Medequip Rochester retail shop opening image

Medequip, which provides the Medway Integrated Community Equipment Service (ICES), welcomed guests to its first official open day at its Rochester Depot on Friday 22 April 2022 so that visitors could find out more about the assistive technology service, procurement, and the provider’s equipment recycling scheme.

Medequip’s MICES provision commenced in September 2020 in the midst of the pandemic. 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.

The open day included a full site tour and an insight into how the day-to-day running of the service takes place.

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Guests learnt about procurement, storage and 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.

Guests were also briefed on 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.

Medequip open day image

Alongside the open day, the official opening of Medequip’s onsite 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.

Councillor David Brake praised Medequip and the Rochester team.

He 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.”

Additionally, 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 percent, with all items unsuitable for reissue 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.

Medequip open day image

In other areas where Medequip provides an ICES, it has also been leading on similar initiatives to encourage equipment returns so that it can be either be recycled or cleaned for reuse by other residents.

Derbyshire County Council recently put out a call for equipment returns for people to drop off smaller items that are no longer being used. However, for larger items, Medequip is still offering collections from people’s homes on behalf of the council.

Equally, the outsourced provider has set up a new partnership with local independent charity Age UK Wirral to encourage community equipment returns. Age UK Wirral charity shops will accept Medequip-labelled community equipment that was prescribed to a service user but no longer needed. All items returned will be assessed, safety tested and either repaired and reused or stripped down for recycling.

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