with the community in a meaningful, equal, and accessible way.

No matter how large or small the organisation, a shared understanding is vital to climbing the ladder of co-production. From consultation, to user engagement and involvement all the way up to sharing power equally when we co-produce with people who use services – co-production workshops are an interactive way to learn and build as a team.

Date: December 2021

Medequip Welcomes First Permanent 'PURE' Employee

Medequip Welcomes First Permanent PURE Employee

For community equipment specialists Medequip, adding social value is an important consideration as part of the organisation's work in supporting many of the more vulnerable members of our society. Following a successful placement, Medequip has now welcomed the first candidate to join the company as a permanent employee under the auspices of Birmingham's highly successful PURE project.

The PURE project (Placing vulnerable Urban Residents into Employment) is the brainchild of Birmingham City Council and a group of eight providers including Midland Mencap, MIND, Birmingham & Solihull Women's AID, BID Services, Trident Reach, Fry Accord, Rathbone and Swanswell. Part funded by the European Social Fund, PURE brings together a range of coordinated interventions designed to assist the needs of the most vulnerable citizens with barriers into the employment market.

Medequip has worked closely with Birmingham City Council for many years, providing community equipment services to the people of Birmingham. Operations Manager for the West Midlands Jo Page has been involved with this project since early in 2020. We have been able to welcome a number of PURE candidates, despite a brief hiatus because of the COVID-19 lockdowns, she explained. We were always convinced we had the right environment to support, mentor and guide individuals through to employment, education and training in line with the PURE objectives.

Manjit was one of the first people introduced to Medequip via PURE. Manjit has minor learning disabilities and had struggled in employment, not because of his own abilities but largely due to the inability of others to recognise his needs. Prior to joining Medequip in September 2020, Manjit had not worked for 12 years.

Manjit quickly became in important member of our team, confirmed Jo. With some initial support, his confidence grew and he became an integral part of our operation. He is well respected by his colleagues and by the management team for his commitment and dedication.

Manjit himself is enjoying his new role and benefiting from the experience and the direction it gives to his life. He confirms that he feels safe and happy working with Medequip, enjoying the friendships with colleagues and looking forward to coming into work each day. Manjit is one of my most committed employees, confirmed Jo. Involvement with the PURE project has had significant benefits for our organisation too, and we are considering permanent employment for others who have completed placements within the business.

Date: December 2021

Our retiring Health and Care Adviser, Chris Brothwood briefly reflects on his 5 years at Medequip

Chris Brothwood

People often make a big thing about what sort of organisation they work in. In Health and Social Care, whether you are a purchaser or provider, public, private or voluntary sector can mean a lot to us.

So, after 35 years in the public sector, I joined a private sector provider, the often-labelled 'dark side' and guess what, they asked, how come you have left the dark side to join us?

This may be a challenging place for some, however, not for me as my career path was the ideal preparation. I had managed wide ranging services within the public sector, mostly around Rehabilitation and Disability, so unusually was practised in partnership working with the private sector and with the commissioning of services. It helped that I already knew this industry well but the main appeal for me was the company's clear ethos on service provision and passion to keep people independent for longer along with a desire to work in partnership with health and social care.

This Advisor role began as a 3-month mutual trial and has lasted nearly 5 years so we must have mutually thought it to be a good fit. Naturally joining any new organisation on a trial basis, has challenges and I describe it at times like 'a stranger amongst friends' but once you get past any initial level of suspicion of an ex-public sector manager speaking a “different language” being embedded into a well-established senior management team, it is much like any other organisation.

The best analogy by far to describe the any differences is to quote Jo Cox, We are more united and have far more in common with each other, than things that which divides us.

Key for me should you consider a move to either 'dark side' is the willingness to listen, understand and to see matters from different perspectives. Both sectors must not only understand each other but accept the behaviours that are governed by the different pressures they encounter. A good sense of humour also helps!

My goal was to have and to leave a positive impact on the business. The role demanded an open, honest approach that sometimes led to some bemusement as we started to understand different viewpoints but overall, what was more important was the conversation, that others will judge as leading to positive change.

So, should others consider opportunities on the dark side should they arise? My answer in a final Star Wars quote is *The Force, it's calling to you. Just let it in.

Date: December 2021

The London Next Day Project

Enhancing our service to improve wellbeing

London Next Day

Medequip is committed to constant improvement, enhancing our services for the people who rely on us to help them stay independent for longer. This was the key focus behind the London Next Day Project, which was initiated towards the end of 2020 working in close cooperation with our partners in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Waltham Forest.

The key objective was to contribute towards improved wellbeing for people who use our services by stepping up our response times to ensure they received their equipment more quickly. Collections were also included to support our return, recycle, reuse performance enabling faster re-issue to new service users. The associated challenge was to achieve this without incurring extra cost for the Boroughs who fund our service.

Initially, prescribers in the two Boroughs were encouraged to place orders for both deliveries and collections as ‘next day’ priority, aiming to reduce any reliance on Emergency orders. The Medequip teams undertook to step up the service from five days per week to a six day week, including Saturdays, for Borough residents.

How was this achieved?

We needed to achieve a number of things in order to maintain these levels of service. We reshaped our technician and management resources to cover the six day week, and calculated new tariffs to average out any additional costs. Stock levels were rigorously monitored and maintained to guarantee availability of goods. Daily reports were produced to track speed usage and spend accurately, whilst weekly monitoring assessed and reviewed both numbers of activities and cost to the Boroughs.

In turn, the Boroughs initiated regular internal communications and webinars to influence a change in prescriber culture and behaviours to optimise the revised service levels. Ongoing monitoring was carried out to ensure prescribers were raising orders on correct delivery speeds, and ‘prescriber guides’ were produced to be shared with other members of the London Consortium (the largest and longest outsourced Community Equipment service in the UK, managed by Medequip) to assist with the implementation of our Next Day Project in the future.

Both Boroughs have been very satisfied with the outcome of the project, with Next Day orders increased from an average of 15% to 50% without any corresponding increases in activity costs. Feedback from teams such as Rapid Response and Hospital Discharge has been extremely positive, and Medequip has experienced no detrimental effects on KPIs or equipment stock levels. Both contracts remain on the next day model,

Into the future – the Next Day Project Phase 2

On November 1st this year, both Wandsworth and Lambeth also adopted the Next Day Project approach. After just a month, both contracts have progressed to achieving 40% of all orders at this level. There has been very positive feedback from the prescriber teams for faster deliveries which are assisting with hospital discharges, and Commissioners at both Boroughs are happy with the significant progress made.

Date:

Medequip Sets Sights on Co-production at the Occupational Therapy Show 2021

We are exhibiting at OT Show 2021 - stand F10 - 24, 25 Novemebr 2021

Medequip is delighted to announce that we will be exhibiting at the Occupational Therapy Show (OT Show), on 24-25 November 2021, at the NEC Birmingham on stand F10.

Opportunities to exhibit at conferences such as this provide companies like ourselves the chance to reach out to prescribers, occupational therapists and Contract commissioners to improve outcomes for service users.

Medequip is excited to be further involved with people at this level, using our stand to promote both Medequip community equipment services and the developing portfolio from Medequip Connect, currently delivering the first analogue to digital TEC Service changeover in the UK, at a Borough-wide scale of 3,500+ service users.

For the first time, we can announce that we are bringing a professional scribe to this year's show, who will be illustrating ideas and input from stand visitors onto our Medequip scribe wall.

We hope that this can offer a visual projection of how we can improve, with the help of the people who use our service daily.

Visitors to the stand can also learn about our award-winning Falls Prevention Service, our Equipment Recycling programs and more of our existing and upcoming plans, and provide any information needed on all topics relating to our services.

We’ll be demonstrating the latest Lifestyle Monitoring/DAP systems that brings innovation into people’s daily lives to help families and carers transition from reactive to preventative care.

We're looking forward to using this space to share knowledge and gain experience about the promising future of Technology Enabled Care.

Date:

Wirral Partner with Medequip and Alcuris to Unveil Digital Telecare Transformation at Borough-wide Scale

Wirral Partner with Medequip and Alcuris to Unveil Digital Telecare Transformation

An innovative new Council programme will see upwards of a £1.5 million invested to transform telecare services for thousands of residents in Wirral over the next few years.

Telecare is care and support provided to people remotely for example, through phone services or safety alarms that enable people to call for help if they need it. Currently, more than 3,500 Wirral residents have been assessed as eligible for the borough's telecare offer.

The new scheme will see the Council introduce next generation telecare services -- shifting the focus from reacting to crisis events (such as accidents or falls), to preventing them. The project will be delivered alongside Wirral's commissioned community equipment and telecare provider, Medequip, and care technology specialists, Alcuris.

Wirral Council is one of the UK's first local authorities to transfer residents from analogue telecare systems to new next generation services at this scale. The digital system will create opportunities for early, preventative interventions and reduce hospital admissions. New devices that can detect signs of health deterioration, such as smart plugs and movement sensors, will be introduced from November this year.

Read the full article on the Medequip Connect website

Date:

Finding Purpose - the Medequip Journey Continues

Finding Purpose - the Medequip Journey Continues

I came across this the other day in a report by Accenture: 6 Business Change Signals | Business Futures | Accenture.

There is a growing consensus that the interests of both society and investors are best served by organisations that focus on multi-dimensional value creation for the benefit of all their stakeholders, not just shareholders.

So far so obvious, as long as we are all clear on the multi-dimensional value creation thing.

The report goes on to say that 43% of 521 of the largest organisations in the world underperform on environmental, social and governance issues despite investing in them.

It’s probably fair to say that whether you run a private, public or voluntary sector organisation, these areas will always be a work in progress.

I’ll save the environmental update for a future blog, but for now, I’m thinking to myself, as a private sector organisation delivering public services, how do I measure how well Medequip is doing to meet its core purpose.

I know we provide monitoring reports to Commissioners on each of our (41) contracts.

We also have customer care teams to contact people who use our services to see how we did.

And then we have a whole range of internal quality assurance and external audit processes, including all the industry-standard ones, plus recent applications to the Think Local, Act Personal Making it Real commitment Making it Real - Think Local Act Personal and the Department of Work and Pensions Disability Confident employer scheme Disability Confident employer scheme - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). More details on these another time.

But do any of these tell me if Medequip is achieving its purpose of keeping people independent, and happier, for longer? Not really.

That requires a system-wide definition of the issues, agreement on the metrics and the process of collecting, analysing and reporting on the data, and most importantly a commitment to hearing the voices of people who use the services.

The work to bring health and social care together in Integrated Care Systems will help with this, but there is no guarantee every ICS will come up with the same approach to data or working with people who use services and private sector providers.

So, to my mind, we all need to work harder at getting a systematic and evidenced response to the question - have we helped people stay independent, and happier, for longer? This means we have to find answers that are good enough for now, at the same time as working to find better answers in the future.

Which reinforced my belief in the journey we have embarked on to get better at co-production and community engagement. Because, with the utmost respect to our Commissioners and the contracting authorities that employ them, it is the people who use our services, their families and friends and the communities that support them that we need to hear from, and work with, to answer the question.

I’d like to tell you I’ve found a simple answer, but I can’t.

But I can tell you the answers are simple.

The first of the Medequip values is to do what we say we are going to do - To keep our promise. That’s a good start.

Next, we will continue to listen and learn. My team and I have had some amazing conversations recently. Passionate Commissioners, inspiring voluntary sector leaders, committed and loyal staff, and we are putting the infrastructure in place to have more direct conversations with the people who use our services.

We know everyone is busy keeping the show on the road, but if you can make time to talk to us, please do.

Finally, we all know numbers count, but so do stories too. Recently Medequip had a very busy month, our busiest ever, in fact, knocking on an average of 4,700 doors a day.

It’s an impressive number, but behind each of those doors is someone with a story. We already have systems in place for counting activity, and we are working with Commissioners to improve the reporting of the difference we’ve made.

But to hear more of the stories, and to learn from people and the community groups that support them and how Medequip can help deliver on its promises, we are working with Community Catalysts Social Enterprise and Community Interest | Community Catalysts to help us co-produce a community feedback process.

I can’t promise we’ll collect 4,700 stories every day. But I can promise we’ll do more, as we continue to find ways to evidence our purpose of keeping people independent, and happier, for longer.

Date:

Medequip to Provide Community Equipment Services Across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland

Medequip to Provide Community Equipment Services Across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland

Community equipment specialists Medequip have been awarded a five year contract to provide an Integrated Community Equipment Loan Service (ICELS) for adults, children and young people in community, care and education settings across the whole of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR).

The Medequip service, which commences in April 2022, will align closely with the future development of health and social care services across the region. Loan equipment supplied by Medequip will facilitate independent living in the community, palliative care, rehabilitation and end of life care. The service will provide vital support for carers, working with clinicians and other professionals to enable early discharge from hospitals alongside reductions in admissions and readmissions.

Medequip will also work to support a new model of care called ‘Home First’ being developed collectively by commissioning and provider organisations across LLR. The underlying principle of LLR Home First offer is to enable individuals to stay out of hospital and remain safe and well at their chosen place of residence, where they call home. When hospital admissions are inevitable, then the programme encourages appropriately planned discharges to enable individuals to return to their homes or community environment as soon as appropriate, with the minimum risk of readmission.

Medequip will play a key role in facilitating faster discharges from hospital, sometimes within two hours, which may require the delivery and installation of more complex support equipment into the home environment. Admission avoidance is also an essential part of the service model, and the Medequip service will need to be agile to achieve the required changes in health and social care response times for rehabilitation, reablement and recovery as well as supporting vital end of life pathways.

Under the terms of the contract and the Social Value Charter adopted by LLR, Medequip will also be required to deliver social value for the area, with the aim to make LLR a better place to live, work and further develop community confidence and pride.

“We are looking forward to working closely with our partners in LLR to deliver the new Home First care model,” stated James Ibbotson, CEO at Medequip. “We operate a responsive service capable of meeting the challenges of these changing requirements, providing an ICELS for LLR which matches the aspirations for those leading the drive for improvements in health and social care into the future.”

Julie Morley, ICELS Partnership Manager for LLR, is positive about the potential for the future. “Our Home First concept is all about ensuring people get the right care, in the right place, whenever they need it. Working closely with Medequip, we are confident we can continue to deliver this safely, reliably and cost effectively.”

Date:

At Medequip, We're Proud to be Disability Confident Committed

Medequip / Disability Confident Committed

The Disability Confident movement is working to change the way employers think about disability, taking action to improve how they recruit, retain and help to develop opportunities for disabled people.

At Medequip, we're committed to adding social value in everything we do, so accreditation as a Disability Confident Committed organisation presented us with a real opportunity to lead the way and play a role in improving how we open the world of work to people living with disabilities.

So what does it mean? To achieve recognition we had to demonstrate that we are inclusive and operate accessible recruitment processes. Our vacancies have to be communicated externally and internally, including disability support agencies, and we commit to offering interviews to people with disabilities and support existing employees, as well as providing reasonable adjustments for those living with disabilities.

We also commit to carrying out various programmes across our network of depots, including activities such as work experience and work trials, paid employment, job shadowing and traineeships. Our involvement with the PURE (Placing Vulnerable Urban Residents into Employment) project led by Birmingham City Council, where we provide work experience and now have one candidate in permanent employment, is an excellent example of how well this can work to the benefit of our business and the people we support.

The Disability Confident Committed movement was developed by employers and disabled people's representatives. It's a voluntary scheme, and access to the guidance, assessments and resources to help us along the way has been completely free of charge; we would encourage other organisations to explore the potential and see how they can be involved.

View our Disability Confident Committed certificate that certifies that Medequip Assistive Technology is Disability Confident Committed certificate number DCS026517

Updated 23/09/21

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COVID-19: Medequip Corporate Statement (Updated)

Medequip Assistive Technology is a responsible organisation with a clear commitment to employee safety, and is following guidance from the World Health Organisation, the NHS and other informed government bodies to mitigate risk during the current public health crisis.

During these challenging times, measures to ensure the protection of our employees and their families, our service users and our visitors are at the heart of everything we do.

Our dedicated COVID-19 Coordination Group has met regularly since the beginning of March 2020, bringing together the expertise and commitment of our Directors and Senior Managers.

This group focuses on effective business continuity planning, including liaison with suppliers to maintain the supply of medical equipment into our warehouses, enhanced infection control prevention measures and detailed operational planning designed to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on our teams and our service users across the country.

We continue to adopt a measured and informed approach to ensuring the safety of all who work with and come into contact with our organisation as we go about our daily business, providing equipment and support to the more vulnerable members of our society.

Date:

At Last – Our Roadshow Returns!

David Griffiths - Managing Director (Medequip)

It’s been well over a year since our last outing, but at long last the Manage At Home and Medequip roadshow is out and about again, and we’ve got lots planned for the future! First stop the Great Yorkshire Show, from 13-16 July, where we’ll be spreading the word from our mobile exhibition unit, sharing information, advice and special offers.

It’s really important for us to get back to participating in face to face events. We need to get across our messages on issues as important as how to access support and equipment as well as continuously telling people how important it is to return community equipment and not hide it in your attic or send it to the charity shop when you’ve finished with it!

Help the NHS by making sure it’s returned to us and we can then make sure it’s checked, cleaned and issued to someone else who may need it.

So what are we doing at the Great Yorkshire Show? You can find us on Stand 432, which is near the Big Wheel – that will certainly be visible right across the showground! We’ll be giving out information packs and details on how to return community equipment after use. If you have anything to return, pick up one of our leaflets – when you return the item, you can fill it in and enter our prize draw to win a £100 Manage At Home voucher.

If you use a walking stick, we’re running a free service to check the ferrule – that’s the little rubber tip that makes contact with the ground and stops the stick from slipping. As part of our commitment to Falls Prevention, we’ll replace it free of charge for you if it’s worn or damaged.

Special offers on some great new products too – 20% off the Ta-Da Chair, a versatile walking stick that converts into a seat at the touch of a button – very useful for taking the weight off your feet as you walk round the showground. We’ll also have reductions on the Shoe Helper, designed to help you both put on and take off your shoes.

As we begin to attend events, the health and safety of our staff and visitors is paramount and we’ll be following all the relevant government guidelines to ensure everyone stays safe. We look forward to seeing you at the Great Yorkshire Show!

Date:

David Griffiths: Co-production and Community Engagement at Medequip

David Griffiths - Managing Director (Medequip)

In my last blog on why language matters I said Medequip will never make claims about co-production, instead we would make sure our partners and people who use our various services could speak for themselves.

So, I was very pleased to hear in National Co-production Week (5-9 July) that, in one of our contract areas, we are working with the local Healthwatch to collect people’s experiences of using our service. This is a great piece of joint-working.

Whilst Medequip has a long history of keeping people independent for longer, it is the Healthwatch organisation in each area that has the skills, and indeed the duty, to enable people to shape, influence and improve NHS and social care services.

I look forward to working with the commissioners and Healthwatch to continue building on the efforts of a great many people who have kept the services of both organisations operating in such difficult times.

In addition, Medequip is working with a community development organisation to make sure we have a model of feedback that involves the wider community too. I’m very excited about this work.

Lots of people and organisations, including Medequip are rightly talking about “working with the community”, and we have already taken some practical steps towards this. For example, we recently made a commitment to work with the Huddersfield Giants Community Development Foundation.

But as I talk to people across the country, in areas where we already work, and in areas where we think we could provide a great service, I’m learning that “working with the community” means many different things.

That’s why I asked for help.

Each area has its own unique organisations and challenges as well as dealing with many common issues.

The pace of NHS and social care integration is different.

Some areas have more well-developed infra-structure and funding arrangements to support the voluntary sector. Rural and urban areas are obviously different, but so too are the large metropolitan areas.

For a large organisation like Medequip this means arranging our work on co-production and community engagement flexibly, building our skills and supporting our people. Sometimes it means thinking small, sometimes big. Sometimes technology and data will be the answer, sometimes it will only play a small part.

Whatever the case. I promise that myself, and Medequip, will be curious, ask questions and listen carefully before jumping in with our (my) ideas on what’s needed.

So, to finish, recently I was pleased to see a potential Local Authority partner requesting bidders show how they would use an “ethnographic approach” to developing the service. Someone we work with described this as the process of “deep hanging around with people”.

I think he means getting to know people and listening to them and I think that’s another great way Medequip can help people stay independent for longer.

If you are an existing or potential partner of Medequip, or use our contract or retail services why not get in touch to let me know what you think.

Date:

Medequip Retains CES Contract for Derby City

Medequip Retains CES Contract for Derby City

We are pleased to announce that we've been awarded a new contract by NHS Derby & Derbyshire CCG and Derby City Council to provide CES (Community Equipment Services) across the city until the end of November, 2023.

Medequip has partnered with NHS Derby & Derbyshire CCG and Derby City Council since 2011, managing the Equipment Loan Service and helping to keep the people of Derby City independent in their own homes for longer. This new contract underlines the commitment to performance and cooperation underpinning the Medequip service.

There are some significant changes within the framework of the contract, designed to further improve responses to Service Users as well as maintaining the quality of the service. The new contract will see the introduction of three levels of service delivery. Delivery Speed 1 means equipment will be delivered within four hours from the time of prescription. This will enable fast turnaround to support hospital discharges requiring urgent equipment deliveries. Delivery Speed 2 guarantees delivery within 24 hours, and Delivery Speed 3 will enable equipment deliveries within three days. Creating these levels will enable Medequip to react swiftly to the most urgent requirements.

When equipment is required to be transferred between locations, the transfer speeds used to be within three days, but will now fall under three new service speed options. Transfer Speed 1 will mean equipment can be transferred from the current location to the new location within four hours. Transfer Speed 2, within 24 hours and Transfer Speed 3, within three days. Collections of equipment no longer required will be within 5 days.

Alongside the contracted Equipment Loan Service work, Medequip will be providing equipment to support the local KITE (Kids In Their Environment) Community Nursing Team. These specialist nurses work with children and young adults with long-term conditions requiring extra care and support, enabling them to be nursed at home. Medequip will also be providing clinical consumables and clinical equipment to all adults with long-term conditions that fall into the specialist services category.

Medequip has also established the company’s very first retail shop in an acute setting at Royal Derby Hospital. This has now been open for over a year, although lockdown has restricted activities. The shop is already realising significant successes, complementing the contractual work and prescribed equipment with an expanded range of products for self-funders, supported by trained staff to advise on relevance and use.

Our partnership with NHS Derby & Derbyshire CCG and Derby City Council is based on experience, knowledge and mutual trust,” stated Glen Dennis, Operations Manager. “We look forward to building further on this relationship to continue to provide relevant and appropriate services to people living in the city, helping to keep them safe and independent at home.

Date:

Alert On New Scam Preying On Community Equipment Users

Community equipment services company Medequip has been increasingly concerned about reports of scam phone calls to users of community equipment. The scammers are telling people that they have to provide their bank account details in order to receive the equipment that has been prescribed to them by a health or social care professional.

These callers have nothing whatsoever to do with Medequip. Items such as hospital beds at home, toileting aids, bath lifts, rise and recline chairs and other assistive equipment necessary to keep people safe and independent in their own homes are provided by the NHS and local councils though Medequip and are totally free of charge to the user.

Medequip would like to remind their service users and others that they should never give out their bank details, their PIN numbers or transfer money. Medequip will never request these details. The calls identified so far have been focused around the London area, but Medequip would like to alert all service users across the country to the constant danger of scam calls from unscrupulous fraudsters.

Anyone worried that they may have been a victim of this activity should contact their bank immediately.

For more information, please contact Medequip Customer Services – London 020 8750 1580 or enquiries@medequip-uk.com

Date:

David Griffiths: My Language Matters

Language stock image

A few things I've learned

Some time ago I realised that Medequip needed to set out on a journey. "Sensible thinking" I hear you say, using a road analogy for a health and social care logistics company.

The company had grown to be the largest provider of Integrated Community Equipment Services in the country. With nearly 1000 employees, 40 contracts delivered from 23 depots, new services in development and a turnover of nearly £190 million.

But this wasn’t a journey to get bigger, or faster, or anything you could measure easily.

This would be a journey to be more curious, to think smaller and to connect with people differently.

This is where it gets interesting. We started working with a consultant, but it seemed he was using a different language. When I said customers, he thought I meant Service Users. He called my customers partners, and the Service Users, well he referred to them as people who used services.

We’ve all realised we have to understand how our use of language affects people and the way we think about them.

I learned that language can create assumptions.

So, we agreed to improve our approach to working with people, to getting them more involved in how the business worked.

We have experience of running and being involved in surveys, consultations and Service User forums. But now we are going a few steps further and learning how to co-produce with people.

So, then I had to learn about the ladder of co-production, and how hard it is to climb.

We’re working with a number of organisations to help us get better and our experiences responding to the pandemic taught us a lot. But co-production? We’re not there yet.

In fact, it’s best not to think too much about it, just listen to people, be curious about their lives and always be open and honest with them.

I’ve learned that when the time comes, other people can tell us when we have co-produced something, in the meantime we won’t say it about ourselves. In a future blog I hope to be able to tell you all what difference this journey has made, to the people we support, their families, the communities they are part of and the other organisations that work with them.

For now, I’m learning the language of outcomes. That most elusive of concepts.

There's lots of help out there, and Adult Social Care, Health and Public Health have very clear outcomes frameworks and CECOPS are working on this. Most recent tenders reference them all, along with their own maintenance outcomes, improvement outcomes, outcomes for people, communities and systems.

But of course, people still want to know how much and how quickly.

We are engaging with and expecting to do some work with an organisation who have a background in community development. We’ve learned a lot just from talking to them.

They talked about the “meaningful moments” Medequip staff have with people who use the service and the phrase “smiles given for miles driven” popped into my head.

Now that’s my kind of language.

– David Griffiths, Managing Director

Date:

Medequip Launches New Emergency Responder Service In Carlisle

Medequip Connect Launches New Emergency Responder Service In Carlisle

Medequip Assistive Technology, the UK’s leading community equipment services provider, has announced that the company is to extend its Medequip Connect service across the Carlisle area. Alongside personal care alarms, equipment and support, Medequip Connect will be providing a 24 hour Emergency Response service developed to provide total protection for elderly and vulnerable users in Carlisle.

Medequip has made significant investments in its digital platform to enable the company to support some of the most sophisticated equipment now on the market. The new responder service supplements this to provide peace of mind for families and carers, knowing assistance is available 24 hours a day at the touch of a button.

Medequip Connect offers totally flexible solutions which can be tailored to individual requirements. These range from simple analogue base units connecting to a telephone line with pendant call button and link to a 24/7 monitoring centre, through to more sophisticated digital devices including automatic fall detection systems and voice activated alarms that continue to operate even during power outages. The Emergency Response service closes the loop to provide end to end support.

Medequip Connect has also introduced a quick and easy online referral process for professionals, accessible via a clear green button at the top of the Home page on the website. This links to an online form designed for GPs, OTs and carers to fill to complete the referral.

In addition, Medequip Connect supports a full range of clever GPS ‘wearables’ designed for use in the event of emergencies outdoors … anywhere in the world in fact… so help can still be at the touch of a button whether there’s an emergency on a country walk or the wearer is holidaying away from home.

The packages go even further to match individual needs, covering wellbeing calls to check on individuals, including a friendly chat and medication reminders. Home Safety Kits include ‘bogus caller’ buttons together with heat, smoke and Co2 detectors. Smart Home kits are also available with an app for family and carers to check on their loved ones, and Memory Support devices can help those who may be a little forgetful, including the latest advanced pill dispensers with alert monitoring.

Costs start at just £2.99 per week. For users signing up for the Emergency Response service, Medequip Connect sends a trained responder to assess individual needs to decide whether the client is at risk from medical emergencies, falls or personal distress. The service responds to 97% of all callouts within 20-45 minutes, faster than the average ambulance wait time for a fall.

The Carlisle specialist service is a pilot for Medequip Connect. The company will be assessing responses and requirements with a view to rolling out the service in other areas of the UK over the next 12 months.

For further information, please contact Stephen McKee, Medequip Connect Head of Business Development on 0800 910 1390 or at Stephen.McKee@medequip-uk.com

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Medequip Underlines Commitment To Community Engagement

Medequip Underlines Commitment To Community Engagement

Commitment to corporate social responsibility initiatives is a key objective for community equipment specialists Medequip, and the company actively seeks out opportunities to engage with and support the communities in which it operates. As part of this drive, Medequip is delighted to announce that the company is now an Official Partner to the Huddersfield Giants Community Trust (HGCT).

HGCT is a non-profit making organisation responsible for all community sports and educational activities on behalf of Huddersfield Giants Rugby League, aiming to inspire people of all ages and abilities in four key areas, namely sport, education, health and social inclusion. The Trust successfully engages with over 200,000 people every year through sports coaching within local schools, grassroots clubs and the wider community. At the home base, known as The Zone, the Trust has its own post-16 education facilities as well as delivering the NCS programme to hundreds of young people in the area every year.

The focus is on building a stronger community where everyone belongs, and Medequip will work alongside the Trust in a number of different ways to support this aspiration. Plans include giving Medequip staff time out to volunteer to support the Trust as well as providing funding and sponsorship for smaller community projects under the umbrella of HGCT.

In addition, the Medequip team will use their expertise and access to equipment to ensure the Trust’s facilities are inclusive and user friendly, as well as providing community engagement sessions which aim to help older people become more independent through use of mobility aids and gadgets – a particular area of expertise for Medequip through Group company Medequip Connect.

Martin Eastwood

"Community Partnerships encompass all Medequip’s values", stated Mark Rance, Operations Manager at Medequip. "When Martin Eastwood, one of our technicians, approached us to support HGCT we were more than happy to explore the opportunity further. The HGCT team is passionate about the work they carry out, and we look forward to supporting the Trust to inspire and create opportunities for the people of Kirklees."

Lisa Darwin, CEO of Huddersfield Giants Community Trust, comments: "After initially meeting Steve Smith the General Manager on Zoom, I was invited to meet Mark and Alex, we instantly connected! We all have the same passion supporting community-led provisions. The team at Brighouse are a very committed, passionate and a well-connected group. We have some very exciting projects coming up and the team at Medequip are very keen to be involved. A special mention must go to Martin Eastwood at the Huddersfield Giants Supporters Association for his connection that led to this exciting partnership. Everyone at the Trust is looking forward to working together."

If you would like to find out more about Huddersfield Giants Community Trust, visit: hgct.co.uk

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Medequip to Sponsor the Most Inclusive Sport of All

Medequip's Steve Smith with Tony Bowling of Farrar Bamforth

Medequip has announced that the company will serve as principal sponsor for Wakefield Trinity Community Foundation’s new Wheelchair Rugby League side, launched earlier this week. Medequip is proud to be involved with this emerging sport, which will form part of the Rugby League World Cup main event for the first time ever later this year.

Medequip’s work is all about supporting people to keep them independent, and partnering with what is billed as one of the most inclusive sports of all matches this philosophy perfectly; Wheelchair Rugby League encourages able-bodied people to compete too, and both men and women play in the same team.

Steve Smith, Medequip’s General Manager (North East Region), is clear about the benefits to both parties. “Wheelchair services are an integral part of many of our contracts, and this sponsorship provides a perfect fit in terms of our corporate social responsibility strategy,” he stated. “We’re also hoping we can become more involved in the sport with our user groups too.”

Following the successful launch of the Wheelchair Rugby League side last week, the Foundation is looking for ways to take our sides to the next level. Speaking upon signing of the deal, Head of Foundation, Craig Shepherd, said, “We are delighted to have finally put pen to paper and confirm Medequip as our Wheelchair RL side’s principal sponsor. They join us at a really exciting time for the Foundation - creating our wheelchair side in 2021 and joining forces with Medequip will help to progress the sport even further.”

To find out more about Medequip and the services they provide, head to https://www.medequip-uk.com/. To get involved in Trinity's Wheelchair RL side, please email anthonyrbaker18@gmail.com

Date:

We're Celebrating Big Thank You Day!

At Medequip, it’s always been important to us to celebrate our people and their individual and team achievements, which is why we first introduced the Big Thank You Day some years ago. This annual event sees Medequip people nominated by their peers for the work they do, in recognition of their skills and abilities.

2020 was a very different year, and it is more important than ever to honour the people who have played a vital role in helping to keep our service users and our colleagues safe and protected. Normally, the Big Thank You Day is a celebratory event attended by all nominees. This year was a very different virtual event, but the focus remained the same; to recognise and celebrate individual and team achievements across the organisation.

The Revenue Enhancement Award went to Medequip’s Stafford depot for their outstanding delivery performance on the PPE distribution project. Runners up were the Rotherham depot for their sterling work on the new Sheffield contract, and Matthew Brown (Newton Aycliffe) for coordinating and planning resources for a major bed contract.

The SHEQ Star Award went to Atlanta Somers (Emersons Green) for her work in running the depot short term and helping to achieve an audit score of 97% - its best ever. Runner up was last year’s winner of this Award Glynn Davies, in recognition of his valuable work as a Centre of Excellence trainer, and supporting the Stability Restoration Project at Rotherham and Sheffield

The Customer & Client Recognition Award was won by Anna Hunt (Knaresborough) for her work building sustained relationships with Health & Social Care staff, leading to an improved service across the Recycled Specials range. Runners up were Emily Cauldwell (Alfreton) for leadership qualities, compassion, calmness under pressure and talents in problem solving and Aaron Theaker (Rotherham) for his contribution to the management of specialist respiratory equipment.

Manager of the Year Award went to Marc Varley, who has led the London team with calmness, dedication and determination throughout the COVID 19 pandemic. Runners up were Marie Martinalli for her work on the COVID 19 emergency planning group and third successive year achieving a sustained reduction in accident rates, with Luke Derrick recognised for his contribution at Emersons Green and Weston Super Mare, building up his teams and establishing excellent working relationships with contract managers.

The COVID 19 Emergency Planning Group won Best Team Award for their strong purpose, teamwork and clarity and speed of decision making to protect the business and our people. Runners up were Manage At Home for successfully delivering sales performance over 40% up on 2019, despite the challenges they faced, and BNSSG Emersons Green and Weston-super-Mare, for achievement at the depots in the face of the pandemic backdrop and a re-tendering exercise.

Winner of the Unsung Hero(es) Award were the Medequip Connect Responders for consistently turning out at all hours to support and keep our clients safe in these difficult times. Runners up were Natalia Moiseenkova (HR) for her work in helping to navigate managerial issues in terms of staffing, faced with all the challenges of the pandemic and staff absences, and Hizaar Hussain (IT) for his qualities of calm and helpfulness as well as the impact of his skill and experience on the business.

The Best Newcomer Award went to Michelle Montgomery (Medequip Connect) for her flexibility and positivity, working well with the team and sharing experience. Runners up were Mark Brady (Bromborough) for his ability to pick up all aspects of his role at a time of heightened activity and Anup Sachdeva (Head Office) for successfully forging new relationships, sharing information and implementing new projects.

The Cleaning Operative of the Year Award went to Tianna Hamner (Emersons Green) for helping the Emersons Green team to excel and also for her support on the Sheffield implementation in Sheffield Runners up were Tom Jenkins (Emersons Green), for being a hardworking, well respected, great all-rounder and Sam Bagnall (Stafford), a highly thought of team player.

Customer Services Advisor of the Year was awarded to Tracey Clarkson (Manage At Home) for setting the work ethic standard for 2020, supporting the team and keeping service levels high. Runners up were Emily Cauldwell (Alfreton) for her approachability and excellent communication skills and Laura Ousby (Leyland) for the successful move of her team to home working, taking on extra responsibilities whilst working to a newly implemented management structure

The Innovation Award was hotly contested by Michaela Harris for her work on the Blink staff engagement application, which now has 800 members of staff using the system, the Falls Prevention Team for continuing to deliver for older more vulnerable service users through telephone contact, Facebook and YouTube exercise videos, and the Head Office HR/Payroll team for the launch of the new payroll system, with the Falls Prevention Team taking the Award.

The Living Medequip Values Award went to Arijan Veladzic (Procurement) for keeping his promises, empowering people, embracing change and his passion for teamwork. Runners up were Jamie Welland (Heathrow) for his massive contribution this year managing PPE and also Josh Spence (Mandela Way) for his positivity, reliability, great work ethic and understanding of the systems.

Technician/Service Engineer of the Year Award nominations included Leon Mullings (Emerson Green) for his work to help others, Adrian Hunt (Woolwich) for his outstanding commitment and hard work, professionalism, patience and Gary Cork (Stafford) the service engineer known for solving problems for the technicians. The award went to Adrian Hunt.

Warehouse Operative of the Year was won by Kirsty Lambourne (Calne) for her work in making the warehouse at Calne the best it can be, leading from the front. Runners up were Ryan Munday (Heathrow) for his ‘can do’ attitude and knowledgeable approach, and Ryan Duxbury (Brighouse) for his supportive, helpful and efficient contributions.

The Employee of the Year Award went to Simon Cooke (Newton Aycliffe) who volunteered to be the first tech to complete a COVID job so he could feed back his experience to colleagues, and also volunteered for extra shifts to support high risk on call Techs. Runners up were Florin Vasile (Woodford Green), the first to volunteer to go over the threshold of a confirmed COVID address, who successfully coordinated the depot’s OOH COVID Response Team, and Lucy Rothmeisel (Medequip) for helping to integrate the OOH service into the ERC and her commitment to creating and adapting work systems.

Stafford was judged Best Fundraising Depot of the Year, with Yvonne Higgins (Bromborough) winning Individual Fundraiser of the Year.

Medequip Long Service Awards were then celebrated, naming a total of 16 colleagues who have been working in the business for more than 10 years, seven for more than 15 years and one for more than 20 years.

The Special Recognition Award went to the Customer Service Project Team consisting of Andrew Firth, Justyna Uminska, Marie Martinalli, Marc Varley, Peter Gaunt and Michaela Harris for the successful delivery of the project to have a regionalised and home-based CS function bringing substantial benefits to the business and a better work life balance for the staff.

The Chris Bull Award is a special Award given in memory of one of Medequip’s most valued colleagues following his premature loss to cancer, and is given to the team or individual who embodies all Chris’s best traits - hard work, commitment, honour, values and a certain colourfulness! This year the award goes to Medequip’s IT Mr Fixit Phil Lewis, who never gives up and always goes the extra mile.

The Business Development Award went to Richard McLean (Newton Aycliffe) in recognition of his leadership and delivery of the Medequip One Way project.

The MD’s Award for Special Achievement 2020 has been awarded to every frontline Medequip colleague involved in the delivery, installation and collection of equipment from service user homes with COVID 19 present and those cleaning and recycling that equipment, recognising their outstanding commitment in what was a difficult and challenging year.

An amazing 249 nominations in total! Congratulations to all our winners, our runners up and those who were nominated this year!

Date:

Working Together to Improve Health and Social Care For All

David Griffiths - Managing Director

The government has published a paper setting out legislative proposals for a Health and Care Bill. In his recent blog, Managing Director David Griffiths explains why Medequip wants so see a focus on behaviours, as well as policy and legislation.

As a family-owned business operating since 1998, Medequip has worked through many policy changes in health and social care. Over this period we have always worked in partnership with contracting authorities, the people who use our services and the many organisations working to support them. 

The most recent paper on the subject (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-together-to-improve-health-and-social-care-for-all) is hard to argue with. Who wouldn't support integration and innovation if it helps to improve health and care for all? 

But has this Government and the NHS learned the lessons of the previous NHS reorganisations? 

Is it simply a shuffling of responsibilities with only lip-service paid to the fundamental challenges facing our society and the behaviour change needed to address them? At Medequip we see those challenges every day. At Medequip we reflect on our behaviour every day. 

For example, does this policy and the impending legislation deal with the systemic issues that challenge true pooled budget arrangements? I know they are only one aspect of integration but we feel there is more that could be done.

Integrated Community Equipment Service budgets are a longstanding example of pooled budgets. The theory behind them is simple. It can be a fruitless exercise trying to work out whether it is the NHS budget or social care budget that should fund particular items of community equipment and even more complicated to establish which budget benefits in the long-term. So, much simpler to pool the budget, focus on outcomes and share the risks of an overspend. 

Even with these longstanding arrangements and history of partnership working, we are seeing increasing requests to separate out health and care spend. With years of underfunding the pressure had to come out somewhere. Budget pressures have damaged the trust between partners. 

We work with over 40 contracting authorities, countless public, private and voluntary sector providers and a whole warehouse full of different suppliers and manufacturers. Through this, we have learned one thing about true partnership working. It happens when people trust each other. When they take the time to understand each other's position, challenges and cultures. 

Then, and only then will we achieve more by working together than we do trying to address the challenges individually.

Without that trust, the system will grow layers and layers of bureaucracy, financial controls and governance. Not only between the partners, but between the organisations and the people we are here to serve and support. 

So, whilst commentators debate whether the policy does enough to address social care as the poor relation, the merits of "a duty to collaborate" and the technical challenge of having two parallel governance structures for Integrated Care Systems, we at Medequip would encourage policy makers to focus on supporting the behaviours that grow trust between organisations so that we can better earn the trust of the people we are here to serve. 

While that debate happens, we will continue to deliver, service and collect over 4 million items of equipment a year, to listen to and learn from the 1.3-million people we support each year, and work in partnership with those that trust us to provide public services on their behalf. 

If you would like to work in partnership with Medequip, why not contact me or one of my trusted team at david.griffiths@medequip-uk.com.

Date:

One Year On - Medequip's Royal Derby Hospital Retail Shop

RDH Shop

It's been over twelve months since we opened our first ever retail store in the Kings Treatment Centre at the Royal Derby Hospital. The advent of the coronavirus pandemic has impacted significantly on first year results, but despite this, the potential for this new step in our retail strategy has been evident.

The doors will reopen as soon as coronavirus regulations permit, with the shop stocking a portfolio of products including bathing and mobility aids, continence products and a specialist range for dementia support. One of the newest lines is a range of four wheeled walkers which have already proved popular with Medequip's online store, Manage At Home (www.manageathome.co.uk)

Pre-COVID, footfall was very encouraging from the early days. The Kings Treatment Centre is a busy hub for both clinics and A&E, and the shop saw brisk trade from patients attending for treatment and from visitors to the hospital. It also served as an informal assessment unit for occupational therapists, advising on products for individuals going home after hospital stays.

With restrictions on visitors and fewer people attending hospital, numbers are initially down on last year's peaks. But the store remains a popular attraction and a useful source of both products and advice for the people of Derby. "Our best-selling lines are proving to be a real mixture," says store manager Andrea Bickerton. "We're selling everything from wheelchairs and aids for daily living such as jar and bottle openers and sock aids through to waterproof bandages."

Andrea is a Trusted Assessor, accredited to carry out health and social care assessments in this field. She and her team can offer friendly and informed advice on a range of topics, so if people are looking to buy a more tailored product like a walker, she can adjust and measure to size to ensure the end product matches each individual's height and weight requirements.

The shop also offers customers access to AskSARA, the award-winning online self-help guide developed by the Disabled Living Foundation. AskSARA is particularly useful in identifying products to assist with independent living.

In addition, customers can access Medequip's Manage At Home website, discuss their requirements and have goods delivered directly to their own homes, opening up a range of additional products which can't be physically stocked in the shop itself. With a focus on safety, free walking aid checks can be carried out complete with free replacement ferrules where required.

Once the shop reopens, for a limited time Medequip will be offering a 10% discount on a range of products. Ask in store!

Date:

Standing Tall – How Medequip's Falls Prevention Team Has Kept In Touch

Wirral Falls Prevention

The coronavirus pandemic has presented particular challenges for our Medequip colleagues operating the successful Falls Prevention Service on the Wirral. This dedicated team of falls prevention practitioners has focused on remaining engaged with their client groups, investigating different ways to reach out and continue their vital services.

The small, multidisciplinary Medequip Falls Prevention team consists of physiotherapists, and occupational therapist, nurses and technical instructors. They place the emphasis firmly on education and training on how to stay healthy, active and safe, prioritising fall-related research and establishing effective policies to reduce risk. The team has successfully built and enhanced services and facilities for patients, contributing towards a notable reduction in falls and associated costs for Wirral NHS.

Promoting confidence and independent living

The team is led by manager Julie Griffiths. "We're acutely mindful of the negative effects that reduced activity and resultant deconditioning can have on strength, mobility, confidence and independent living for our older population," she said. "Faced with lockdown and the forced cessation of our face to face activities, we looked at how we could continue our work and keep both staff and clients -- many of whom were shielding because of the age or medical conditions - safe and protected."

Technology has provided some very effective solutions. During the first lockdown, Julie and her team put together some 'explainer videos' to demonstrate such things as how to safely get up from the floor, good 'sit to stand' techniques and back loosening exercises before getting out of bed. These are complemented by online exercise classes and falls prevention advice. "It's essential to provide simple start, low risk, easy to access programmes for the older population, aiming to build up stamina and move on to full exercise sessions," explained Julie.

Partnering with Age UK to improve access to technology

Access to online information is a practical issue for some, so the Falls Prevention Service has partnered with Age UK on a scheme to loan out tablets to those without easy access to the internet. In addition, the team has used the time effectively to create a new exercise booklet which has been distributed to clients and through Age UK as well as being made available in locations such as pharmacies. This initiative is prompting significant numbers of self referrals to the service.

When shielding ended officially in August, there was real enthusiasm amongst both staff and clients to resume more normal service. So the team donned their PPE aprons, face shields and gloves and visited clients at their homes to teach exercises programmes on a 1:1 basis again whilst maintaining social distancing rules. Later lockdowns have brought this activity to a halt but the service will resume again as soon as regulations allow.

Continuing to have a positive effect

The commitment shown by the team continues to yield positive results. Clients are reporting that they are feeling the benefits of engaging with the service. "We have maintained an outcome of 78% of clients reporting no further falls 6 weeks after an intervention with Wirral Falls Prevention Service," confirmed Julie.

She continues to have concerns about the future. "We are anticipating an increase in the numbers of deconditioned elderly patients who will be prone to falls after being confined to their homes for so long. Now we have all received our vaccinations, we are looking forward to resuming normal service soon and playing a part in keeping them active and safe," she stated.

Date:

Coronavirus, The Supply Chain and the Inevitable Costs for Business

Mike West

Mike West, Procurement Director for Medequip, discusses the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on product availability, logistical challenges and the resultant commercial implications.

The entire world is currently weathering not just a global health crisis but an economic perfect storm impacting on the cost and availability of goods. Transport capacity constraints combined with raw material shortages and lead time issues are being felt keenly in every sector of the economy.

At Medequip, we have certainly not been immune to these commercial disruptions. The first wave of coronavirus in the early months of 2020 saw a massive increase in demand for hospital beds for the acute sector, in particular to equip the new Nightingale field hospitals. As a result, our allocations of beds and dynamic mattresses from suppliers were reduced significantly.

Addressing the shortages

We mobilised to address these shortages, using our contacts to bring in beds and mattresses from overseas to match the demands of our contracts across the UK. Transferring product from our network of UK depots to balance demand has helped to ensure security of supply. In addition, our focus on returning stock to shelf via our return, recycle and reuse campaigns has played an important role in securing our position. Faced with significant issues, we succeeded in stockpiling critical equipment to meet our commitments.

Working with our partners

We were able to use our established contacts to help our partners too, during the scramble for PPE in the early stages of the pandemic. As an example, at the request of the London Consortium we sourced 200,000 FFP2 face masks from Chinese suppliers and airfreighted these into the UK for distribution across the London boroughs. This initiative helped to keep OTs and other essential practitioners safe out in the field.

Making the commercial decision to take on an additional £2M of inventory cushioned Medequip from shortages of the staples such as beds, mattresses and hoists. As a result, we have been able to keep our partners supplied despite increases in demand caused in part by accelerations in hospital discharges.

The new challenges of the second wave

We took a deep breath over the summer and early autumn, but the second wave of coronavirus has brought with it a completely new set of commercial challenges. With all of the PPE ordered by government coming into the UK in containers and enormous global demand for imported materials coming from China, in November and December containers began to pile up in ports in UK and USA.

Massive increases in shipping costs

Resultant queues in congested ports have led to a massive imbalance of containers across the globe and therefore lack of availability. Shipping lines have taken advantage of this unprecedented situation. Early in 2020, shipping costs for a typical forty foot container from Shanghai to the UK would have been around £2,000. Now, we are paying at least six times that figure for the same shipment. This is impacting not just ourselves but the majority of UK manufacturing businesses, most of whom will use at least some components manufactured in China.

The situation is affecting lead times too. Previously, we could guarantee a five week lead time for imported goods. Now, despite shipping costs which have increased six fold, that lead time has extended to six to seven weeks, with ships operating a 'steaming slowly' policy and stopping at every port between Shanghai and Felixstowe.

The Brexit effect

And so to Brexit. Here, removal of the threat of tariffs achieved through the trade deal and a period of 12 months grace on regulatory and legal uncertainties mean that for Medequip, Brexit does not present such huge hurdles. The good news is that we are currently seeing only minimal disruptions in product availability from European suppliers and also minimal paperwork delays.

Date:

A Virtual Role for Medequip at ITEC 2021

Medequip Connect ITEC Stand

Medequip and its subsidiary company Medequip Connect will be participating in the International Technology Enabled Care virtual conference organised by TSA (TEC Services Association), which takes place from 22-25 March this year.

The coronavirus pandemic has put TEC firmly in the spotlight as a fast-developing sector of healthcare and instigator of change. This virtual conference is expected to provide a truly interactive experience to showcase the sector, complete with networking opportunities, live messaging and virtual demonstrations.

Digital solutions are already beginning to improve outcomes for service users. Medequip is excited to be involved at grass roots level, using our virtual stand to promote both Medequip community equipment services and the developing portfolio from Medequip Connect, our TEC arm providing alarm monitoring and support services.

The digital stand will provide visitors to the conference with access to corporate videos and a range of relevant downloads, including a Medequip Corporate Pack, a Services Directory and links to other services such as Falls Prevention and online retail facility Manage At Home.

The company will be using the conference networking hub to offer live telecare demonstrations, working with partners to show how the different systems work and how they can be used to help people to live independently for longer.

Medequip will also be conducting a short survey interviewing visitors to the stand to gather additional information on the changing requirements and challenges for TEC in today's healthcare market. All completed surveys will be entered into a prize draw to win an Amazon Echo Show 8.

We're looking forward to using this valuable digital space to share knowledge and experience about the growing potential for Technology Enabled Care.

Date:

Medequip Begins Electric Vehicle Trials in Rochester

Medequip Ford Transit Custom PHEV

It’s very quiet today at Medequip’s Rochester depot as the company’s first PHEV pulls silently out of the gates to begin a day’s work on the Medway CES contract in and around Rochester, Gillingham, Chatham and the Hoo Peninsula.

This Ford Transit Custom is the first electric delivery van on the Medequip fleet, and all eyes are on how it performs as part of a trial which could signal a total change in how Medequip completes the delivery of community equipment across the UK.

Medequip is committed to using power from sustainable sources across its operations, so moving the fleet away from fossil fuels an important consideration. A significant number of vehicles on the car fleet are plug in hybrids, and many contracts already require Medequip to take on technologies to reduce CO2 emissions, so these trials have a vital role to play.

With so many UK cities and towns considering or already implementing Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) charges, it’s important that we plan for the future to ensure Medequip contributes to cleaner air targets, particularly for city use,” stated Peter Gaunt, Fleet Manager for Medequip. “We have been looking at both all electric and hybrid options, but from an operational point of view we need battery ranges to improve before all electric is truly viable for us. In the meantime, PHEVs offer a practical option for us to reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiencies.

With many depots located in city centres and covering urban routes, this is a key operational issue for Medequip. The Ford Transit Custom PHEV selected by Medequip for the trials runs an advanced hybrid system featuring the multi-award winning Ford EcoBoost 1.0-litre petrol engine as a range extender.

The Medequip team will be monitoring performance closely to see how their PHEV fares over the next few months. If the trials prove satisfactory, then certainly in the near future PHEVS will be the way forward, with plans to move to all electric as battery technology continues to develop.

For further information, please contact fleetsupport@medequip-uk.com

Date:

Medequip Retains Wiltshire Community Equipment Contract

Wiltshire

Medequip are pleased to announce that they have been appointed to manage Community Equipment and Continence Services for Wiltshire for a further five years, following a competitive tender process. The award underlines our industry-leading record of contract retention, reflecting Medequip’s commitment to performance and value in this arena.

Medequip has partnered with Wiltshire for over 15 years. The new five year contract will begin on 1 April 2021, with an option to extend for up to two more years.

In preparation, we are planning significant innovations and service enhancements to further improve community equipment services provision for the people of Wiltshire. Our operational site will remain at Calne and will be totally redesigned and extended, implementing a new layout to facilitate increased capacity, throughput and efficiency.

In addition, working to give Wiltshire Commissioners greater levels of visibility and control over day to day operations, Medequip is investing in a new end to end software solution including Microsoft Business Intelligence management reporting to streamline the supply chain. This includes an improved mobile working platform designed to provide a more interactive, human face for Service Users in Wiltshire. The new system will also optimise the use of recycled special items, reducing cost and improving speed of delivery.

We are also putting investment into the continence offering, implementing automatic replenishment services to make the process easier and more straightforward for users, investing for an even more responsive and cost effective service.

We are absolutely delighted to continue our long term relationship with Wiltshire, stated Michaela Harris, General Manager for Medequip’s South Western division. The cooperation between our two organisations has been particularly well demonstrated when faced with the challenges of COVID-19, where we have engaged on a weekly basis to maintain service and product availability, including appropriate product substitutions to facilitate important hospital discharges.

In a statement, the Wiltshire Commissioners said, We wish to take this opportunity to thank Medequip for the key role they have played over the years, to provide the people of Wiltshire with equipment and support to improve their quality of life, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the new contract. Medequip’s commitment to deliver an efficient and effective service in the ever-challenging environment of health and social care has strengthened our partnerships to integrate care and better meet our populations’ health and care needs now and in the future.

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At Work Together – Medequip Plays A Role In Birmingham's PURE Project

The PURE project (Placing vulnerable Urban Residents into Employment) is the brainchild of Birmingham City Council and a group of 8 providers including Midland Mencap, MIND, Birmingham & Solihull Women’s AID, BID Services, Trident Reach, Fry Accord, Rathbone and Swanswell. Part funded by the European Social Fund, PURE brings together a range of coordinated interventions designed to assist the needs of the most vulnerable citizens with barriers into the employment market.

EU Social Fund

Medequip was an obvious choice to provide placement opportunities for reintroduction to the workplace. The company has worked closely with Birmingham City Council for many years, providing community equipment services to the people of Birmingham. When Medequip’s Operations Manager for the West Midlands Jo Page first heard about the PURE project, she was convinced that the company’s Birmingham depot could play a role in providing important links back into employment.

“We work closely with our Commissioners, and because of the nature of our business, we are committed to opportunities that enable us to add social value,” stated Jo. “When our Commissioners put us in touch with PURE, we immediately identified ways we could be involved to support, mentor and guide individuals through to employment, education and training in line with the PURE objectives.”

The first step was to introduce PURE intervention workers to Medequip, and Jo devised an introductory presentation which was attended by potential participants along with their intervention workers. Here, the visitors had an opportunity to experience what Medequip does on a day to day basis, to identify how the company could support individuals and to ascertain which candidates could benefit from this kind of work experience. “Everyone who visited our Birmingham depot wanted to work with us, which was very gratifying,” said Jo.

The first intake began in September, involving three initial placements, one in Customer Services, one in Warehousing and one in Repairs. The candidates work two or three days a week, four to five hours a day, supported and mentored by Medequip staff. Alongside the work experience, they face additional challenges such as negotiating public transport, committing to on-time attendance and abiding by current rules including COVID-safe working procedures and PPE.

The participants have been really enjoying their work, and it has proved very rewarding for Medequip staff to see how their confidence has grown as they integrated into the team. “I would recommend the PURE project to other organisations too,” said Jo. “As a business, we are also benefiting from the process. I am extremely proud of how the staff have risen to the challenge, truly mentoring not mollycoddling, showing real patience and understanding.”

The PURE Project Manager, Tabriz Hussain, has been delighted with how this relationship with Medequip has formed “I couldn’t ask for a better employer than Medequip, they have given our participants a real opportunity that will improve their chances of securing employment in the near future”.

The sentiment is echoed by Rajwinder Singh, Intervention Worker for Midland Mencap. “What a brilliant organisation Medequip is! One of my client users, who hasn’t worked for over nine years, has taken to this project with so much enthusiasm. He has learning difficulties, and finds it hard to engage with people, but the interaction since working with Jo and her team has been fantastic.”

PURE intervention workers have been on call, but have not been needed so far. Participants will remain with Medequip for a minimum of three months, encouraged back into the world of work, and can stay on beyond that if they choose. They are proving a valued part of the team, and will be given formal references at the end of their placements, demonstrating their capabilities.

Medequip is now evaluating the potential for expanding the project into the nearby Stafford depot, looking at partners to continue the work begun with Birmingham City Council.

Date:

Medequip Connect Invests to Establish Industry-leading Digital Platform

Medequip Connect

Our telecare arm Medequip Connect is committed to the implementation of an innovative approach to the delivery of technology enabled care services, based around the use of advanced information and communications technologies.

As part of this strategy, the company continues to invest in the future of telecare by moving all its systems to a robust digital platform well in advance of proposed changes within the telecoms industry planned for 2025.

In the UK, it is estimated that 1.7 million vulnerable people depend on telecare services. Medequip Connect focuses on supporting individuals to live safely in their homes and communities, using the new digital platform to provide services that are faster, more reliable and feature-rich to enhance independence and quality of life.

Read the full article on the Medequip Connect website

Date:

Wirral Falls Prevention Service: 2020 Update

The manager of Medequip’s Wirral Falls Prevention service, Julie Griffiths provides an update on all of the work that has been done so far throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Wirral Falls Prevention Service has striven to remain engaged with our client group throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, mindful of the negative effects that reduced activity and resultant deconditioning can have on strength, mobility, confidence and independent living for our older population.

In place of our ‘Positive Steps’ education sessions and assessment clinics, we have provided telephone assessments. We have also increased our activity on social media to provide online falls prevention advice, and we are developing online exercise sessions. These are designed to be a simple start to exercising and so are accessible to most of our older population with as little risk as possible. We have started by demonstrating individual exercises, making early videos posted very short, as, until stamina builds up, this might be all that an individual can manage. By following a video demonstrating a full exercise session, progress is then encouraged.

We have also put together some “explainer videos” to demonstrate things such as ‘how to safely get up from the floor’, ‘good sit to stand techniques’, ‘back loosening exercises before getting out of bed’ among others. We are new to producing media, editing videos, and using Facebook for Business (On our Facebook page, we have been posting all of our videos, making it available to the public for free). Although we have been learning to do it all from scratch, we have had the help of Tom and Chris from our Media/Marketing department.

When shielding and lockdown ended, group sessions were still not possible, but we had both staff and clients were keen to engage in exercise programmes. The team donned their PPE aprons, face shields and gloves and visited clients at their homes to teach exercises programmes on a 1:1 basis. We continue with regular telephone support once exercises are taught, and we are working with our Age UK colleagues to continue with that support. We are also looking to support access to our online information through Age UK, who are running an android tablet loan scheme. Our falls prevention information booklet is now being distributed by Age UK volunteers, which have generated some self-referrals into the service.

We have also linked our Facebook and YouTube videos with our local authority online information page and produced an article for a local newspaper to broaden awareness of what we offer.

Our efforts to meet the challenges of finding alternative ways to provide a service during this pandemic are showing a positive outcome:

  • From the beginning of August, we have engaged with over 120 older people in our home exercise programme.
  • Clients are reporting that they are feeling the benefits of engaging with our service.
  • We have maintained an outcome of 78% of clients reporting that they had no further falls, 6 weeks after an intervention with Wirral Falls Prevention Service.
Date:

Medequip Takes A Step Into The Virtual World At This Year's Disability Awareness Day

Medequip Virtual Stand

The pandemic might have put a halt to most exhibitions and events this year, but many are now turning to technology to engage audiences, staging virtual events designed to keep people informed. This is particularly crucial in the disability arena where so much has been postponed or cancelled.

Disability Awareness Day, usually staged live in Warrington, already enjoyed an established profile as a pan-disability event, promoting a ‘can do’ culture focused around what disabled people can achieve in life and in work. Now taking place as a virtual event, the 2020 Day is proving massively popular and is already fully booked for exhibitors.

Medequip is delighted to be participating on this exciting virtual platform. It’s our debut in terms of virtual events, with the team already hard at work to develop further outreach techniques to get the message across in a variety of virtual settings.

It’s all about interactivity. For this event, Medequip has focused on providing information, advice and guidance in an engaging and accessible manner. Just like a live event, visitors can attend our virtual stand, download live video links and get involved in live Q&A sessions.

Learn about Medequip Connect, our telecare services specialists now implementing an innovative approach to the delivery of technology enabled care services based around the use of advanced information and communications technologies.

Download a Manage At Home catalogue and access this comprehensive online platform specialising in home care products such as mobility aids and disability equipment, designed to promote independence at home and ease the challenges of daily living.

Take a closer look at the public awareness education programme delivered by Medequip Falls Prevention covering falls risk information, self-management and healthy living advice, and access our comprehensive booklet entitled ‘Taking Positive Steps’ advising older people on falls risks and how to prevent them.

On the day, Medequip staff will be manning the virtual stand, responding to questions and signposting self-help guides. With live video links, an interactive brochure stand and even a ‘table top’ with downloadable discount vouchers, it’s as good as being there!

Date:

Medequip Connect Release 'About Us' Video

Medequip's telecare offering, Medequip Connect have released an educational video explaining their service.

Hosted by Carol Clement, Operations Manager at Medequip Connect's Rawtenstall Headquarters, the video explores the variety of services on offer, as well as providing insight into the day-to day running of the company.

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Medequip Assumes Responsibility for Community Equipment Services in Sheffield

Medequip ICELSS Depot

Following our announcement of the contract gain back in March, the Medequip team assumes responsibility for Integrated Community Equipment Loan Services in Sheffield (ICELSS) on behalf of Sheffield CCG and Sheffield City Council.

Although implementation has been slightly delayed due to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, we now take up the mantle from the incumbent provider British Red Cross, who have worked closely with our team to ensure a smooth transition of services. Our remit is to supply and maintain the equipment necessary to help people live independently in their own homes for longer.

This contract further extends our proven track record throughout West, North and South Yorkshire, working with North Yorkshire County Council, North Yorkshire CCGs and Kirklees Council. We are also the lead provider for the Rotherham Equipment and Wheelchair Service (REWS) which is operated on behalf of Rotherham CCG and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council.

The ICELSS and Rotherham Equipment and Wheelchair Service will be run from Medequip’s established depot on Chesterton Road in Rotherham, benefiting from both operational efficiencies and economies of scale.

Medequip already works with prescribers in Sheffield Teaching hospitals, discharging and prescribing into the Rotherham area, so linking the two contracts geographically is expected to result in significant synergies, including a single point of prescription. The existing Sheffield CES team is transferring employment across to Medequip to help with a smooth transition and continued excellence of service, going forward.

Our Sheffield team will be working with commissioners and prescribing teams to ensure that there is also a local solution for assessments, in particular ‘specials’, which are pieces of equipment designed specifically to match an individual’s requirements. The new contract will operate on what is known as the TCES Community platform, enhancing efficiencies and improving services for the people of Sheffield.

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Medequip Unveiled as Kit Sponsors for Durham Based Football Club for the 20/21 Season

Medequip Unveiled as Kit Sponsors for Durham Based Football Club

As part of our 'Giving Something Back' initiative, We are pleased to announce that we have sponsored the training kits for Chilton WMC FC for the upcoming season.

Chilton WMC FC is one of the longest-serving football teams in the local area, having been running since World War 2.

Over the years the club has remained a competitive force, particularly in the last 5 years, where the club have reached the Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals in several County Cups, as well as securing promotion back into the Premier Division and winning the Local League Cup.

Tom Rogers, from Medequip's Marketing department, worked with the club to secure the sponsorship ahead of the 20/21 season. He believes that the community aspect of the club made them a perfect match for the company's ideals.

'The club approached us after seeing our vans around the area and in their pitch, they impressed immediately.

'It was the charitable aspect that sold it to us. we've been looking to offer this sort of opportunity to people in contract areas that want to give back to their local people, just as Medequip aim to do as a company, so when a club that acts as such a pillar of their community got in touch, we couldn't turn it down.'

Chilton's community values mean that each year, they actively look to give something back into the local area, taking part in pre-season football and cricket tournaments that raise funds for local charities. They also host 2 charity events every year, boasting attendances of up to 300 people each time.

The club's first event of the year has always been run to raise money for a chosen family in the local area who are going through a difficult time and are unable to seek help from anywhere else.

The funds raised in previous years have been used to fund Taxi's to hospital treatments, family trips and purchase expensive special equipment.

In 15 years of running the events, the club claims to raise between £1000-£3000 per year, in which all is donated back.

Good Luck for the new season, Chilton WMC FC!

Date:

Medequip to manage CES provision across Rochester, Gillingham, Chatham and the Hoo Peninsula

Medway Council, which according to research released in February 2020 is one of the highest performing councils in the country for adult social care, has appointed Medequip to manage CES provision across the area covered by the council including Rochester, Gillingham, Chatham and the Hoo Peninsula.

This is our third CES contract gain in 2020. As the UK’s leading CES provider, we now manage more than 40 contracts supplying a range of equipment from simple aids for daily living through to more complex pieces of equipment enabling people to receive appropriate care and remain safely in their home environment.

Medequip will also provide Medway Council with advanced equipment management and reporting facilities, using the new TCES Community platform and Microsoft BI reporting capabilities to ensure greater visibility of information and customised reports to match council requirements.

We are currently working with the existing provider to retain the existing depot premises, supporting minimal disruption to service delivery team members.

The Medequip team is proud to have been selected by Medway as their chosen partner for the supply of community equipment, stated Neil Harris, Medequip’s Implementation Manager for Medway. Working with the council, we plan to first evaluate existing service delivery systems, current community equipment and then, in partnership, begin training and implementation of new products and an enhanced IT solution. To support the implementation process and going forward into the future, Medequip will work closely with service users to develop service provision to best match their needs.

A recent survey by IMPOWER highlighted Medway as one of 15 councils achieving greater than average outcomes from a less than average spend per head. This research indicates that Medway residents using social care are receiving better outcomes, alongside the council making better use of public funds.

Date:

Medequip Supports Ongoing PPE Distribution in North Somerset

Medequip Supports Ongoing PPE Distribution in North Somerset

Our technicians at the Weston super Mare depot have been assisting the local council in delivering over 100,000 items of PPE to various health care providers and to care homes within North Somerset.

The PPE is collected from 4 warehouse locations around North Somerset and Bristol on a regular schedule and held in stock at the depot for local distribution to care providers specified by North Somerset Council.

To date we have made over 200 deliveries fulfilling the orders created via the local government website set up to access the service.

Date:

Medequip are now an approved supplier of goods and services on the YPO Care Technology DPS

YPO Care Technology DPS website

YPO’s Care Technology Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) was established to give YPO’s customers the ability to procure care-related technology easily and compliantly. Using the DPS, customers have greater choice, flexibility and access to innovation in Care Technology products and services, as well as improved access to this market.

Medequip Connect – our technology enabled care division are ideally placed to supply services procured through the YPO Care Technology DPS

Date:

Medway Council Selects Medequip For Community Equipment Services

Medway Council has appointed Community Equipment specialists Medequip to manage CES provision across the area covered by the council including Rochester, Gillingham, Chatham and the Isle of Sheppey.

This is the third CES contract gain announced by Medequip in 2020, which means that the UK’s leading CES provider now manages more than 40 contracts supplying a range of equipment from simple aids for daily living through to more complex pieces of equipment enabling people to receive appropriate care and remain safely in their home environment.

Date:

Cefndy-Medequip Provide PPE Logistics Support in Gwent

Cefndy-Medequip Provide PPE Logistics Support in Gwent

The unique Community Equipment Service partnership in Gwent, operated by Medequip together with Cefndy Healthcare, was approached by the Gwent-Wide Integrated Community Equipment Service (GWICES) commissioning team to see if the partnership could support in the storage and distribution of vital PPE for the care sector in South Wales.

After an assessment visit from the British Army, who were assisting with setting up a reliable distribution service, the Cefndy-Medequip depot in Newport was contracted by GWICES to receive the PPE deliveries.

Cefndy-Medequip Provide PPE Logistics Support in Gwent 2

Sourced by the Welsh Government Supply Network, these were to be stored and distributed to five local hubs in Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport, Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen. From there it is supplied directly to social care service providers.

From a start over the Easter weekend, the Cefndy-Medequip partnership has now processed in excess of 200 pallets of PPE – quite literally millions of individual items. These have been sourced from overseas as well as in the UK, one of the latest high-profile deliveries being face visors supplied by the Royal Mint! Onward distribution of the PPE takes place daily to ensure the five supply hubs are stocked appropriately for demand.

Darren Morrish, Medequip Contract Manager at Newport commented; We are delighted and very proud to be part of the vital PPE supply chain in Gwent. We have added this service to our normal operations seamlessly, through the hard work, willing efforts and terrific engagement of the whole Cefndy-Medequip team.

Judith Addis, Cefndy Operations Manager at Newport seconds the comments made by Darren Morrish. Our storemen, supervisors, technicians and engineers have been really keen to help. We are receiving large deliveries that need to be offloaded, counted, split and delivered the same day. We are proud of the team for their willingness and enthusiasm to help front line workers.

Cefndy-Medequip is a joint service provided by Cefndy Healthcare and Medequip Assistive Technology Ltd.

Date:

Heathrow Depot Helps Feed Hillingdon Hospital Staff

It’s tough out there for everyone, but even though our Heathrow warehouse team has been working really hard to ensure Medequip people are supplied with PPE to keep all of us and our service users safe, they’re also making time to support front line staff at Hillingdon Hospital.

Warehouse Supervisor Jamie Welland is particularly aware of the challenges they face as his fiancée is a nurse at the hospital, working long hours to give the patients the care they need to overcome COVID-19. She told Jamie just how important the many food and drink donations from local businesses have been in keeping front line workers motivated, just by knowing how much people care.

So Jamie and his Heathrow colleagues decided to help too. They started fundraising, and Jamie got in contact with a team coordinating a food bank at Hillingdon Hospital serving key workers who have so little time and energy to shop and cater for themselves. Many workers are using the small donations for meal time and lunch time sustenance – a small thing but having food and drink at their disposal is very uplifting and very helpful to many of them.

Jamie is delighted to report a really positive response. As a result, he and the team were able to visit Costco and spend over £500 on food supplies to make an important contribution to the work already begun by the local community to keep our front line staff supplied with food and snacks.

It went further than that, too. The team has been able to donate £500 to the hospital charity dedicated to building better wards and improved facilities for patients and staff. Some £200 remaining went to another charity supplying hot meals for hospital staff.

It was a great feeling that night for all of us who had been involved that while we were sleeping, others were benefiting from what we had helped to set up, said Jamie. Special thanks to Claire Field, Jitesh Chapaneri and Hitesh Patel who helped on the day and were there from start to finish.

Date:

A Thank You to Medequip from Rotherham

With permission we are delighted to share a message of thanks we received from our Rotherham Equipment and Wheelchair Service commissioner Emma Royle.

Emma is the Senior Commissioning & Improvement Manager, Adult Services, NHS Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group who we work closely with to manage and deliver our service for the community across Rotherham.

Emma messaged us to say:

I just wanted to personally thank you for everything that you are doing to keep things running smoothly in Rotherham. I’m sure you are all working ‘above and beyond’. So many changes have been implemented and every query has been responded to positively. As a commissioner, it is very reassuring to know that we are working with people who are so solution focused and prepared to do whatever it takes to help.
Could you please thank the Rotherham Medequip Team for all of their hard work and everything they are doing to help keep people safe and looked after at home.
When I go out and clap on a Thursday night – I do it for the Rotherham Medequip team too :)
Emma Royle – Commissioner – Rotherham Equipment & Wheelchair Service

Its great for our team to receive such fantastic feedback. Well done to all!

Date:

45 Beds Supplied to Queens Hospital – Burton-on-Trent

The Project Procurement Team at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust contacted Medequip at our Alfreton depot to see if we could help in supplying some urgently needed additional care beds and mattresses to increase capacity for the care of Coronavirus COVID-19 patients.

Working with some of our key suppliers, Accora UK, Lisclare and Apex Medical we were able to source beds to the specification required together with ‘high-risk’ mattresses to fulfil the request.

The equipment was delivered to our Alfreton depot then installed by our technicians last week.

Date:

Medequip Help Boost Bed Capacity in Durham and Darlington

Full PPE for Emergency Equipment Installation

Medequip as providers of the community equipment service in Durham and Darlington were asked to help with the supply of 100 extra beds to be distributed to several local hospitals in the Durham and Darlington area.

Our procurement team managed to source the beds from Germany and on Saturday 11 April they were delivered to a temporary distribution centre at the Skills and Employment Centre in Spennymoor.

Here a team of 9 technicians assembled all 100 beds ready for roll-on roll-off distribution to the hospital locations they will be needed and used in. This was a fantastic effort over the Easter weekend by our team to support the local NHS services in County Durham.

The team were; Matt Brown, Michael Roberts, Andy Miller, Anthony Shaw, Simon Cooke, Benda Firth, Simon Haithwaite, Gary Thompson and Paul Scott. Well done all!

Date:

Full PPE for Emergency Equipment Installation

Full PPE for Emergency Equipment Installation

On Tuesday 14 April we undertook an urgent equipment delivery for a service user with Coronavirus COVID-19. We installed a four section profiling bed, and an alternating air mattress. Both members of the household were CV19 positive.

A two-person team – – lead by Leeanne Alexander, Regional Operations Manager for the South West and accompanied by Richard Evans from our Weston-super-Mare depot donned full PPE in line with Medequip’s policy for such cases and ensured the job went smoothly.

Whilst just part of ‘delivering our community equipment service’ – this activity was kindly recognised by the occupational therapist from Wiltshire Council Social Care who placed the order on behalf of her patient:

I just wanted to pass on my thanks and praise to Leanne and Richard today. The situation was handled calmly and not pressured which helped to make the transition go smoothly which was definitely required to enhance safety for the customer.
Great teamwork, thanks again

– Occupational Therapist, Wiltshire Council Social Care
Date:

Easter at Medequip

We have continued to support NHS discharges over the Bank Holiday weekend. All our 20 depots had teams on-call to ensure we fulfilled every request to support NHS Hospital discharges and any urgent service callouts.

834 jobs were completed, 71 of which were to homes of patients with COVID-19. Our infection control and enhanced PPE issued to our technicians ensured that the safety of all was paramount and the service fulfilled as normal.

Date:

Medequip Support the Set-up of COVID-19 Care Centres in Greenwich

Across the country, alongside our key workers on the front line, many companies are fighting to make sure vital deliveries are carried out and installations completed to help reduce the load on hospitals and critical care facilities. At Medequip, we’re very proud of our teams who are handling an increased workload to ensure vulnerable people continue to get the support they need and to help with hospital discharges.

When Gallions View Care home in Greenwich was being set up as a specialist facility for COVID-19 patients to ease the burden on the local hospital and other care facilities, the local Medequip team based at Woolwich was requested to attend on site to set up and install a range of equipment across 30 rooms. Paul Cockburn, Medequip’s Centre of Excellence trainer, proposed a novel solution.

With 10 trainees on my cohort at our training centre in Woolwich, it seemed like an excellent idea to put their studies and knowledge to good use in support of our team on the ground, said Paul. Following discussions and planning with our local operational team, it was decided to mobilise our newest technicians to complete the work.

The equipment was delivered in to the care home, some of it directly from suppliers and some from Medequip’s Woolwich depot. At 9 o’clock on 7 April, the team of trainees began work; no special PPE was needed as the facility was empty, awaiting its first patients. By lunchtime they had successfully installed a total of 30 Accora floor beds (low level profiling beds) and mattresses, commodes, overbed tables and high back chairs as well as two mobile hoists and two floor standing hoists and the rooms were ready to admit their first inpatients.

Following the success of this initiative, the team of trainees has been in action again, this time at Time Court in Charlton, a care unit with COVID-19 patients already on the wards. Here, Medequip took extra care with government-approved PPE, maintaining strict distancing from patients and staff. Within one and a half hours four beds had been installed complete with siderails, mattresses and two hoists, all ready for use with minimal disruption to the work on the unit. A spokesperson from the unit commented: Medequip arrived in force to deliver the beds. Very professional, like a military operation; they were briefed outside and came in two by two, directed to the individual rooms, all went like clockwork.

Thanks and congratulations to our newest technicians, including Bradley Floyd from our Woolwich depot, Carl St George, Luke Morgan, Anton Welch, Kary Richards and Chris Garrett from our Mandela depot, Nick Treadwell from our Heathrow depot and Ovidiu Cerbu and Alexandru Buccur from our Woodford Green depot. Special thanks too go to Gary Yandle, Graham Spencer and Darren Ransom from our Woolwich Operations Team for their expert guidance, as well as Jokaf Yesu and Richmond who provided vital on-site support.

This is a great example of the Medequip team at its very best, working together for the good of our service users, using ingenuity and expertise to make sure we can match the new challenges we are currently facing on a daily basis, stated Managing Director David Griffiths.

Date:

Medequip Awarded Community Equipment Services Contract for Sheffield

Medequip Awarded Community Equipment Services Contract for Sheffield

Medequip has won a competitive tender to manage Integrated Community Equipment Loan Services provision in Sheffield on behalf of Sheffield CCG and Sheffield City Council. This will be for a five-year period with effect from 1st July 2020, with an option to extend beyond 2025 for a further two years.

We now operate over 40 CES contracts across the UK and have a proven track record throughout West, North and South Yorkshire, working with North Yorkshire County Council, North Yorkshire CCG’s and Kirklees Council. We are the lead provider for the Rotherham Equipment and Wheelchair Service (REWS) which is operated on behalf of Rotherham CCG and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. The Sheffield Integrated Community Equipment Loan Service and Rotherham Equipment and Wheelchair Service will be run from our established depot on Chesterton Road in Rotherham, benefiting from both operational efficiencies and economies of scale.

Medequip already works with prescribers in Sheffield Teaching hospitals, discharging and prescribing into the Rotherham area, so linking the two contracts geographically will result in significant synergies including the single point of prescription. In addition, both contracts will operate on the TCES Community platform, enhancing efficiencies and improving services to the people of Sheffield, further complemented by the skills and experience of our existing Medequip team. We will be working with commissioners and prescribing teams to ensure that there is also a local solution for assessments, in particular specials.

Head of Commissioning at Sheffield City Council, Joe Horobin, said: An important factor in obtaining new provider services is that our customers continue to receive the best quality service to best meet their needs. We welcome Medequip as our new provider and look forward to working with them in future.

At Medequip, we enjoy an excellent reputation for smooth contract implementation, and our team is already in place working towards the 1 July ‘go live’ date, headed up by Ben Williams who was responsible for contract implementation in Rotherham. We look forward to welcoming the existing Sheffield CES team, who will transfer their employment across to Medequip to help with a smooth transition and continued excellence of service, going forward, he stated.

Date:

Leading Outsourcing CES Providers Working Together to Support NHS and Local Authorities

Leading Outsourcing CES Providers Working Together to Support NHS and Local Authorities

We are facing an unprecedented public health crisis, where only cooperation, understanding and resourcefulness will help to maintain our vital services. Following detailed discussions Medequip Assistive Technology, NRS Healthcare, Millbrook Healthcare, Ross Care and the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) have agreed to work closely together to maximise continuity for local authorities and the NHS throughout the current Covid-19 crisis.

Optimising, planning and sharing information to ensure these organisations are able to provide maximum support for their services, senior directors from each business are now holding weekly conference calls to discuss key areas such as activity levels, geographical pressures and availability of qualified staff.

These levels of inter-company cooperation are designed to ensure best practice to maximise service user and employee protection, and will deal with the management of key equipment and PPE availability as well as specific area service continuity responses.

They are also extending to best practice utilisation of staff from other providers within geographic regions, such as individuals who have been furloughed and kept on payroll, and also potentially providing assistance to vulnerable groups with food and medicine distribution. This work is further enhanced by engagement with specialist teams set up by the NHS and local authorities across the country.

Working closely together, the five organisations are totally committed to ensuring safe continuity of service provision for the most vulnerable people in our communities.

These are extremely challenging times, and the Medequip team is honoured to partner with the BHTA and other major providers in our industry to ensure a coordinated and dependable response for everyone who needs our services, stated David Griffiths, Medequip’s Managing Director.

Date:

COVID-19: Medequip Corporate Statement

Medequip Assistive Technology is a responsible organisation with a clear commitment to employee safety, and is following guidance from the World Health Organisation, the NHS and other informed government bodies to mitigate risk during the current public health crisis.

During these challenging times, measures to ensure the protection of our employees and their families, our service users and our visitors are at the heart of everything we do.

Our dedicated COVID-19 Coordination Group has met daily since the beginning of March, bringing together the expertise and commitment of our Directors and Senior Managers.

This group focuses on effective business continuity planning, including liaison with suppliers to maintain the supply of medical equipment into our warehouses, enhanced infection control prevention measures and detailed operational planning designed to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on our teams and our service users across the country.

We continue to adopt a measured and informed approach to ensuring the safety of all who work with and come into contact with our organisation as we go about our daily business, providing equipment and support to the more vulnerable members of our society.

Date:

Medequip Retains Flagship Birmingham Community Equipment Services Contract

Medequip Retains Flagship Birmingham Community Equipment Services Contract

Following a successful tender process, Medequip has retained the CES contract for Birmingham City Council and will continue to provide a comprehensive range of equipment and support to the people of Birmingham, investing in both systems and skills to further enhance services and provide cost and performance benefits.

This is a significant contract for Medequip, which we have now managed for over seven years. It covers a full range of community equipment, including both children’s and adults’ specialist items, and has been extended to provide services seven days a week, ensuring a faster service for individuals and helping to expedite hospital discharges.

Under the terms of the new contract, Medequip will also provide maintenance services for specialist equipment, which was previously contracted out to manufacturers. We are currently training dedicated service engineers to manage this aspect of the contract, which is expected to enhance speed and efficiency, improving the service for clients and saving money for Birmingham City Council.

Medequip is also incorporating significant IT developments over the new contract term, using the new TCES Community solution which provides total healthcare provision management for community equipment. Alongside this, we are upgrading our reporting platform to Microsoft BI, providing improved visibility of information and business intelligence, enabling our partners at Birmingham City Council to create an extensive range of reports to match their own specific requirements.

Medequip has enjoyed a close partnership and effective working relationship with Birmingham City Council for many years now, stated Peter Gaunt, Operations & Commercial Controller North. “Winning this contract for a further term underlines the added value provided by our experienced team, which has continued to yield significant cost and service benefits.”

Renewing our CES contract with Medequip has given us a valuable opportunity to reassess our requirements into the future and to build new channels of communication designed to increase efficiencies, reduce costs and further improve services for residents in our city, stated Councillor Paulette Hamilton, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care for Birmingham City Council.

Alongside the service improvements, Medequip is in the process of replacing the fleet operating across Birmingham with the latest Euro 6.3 compliant vehicles, and is also looking at incorporating hybrid vehicles for city centre use to minimise emissions.

Date:

Medequip Connect: Customer Testimonial

One very pleased customer has written to our telecare offering to share her testimonial to the Medequip Connect service:

My husband recently had a nasty fall in the shower, so it was urgent to obtain a pendant that would not only give assistance whilst in the home but also when away from the safe environment.

After responding to one or two advertisements, these promised to send information, which did not arrive for a week or more, they also raised more questions than answers, I, thankfully, was pointed towards Medequip Connect, I was ASKED what I required for my husbands safety, and after that the necessary boxes were satisfactorily ticked, including GPS to cover any mishap away from and including the home, together with the fact the pendant becomes a mobile phone should the worse occur.

Upon pressing both sides of the pendant the location is picked up and an actual person speaks to and advises that help is at hand. What more could you wish for.

This has given us both a great deal of reassurance, which means I can go to the shops, hairdresser etc without the constant worry of whether my husband is safe.. All this happened in four days from start to the receipt of the pendant. That is service.

- Mrs M
Date:

Daily Living Aids: Purchasing Independence

Daily Living Aids - Purchasing Independence

Social Media and Content Marketing Specialist for Manage At Home and Medequip, Tom Rogers explores how self-funding of Daily Living Aids (DLAs) is proving vital for independent living and whether it could help towards reducing the current strain on the NHS.

Throughout last December's General Election, the future and current state of the NHS became an ever-present in party politics and media reporting, throwing doubt in the minds of the electorate, many of whom rely on the 71-year-old British service.

Local Authorities: Stretching the budget

With financial strains limiting Health and Social care and diminishing budgets for local councils, self-funding of equipment and daily living aids offers an option to not only guarantee ownership of what you require but provides you with a wider range of products than what would be available to you via Community Equipment Loan Service catalogues.

In a report published by the House of Commons, the Health and Social Care Committee stated that services are struggling to keep up with balancing finances and need. 'The combination of rising demand and cost in the face of reductions in funding has placed the social care system under unsustainable strain' (Long-term funding of adult social care, 2019). This indicates that without either major investment in the sector or an alternative option is adopted by the masses (like self-funding equipment), the social care system could be derailed.

Often in Community Equipment Service contracts, there are specifications involved that require the contract holder to have a retail offering, that gives constituents the option of self-funding. An example of this would be Medequip's retail website being Manage At Home.

This is vital, as it means that it relieves pressure on the budget of local council/Care Commissioning Groups (CCGs), and puts the power of decision into the service user's hand, offering thousands of alternatives to what can be a relatively limited equipment catalogue approved by commissioners.

From his 2019 opinion piece 'The NHS long-term plan will fail unless social care is properly funded too', Niall Dickson, chief executive at the NHS Confederation stated that national services could suffer without a stable line of credit to rely on. '(Public health and social care services) have been decimated in recent years and this has not only left hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people with unmet needs, but it has also ramped up the pressure on GP surgeries, A&E departments and other NHS services.' (Dickson, 2019)

In their 2019 article 'Choosing and buying equipment', Which? echo Dickson's points by highlighting the need for self-funding websites, stating that the prevalence of need for disability aids are opening the doors of opportunity in the social care sector. '...with an ageing population and cash strapped local authorities, other options have become necessary.'(Which?, 2019)

Budgetary responsibility and the government: Levelling the debt

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson promised more NHS funding in his election campaign. However, reports from other parties challenged Johnson's pledge with claims that the NHS would be 'on the table' in future UK-US trade agreements.

In an attempt to reduce the deficit, the Conservative Party cut funding to several services, including social care, following reported mass over-spending from the previous incumbents, as well as the banking collapse of 2008. In the 2015 independent report from The King's Fund, titled 'How Serious Are The Pressures In Social care?', they outline the decline of funding in a country who's needs are rising rapidly. '(The government) has failed to protect adult social care from unprecedented cuts in spending, and the number of people getting publicly funded social care has fallen by a quarter despite growing demographic need' (The King's Fund, 2015).

An inconvenient truth: The importance of self-funding

With the prevalence of need for disabilities and the age of the UK population both increasing, it is becoming harder year on year to sustainably fund care services without self-funding becoming a more viable option for all, which is the only proven way to alleviate pressure on budgetary restrictions.

However, an injection of money invested into the NHS is necessary to start the process of promoting self-funding options, as advice and guidance when purchasing products need to be readily available for people to find products to properly suit their needs.

Useful Resources

Manage At Home Website

AskSARA Self Help Guide

Bibliography

Long-term funding of adult social care. (2019). [ebook] authority of the House of Commons. Available at: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmcomloc/768/768.pdf

Which?. (2019). Choosing and buying equipment - Which?. [online] Available at: https://www.which.co.uk/later-life-care/home-care/how-to-buy-mobility-and-living-aids/choosing-and-buying-equipment-a3d7h0d4lws9

Dickson, N. (2019). The NHS long-term plan will fail unless social care is properly funded too. [online] Nhsconfed.org. Available at: https://www.nhsconfed.org/blog/2019/01/the-nhs-long-term-plan-will-fail-unless-social-care-is-properly-funded-too

The King's Fund. (2015). How serious are the pressures in social care?. [online] Available at: https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/projects/verdict/how-serious-are-pressures-social-care

Date:

Amnesty Planned in York for Community Equipment Recycling Campaign

We are launching a new initiative to encourage further equipment recycling in North Yorkshire.

As the provider of community equipment in York and North Yorkshire, we're rolling out our mobile exhibition unit – and appealing for people to return any unwanted crutches, walking frames or chair raisers.

Providing equipment on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in the county, we want to take equipment that’s become surplus to requirements and introduce it back into circulation

Medequip’s North East Region General Manager, Steve Smith, said: “We aim to help the NHS save money every year by encouraging the return of equipment such as crutches, walking sticks, bathroom aids - in short, all sorts of equipment provided free of charge to help people after accidents or to keep older people independent for longer.

“We are working with county council and CCG colleagues to try to bring more of this much needed equipment back into circulation. Most items only need a clean and a check over to be reissued to someone else in need of support.

On 19 March, Medequip's events and promotions team will park the mobile exhibition unit at York Hospital – outside the front entrance, next to the multi-storey car park. They will take community equipment and after a thorough deep clean, will make sure it gets back into circulation. Alex and Joe will be on site from 10am to 3pm.

It’s the latest in a recent community equipment “amnesty” launched by Medequip and commissioners and is part of a wider Return, Recycle, Reuse campaign in North Yorkshire.

Dr Charles Parker, the Clinical Chair Designate for North Yorkshire CCGs, said: “It’s a fact that most people don’t intend to keep hold of this equipment. In many cases, they’re simply not aware of how to return it. Maybe they’ve mislaid the details, or maybe they have all good intentions to do so and the time has just slipped by.

“If you’ve got items languishing in your garage, cupboard, shed or attic, here’s your chance to do your bit for the NHS and local council.”

There are other ways people can return equipment that’s on loan from Medequip and no longer needed.

There are Medequip drop-off points at Dunslow Court, Eastfield near Scarborough and Manse Lane in Knaresborough and amnesty bins at The Archways in York and York District Hospital, the OT department at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton and Yorwaste’s household waste recycling centre at Pennypot Lane in Harrogate.

Medequip will also pick up some items for free – call 01423 226240 or email north.yorks@medequip-uk.com

Date:

Medequip Features in Local Media Following Announcement for New Amnesty Bin

North Yorkshire based news outlet, The Northern Echo have noted the efforts being made to reclaim no longer needed Medequip & NHS equipment, following the announcement of a new amnesty bin placed in Harrogate.

The new bin at the Yorwaste/ NYCC Penny Pot Lane Recycling Centre is Medequip's fourth in the North Yorkshire region, with others placed in Northallerton and York. Medequip Amnesty bins offer service users the option to deposit their equipment in order for it to recycled as part of the company's Return Recycle Reuse initiative.

Read the full article here:

Campaign to Cut Back on Lost NHS Equipment (The Northern Echo)

Read the original press release here:

New Community Equipment 'Amnesty Bin' (Scarborough & Rydale CCG)

Amnesty Bin Locations:

  • The Archways, Rehab Centre, Belgrave St, York YO31 8YZ
  • Friarage Hospital (OT Department) Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL6 1JG
  • York District Hospital, Wigginton Rd, York YO31 8HE
  • Yorwaste / NYCC household recycling centre, Penny Pot Lane, Harrogate, HG3 2SN.
Date:

Medequip Awarded Sensory Equipment Contract

We've expanded our scope of work for Derbyshire Council with the addition of a new contract covering the supply of equipment provided to enhance quality of life for people living with hearing and vision impairment or loss. The contract runs for two years and includes installation and maintenance services.

Medequip has managed community equipment services for Derbyshire Council for over 15 years. This new sensory equipment contract was awarded following a competitive tender process, and will run for one year with an option to extend.

Sensory equipment provided by Medequip under the scope of this contract is comprehensive and varied, including personal listening aids, Megaloop listening systems, alarm clocks, talking watches, phone triggers and doorbell alerts as well as talking kitchen equipment such as scales and measuring devices. Equipment developed to assist those with visual impairment has been selected on recommendation by organisations including the RNIB.

Commenting for Medequip, Steve Smith, General Manager North East stated, Supply of sensory equipment is a service which sits well with our community equipment facilities. Additional training for our staff ensures that we can provide a tailored facility matching the special requirements of users with vision and hearing impairment.

Date:

Medequip Opens First Shop in Acute Retail Environment

Medequip Opens First Shop in Acute Retail Environment

We’re starting the year with a boost for our 2020 growth and diversification strategy, opening Medequip’s first ever retail shop located in the Kings Treatment Centre at the Royal Derby Hospital. Our new hospital retail outlet will stock a portfolio of products including bathing and mobility aids, continence products and a specialist range for dementia support, and we will work closely with our health and social care partners to determine the complete stock range over the coming weeks.

Historically, our retail operations have been sited at depots nationwide and selected ILCs, with additional equipment displays at hospital discharge centres. We have operated CES contracts for Derby City and Derbyshire for some years, and work closely with CCGs and social care partners to promote independent living, providing advice and product demonstrations supported by a mobile exhibitions unit.

Following a detailed feasibility study, we made the decision to invest in the new retail unit which is open from 8.30am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday (these times may change to meet demand), staffed by trained assessors capable of providing qualified advice on equipment and its correct use as well as on-site access to self-help guide AskSara.

With a focus on safety, free walking aid checks will also be carried out complete with free replacement ferrules where required. The space will also be used as an informal assessment unit by OTs, who have been consulted to give feedback on the potential product requirements of individuals going home after hospital visits.

The Royal Derby Hospital has been looking to provide on-site access to these products for some time, confirmed Matt Ward, Head of Retail and Marketing for Medequip. The objective is to open up an extended choice for people which goes beyond the standard equipment provided by the NHS or the local authority, giving easy access to a range of safe and practical products not currently available on prescription, as well as advice on their correct use.

All Medequip retail facilities operate in compliance with the BHTA Code of Conduct, with products sourced from reputable suppliers and access to VAT exemptions where relevant and applicable. In addition, our new retail operation has been structured around reduced environmental impact, with no paper receipts and only fully recyclable bags on offer.

Medequip’s primary retail offering continues to be the company’s e-commerce website Manage At Home www.manageathome.co.uk. We are now looking carefully at how this new retail venture may be expanded into other geographical areas, with directors and the senior management team seeking to invest appropriately in all aspects of the retail business as part of our ongoing strategy for growth and development.

Date:

Medequip Fundraising For Alzheimer's Society Tops £40K Marker

Medequip staff raising money for Alzheimer's Society

When we first adopted the Alzheimer’s Society as our chosen charity, we had no idea of the scale and scope of the adventures Medequip people would be willing to undertake to raise money for the UK’s leading dementia research and support charity!

With the association between our two organisations now in its third year and fundraising totals well over £40K, it’s a credit to our business and to our intrepid staff to review the sort of activities which have helped Medequip reach this total.

Fundraising began with a leap into the unknown – quite literally- when Medequip staff abseiled off the ArcelorMittal Orbit, a 114.5m high sculpture and observation tower in London’s Olympic Park. They all reached the ground safely, if a little shaken and stirred!

We’re an active crowd at Medequip. Since then, challenges have included cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats and other expeditions on two wheels, sky diving, a Tough Mudder and a number of half marathons, a Three Peaks expedition and the Great South Run.

John O'Groats

A fundraising sporting lunch woke up the sports challenges, with an active five a side football team now going great guns in their league and a 72 hole golf competition bringing out staff and customers for a great day golfing and fundraising.

There’s been massive support from Medequip’s network of depots across the country too, with individuals organising events like cupcake days, tuck shops, sweepstakes and car boot sales, amongst other initiatives. Our Promotions Team has kept the theme alive at events across the country, requesting donations for giveaways.

Joe Swan at the Alzheimer’s Society underlines the importance of corporate fundraising to the Society.” We are hugely grateful for all of the support given to us by Medequip. Just as an example, £40,000 could pay for 528 people to attend our Singing for the Brain group over the course of a year. Thank you, Medequip!”

Supporting the Alzheimer’s Society has also had far reaching effects within the organization. To date, Medequip has trained 250 staff as Dementia Friends, and also fields one Dementia Friends champion qualified to deliver training to others.

Medequip Cakes

Date:

Medequip's Winning Ways – Awards Arriving Thick And Fast!

It’s been an award-winning time for Medequip! On 23 October, our Manage At Home team was delighted to be recognised for the ‘Best Online Initiative’ at the Access & Mobility Professional Awards. This trophy hadn’t even made its way home when we won a further three accolades at the Building Better Healthcare Awards on 30 October.

The AMP award recognised the work carried out by our online mobility equipment retail arm in completely overhauling its online platform, successfully making the website quicker, easier and more rewarding for users. In particular, the award recognised that this work has made product identification “…fast, easy and accurate, with features designed specifically to help users navigate and browse products matching their needs.” Congratulations to Matt Ward and his team in Brighouse!

We had put forward two entries for the prestigious Building Better Healthcare Awards, announced on 30 October, and were very pleased to win in both categories. Our colleagues at the Falls Prevention Service on the Wirral were recognised for their ongoing achievements in the ‘Best Patient Safety Initiative’ category.

This new award reflects the current drive to improve patient safety across health and social care settings. Back in July 2015, the Falls Prevention Service was included in the Wirral Independence Service contract and the commission was awarded to Medequip – the first time a falls prevention service has ever been outsourced in the UK. This very small team of multidisciplinary team physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses and technical instructors has successfully developed a clear referral pathway, building and enhancing services and facilities for patients to contribute towards a notable reduction in falls and associated costs for Wirral NHS.

We also won the Best Recycle or Reuse Project Award for our innovative Return, Reuse, Recycle campaign, originally developed in partnership with West Suffolk NHS back in 2017. The initial campaign resulted in over 38,000 NHS and social care items being returned over a defined five month period, with an estimated value of more than £3.5m. The campaign has now been rolled out across the Medequip estate.

Alongside these two Awards, we were proud to be one of three companies to win a Patient’s Choice Award, together with West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust for the Return, Reuse, Recycle campaign. This special Award cannot be applied for; it is given to the entry (across all categories) that the Building Better Healthcare patient representative deems has the biggest impact on the patient experience and outcomes.

The event itself was attended by many prestigious companies in the sector and also numerous CCGs. Medequip was represented by Mike West (Procurement Director) and Sam Holliman (Head of Procurement), who were called upon to make frequent trips to the stage to collect the awards!

Congratulations to all who have worked so hard to make our services award winning!

Date:

Medequip Features In The Sunday Times Top Track 250 2019

For the third year running, Medequip features in The Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250 league table, published on 6 October 2019.

For the third year running, Medequip features in The Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250 league table, published on 6 October 2019.

Medequip ranks a very respectable 177th– the highest placing so far - alongside august company including Holland & Barrett, Travelodge and Barchester Healthcare at the top of the league table, and other household names like the RAC, Virgin Active, Chelsea Football Club, Barbour Clothing and Dr Martens footwear.

This league table ranks Britain’s private mid-market growth companies by sales, and has now been published for 15 consecutive years. It enjoys main sponsorship from Lloyds BankIng Group, and is the sister publication to Top Track 100; this identifies Britain’s 100 private companies with the biggest sales.

Top Track 250 lists the next largest private companies, and identifies companies qualifying for entry where sales or operating profit growth meet the 5% criteria and operating profit margins exceed 2%.

To quote Top Track 250: “This year’s league table identifies many mid-market growth companies that have expanded by managing risk and choosing the right strategic options, as well as companies that make a clear contribution to the communities in which they are based.”

Commenting for Medequip, Matt Ward, Head of Retail & Marketing stated, “We are proud to be achieving these significant commercial goals alongside continuing to provide quality and value for money for the many people who use our services across the UK.”

See the full table here

Date:

A Changing Demographic: Daily Living Aids

A changing demographic

Written by Medequip & Manage At Home's Tom Rogers to be published on Independent Living. The micro-essay below is the original, unedited version. Read the article on the Independent Living website.

As the Social Media and Content Marketing Specialist for Manage At Home and Medequip, I am constantly looking at different ways to raise awareness and understanding of the companies I represent online. Through social media, the public makes comments and presumptions regarding the target audience of both companies. Especially for our retail outlet, Manage At Home, people feel that we only cater to the elderly. This is not true.

In this micro-essay, I aim to set out an argument for Daily living Aids and services provided by companies such as Manage At Home being in universal demand, and dispel the myth that these products and services are only for people 65 and over.

An ageing population

As stated in 'Overview of the UK population: July 2017' released by the Office for National Statistics, people in Britain are living longer than ever before, with 18% of the population over 65 and 2.4% aged 85 and above in 2016. This means that there is a much higher demand than ever before for Daily Living Aids and products to help keep over 65's independent for longer.

However, the 'Health Survey for England 2017' reported that 23% of men and 28% of women aged over 65 reported the need for help in at least one Activity of Daily Living (ADL). When compared to the 2011 edition of the same survey, it shows a significant decline in need, as it stated that 27% of men and 36% of women declared the need for aid with one or more ADL.

Considering both reports, it could be argued that although the age of the UK population is rising, people 65 and over are reporting less need for assistive care. This could suggest two possibilities: People are choosing to remain independent of care and are starting to rely less on Daily Living Aids, or the choice to not state a need for care could lead to more demand for buying Daily Living Aids independently from Manage At Home or similar companies.

Working-age adults & funded social care: A divide

In the 'Welfare Trends Report: January 2019' released by the Office of Budget Responsibility, it was reported that between 2004/5 and 2016/17 disability prevalence & prevalence of disability benefit receipts in the UK has risen by 36% and 31% respectively for working-age adults. However, these changes could be due to several reasons including recent alterations in the perception of disabilities. An example of this is the notable increase in awareness of mental health conditions.

The 'Social Care 360' report states; 'Publicly funded social care is available only to people with high enough needs' and argues that because of financial thresholds remaining unchanged 'fewer people will be eligible for local authority support and may not approach local authorities at all but instead purchase care directly.' (Simon Bottery et al, 2019).

This suggests that with the increase in the prevalence of disability in working-age adults and the likeliness of ineligibility for council-funded care, companies such as Manage At Home should see a notable shift in their demographics if they haven't already.

Paying for independence: A Convenient Solution

Despite Boris Johnson's government pledging a further £1.8bn to the NHS in August, it's no secret that Local councils and overall governmental funding are on the decline, with major northern cities reportedly scrambling to find upwards of £50 million just to stand still. This suggests that any future funding into reducing wait times for Occupational Therapist assessments and District Nurse visits may come into jeopardy.

Local authorities and CCGs have adopted a drive for preventative care, signposting services like Manage At Home for Daily Living Aids that could be bought and utilised to prevent more serious health issues further down the line.

Purchasing equipment and aids is not only the current preferred prevention method, but it also offers convenience, as options are made available to find what's right for the person. An example of this is AskSARA, an online self-help guide that, through answering a short personalised questionnaire, provides you with products and information that could help you with your condition. Platforms such as these are ideal for both working-age adults and over 65s and promote self-care.

Promoting self-care for all

Manage At Home and Medequip have a small team that attend events across the country, offering information and advice on how to make independence easier. Covering well over 200 events a year in around 40 different areas of the UK the events team see many people, spanning a wide age range and level of ability.

With the UK population not only ageing but growing year on year, It's important now more than ever that we make all houses accessible for all. Taking the step to support & promote the independent purchasing of Daily Living Aids and equipment is a major first step. Handing people the power as to what goes in their homes not only makes it easier to aid independence but relieves pressure from an already stretched NHS budget and provides an alternative to Community Equipment Loans.

Further Reading and Resources

Visit the Manage At Home website

Visit the Medequip Website

Use Medequip/Manage At Home's Self Help Guide (AskSARA) by clicking here

See the Office for National Statistics' 'Overview of the Population: July 2017'

Read the 'Health Survey for England 2017'

Read more of the 'Social Care 360' here

Date:

Cefndy-Medequip Features In Welsh Media After Ministerial Visit

Cefndy-Medequip Ministerial Visit

Posted on the South Wales Argus' website, reporter Jo Barnes highlights the praise received from Justin Tomlinson, Minister for Disabled People following his visit to the Newport site last Friday.

In the report, Tomlinson was quoted commending the Depot's equal opportunity hiring policy, stating that 'Businesses like Cefndy-Medequip provide an important role in their communities, Opening up opportunities to people of all backgrounds and supporting people to thrive and lead more independent lives'.

Read the full article, including interviews with Cefndy-Medequip employees here.

Date:

Medequip – Developing Effective Falls Prevention Programmes

Wirral Independence Service - Falls Prevention Service

Falls are estimated to cost the NHS more than £2.3 billion every year. Each year, more than one in three people aged over 65 suffers a fall that can result in serious injury or even death. Annually, ambulance services respond to more than 700,000 calls from older people who have fallen, representing 10% of total callouts. Reducing the risk and rate of falls, therefore, has a significant role to play in improving the health of the older population, not just in terms of reduced costs but also in maintaining independence for older people.

The Wirral Falls Prevention Service was originally commissioned by Public Health with the overall aim to reduce the number of falls experienced by older people in Wirral (age 65 +). In July 2015, the service was included in the Wirral Independence Service contract and the commission was awarded to Medequip UK Ltd – the first time a falls prevention service has ever been outsourced in the UK.

The small, multidisciplinary Medequip team consists of physiotherapists, and occupational therapist, nurses and technical instructors, placing the emphasis firmly on education, training, creating safer environments, prioritising fall-related research and establishing effective policies to reduce risk. The team has successfully built and enhanced services and facilities for patients, contributing towards a notable reduction in falls and associated costs for Wirral NHS.

The team focuses on falls assessments, including a detailed multifactorial needs assessment and making use of a clear referral pathway to other agencies, dependent upon the outcome of the assessment. Trained instructors deliver suitable evidence-based progressive Postural Stability Instruction programmes, with community chair-based programmes for frailer individuals.

Also, the team provides training to staff working with vulnerable older people, particularly nursing, residential home staff and carers, to ensure that they have sufficient knowledge and support to undertake initial falls screening assessments.

Alongside this work, the Medequip Falls Prevention Service has developed a public awareness education programme including a presentation delivering falls risk information, self-management and healthy living advice, delivered to client groups within community settings. A comprehensive booklet entitled ‘Taking Positive Steps’ has been written and produced, advising older people on falls risks and how to prevent them.

Medequip developing effective falls prevention programmes

So how has it worked in practice? 79% of referees to the Medequip Wirral Falls Prevention Service had no further falls at six weeks post-intervention and the average number of falls reduced by three per week. 76% had improved confidence in Activities of Daily Living and 90% of lower impact chair-based programme attendees showed improved balance.

Falls prevention chair exercises

In addition, the Falls Prevention Service has played a part in ensuring that fall attendances at Wirral hospitals have decreased by 18% from 14,800 in 2014/15 to 12,210 in 2017/2018. Data from 2018/2019 (April to December 2018) suggests that this figure is continuing to decrease.

Medequip is now looking closely at investing in this area of expertise to develop it into a transferable model for other areas where the company operates community equipment services contracts.

Information from the Trauma and Injury Intelligence Group [TTTG] at Liverpool John Moores University, part of the Intelligence and Surveillance Team at Public Health Institute, LJMU

For further information please contact:

Medequip:
Julie Griffiths
julie.griffiths@medequip-uk.com

Editorial:
Ann Horan
pr@dmddesign.co.uk
01422 371633

Date:

Medequip Acquisition Expands Telehealth Capabilities

Medequip Connect Logo

Medequip Assistive Technology has this week announced the acquisition of the business of County Careline Services, in a move which signals the community equipment specialist’s commitment to expanding operations in the Technology Enabled Care sector across the UK.

A nationally based organisation providing services to over 10,000 people nationwide, County Careline Services provides telecare assistance and support to older, disabled or vulnerable people, helping them to remain safe and independent in their own homes.

Acquisition of the business by Medequip secures the future for these service users, as well as for almost 40 people employed by County Careline Services at four service centres in the North West, Cumbria, Suffolk and Oxfordshire. Medequip’s latest technology enabled care service will be known as Medequip Connect.

Medequip is pleased to welcome this competent and dedicated workforce as an important asset for the development of services into the future.

"Alongside our recent move into the wheelchair services market, this acquisition strengthens our foothold in telehealth, expanding our footprint in the UK and complementing our core community equipment business,” stated Peter Gaunt, Operations & Commercial Controller for Medequip. “The analogue to digital revolution is changing the world of telecare, with opportunities for more technologically advanced services as we are already seeing in Australia and New Zealand. Medequip intends to be in the vanguard here in the UK, developing innovative ways of keeping people safe and independent for longer in their own homes."

For further information please contact:

Medequip:
Matt Ward
matt.ward@medequip-uk.com
01484 504121

Editorial:
Ann Horan
pr@dmddesign.co.uk
01422 371633

Date:

Focus on TEC Quality Accreditation at Medequip

Quality standards play a vital role in helping responsible businesses to audit and verify their performance across a wide range of parameters. Medequip Assistive Technology is the first commercial organisation operating in the Technology Enabled Care (TEC) industry in the UK to achieve accreditation to the TEC Quality’s new NAEP (National Association of Equipment Providers) module for our Heathrow operations, underlining Medequip’s commitment to providing safe and compliant services.

TEC Quality manages the Quality Standards Framework (QSF) on behalf of the TEC industry representative body, the TEC Services Association (TSA). The QSF is a set of outcome-based standards developed in partnership with key stakeholders across the TEC sector. Recent UKAS accreditation to ISO/IEC 17065:2012 for the Certification of Technology Enabled Care Services has further strengthened the organisation’s corporate governance, impartiality and independence.

Putting the focus on Community Equipment Services

The new QSF NAEP module focuses on community equipment services, looking at compliance on delivery of CES. It is an important step forward in enabling providers and suppliers to demonstrate advanced levels of safety and quality to commissioners and service users alike, concentrating primarily on outcomes rather than checklist-driven auditing procedures.

Medequip was an integral part of the pilot for the new NAEP module and has supported the scheme as it evolved as a service delivery module. For Medequip, the outcomes-based approach enabled a totally independent auditing process across the whole journey of the individual receiving the service, from a corporate level to how this is delivered across Medequip’s sites and how it impacts upon the service user.

“We believe this step is revolutionary to setting the standards in our industry sector,” stated Marie Martinalli, head of SHEQ (Safety, Health, Environment and Quality) and Governance and Training for Medequip. “Completing the NAEP module gave us a 360° view of exactly what we do as a company, identifying key areas where Medequip already had plans in place to deliver continual improvements.“

Achieving best practice

Accreditation to TEC Quality standards is not yet a prerequisite for community equipment service providers, but for Medequip it provided an important opportunity for an independent audit of the services delivered by the company and of its own internal audit processes. Medequip is already accredited to CECOPS (Community Equipment Code of Practice Scheme); and the new accreditation sits alongside this to enable Medequip to achieve best standards and compliance for stakeholders, service users and commissioners.

Press Release:

Blogger Praises Manage At Home and Best-Selling Bath Lift in Honest Review

Medequip's online retail website, Manage At Home have been praised in a review of a top-selling bathlift by an influential disability blogger.

Carrie Aimes, the face behind disability and lifestyle blog, Life On The Slow Lane, received a Bellavita Recliner Bath Lift by Drive DeVilbiss in exchange for a fair and honest review, and ended up praising not only the bath lift, but the Manage At Home team also.

In an excerpt taken from the review, Aimes comments on the staff's demeanour:

''The team at Manage At Home have been fantastic ~ extremely professional, supportive, friendly and efficient.''

Read the full review

Press Release:

Medequip Duo Gain Media Coverage Following 100 Mile Charity Cycle

Nationally recognised industry publications have been noting the efforts of Medequip managers, Matt Ward and David Whittaker, following their success in the gruelling 100 mile Velo Birmingham & Midlands bike race.

Medequip’s head of retail, Matt Ward, and general manager, David Whitaker

Raising over £1000 for the company's chosen charity, Alzheimer's Society, the pair finished in the top 10% of 17000 riders, leading to an article on Care Sector Hub as well as publications, THIIS and AMP reporting on the achievement.

Read the full articles here:

Medequip bosses take to two wheels for Alzheimer’s Society (AMP)

Medequip pair put in power pedal performance to finish in top 10% for Alzheimer’s Society (THIIS)

On two wheels for the Alzheimer’s Society (Care Sector Hub)

Press Release:

Manage At Home Get Involved in National Walking Month with Supportive Blog Post

Medequip's retail website, Manage At Home have uploaded a new blog post, 'The Benefits of Walking' in order to help support National Walking Month, and to promote a healthy lifestyle amongst their service users.

The post comes as day 2 of their week long social media campaign, following the success of previous promotions such as the Easter Egg Hunt and UK Coffee Week.

New Social Media & Content Marketing Specialist for Medequip & Manage At Home, Tom Rogers wrote the post in order to create a connection between service users and the company.

He told Medequip news:

I think it's important to form a relationship between us and the people who buy our products, and posts like this make a difference.

Elderly and disablility healthcare is incredibly important, and I think companies should be doing more to care for their service users in more ways than just selling helpful equipment.

I think there's a lot of really great work in this going on at our company and the aim is for people to see how much we care.

You can find the post on the Manage At Home Blog, and across their social media.

Press Release:

Medequip the Closest Out of 10 to Reach an Almost Equal Figure - Gender Pay Gap Report 2019

Leading healthcare trade magazines have released reports comparing the largest UK employers in mobility services’ Gender pay gap reports.

In an effort to achieve gender pay equality, companies with over 250 employees are now required by the government to state their gender pay gaps going back to 2017.

In their report, THIIS (The Homecare Industry Information Service) have compared 10 of the leading mobility service companies;

Community equipment supplier Medequip reported in 2017 that its average hourly pay rate for women was higher than that of men by 5.4 percent. In 2018, this figure has fallen to just 0.3 percent, making the organisation the closest out of the 10 to reach an almost equal figure between men and women’s average hourly pay rate.

-access the full article here: Mind the gap 2018/19 – How the mobility industry’s largest employers compared against last year

Industry news platform, Access and Mobility Professional (AMP) have also released an article on the gender pay gap reports, commenting on the inconsistency across the industry. Writing about Medequip’s report, AMP’s Joe Peskett states;

Medequip, which holds wheelchair services and community equipment contracts across the UK, has the narrowest gap of industry companies to have submitted their data.

-access the full article here: Largest mobility firms inconsistent in efforts to reduce gender pay gaps

Read Medequip’s gender pay gap report

Press Release:

Rotherham Equipment & Wheelchair Service

REWS Logo

Medequip Assistive Technology are delighted to be named as the lead provider of the Rotherham Equipment & Wheelchair Service (REWS) from Friday 1st February. Following a competitive tender process in 2018, Medequip, in partnership with Blatchford and Ross Care were awarded the contract to provide this service by the NHS Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group.

The Integrated Equipment and Wheelchair Service in Rotherham will provide service users with the equipment that they need to stay independent and to live at home. The service incorporates delivery, installation collection and recycling of a wide range of community equipment and wheelchairs, together with servicing and maintenance. A clinical assessment service for wheelchairs will assess service users’ needs for specialist assistive technology and will co-ordinate the provision of the equipment.

The service will continue to be delivered from the REWS distribution centre on Chesterton Road, Eastwood, Rotherham.

Ben Williams, Business Improvement Manager and Implementation Lead for Medequip said: After a 12 week implementation period, we are delighted to ‘go-live’ on Friday 1st February. We look forward to welcoming the existing REWS team to Medequip, Blatchford and Ross Care as partner providers of the service. As the leading provider of equipment services in the UK we are well placed to deliver a high quality effective service for the people of Rotherham with the courtesy and kindness that is at the heart of our values and in line with our vision of keeping people independent for longer.

Ian Atkinson, Deputy Chief Officer for NHS Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group said: We welcome Medequip Assistive Technology to Rotherham and see the new Rotherham Equipment and Wheelchair Service contract as integral to supporting us to deliver the Rotherham Health and Social Care Place Plan. Through ensuring people receive the right equipment in a timely manner, we can continue to support them to maintain their mobility and live independently.

Date:

Dementia Friendly Rossendale / Medequip Partnership

Medequip is working in partnership with Dementia Friendly Rossendale to run a campaign to encourage businesses in Rossendale, East Lancashire to become more dementia friendly.

There are 3 primary goals...

  • To raise awareness of dementia in our community.
  • Provide access to further learning and understanding about living with dementia.
  • To inspire Rossendale residents to create projects and actions that will ensure people living with Dementia feel included.

We have designed and printed information leaflets that provide businesses with information they need in order to take the necessary steps to become a more dementia friendly organisation.

Two-thirds of people with dementia live in the community. Many rely on retail services to maintain their independence and a good quality of life. Others just like going shopping, and want to be able to continue to do so for as long as possible. They may do this independently, or with their families or carers. However, they cannot do this without us making it easier for them.

We have also developed window acetates that will be presented to businesses as an accreditation of their efforts to become more dementia friendly. You can get involved and display the sign below. Dementia Friendly Rossendale will commit to providing Dementia Friends session to a group of your employees and will help you with an environmental audit to check where dementia friendly improvements could be made to your premises and processes.

If you would like to get involved you can contact Dementia Friendly Rossendale: www.dementiafriendlyrossendale.org
dementia.rossendale@gmail.com
Twitter: @DementiaRoss

Date:

Medequip Outlines Intention to Diversify Into Complementary Sectors

Far from being trophies to collect for the cabinet, industry accreditations are highly sought after certificates that represent a commitment to standards, which in the healthcare and mobility sector, is especially important. Medequip was duly pleased therefore when it recently secured corporate accreditation for each of its community equipment services from CECOPS, the user-led independent certification and standards body, whose job is to raise the standard of all assistive technology related services across the UK.

Aside from the prestige that comes with the accreditation from CECOPS, the achievement places Medequip in a stronger position during the tendering process for community equipment contracts. Therefore, along with the various ISO accreditations the company has achieved for a number of years, the importance of Medequip’s most recent milestone, and its significance for the business, should not be underestimated.

The accreditation was not gleaned overnight however, and Medequip has undergone evolution and change to bring it to the position it currently sits at. Instrumental in leading some of the most recent developments, head of safety, health, environment and quality (SHEQ) and governance, Marie Martinalli, says that various improvement projects across the business have demanded hard work, time and resources. Building on the groundwork laid out by her predecessor, Martinalli says the team has spent time to ensure the systems at each of Medequip’s depots are lined up so that processes and procedures across the portfolio mirror each other. Consistency, she says, has been key to corporate accreditation.

“Some things are slightly different at certain sites because they are contract based. But to be fair, we’ve traditionally been quite consistent. I think the thing that’s made it easier for us, from a SHEQ point of view, is the internal audits that we do. Our internal audits are the same across every single depot and they look to make sure that everybody is following the same procedures and policies. And our audits have strengthened so they’re not just looking at what we do as a company, but they also consider all the relevant accreditations. We look at everything surrounding ISO 14001 (environment management), 9001 (quality management), 18001 (health and safety) and we’re now going for our ISO 27001 (information security).”

Because Medequip’s audits pull on clauses from across various accreditations, including CECOPS, it has made it easier to apply a comprehensive strategy across each depot and ensure each one is benchmarked the same. It seems that being proactive has been a core reason for Medequip gaining its latest accreditation and scrambling around weeks before an audit to get things in order simply will not cut it.

But it is also important for organisations to work closely alongside the awarding bodies and know inside out the clauses they are working to. Only looking inwardly is not enough and Martinalli explains that open and frequent communication and engagement with CECOPS was pivotal when working towards corporate accreditation. Regular meetings and conversing even when an audit was not going on helped build an ethos of two bodies working in partnership and looking at evidence in unison.

It is clear then that a lot of thought went into Medequip’s strategy for gaining its latest certificate and the benefits for the company are evident. Better standards should mean a better experience for the service-user which should theoretically improve business. But what does Medequip’s milestone mean for the rest of the industry?

Martinalli comments: “As an industry, I think it opens up opportunities for other organisations, including our competitors, and spurs them to go for the same thing. That’s going to be good for the service-user and that’s what we’re all here for at the end of the day. When we are going into partnership on tenders with other companies, it makes it easier for us if they’ve got a corporate accreditation as well, so that’s an incentive and opportunity.”

But the industry still has a way to go before standards are satisfactory across the board. Martinalli thinks the extent to which the industry must improve differs from on provider to the next, depending on what kind of foundation they have. She adds that as a company, Medequip likes to think that it is “quite open” and happy to advise and support other organisations, so long as there is not a conflict of interest, to help raise standards. She admits however, that companies can be limited by their resources and Medequip has been fortunate to have the financial muscle to be able to really invest in its accreditations.

Martinalli adds: “It’s also about having the right skill set and people; especially people with experience of audits because if we weren’t able to do the appropriate internal audits in the first place and be proactive then we probably wouldn’t be where we are now.”

For a £160m business, you could rightly expect investment to be made in areas such as recruitment and improvement projects, but it is the level of detail that Medequip has gone to that really impresses.

Staff training has been a core part of the business’s development and it continues to refine its training to the extent that staff are learning to train others. What’s more, the company ensures that each staff member really understands the accreditations and audits themselves and encourages them to become involved.

Martinalli says: “Staff involvement is key. We have an initiative called Eureka where staff put ideas forward to make changes to systems and processes. Take GDPR for example. Because of the legislative changes we had to think about what was best for our service-users, so that even included changing the users’ names on equipment receipts to a reference number. It’s small changes that make an impact on the service user.”

Approaching and adapting to the market

While the corporate CECOPS accreditation and ISO stamps spell good news for Medequip, like any firm in the business of providing community equipment, there are common challenges it must overcome. A particularly topical issue is that of timescales and waiting times, which are a key concern for everyone in the supply chain, from CCG, to provider and ultimately the service-user. Where timescales are concerned, Martinalli says that Medequip works “extremely hard” and that with each contract while the CCG sets out KPIs, the provider has its own internal KPIs that are raised slightly higher.

“The expectation is always slightly higher with regards to what our staff need to meet and achieve so we try and over deliver. We’ve been making some really good process with regards to delivery times and that side of things with the business improvement team, particularity with software and the way we do our routing for equipment deliveries so that they are more streamlined. The service-user isn’t waiting all day for a piece of equipment. We also have a profit and performance related bonus scheme for staff and the KPIs are integrated into that. We consider mentality, enthusiasm and compassion in staff during the recruitment process so staff know the impact of their work on the service-user.”

Aside from time constraints, Nigel Cook, director of HR and SHEQ, says that customer expectations, not just on Medequip, but on everyone in the sector, are becoming greater. Customers are expecting more in terms of cost, quality and service, Cook feels, meaning providers are essentially expected to do more for less. Naturally, this means efficiencies are increasingly important.

A difficult correlation of CCG budgets tightening while both expectations and the number of service-users increase, means that Medequip, like its competitors, must make efficiency a priority. Cook explains: “The way most organisations will approach it is to become more efficient to keep costs down in order to offer the service at the price the customer wants. In days gone by, when you did a tender, it was heavily weighted towards quality. The emphasis now hasn’t moved away from that, but certainly cost is becoming much more of a consideration. Within the business for example, we’ve got, in the broadest possible sense, a number of improvement projects ranging from operational efficiencies, system improvements and people development. The projects are centred on service delivery and cost efficiencies.”

While CCGs are naturally placing more focus on cost during the tendering process, each one operates independently and so providers have to remain flexible. Martinalli says that each tender’s requirements vary and more of them are now focusing on service-user engagement, which is something Medequip is aiming to respond to. For example, the provider is looking at using service-user forums which would mean greater feedback and input from end-users.

Cook adds that commissioners now look for service improvements at either the same cost or service improvements at a reduced cost: “Those improvements can be in any number of areas. Things like speed of delivery and so on. When we’re tendering, not only are we competing against our traditional competitors. There are other people entering the healthcare market, for example Virgin and others that are logistics driven, like Amazon, and they’re a potential risk to any business in the sector.”

But how far can a company like Amazon, arguably a logistics firm at heart, compete with established equipment providers that invest as heavily as they do in the service-user experience? While companies like Amazon may be perceived as ‘box shifters’ by some observers, the efficiencies they can offer can be attractive. Cook says that companies like Amazon do not have the experience of reverse logistics and the re-cycling of equipment required by the NHS neither do they have ethos required in the care sector to deal with vulnerable people with complex medical needs.

In the interest of driving efficiencies however, providers like Medequip cannot simply keep bringing costs down indefinitely and remain sustainable. So what else can organisations do to get an edge on their competitors when tendering?

Cook comments: “It comes back to your service delivery but also what you can add back. There’s a bigger emphasis on that so that’s how you gain an edge. You can gain an edge by being cheaper but you gain another edge by offering capability that other organisations don’t have. Social value is one example. We would say that our IT system is added value compared to other organisations. It is about the way you go about things and the organisation as a whole and how it delivers efficiency and what developments it has ahead of it.”

Embracing change

Having achieved the corporate accreditation it set out for, Medequip’s sights are now set on further developing the business as much as possible and placing itself in a strong position for when more tendering opportunities inevitably arise.

Martinalli says that on the accreditation side of things, Medequip is targeting ISO 27001, which relates to new GDPR regulations, as well as CECOPS approval for its wheelchair service in Suffolk. Aside from accreditation, Medequip’s natural goals moving forward will be winning more tenders but the two go hand-in-hand. Martinalli says that having robust systems in place already puts the business in a better position for getting more accreditations and therefore tenders.

The company will also be looking to diversify reveals Cook. He says: “We’ve traditionally focused on community equipment services and we’ve recognised that while there are still opportunities there, as an organisation, if we want to continue to grow then we need to diversify. We’re not looking to diversify in completely different areas but instead looking at areas you would regard as complementary and a natural fit. We’re looking at how we might re-enter wheelchair services, telecare and other primary areas. The business is looking at other things strategically that we haven’t yet got involved with but are complementary to what we do.”

Finally, Medequip’s recent partnership with Cefndy Healthcare in Wales hints at scope for more partnerships on certain tenders. In today’s industry, companies must be prepared to compromise and work together on contracts and when the tendering opportunity came up in South Wales, Cook says it suited both parties.

He concludes: “Cefndy had the local knowledge and sheltered workshop experience, we had the logistics expertise, systems and processes. Both companies thought it would be advantageous to local residents that we work together rather than try and tender separately for the work. And obviously Medequip wasn’t widely known in Wales. For us it was partly a strategic opportunity to gain a foothold in Wales.”

It is evident that Medequip is continually looking to diversify and evolve to stay ahead of the game. This has meant being proactive, flexible and open to change, which for one of the larger organisations in the sector, is admirable. More importantly though, its strategy for attention to detail, staff involvement and pursuit of approval from industry bodies, is setting a positive example for similar companies. While it admittedly has much greater resources than smaller firms who might be competing for contracts, lessons can nevertheless be taken from its model.

If these lessons can help to raise standards and drive efficiency across the whole industry, then not only will service-users benefit, but the most innovative and responsible providers will reap the rewards. That can only be a positive direction for the sector to move in in what are very challenging times.

GDPR

New GDPR regulations that came into force in May saw businesses across every sector scrambling around to comply. For Medequip, which serves and holds the data for more than 14m people in the UK, the new legislation was a major consideration.

Head of SHEQ and governance, Marie Martinalli, explains that Medequip placed itself in an “ideal situation” by strategizing its information governance (IG). Adopting the NHS IG Tool Kit has made the transition to the new legislation easier and it recently recruited an experienced new IG officer.

Martinalli explains: “We’ve got a very detailed plan and we achieved what we wanted to by the deadline. The other thing is we had so much board level support and it was a focus every single month for the board. We started preparations in March 2017 and ran a whole training programme for staff including cleaners, even though they don’t see or touch personal data.”

But she admits that GDPR compliance has been harder for smaller independent companies that do not have the resources or systems to implement the necessary changes effectively. She says that many smaller businesses are still paper based and do not have the necessary governance arrangements, adding that the Information Commissioner’s Office could do more in this respect.

Developing expertise in retail

Mobility retail is a growing market. Medequip’s Manage@Home arm is primed to capitalise on the increasing online spend of the consumer in this sector. Cook says retail has grown from nothing to £1.5m in just 5 years.

“The retail side was a market that Medequip entered as it realised alternative routes to market were required and it offered an added value opportunity to its core operations. We have a retail facility in every depot contributing to social value and our offering to the customer.”

Date:

Medequip is the first company to gain corporate CECOPS accreditation

CECOPS Logo

Medequip Assistive Technology is the leading provider of Community Equipment Services to local authorities and the NHS across the UK, delivering a wide range of equipment and support to people in their own homes, keeping them safe and independent for longer.

As one of the largest equipment providers in the UK and operating out of 19 specially adapted depots across the country covering a population of more than 14.5million people, Medequip want to lead the way in best practice and ensuring the highest quality of service to our customers and service users alike.

As part of our service strategy we worked closely with CECOPS to ensure our operating processes were industry leading and putting us ahead of the game in our industry sector.

Nigel Cook, Director of HR, SHEQ and Governance said CECOPS have helped Medequip meet and exceed customer expectations whilst always maintaining the Company ethos of putting the end user at the heart of what we do.

CECOPS CEO, Brian Donnelly, says CECOPS is the gold standard for quality in the assistive technology space. We are delighted that Medequip has achieved corporate accreditation for all of their community equipment contracts. Their commitment to quality was evident and they have worked incredibly hard throughout the process.

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Staffordshire County Show 2018

Medequip exhibition unit at Staffordshire County Show 2018

On Wednesday 30th and Thursday 31st May, Joe Woodvine & Alex Roberts attended the Staffordshire County Show, using our exhibition unit to promote Medequip’s services and retail offering. We were supported by Lizzie Strandring and Jemma Dennehy from the Staffordshire Customer Service Team, to help us promote and hero the great work we do with the local service offering of the Community Equipment Loan Service.

Day one, the weather wasn’t on our side, with periods of rain, but footfall was still strong, where we spoke to over 50 people - all receiving a copy of the new Manage At Home catalogue and retail leaflets to signpost the retail shop within the Stafford Depot. We had a good mix of daily living aids to demonstrate, which were also available for purchase. We also promoted our ‘Show Special” – the Breville Hot Cup Kettle – a product that enables people to make a hot drink without the need to lift or over fill their cup. Free with the kettle, included, tea bags, chocolate treats, a Medequip mug and soft toy.

Day two, the weather improved significantly and was hot and sunny day for the majority. Footfall was much stronger and we spoke to over 80 people. People were in good spirits and many of our service users were in attendance, enjoying the show – with great feedback of our services within Staffordshire. One lady and her daughter were extremely thankful for all the support and speedy delivery of equipment they had received for her late husband and couldn’t thank us enough!

We spoke to Staffordshire Carers Hub, who were more than happy to take our literature and copies of the new Manage At Home catalogues to signpost people back to Medequip. Product sales for day one, totalled £20, which included; a Helping Hand reacher, leg lifter, sock aid and tablet splitter.

Day two sales were much better at £189, which included; a can pull, large pill box, universal jar opener and the sale of a ‘Show Special’ wheelchair, which was closed by Lizzie Strandring, who has arranged for delivery direct to the customers home.

Our usual free walking aid checks were available, where we conducted over 10 checks and issued a free replacement ferrule.

We also raised money for the Alzheimer’s Society, which consisted of general donations and those who donated to receive a wooden walking stick, cut to size and a free ferrule. In total, £53.68 was raised.

Overall, a positive two days, showcasing the great work we have been doing in Staffordshire from the equipment loan service, that we pride our self on, to our competitive retail offering of products available from Manage At Home to fulfil our core company ethos – keeping people independent for longer.

Sheep at Staffordshire County Show 2018

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Raising £4500 for Alzheimer's Society

Our amazing team of Mede-Mudders have hit their target of raising £4500 for Alzheimer's Society – Brilliant performance Guys and Girls! Thank you to all involved.

Mede-Mudders

Mede-Mudders: Andrew Firth, Asif Khan, Ben Williams, Dariusz Bzducha, David Gardner, David Pope, Hayley Wilson, Jamie Welland, Jessica Sandy, Michaela Harris, Ryan Duxbury, Samrawi Tesfay

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Dementia Action Week (21st May – 27th May 2018)

Dementia Action Week

In the UK, one person develops dementia every three minutes. Yet too many people living with dementia face the condition alone and excluded from society. Medequip have taken steps to create awareness amongst our staff to improve our understanding of dementia and the effects dementia has on family members and sufferers. We already have over 150 Dementia Friends within the business and we have a rolling program of Dementia Friend’s training sessions all our staff are encouraged to attend.

To date we have raised over £20,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society through various activities including car boot sales, bake sales, sponsored walks and sky dives!!

Monday 21 May - Sunday 27 May is Dementia Action Week and we have plenty going on to create awareness of the condition and support our nominated charity partner, Alzheimer’s Society. During Dementia Action Week we will be attending a number of events across the country to showcase some of our daily living aids that can help someone living with dementia.

Monday 21st May

  • Best Practice in Dementia Conference Council House Derby, Corporation Street, DE1 2FS (9.00.am – 4.30 pm)
  • Good Hope Hospital, Rectory Rd, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, B75 7RR (10am-3pm)

Tuesday 22nd May

  • Lancashire Dementia Hub - Civic Centre, West Paddock, Leyland, PR25 1DH (1pm – 5pm)
  • London Road Community Hospital - London Rd, Derby DE1 2QY (9.30 – 3pm)

Wednesday 23rd May

  • Derby City Dementia Support Service The Polish Club, Kedleston Road, Derby, DE22 1GU (10am – 2pm)

Thursday 24th May

  • Kirklees Dementia Hub/Age UK - Yorkshire Children’s Centre, Brian Jackson House, New North Parade, Huddersfield, HD1 5JP (1.00pm – 3.30pm)
  • Older Adults Conference Aging Well Birmingham Birmingham City Football Club, St Andrew’s Stadium, Birmingham, B9 4RL (9am – 3pm)
  • Age Concern Birmingham 76-78 Boldmere Road, Sutton Coldfield B73 5TJ (From 2pm)

Friday 25th May

  • Erewash Dementia Information event –Charnos Hall, Ilkeston Community Hospital (10am – 2pm)
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Introducing Cefndy-Medequip

Cefndy-Medequip Logo

We embrace change and seek to achieve excellence

Medequip has branched out and is now working in Newport, Wales! Our first community equipment services contract outside England went live on the 1 April 2018. The Newport depot has a great staff team and as a ‘sheltered’ service provider, around 30% of the employees have learning or physical disabilities. This is a huge change for Medequip which we have embraced wholeheartedly by partnering with Cefndy Healthcare, who are dedicated to the task of creating meaningful, well paid employment for disabled members of the community, through achieving financial viability for its business and any associated social enterprise initiatives.

Medequip and Cefndy have worked together for 25 years; we work on tenders/contracts together and have a sound supplier/customer relationship. This partnership will allow us to widen our geographic coverage of Wales as Medequip and Cefndy are keen to roll this operating model out more widely, providing a unique selling point for both businesses who feel strongly about helping individuals to remain independent for as long as possible, whether that be in the community or in employment.

Cefndy and Medequip have formed a Consortium (aptly named Cefndy-Medequip) to provide this exciting and innovative solution for Gwent Wide Integrated Community Equipment Service (GWICES). The Consortium uses the positive disabled employment experience and Community Equipment Service (CES) product manufacturing capabilities of Cefndy and the extensive CES and logistics solutions experience of Medequip.

The GWICES partnership which consists of the five Gwent Local Authorities and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board look forward to working closely with Cefndy-Medquip in providing a top class service to the service users and patients of the Gwent area.

Please join us in wishing all the staff at our Newport depot all the best for the launch and continued operations of excellence conducted by the Cefndy-Medequip team.

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3 Activities to Help Prevent Dementia

Manage At Home - Your Online Medequip Retail Store has published an article: 3 Activities to Change Your Daily Routine and Prevent Dementia

A growing number of people in the UK are suffering from dementia. According to statistics, there are 850,000 people with dementia in the country, and the numbers are expected to rise to over one million by 2025. This terminal condition is now the most common cause of death among women in the UK. Scientists have yet to find a cure for this cognitive disorder, but the good news is that there are things that you can do to prevent dementia or lessen the risks of having it. Some of these activities won’t only prevent you from developing dementia, but doing them can even change up your daily routine and enrich your life

To read the full article written by Jane Sandwood for Manage At Home, please visit the Manage At Home Blog.

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Prompt Payment Code Approval

Medequip has received Prompt Payment Code approval administered by the Chartered Institute of Credit Management on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

Prompt Payment Code Approved Signatory

The Prompt Payment Code (PPC) sets standards for payment practices and best practice and is administered by the Chartered Institute of Credit Management. Compliance with the principles of the Code is monitored and enforced by the Prompt Payment Code Compliance Board. The Code covers prompt payment, as well as wider payment procedures. - promptpaymentcode.org.uk

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Equipment Recycling – A Partnership Story

Medequip – as the UK’s largest provider of Community Equipment Services is very proud of our efforts to maximise recycling and reuse equipment. Over 90% of equipment collected back from our clients is cleaned, repaired, re-packed and reused.

Sometimes we do have products that are not able to be recycled for contractual reasons, and we therefore aim to find alternate uses for these items if at all possible, only diverting to material reclamation as a last resort.

One example of this is our partnership working with Brighter Future in Skelmersdale, Lancashire. We work with them by providing equipment we can no longer use, but which they can re-build or salvage for parts in their workshop which employs young people with disabilities. They are an award winning social enterprise charity - that has been awarded The Queens Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development and this year winners of the 2017 MRW National Recycling Awards Waste for “Electrical and Electronic Equipment Innovation” and winners of the 2017 North West Enterprise Awards for "Best Disability Aids & Equipment Recycling".

Read more about Brighter Futures here: www.bfworkshop.co.uk

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Dementia Awareness Week: 15-20 May 2017

The Medequip promotions team will have their busiest ever week during Dementia Awareness Week commencing on 15th May.

Let's Unite for Dementia Awareness Week

This Dementia Awareness Week we are supporting the Alzheimer’s Society campaign to unite against dementia, by promoting awareness through using our exhibition unit and pop-up table top information point across 5 of our contract areas at 6 different events.

Our week starts at the Anne Marie Howes Centre in Birmingham. (339 Sheldon Heath Rd, Birmingham B26 2DS) where we have a table-top information point providing advice on equipment that can help those suffering from dementia.

On Tuesday, our exhibition unit will be at Mickleover Golf Club which is hosting a dementia conference, hosted by Derby Teaching hospitals and NCORE, the National Centre of Rehabilitation Education.

On Wednesday – we will be at Royal Derby Hospital main entrance with the exhibition unit and simultaneously supporting an awareness event at Derby Heights Care Home in Littleover.

Thursday – sees the exhibition unit out for a 3rd consecutive day – this time Milen Care at Batley in Kirklees. Milen Care are hosting a Health Matters and Dementia awareness event – which will feature, benefits assessments, health checks advice and guidance. 20 different organisations with have stalls at this event.

To finish our support for Dementia Awareness Week we will take the exhibition unit to Endon Methodist Church in Stoke-on-Trent for the Approach Staffordshire event which is designed to highlight the support available locally.

Medequip Exhibition Unit
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Medequip steps in to take back 82-year-old Frank Collins' hospital equipment

A pensioner is finally getting rid of mobility equipment cluttering his house – a year after his wife stopped needing it.

After hearing about Mr Collins’ predicament in the East London & West Essex Guardian, Medequip has offered to step in and save the day.

Operations manager at our Woodford Green depot Yasmeen Mian said: Mr Collins is only a five or ten-minute journey away from us but does not live in the borough that Medequip serve. However after someone at our head office flagged his case up to us we really felt for him - so as a goodwill gesture we would be more than happy to collect and recycle his equipment.

Frank Collins, 82, is finally getting rid of his unwanted mobility equipment

Read the article on the Guardian website.

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Medequip wins largest Community Equipment Service contract in UK

Medequip are delighted to announce that we have won the London Consortium tender to retain our 17 borough Community Equipment Service Contract.

Since our first outsourced Community Equipment Services operation began in 1993 with Hillingdon, we are even more delighted to retain what is the longest outsourced Community Equipment Service in the UK. The new contract will commence on 1st April 2017 for a period of four years, with the opportunity to extend for a further two years.

On the 21st December 2016, the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham confirmed that Medequip will continue to deliver Integrated Community Equipment Services, to supply, deliver, fit, adjust, service, collect, refurbish, recycle or dispose of items of Equipment requisitioned by authorised Prescribers on behalf of Service Users, for local Health and Social Care equipment Users across 17 London Boroughs.

The prior Framework was established by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in 2010. The procurement process to commission the Integrated Community Equipment service began in January 2016, with the formal procurement process starting in September 2016.

In addition to the contracted services that form the Framework, Medequip will continue to further its commitment to local Social Values by providing 32 apprenticeship places over the duration of the Contract, as well as providing opportunities through local job centres, economic opportunities for local suppliers, and by providing a dedicated budget to local Councils for charity and fundraising events.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming events that Medequip will be attending.