Community equipment – our response to service user feedback

Published on 20 Mar, 2017

The following stakeholder comments relate to specifically to community equipment services. Also provided are the details of how we have worked to address this service user feedback throughout the procurement exercise which resulted in a change in service provider for both Community Equipment and Wheelchair services from 1 December 2016.

Service users told us

We did

 

Community Equipment Only: Health and social care professionals reported that determining whether equipment is health or social care funded is confusing and time consuming.

 

Commissioners procured an integrated Community Equipment service across commissioning organisations which centres on a pooled budget.

Health and social care professionals no longer need to be concerned with who funds what equipment.

Community Equipment Only: Health professionals stressed the importance of having an easy to use online ordering system which can be accessed from multiple IT platforms and the importance of a clear on-line catalogue with photos, description and dimensions.

The new equipment provider, is one of the leading community equipment providers in the UK, and has an easy to use ordering system and clear catalogue which has been developed working locally with clinicians and commissioners.

Community Equipment Only: Health and social care professionals raised concern that orders were often hard to track and it was therefore difficult to give patients timely updates on when they might receive equipment.

The new equipment provider utilises an electronic ordering system which allows alerts and estimated times/dates for delivery to be notified to the health/social care professional who placed the order.

Community Equipment Only: Health and social care professionals stressed the importance of having a clinician working within equipment stores.

Commissioners made this an essential requirement of the service specification. An Occupational Therapist must be available within the service and is available by the new provider.

Community Equipment Only: Patients stressed that they would like to be able to collect their own equipment if able.

Commissioners are currently exploring this with the new provider. There is an option for small items to be posted to patients at this stage to avoid deliveries.

Community Equipment Only: Patients highlighted that they would like the opportunity to try out equipment.

The new community equipment provider is currently working to set up ‘Independent Living Centres’ at key hospital locations so that patients can try equipment before it is ordered. The provider is also able to facilitate equipment road shows.

Community Equipment Only: Patients highlighted that they would like the opportunity to buy/collect their equipment from retailers like Boots and other local pharmacies.

The new community equipment provider is working to establish retail opportunities/models to facilitate this option with commissioners.