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A new Integrated Community Equipment Service (ICES) has begun in Sheffield, which will be provided by Medequip on behalf of Sheffield CCG and Sheffield City Council.

The ICES will see Medequip supply and maintain the equipment necessary to help people live independently in their own homes for longer.

Community equipment helps people stay active, comfortable and independent in their own homes and out in the community. It encompasses a broad range of products, from simple aids such as crutches and walking frames to aid mobility, through to more complex equipment like beds, hoists and pressure care products.

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The Integrated Community Equipment Loan Services in Sheffield (ICELSS) was awarded to Medequip back in March. The contract is set to last for a five-year period, with an option to extend beyond 2025 for a further two years.

As part of the new ICELSS, Medequip will work 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.

Following a slight implementation delay due to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, Medequip has now taken over from the incumbent provider British Red Cross, which has worked closely with the provider to ensure a smooth transition of services and a continued high level of service.

The new contract will operate on what is known as the TCES Community platform, which aims to enhance efficiencies and improve services for the people of Sheffield.

One of the leading outsourced community equipment services (CES) providers to local authorities and the NHS, Medequip provides procurement, storage, delivery, installation, maintenance, collection, repair, cleaning, refurbishment and recycling services nationwide.

According to the provider, the ICELSS contract extends its proven track record throughout West, North and South Yorkshire, working with North Yorkshire County Council, North Yorkshire CCGs and Kirklees Council. Medequip is 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.

ICELSS and Rotherham Equipment and Wheelchair Service will be run from Medequip’s depot in Rotherham, which the provider says will result in operational efficiencies.

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.

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