AAT stairclimber image

A new partnership between stairclimbing company AAT GB and Leeds City Council is helping people with reduced mobility to get essential equipment quickly while taking pressure off busy occupational therapists.

The arrangement means that assessment of user needs, and re-issue of the equipment that is tailored to them, is expediated more quickly and efficiently, and at less overall cost, the stairclimber specialist says.

Under the deal, AAT stores and manages the local authority’s stock of stairclimbers. This battery-powered device allows anyone with impaired mobility to be transferred up and down stairs safely, easily and with dignity. According to AAT, this mobility solution also comes without the cost and disruption of traditional solutions, such as stairlifts or homelifts.

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The process means that Leeds City Council can optimise use of available space within its equipment stores and is spared the administration time and therefore cost of managing the stairclimbers, their accessories and power packs.

“The service we have received has been extremely positive,” said Leeds City Council Occupational Therapy Team Manager Jane Fisher. “Funds and time are under pressure now more than ever. This means we can quickly empower clients to still be able to access all levels of their home, with the peace of mind that the right kit is being supplied, maintained and serviced, and in full working order.

“It takes a pressure off the already busy stores team, and enables effective delegation and employment of specialised resources so we can make best use of our time and expertise.”

The partnership also accelerates the process from initial patient assessment to provision of equipment.

“It’s about balancing cost and value,” added AAT Technical Director Gareth Brown. “The arrangement means we save the council money overall and its residents get better value.

“The council can make best use of available resources at the equipment stores. We know exactly what stairclimbers and accessories are available, so, having assessed the client, can advise on what is needed, then deliver to and train the user – all within a matter of days of receiving the initial call from the occupational therapy team.

“If specific accessories are needed, we know what is in stock, or what the council needs to purchase, so there is no unnecessary duplication.”

Leeds City Council is the first local authority to use AAT’s innovative stairclimber deal. AAT says its equipment store offer is its latest solution, after AAT’s introduction of remote meetings for OT teams and development of new product accessories to simplify life for specifiers and users.

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