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A British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) working group of leading Community Equipment Services providers has issued an appeal for members of the public to return unneeded equipment to aid the national COVID-19 effort.

The request, issued by the BHTA, emphasises the vital role that the provision of community equipment plays in enabling patients to be discharged from hospitals and cared for safely in their own homes.

It comes as NHS Trusts look to accelerate their hospital discharge processes in a bid to free up bed capacity needed during the pandemic.

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Speaking with Andrew Stevenson, Chairman of the BHTA, in an exclusive interview, he explained that the return of equipment was one of the primary challenges facing the group, which consists of leading providers Medequip, Ross Care, NRS Healthcare, Millbrook Healthcare and Essex Cares.

“One of the biggest challenges facing CES providers is collections, as those with equipment do not want people, understandably, in their homes,” he pointed out.

“Unfortunately, this is compounded by a greater need for community equipment as the NHS accelerates the discharge of patients from hospitals to free up bed capacity.”

Recently, NHS Trusts and local authorities have individually appealed to local residents to return equipment urgently, with Devon County Council warning of potential stock shortages for certain items.

Hoping to increase awareness on a national scale, members of the BHTA Community Equipment Services working group have now called on the public to help increase the amount of equipment being returned.

“All providers need your assistance to help facilitate more NHS patient discharges and free up more vital bed spaces,” stated the BHTA.

“We are actively requesting those who no longer need loaned beds and equipment to contact their equipment provider so that they can collect and re-cycle them.

“If you have a bed, or equipment, in your home that was supplied by the Community Equipment Service that you no longer need, please call your local equipment provider and they will arrange the safe collection and urgent recycling, so that the equipment may be used to help others now in need.”

For many smaller items, products can be left outside, with providers’ staff not being required to enter the homes of individuals and for larger items such as beds, the BHTA has emphasised the stringent safety measures in place to ensure individuals who are self-isolating are fully protected.

Comprehensive infection control procedures and enhanced Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) are among some of the steps taken to ensure people can remain safe whilst also helping the health and social care sector by returning equipment.

To arrange collection, people can find contact details on any documentation that was provided when the equipment was delivered or on a label on the equipment.

For those that do not have access to this information, the Trades Association advises individuals to search on their local council website for ‘how to return equipment’ or for ‘occupational therapy’.

People can find their local council via this link

https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/walker-elderly-hand-web-size.jpg?fit=900%2C541&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/walker-elderly-hand-web-size.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Calvin BarnettCoronavirus NewsCOVID-19 Sector NewsNewsroomSupplier NewsTrade NewsBHTA,British Healthcare Trades Association,CES,Community Equipment Services Providers,COVID-19,Essex Cares,Medequip,Millbrook Healthcare,NHS England,NHS Trusts,NRS Healthcare,Personal Protection Equipment,PPE,Ross Care,WCS,Wheelchair ServicesA British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) working group of leading Community Equipment Services providers has issued an appeal for members of the public to return unneeded equipment to aid the national COVID-19 effort.The request, issued by the BHTA, emphasises the vital role that the provision of community equipment plays...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals