BHTA calls on retailers to shape “future of the sector” as it commences new initiative with Government
The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) has confirmed it is working with Department for Transport on a new mobility scooter and older drivers initiative following a letter issued to mobility retailers urging the industry to prioritise consumer safety.
Written by Baroness Vere of Norbiton, Transport Minister for Roads and Security at the Department for Transport, the letter highlighted her concerns over the growing number of accidents involving mobility scooters.
The letter prompted former BHTA boss Ray Hodgkinson MBE to call for the introduction of formal industry qualifications and certifications before the Government decides to take action and impose tighter regulations on the sector.
Speaking with Andrew Stevenson, interim Director General of the BHTA, he explained to THIIS the steps its retail members take to ensure mobility scooter and powerchair customers’ safety.
“The BHTA and its members work to our Code of Practice, the only consumer code in the industry to be approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute,” he said.
“BHTA’s Code of Practice requires members to conduct an assessment where a customer’s ability, well-being, environment, and/or activities have an effect on the safe use and suitability of a product for their stated purpose. Over a number of years, the Mobility Section, made up from retailers across the country, have worked together to produce an assessment form which is available on our website to meet this need and ensure best practice when assessing a consumer for the mobility product suitable to meet their needs.”
Pointing out that some of its members also have test track areas for consumers to try out mobility products, Andrew emphasised that all its members fully demonstrate and educate the consumer on the safe use of the product.
“Where a consumer enters the market through the established retail channels, we feel they are being assessed correctly and given the aftersales support and service they require,” he continued.
“This includes assistance with the registration of Class 3 products with the DVLA and insurance advice where appropriate.”
In the evolving retail and mobility landscape, however, the market is seeing a shift in buying behaviour as some consumers move away from traditional “established retail channels” and embrace new ways to purchase mobility scooters.
“There are instances in the market where consumers buy second-hand products locally or via the internet from other members of the public. If consumers use these routes, it is highly unlikely that they will get an assessment on the safe use of the mobility product, no advice on looking after it, nor on maintaining and charging of the product,” pointed out Andrew.
“The industry has worked with the police and other organisations in various parts of the country to support mobility awareness and training days and some mobility manufacturers have instigated training days alongside retailers.
Some Driving Mobility centres offer training as well. Aside from this, there are no recognised training centres across the UK that a consumer could go to.”
Now the Association has started working with the Government on a new project focusing on this area, confirmed Andrew, which will aim to go further to champion and improve mobility scooter and powerchair user safety.
“The BHTA and its retail members are constantly striving to improve consumer safety and raise the standards in the industry,” he finished.
“The Association has recently started working with the Department for Transport on their “Mobility Scooters and Older Drivers” initiative to improve best practice in this area. We call on all retailers who prioritise the safety of their customers to reach out and engage with the BHTA to help shape the future of the sector.”https://thiis.co.uk/bhta-calls-on-retailers-to-shape-future-of-the-sector-as-it-commences-new-initiative-with-government/https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Andrew-Stevenson-BHTA.jpg?fit=850%2C748&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Andrew-Stevenson-BHTA.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Government & Local AuthoritiesNewsroomSector NewsThird SectorAndrew Stevenson,Baroness Vere of Norbiton,BHTA,British Healthcare Trades Association,Chartered Trading Standards Institute,code of practice,consumer safety,CTSI,Department for Transport,Driving Mobility,DVLA,Government,mobility scooter,Ray Hodgkinson MBE,Transport Minister for Roads and SecurityThe British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) has confirmed it is working with Department for Transport on a new mobility scooter and older drivers initiative following a letter issued to mobility retailers urging the industry to prioritise consumer safety.Written by Baroness Vere of Norbiton, Transport Minister for Roads and Security...Calvin BarnettCalvin Barnettcalvin@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine