West Berkshire Council is seeking Community Equipment Service (CES) providers to supply assistive technologies including wheelchairs, rollators and stair lifts, throughout Berkshire.

Just under 2,500 people in Reading use such equipment, with the average cost per user being £256.43. Between 2017 and 2022, 47,527 pieces of equipment were delivered to a total of 12,279 residents.

Reading Borough Council’s policy committee have agreed to enter into a joint procurement process where West Berkshire council will act as the Lead Authority for the Berkshire Community Equipment Service (BCES) Partnership. The councils collectively run the BCES, a joint contract for the provision of adult social care equipment for their residents.

The six councils across Berkshire will remain responsible for adult social care in its respective areas.

The successful contractor will be awarded £6.486 million over the seven-year contract period, from 2024 to 2031, by Reading Borough Council.

As seen on Reading Today, Councillor John Ennis, lead Councillor for adult social services, said: “Many times in the past we have seen councillors, opposition councillors and the administration have talking about the need to work together and the economies of scale.

“We often look and think we can do more of this, I think this is an excellent example, led by West Berkshire, and we should thank them for that, when the six unitary authorities across the political divide work together to get a decent contract, which is as important as the equipment services disability aids for our residents.”

The current contract, which will run until 2024, is held by Nottingham Rehabilitation Supplies (NRS), also known as Healthcare Pro.

John also praised NRS for its work to reuse and recycle equipment that is no longer required.

Recycling no longer required medical equipment has been a popular initiative that was recently supported by Recycling Week, which ran from 17-23 October.

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