AAT GB stairclimber image

AAT GB, which specialises in stairclimbers, is encouraging hospital and community healthcare teams to use stairclimbers to meet the requirements of the UK Government’s new hospital discharge operating model.

Published at the end of August 2020, the new ‘discharge to assess’ operating model focuses on discharging patients from hospitals into the appropriate setting, considering what care they might need after being discharged from hospital, whether that is care at home or going into a care home, for instance.

This discharge model is supported by a new £588 million fund from the UK Government, which helps cover the cost of post-discharge recovery and support services, rehabilitation and reablement care for up to six weeks following discharge from hospital.

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The model maintains that 45 percent of people will be discharged with up to six weeks’ support from health and social services to recover at home.

To help the health and social care sectors meet these needs, AAT GB is offering a hire option for its range of stairclimbers, which the company says is a more cost-effective option for NHS and local authorities.

Under the package, a stairclimber can be provided, with appropriate training, for as short a duration as a week. This enables the person to be transferred throughout their home, without the need to rearrange the person’s house, such as having to install an accessible downstairs toilet.

AAT GB also emphasises that timely access to a stairclimber can accelerate the hospital discharge process.

“One of the biggest problems in getting people home, safely, is the suitability of their home if they have reduced mobility,” said AAT Director Peter Wingrave. “They may need a wheelchair some or all of the time. How do they then access their bedroom, bathroom? The traditional route is to delay whilst an adaptation is provided.

“Taking an innovative approach- providing a stairclimber- delivers a best value solution. It allows the person to be discharged with safe, appropriate means of accessing all floors of their home, on the proviso there is someone else at home to assist. A significant proportion of people only need that help for the short term, so hiring is a fast, efficient answer.”

German-engineered AAT stairclimbers can accommodate a wide range of end-users, the company stresses, from paediatric to bariatric (up to 230kg) passengers. They can also accommodate narrow and spiral flights of stairs.

Options feature an integral seat, eliminating the need for a wheelchair indoors, or the stairclimbers can clip-fix to a wheelchair if preferred.

Most local authorities already have AAT stairclimbers in their equipment stores, as the system can be endlessly reissued when no longer needed by an individual, AAT GB notes. However, with the increased demand, stock may not be available.

As part of the hire package, AAT GB will supply a COVID compliant staiclimber, ensure all seating and supports are adjusted to the individual person, and train the operative.

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