Wheelchair services providers join together to ease pressure off NHS and support users’ needs
The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) has brought together some of the UK’s major wheelchair service providers to ensure that, while the NHS is under extreme pressure due to COVID-19, the needs of wheelchair users are fully supported.
Holding weekly conference calls, the new wheelchair group will share their experiences from across the UK and importantly discuss, as challenges arise within the wheelchair service, how the group will be able to bring combined resources together to respond urgently and help.
The new wheelchair group includes the majority of the UK’s leading Wheelchair Services providers, such as Ross Care, NRS Healthcare, Ability Matters, Millbrook Healthcare, Blatchford and AJM Healthcare.
Similarly, leading community equipment service providers and the BHTA have also recently agreed to work closely together to maintain vital services during the coronavirus crisis.
Although usually competitors for wheelchair services and community equipment contracts, these joint collaborations between service providers will help aid the nation fight against coronavirus.
Andrew Stevenson, Chairman of the BHTA, said: “Many of the challenges wheelchair services and users are experiencing are replicated across the country. Where there may be hotspots or shortfalls in services, the group will look to see how they can support any specific areas that need their assistance.”
In addition, the newly-established group will liaise with other wheelchair groups and regional in-house services across the UK to try and mitigate wheelchair users’ problems with ongoing assessments, deliveries, service and maintenance.
“The group are keen to support users that are just being issued with products for hospital discharge and for others, whose conditions are changing and need to be assessed as part of their ongoing clinical needs,” Andrew added.
Within the weekly calls, the group is looking to achieve a National Wheelchair picture to enable all BHTA members in the mobility sector to come together with the national supply chains.
This will help make sure that this vital service to a vulnerable group of users continues, while the NHS focus is directed towards the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, across NHS and the new field hospitals being set up in East London, Birmingham and Manchester.