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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!

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