PPE COVID-10 response - Handicare engineers

Handicare has responded swiftly to the current COVID-19 emergency situation, introducing a range of measures to protect its staff and vulnerable consumers, along with offering vital support to aid hospital discharge efforts.

According to the global stairlift manufacturer and home adaptations provider, it has implemented robust protocols and procedures to ensure its stairlift manufacturing facilities in the UK and Holland remain operational for the foreseeable future.

The company also confirmed that 80 per cent of its office-based staff have been working remotely since earlier this week when the UK government advised against non-essential travel.

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Handicare’s UK Managing Director Clare Brophy praised the firm’s employees for their willingness to adapt quickly to new ways of working which have been essential to the success of keeping the business up and running for its trade and retail customers.

“Together with our partners, we’re all supplying many vulnerable people who are completely dependent on Handicare’s products to make their everyday life easier,” she explained.

“We take our responsibility seriously for supporting them and our partners. We’re actively taking steps to keep our factories operational and to support partners’ businesses and the teams at Handicare have responded magnificently.”

A leading provider of straight, curved and outdoor stairlifts servicing all areas of the marketplace from its sites in the West Midlands and West Yorkshire, Handicare supplies stairlifts locally through a network of mobility dealers and shops, through local authorities and directly to consumers.

Handicare PPE

UK Sales and Marketing Director Paul Stockdill said: “Our UK team is 100 per cent focused on continuing to supply and maintain our much-needed products and services either through our partner network or directly for the many vulnerable people who are completely dependent on them.

“We take our responsibility seriously for supporting them, particularly at a time when they’re feeling very worried about the risk to their health of contact with strangers in their homes.”

In a statement, the company detailed the steps it has taken to ensure the health and well-being of its employees as well as its customers. The measures include:

  • “Closely monitoring developments with the COVID-19 outbreak, following guidance and implementing recommendations from the British government and public health authorities
  • Implementing travel restrictions to prevent non-essential travel. We have also increased our IT capacity to enable homeworking for many of our office-based employees
  • Increased communications to inform, support and protect employees via intranet, poster campaigns and email
  • Maintaining very high levels of hygiene across all workplaces
  • Asking everyone who is requesting in-home assessments for stairlift installations, actual installations and maintenance visits to provide information about their personal health in terms of whether they have any symptoms, are self-isolating or recovering from any illness
  • Distributed masks, hand sanitisers, and surgical gloves to all field-based personnel who are making customer visits

In addition, Handicare says its direct-selling departments have introduced new methods of communication for customers, offering alternatives to in-home assessments to reassure people enquiring about having a stairlift installed.

“In order to minimise face-to-face customer contact our team is making use of existing technologies to have conversations which are helping to build trust and share information,” explained Paul.

“With many years of experience dealing with vulnerable people, we felt it was important to be as proactive as we can with new and existing customers to give them reassurance that support is there if they need it now or whenever they are ready to proceed with an installation. The response has been very positive so far.”

Handicare has also offered assistance and additional support to stretched local authorities who may have diverted their OT teams to frontline duties.

In a communication to its local authority clients and contacts, Handicare wrote: “The government and the NHS are currently prioritising initiatives to free up hospital beds which can be used for patients who are unwell with COVID-19. The NHS is therefore keen to discharge patients who are well enough to go home if they have the necessary equipment to assist them.

“This is dependent on OTs being able to visit those concerned to carry out assessments. Handicare has a large team of fully qualified surveyors and the moving and handling team who are standing by to assist by carrying out assessments on behalf of your OTs. We are keen to offer this service as it will help to free up hospital beds in your locality.”

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