Bathlift innovation looks to make a splash in the industry
2019 is set to see a new UK bathlift supplier, H&M Bathlifts, make a big splash in the bathlift market with the launch of its new KANJO bathlift range.
The bathlift is a practical mobility aid that helps thousands of elderly and disabled people to live more independently at home. In the UK, the bathlift market is estimated at about 55,000 units per year with a sales value of around £12 million.
Co Durham based H&M Bathlifts is the brainchild of Hugh Malone. With almost 20 years’ experience in the bathlift market, Hugh helped bring to market the Aquatec lift in 1999 and then set up bathlift company AquaJoy, which was sold to Drive Medical in 2011.
A year later, following Hugh’s advice, Drive acquired the bathlift company Mountway. Hugh was tasked with running the AquaJoy range and turning around Mountway, which he did relatively quickly. He then left the company in 2018.
Explaining his decision to set up H&M Bathlifts, Hugh said: “Having been involved with bathlifts and working in the homecare industry for many years I have always kept a close eye on the changing trends in the way homecare is being funded and delivered, as well as keeping up-to-date on the pressures facing local authorities, councils and the NHS. Things like bed blocking, austerity and increased demand on, already stretched, public services all impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of product capability, supplier selection, lifetime costs, plus ease and speed of loan store re-issue.
“So much so, I felt there was a gap in the bathlift market for a product and unique service that can address all these key issues. That product is the KANJO range and it is probably fair to say, I believe it is set to revolutionise the UK bathlift market.”
He explained that the new KANJO bathlift range offers a raft of benefits for both users and local authorities.
For users, Hugh noted, features of the KANJO include fixed and recliner options as well as adult and child accessories. He added that the bathlift is versatile and fits in most bath tub shapes, including corner baths.
“[It also has] a very low decline position allowing more depth into the bathwater. Easy cleaning and enhanced sanitation via use of antibacterial nanotechnology,” Hugh continued.
“For local authorities, the principle benefits, aside from product quality, is economics. The KANJO comes with a 4 year warranty that includes the handset and charger. This is very significant, as it is estimated local authorities waste somewhere in the region of £5 million pounds a year on bathlift spares, with around 50% on hand controls and chargers alone.
“This extensive warranty, available only on the KANJO, will significantly reduce this problem; leaving more money to be spent helping to ease the backlog of providing essential homecare services for elderly and disabled people.”
Hugh described the new bathlift as having a high build quality alongside easy cleaning and re-issuing, which is also helpful for local authorities.
“The KANJO is made by leading German bathlift manufacturer Eureha, part of the Dietz group, which has a proven track record in the reimbursement market in Europe and has seen market share increase significantly, year on year, since 2015,” he said.
“Customer support is also crucial to working with local authorities. H&M Bathlifts has a strong, dedicated team that understand the needs of local authority customers and will ensure the highest levels of customer service and after sales support to all. The company will also be offering free of charge product and technical training to all Community Equipment Service nominated staff.”
According to the Dietz Group, it is looking forward to working with Hugh and his team.
Speaking about their decision to partner with H&M bathlifts, Dietz Group Directors Thomas Godhoff and Johannes Wagner said: “As part of our continued expansion into the EMEA market, it makes complete sense for us and we are delighted to be partnering with H&M Bathlifts.
“Hugh Malone and his team are highly respected professionals and Hugh’s specific knowledge has enabled us to further develop our product portfolio to exceed the expectations of the UK customer.
“The H&M Bathlifts team have a formidable reputation and a strong customer focus which is the perfect model for us to work together.”