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Kidz to Adultz Virtual Exhibition – Monday 9th November to Friday 13th November 2020

Please feel free to join us on Thursdays 11th at 11am you can register for free.
We will be able to answer any questions about the wheelchairs which will include:

For more information you can view the show guide here

POWERCHAIR PERFECTION FROM PRECISION REHAB

With nearly three decades of experience in the assessment, sales and servicing of specialist powerchairs, the Precision Rehab team works closely with the client, their occupational therapist and anyone else involved in their day to day care from the first assessment through to delivery.

Some clients require a specialist seating system and Precision Rehab can achieve this through its relationships with many of the UK’s leading seating manufacturers.  This combined experience and network of contacts ensures that every client receives the powerchair and seating system which meets their specific requirements.  Alternatively, should a client require their existing moulded seating, this can be incorporated onto their chair using custom interfacing.

Personalising a chair does not stop at the seating system.  From mounting communication systems and bespoke controls which can include chin and head systems there is a wide choice of adaptions which can be installed.  Precision Rehab can also help the client choose their own paint finish.  For example, a client recently took delivery of a Paravan Piccolino which had a custom finish of Bentley rose gold matt while another client requested the colour to be matched to their favourite nail polish.

“Every powerchair we supply is bespoke and I believe the chair should fit the person as opposed to the person fitting the chair” commented Precision Rehab founder Matthew James.

Four-year-old Lily is a fantastic example of how the Precision Rehab team can provide a bespoke solution. As soon as Lily’s parents saw the Piccolino powerchair they knew it was perfect for Lily as it had the seat lift, tilt in space and other features we had been looking for but during the first assessment they had concerns that the standard Piccolino seat size would be an issue as Lily is so small.  Matt immediately put their minds at rest by explaining there are various bespoke options that would work for her.  However, they would not be needed as by the time they placed their order, Paravan had developed the new smaller K110 seat and Lily would be the first child in the world to have one fitted to her chair.

“At Precision Rehab we only use trusted manufacturers and suppliers to ensure we can provide our clients with high quality reliable products and in addition to being the official supplier of the eight model Paravan range of powerchairs for the UK and Ireland, we are also proud to work with Dietz Power UK.  Their Sango range offers powerchairs for all client groups – adults, paediatric and bariatric and whether they prefer front, mid or rear wheel drive” continued Matthew.

As part of its ongoing expansion, Precision Rehab recently announced the addition of the Swedish built Eurovema range of powerchairs to its portfolio.  Designed primarily for use indoors, the range comprises of 3 models, the Miniflex Front Wheel Drive, the Flexmobil i6 Mid-Wheel Drive and the Reflex Rear Wheel Drive which are available with a choice of seat options.

THE DIETZ POWER RANGE OF POWERCHAIRS

DIETZ Power was founded with one very clear goal in mind: to develop powered wheelchairs that are adaptable right down to the last detail, for people with limited mobility of any kind to use in a wide variety of living environments. In 2017, a small team of professionals joined forces, working every day (and, when needed, at night too) with relentless energy, highly focused creativity and, last but not least, the valuable know-how gained from many years of experience, to get the job done.

The result: A range of perfectly coordinated wheelchairs and high-quality individual components that can be precisely configured to fit the particular powered wheelchair required.

The SANGO powered wheelchair range offers a combination of great traction and comfort for outdoor use with a compact chassis size for tighter manoeuvres when being used in indoor environments.

Being available in either mid wheel drive, rear wheel drive or front wheel drive the best chassis option can be selected depending on how and where it will be used. The rubber suspension system offers an almost silent drive and the highest level of comfort because it absorbs vibrations from general surfaces as well as larger bumps from rougher outdoor obstacles.

Fitted as standard with 4-pole high torque motors the SANGO range offers a great drive with high levels of manoeuvrability and smoothness. A range of motor speed options are available for slower indoor use or a faster drive outdoors.

60Ah batteries allow a good range of driving and, on some models in the range, 78Ah batteries can be selected as an upgrade for further extension to the range achievable.

The SANGO range has been designed to make transfers, access under tables and other furniture as well as driving into Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV’s) effortless through the ultra-low seat height from 38cm (with 12” drive wheels).  If needed for driving a wheelchair accessible vehicle from the SANGO, it can be ordered with the preparation required for use with the DAHL drive system.

The SEGO seating system is fully adjustable to each individual requirement and a range of seat cushions, backrest cushions and other accessory options allow for optimal comfort and postural support to be achieved. Junior, adult and xxl sizes ensure a correct solution can be chosen.

A full range of powered options can be selected including, powered posterior seat tilt, powered seat lift, powered backrest recline, powered anterior seat tilt, powered centre mount legrest and powered individual legrests.  Several alternative control options for the user of the chair and/ or carer can be easily integrated and mounted offering a very individual and tailored solution.

If very specific requirements cannot be met by standard options, the SANGO range can be fitted with customised and bespoke items. These can be as varied as individual chassis colours, hydrodipped shroud patterns, mounting of communication devices as well as fully designed seating systems or integration of alternative suppliers bespoke seating systems.

To discuss the full range of powerchairs available from Precision Rehab or to book an assessment please call 01256 300111, email: sales@precisionrehab.co.uk or visit www.precisionrehab.co.uk

Precision Rehab reassures customers about safe services as restrictions tighten across England

We are still open, but will be implementing a number of measures to help protect our customers and staff.

We have been closely monitoring the latest government guidelines regarding COVID-19.

Following the government announcement in the fight against Covid-19 on the 22nd September 2020, we understand many of our clients and potential clients will be returning to shielding, self-isolating or continuing to do so. We take our clients and staff health very seriously. We will continue to offer all our services including assessments, servicing, repairs, parts supply and deliveries following government guidelines while using the appropriate PPE (Nitrile gloves, facemasks and antibacterial sanitizer for our
staff and products).

We can now offer the following options of visits and services:

Home Assessments and Deliveries:
This will be our usual home assessment/delivery service using PPE and social distancing, our staff will always check their temperature before starting the day. They will always be wearing nitrile gloves and face mask. Contact will be kept to a minimum, and the products will be deep cleaned before and after assessments/deliveries with antibacterial spray and wipes.

Contactless Assessments, Repairs, and Servicing:
This will be the same process as our home assessment but will be carried out without contact. Our staff will follow all the same procedures as above but will call the client on arrival. In the case of assessment we will leave the product at the front door or agreed safe place and then wait for a carer or parent to collect it, we will then carry out the assessment from a 2 meter distance. This process will remain the same for repairs and servicing, we will call on arrival, the carer or parent will then leave the product at the front door or agreed safe place, the product will be sanitised then repaired or serviced. On completion the product will be sanitised again and left at the front door, our engineer will then call and wait for the product to be collected.

Virtual Assessments:
We will be offering virtual assessments without the need to visit. This will be completed using phone consultation, customer fact finding forms with basic measurements and client photos while seated in their existing product from the front, rear and both sides. This information can then be emailed to our experienced assessment team. We will then produce a report and quotation for the appropriate product, that will be subject to full and final assessment once safe to do so. This service will enable our clients, case
managers and other professionals to start the process of seeking funding without delay.

Our staff whenever possible will be working from home to minimise contact in line with the government guidance, this will not impact our admin services.

We hope you all stay safe and well during these unprecedented times.
We are open and happy to help, and we will do our best to maintain our high quality and responsive service during this difficult period.

If you or anyone in your household is showing any symptoms (link to NHS advice pages) please contact us to rearrange your appointment as soon as possible.

We will continue to monitor the situation and follow any advice from the government and endeavor to do what is best for everyone. Please keep an eye on our website and Facebook to keep up to date with developments.

Contact details
Office Tel: 01256 300111
Sales Mob: 07736 152112
Service Mob: 07908 738978
Email: Service@precisionrehab.co.uk

Links for useful information
Information for the public
Guidance for healthcare professionals and other organisations
Link to article in Thiss Magazine 

NRtimes – How to find the perfect powerchair

When looking for a powerchair there are many options available which at times can be confusing. To eliminate some of this, we spoke to Matt James, director of Precision Rehab, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of powerchairs with over 25 years industry experience.

How to find the perfect powerchair

When looking for a powerchair what are the primary things people should consider?

There are lots of things to consider when looking for a powered wheelchair, here is a list of points to consider: Lifestyle (what is the user wanting the powerchair to do on an everyday basis), what range/distance will they need to travel in a day, size and dimensions of the chair, what is the weight of the chair and what is the maximum user weight and combined weight (for lifts, house and car).

Will the chair meet their current needs and more importantly be able to adapt to any changing postural management and control changes and what powered functions will the chair need to perform? It is vital to always have a home assessment to ensure its suitable for your home, work place and other regular places the client needs to access.

There are numerous seating options available so it important to find out what type of seating can the chair be supplied with and as most users will be travelling in a vehicle is the chair crash tested and approved for both webbing and automatic docking system. Research the company you are looking to purchase from, are they BHTA registered and are their assessors experienced, do they have any recommendations and always ask about warranty length, aftersales care and parts stock.

How important is it to have a thorough assessment and what does the assessment involve?

The assessment is the most important part of the process and if possible, should be carried out with the client’s choice of professional OT or PT.

It is recommended to try more than one powerchair, select three powerchairs that you believe will meet all your requirements and try each one to the same level of assessment.

Always have a home assessment and if possible, try all the environments that you want to use the chair in such as work, with family / friends, favourite restaurant etc. The assessment for powerchairs should be no less than two hours to allow time for the assessment, measurements, fact finding and detailed note taking.

From what age can people start using a powerchair?

There is no real answer to this, it is based purely on the client and their individual capabilities and understanding of the safe use of a powered wheelchair. In the past we have had a client start using a powerchair at the age of 18 months and took delivery at the age of 2, it is very much down to the individual.

Many NR Times readers or their clients / family members have very specific requirements due to their spinal or neuro injury or condition. How easy it is to make a powerchair bespoke so it meets their needs?

As a company we can offer just about any modification and bespoke solutions that our clients request from specialist controls and seating to additional powered functions and bespoke items such as powered swing away joysticks, powered flip up footplate, USB charging points pretty much anything is possible.

We also work with other companies to supply complimentary equipment that we fit predelivery to ensure a fully bespoke service, these companies included Mo-Vis, Contour886, RMS, BodyPoint and many more…

Can you give us some examples of adaptations you have done to help clients?

We have fitted mini joysticks with heating and cooling systems, custom seating while working together with Contour886, electric swing away joysticks, electric flip up footplates, custom solutions fitting aftermarket headrests, thoracic supports, arm pads, modular seating solutions, even custom painted body covers and matching seat stitching.

Can you offer any advice on what funding is available to help with purchasing a powerchair?

With over 25 years of experience in assessing and supplying specialist powerchairs we have lots of avenues to advise our clients with regards to where they could seek potential funding, these can be age, disability or work-related avenues, we discuss all the client’s options and advise each one accordingly.

Bearing in mind most users are extremely reliant on their powerchair, in terms of aftercare, what type of support do manufacturers offer?

Precision Rehab take aftersales very seriously as this is one of the most important parts of our service when supplying specialist powerchairs.

Our clients are very much dependant on their powerchairs, we only deal with a limited number of suppliers to ensure we can cover all parts of the UK. We deal with manufactures such as Paravan GmbH and NHD who not only manufacture very well-built reliable chairs but also offer fast and effective parts supply.

We had pre-Brexit meeting with all our suppliers to ensure we can still offer our same level of service and ensure we can maintain our UK parts stock. We have recently joined the BHTA to ensure with growth we can offer the same high stand of aftersales care and keep up with their code of practice.

Can people maintain their own powerchair or does it have to be serviced by the manufacturer?

Within the manufactures warranty period it is only the manufacture or their recommended or authorised service department that should maintain the powerchair.

We recommend this continues outside of the manufactures warranty period as many if not all clients take out extended warranty packages and within the terms of these policies it must be serviced by an authorised agent within a 12-month period.

We also recommend a pre-planned annual service is carried out to ensure reliable use and helps prevent unwelcome breakdowns or failures (preventive maintenance), outside of all warranty obligations the client could maintain their own powerchair but we would not recommend this.

What are the common mistakes people make when looking for and purchasing a powerchair?

The most common mistakes is not looking into the kind of everyday things a client would like to do with their chair such as travel in an adapted vehicle, will it fit in a lift at home (weight and size), what type of terrain can the powerchair cope with, user weight limits, size of the powerchair, will the controls progress with the clients changing needs, will the seating grow or be able to adapt to postural changes.

As mentioned previously it is vital to always try out several powerchairs at home, work and other local environments you often attend to ensure the chair meets all the requirements of your lifestyle and disability needs for both the short term and long term.

What are the common misconceptions people have about powerchairs?

I think one of the biggest misconceptions that people have is that powerchairs make users more disabled looking than manual wheelchairs. In most case they more enabling and with modern powerchairs more effort is put into the design and appearance.

You recently added the Glory headset to your portfolio. How has powerchair technology evolved over recent years and what do you see in the future?

In the last 10/15 years powerchairs have come a long way. These days, chairs offer greater functions with more advanced control ideas, drive from wheelchair options, design and more choice than ever and in the future, I believe we will see even more advanced controls.

For example, on a recent visit to Rehacare in Dusseldorf there were many new control ideas including eye gaze/vision steering systems and voice control systems. We recently added Mo-Vis to our supplier list and have just taken delivery of the first Mo-Vis scoot attendant control in the UK for our client and an assessment kit.

To discuss the full range of powerchairs available from Precision Rehab Contact Us

 Read the full published article here

AMP – Precision Rehab to launch new chair next month

Equipment specialist, Precision Rehab, is set to debut a new chair at Naidex next month where it will be showcasing its existing range to end-users.

The dealer will also be pushing its Piccolino chair, which it says has enjoyed success with the company’s clients.

One of its clients, eight-year-old George Lockley, needed his powerchair replacing last year with one that was larger and had more features.

The family attended several exhibitions to see what was available and George tried four or five different models.

In May 2018, Precision visited George at home to conduct an assessment to ensure the chair would meet all George’s individual needs.

As soon as the family had secured the necessary funding it got in touch with Precision to order George’s chair which was delivered in November.

Matt James, director at Precision Rehab, said: “It has been such a pleasure to help George and his family.

“As with many Piccolino powered wheelchairs, we tailored George’s to meet his exact requirements including moving the joystick from left to right, fitting a different seat belt and custom lower leg length.

“We also fitted additional lateral supports to provide George with increased postural support as he is quite slim for his height. George also wanted black upholstery on the seating with red stitching and this was also provided.”

With seat widths of 270 – 430 mm, a depth of 320 – 385 mm, and back height of 400 – 480 mm combined with side supports, head support and other seat accessories all of which are multi variable and individually adjustable, the Piccolino aims to be a versatile powered wheelchair.

For more information Contact Us

Read the full published article here

THIIS. – POWERCHAIRS: THE TRADE’S NEED-TO-KNOW REPORT

In the world of mobility, powerchairs are big business for suppliers and dealers alike. With a global market estimated to reach close to £2billion by 2022 and a domestic private sector boosted the introduction of personal wheelchair budgets, powerchair manufacturers and retailers are working hard to secure their place in the sector and win over customers. Examining the powerchair segment in detail, THIIS investigates what is driving this competitive marketplace, what it takes to be a successful powerchair dealer, and what the future holds for those operating in the sector.

WHAT DO END-USERS WANT?

With more choice in the domestic market than ever before, suppliers are busy working on trendsetting devices to grab retailers’ and end-users’ attention. All this choice however, can make it difficult for retailers to decide which products are worth their time and money. Amongst all players in the market however, there are two elements widely acknowledged by retailers and suppliers as being fundamental when selling powerchairs.

Quality above all else
According to key retailers and manufacturers, product and service quality are always at the heart of any successful powerchair operation, with the two going hand-in-hand.
Simon Tempest, Head of Mobility at Ottobock UK, noted: “We find as a manufacturer that customers are looking for all the things you would expect in a powerchair — functionality, comfort, adaptability — but they demand quality.”
In a market with large, established players and disruptive new entrants, there is little room for a product lacking in quality, with dealers and customers not short on alternative options should one fail to deliver.
It is a point upheld by TGA’s National Sales Manager Tim Ross, who told THIIS that comfort, postural support and particularly product reliability continue to be major considerations in end-users’ buying decisions.
He added: “Dependable performance needs to be backed up by servicing and maintenance that is efficient and responsive, so independence is not compromised if a fault arises or replacement parts are needed.”
Beyond demands for the right product, suppliers and retailers note that customers demand the right level of service, be that in terms of supporting marketing materials, staff knowledge and aftersales support.
Selling to both end-users and the trade, specialist powerchair provider Precision Rehab’s Director Matthew James described that first and foremost, end-users are looking for dealers that know the market inside out.
“The most important thing that endusers are looking for is a professional and understanding service from start to finish,” he said.
“This includes product knowledge, knowledge of the end-user’s disability and requirements and understanding how to manage this and come up with a satisfactory solution. Most important is aftersales care – this must be carried out in a timely fashion, with UK parts and fast response times.” Invacare, one of the largest powerchair manufacturers on the market, also noted that service quality was just as important as product quality for end-users. Invacare’s Melanie Scrivener pointed out:
“Product reliability and durability rank highly, as well as buying from a recommended and knowledgeable dealer.”
For dealers to provide this high level of service desired by customers, the obligation is on suppliers to supply the necessary levels of support to their retail network, with high levels of supplier support being as crucial as high-quality products to encourage retailers to promote and sell a product.
A founding partner of lightweight wheelchair, powerchair and seating solution specialist Motus Medical, Chris Taylor stated that above all else, service support is what separates good suppliers from bad suppliers and largely determines which products his company will work with.
“Most importantly, it’s the backup we get from suppliers on spares and support on problem solving that really matters,” he said. “To be honest, we don’t have many major issues as we are very selective with suppliers as the ones we do use are very strong in that respect. It’s very important for our clients.”
This importance for service has not gone unnoticed by suppliers in the industry, with Karma’s General Manager Mark Duffield pointing out that the company invests in a large stock of spare parts and accessories to ensure it can meet the rapid response required by dealers for their customers.
Amongst the key suppliers THIIS spoke with, all highlighted supporting their respective dealer networks as a priority, with Karma, TGA Mobility, Ottobock UK, and Invacare all emphasising the significant investments they make in marketing and brand support, as well as product training.

Training for increasingly complex products
With a market growing constantly more competitive, suppliers continue to hunt for new ways to distinguish themselves in the market through technological advancements, with chairs becoming all the more complex. For dealers, this means continuously training service engineers to be able to work with these more intricate and complicated devices in order to meet the exceptional service demanded by the market.
It is one of the driving forces behind suppliers in the market investing heavily in their training offer to dealers.
Ottobock’s Simon Tempest highlighted how much of a role training played in the company’s retailer support offering: “We spend a lot of time visiting dealers up and down the country, providing general support, training courses on our products and any bespoke follow-up training whenever it’s required.”
Invacare and TGA also emphasised that training was one of the cornerstones of their dealer offer, with TGA’s Tim Ross explaining that the company ensures its dealer network has access and regular communication with the company’s technical staff.
“TGA helps dealers to achieve servicing excellence through regular updates to engineers and technicians so maintenance and repairs can be completed proficiently,” he stated.
With only so many hours in a day and so many days in a week however, there is a growing likelihood that dealers will specialise their complex powerchair offering, adopting a similar structure to that of Motus Medical, working with a limited number of key suppliers.
It has led to some suppliers investing in new technology to benefit not only end-users but dealers as well. One such example is Quantum’s new Interactive Assist app, allowing dealers’ service engineers to access a chair’s diagnostic data remotely.
As competition and technological developments expand, it may well be those suppliers that make life easier for burdened dealers that may see the most success with their retail network.

HOW ARE SUPPLIERS DIFFERENTIATING IN THE MARKET?

With the need to differentiate in a fiercely competitive market, there is a growing need for suppliers to add more unique selling points to their powerchairs, with a raft of new features appearing in the market over the years.

The rise in interconnectivity
With end-users living more interconnected lives and more everyday technology talking with each other, the same is expected from modern powerchairs.
Invacare’s Melanie pointed out: “Consumers are increasingly looking at technology that connects with their chair, particularly Bluetooth connectivity and the ability to use apps via a mobile phone.”
With apps that allow dealers and retailers more access to the devices – such as Quantum’s new Interactive Assist technology for dealers and TGA’s WHILL C’s ability for users to move the device using their smartphones – some powerchairs are challenging the product’s older associations with disability, with some positioning themselves as modern, high-tech innovations.
“If effective technology and appealing design are successfully leveraged, any historic stigmatism can be lost as assistive products are accepted more in society,” claimed Tim Ross.
“This widens the sector to younger customers and those who value style as well as function.”

Matching style with substance
Continuing with the idea of aesthetics, TGA Mobility’s National Sales Manager maintained customers are looking beyond functionality, prioritising style along with substance. “End-users are becoming more style conscious and hence seeking powerchairs that look good as well as deliver effective mobility”, he commented.
“There is a demand for streamlined designs that combine contemporary aesthetics with modern materials – helping to increase pride, inclusion and self-confidence.”
It is a point emphasised by many in the industry, with specialist wheelchair dealer Motus Medical’s Chris Taylor explaining that one of the foundations of his company’s success is it engineering department’s use cutting edge moulding technology to adapt shapes for clients.
“These days, it’s all about customising the chairs,” he stressed. Simon Tempest shared the view, noting that customers are increasingly expecting more freedom to tailor the chair to suit their own sense of individuality. “Their chair is their independence and it’s also a reflection on their personality, so additional features like a choice of colours, power sources for mobile phones, lights and more are also becoming more popular.”

Lightweight powerchairs becoming heavyweight players
Whilst the technical development of powerchairs for complex disabilities continues to rise, one of the quickest growing areas in the powerchair market is the rising demand for lighter weight and more compact chairs. Often designed for and marketed at those with less complex needs, Karma’s Mark Duffield noted: “Some users are looking for a light model to lift in and out of the car, others might need a compact chair to hoist into the car,” he observed.
“Users also might want to travel sitting in the product in the car. Karma have new products and designs to help with all of these requirements.” Shining a light on this increasing demand for lighter weight options, TGA’s Tim Ross said: “Designs that are transportable continue to grow in popularity as individuals want to travel further afield, nationally and internationally.
“Powerchairs that are lightweight or can be dismantled for storage in a car boot, plane or train, deliver a significant advantage as seamless transfers are possible from home to destination, without the need to hire unfamiliar products on arrival.”
This demand for lighter, more compact chairs has seen new entrants such as E-goes JoyRider powerchair, Karma’s eFlexx and Motion Healthcare’s Foldalite enter the powerchair arena and proving popular with dealers looking to extend their powerchair portfolio for end-users who may be just need additional mobility support, rather than having a complex requirement.

Tighter turning in tighter spaces
Alongside lighter weight, manoeuvrability is another feature used by suppliers to differentiate their products on the market and is largely in response to the more restricted spaces users are using the devices in, according to TGA’s Tim Ross.
“In terms of manoeuvrability, powerchairs need to be able to cope within reduced space these days as properties become smaller and pedestrian numbers increase,” he commented.
“Being able to move around an un-adapted home seamlessly or access shopping malls, lifts and offices, without awkward adjustments, reduces transit time and increases convenience.”
Manoeuvrability is one of the key elements TGA highlights relating to its WHILL C powerchair, boasting a unique wheel system that allows for a very tight turning circle.
TGA are not the only company to emphasise manoeuvrability however, with Ottobock’s Stuart Wheatley also making the case for the manufacturers’ latest range. “Combining the convenience and manoeuvrability of a mid-wheel drive powerchair with the outdoor performance of a rear-wheel drive version has been a conundrum for manufacturers for many years,” he said.
“However, Ottobock’s new torsion drive system on its Juvo B5 and B6 powerchairs manage to achieve this.”

HOW TO RETAIL POWERCHAIRS EFFECTIVELY

With an increasingly ageing population and with more CCGs introducing Personal Wheelchair Budgets throughout 2019, demand in the private market is only expected to rise in the years to come, making powerchairs an attractive product area for dealers.
For dealers that may have only sold mobility scooters in the past or operate strictly online-only business models however, Tim Ross cautioned that the requirements to retail powerchairs effectively are different. “When supplying powerchairs, face to-face assessment is 100 percent essential. The needs of each potential customer must be thoroughly checked to ensure the right product and adaptations are supplied – hence resulting in maximised independence,” advised Tim.
“Often people seeking powerchairs have more complex needs than mobility scooter customers – therefore purchasing via the internet alone may not be an appropriate route to market.”
Additionally, Tim says a structured assessment process, combined with actively listening to an end-user, will result in a better outcome for end-users.

Knowledge is power
For dealers interested in selling powerchairs, Precision Rehab’s Matthew James elaborated that to carry out assessments, staff need to about the products and the disabilities they are likely to encounter.
“There are many things that retailers need to have in place to effectively prescribe powerchairs, however, we feel the most important are the fast, effect aftersales care; parts in stock; and experienced assessors that know their products inside and out,” stressed Matthew.
“They should also know their clients’ disabilities and postural requirements, along with all the legal requirements and restrictions based on the powerchairs classification.”
Discussing the process of assessments in more detail, Motus Medical’s Chris Taylor told THIIS how his team of powerchair experts work with end-users to identify the right chair for their needs.
“It’s really all about our employees and their passion for finding technology to match client needs and demands,” described Chris. “We use a client information sheet to create a contract with the clients, taking them through all of the hazards and benefits of becoming a powerchair user for the first time, updating existing clients on the new-fangled versions, or regulatory criteria.”
The importance of providing assessment for customers is echoed by Karma’s Mark Duffield, who pointed out that for powerchair dealers, having the skill to assess and the facility to service are two valuable aspects for a successful powerchair dealer.
“The ability to assess and identify the right product for a user is vital,” he explained. “Having somewhere the user can come to have the chair tweaked and maintained is invaluable for the user and often underrated.” Backing up Mark’s point, Ottobock’s Stuart also discussed the advantages afforded to dealers that have the space to offer end-users a range of options, however, pointed out that a physical space is not a prerequisite to being an effective powerchair dealer.
“It is important customers can see the products they are interested in, so it is important retailers have plenty of options on display, together with supporting marketing material so the customer can make an informed choice on what’s right for them,” underlined Stuart.
“Ad as mentioned before, it is vital retailers have comprehensive knowledge of the products so they can answer any questions a customer may have.
“Finally, it’s important for retailers to be flexible – some customers may not be able to visit the showroom so a home visit might be suitable, while an easy to navigate website would also be a plus.”
For specialist powerchair dealers Motus Medical and Precision Rehab, both emphasised that their business models do not rely on physical showrooms, noting that suitability for an end-user is best established by having them use their chairs in the environments they will be used in on a daily basis. Motus Medical’s Chris Taylor said: “We don’t operate out of a showroom as we seldom sell basic products and we stress to clients the need for seeing them in the home environment, so even though we have had people at HQ from time to time, we always need to see where the product is being used, even so much as going to the local park or cafe with them.”
The point was echoed by Precision Rehab’s Matthew James, adding: “We do not believe a showroom is always necessary as any client will need to try the powerchair in the environment in which they will be using it. This is vital to ensure the powerchair works where it needs to, be at home, at their workplace, in their vehicle (either as a passenger or driver), along with being suitable for any hobbies and interests the user may have.
“These cannot be tested and checked in a big showroom.”

THE IMPACT OF PERSONAL WHEELCHAIR BUDGETS

One of the biggest opportunities in the private market for both manufacturers and dealers alike is the continued spread of Personal Wheelchair Budgets, with CCGs up and down the country adopting and rolling out the scheme designed to provide end-users with a greater say in the powerchairs they choose.
“I can only see this as a benefit to both the dealer market and the end users as it’s freedom of choice, what could be better than that?” said Motus Medical’s Chris Taylor.
The mobility dealer’s optimism was shared by all players THIIS spoke with, encouraged by the idea of more end-users engaging with the private market.“I think Personal Wheelchair Budgets might open the market up for retailers and suppliers to market our products to a wider audience,” reaffirmed Karma’s Mark Duffield.
His hopes were echoed by Ottobock’s Stuart Wheatley, with the Head of Mobility noting that Personal Wheelchair Budgets will enable users the opportunity to access features sometimes previously unavailable to them through the NHS.
“I believe personal wheelchair budgets could have a positive effect on the market when individuals may have unmet needs. An example would be when a seat riser option is used on a power wheelchair for reaching high cupboards or transferring to different seat surfaces,” he explained.
“This option is not always available through state funding but with the Personal Wheelchair Budget there may be more flexibility in the provision. This could then enable individuals to access this option and therefore enhance their level of independence.”
With a market already experiencing fierce competition and an influx of new, discerning customers with the freedom of choice at their fingertips, it is likely that the pace of innovation will only quicken as suppliers seek new ways to distinguish themselves in an increasingly saturated segment.
“As end users obtain greater control of their own budgets, we believe there will be a demand for more choice within the market,” suggested TGA’s Tim Ross. “New technologies and innovations will need to appear so that independent mobility can be achieved for a wider range of lifestyle and disabilities.”
The National Sales Manager for TGA went on to say that whilst price will remain a major factor in endusers’ decision-making process, customers are often willing to spend more to get the right chair for themselves, whilst popular leasing schemes such as Motability will continue to provide customers with an alternative to private ownership.

The race to establish brand loyalty
Trust and loyalty are two factors more prevalent in mobility than in many other markets, with mobility products and powerchairs in particular playing a vital role in the quality of an end-user’s life.
Market research carried out by Nielsen in 2016 found that disabled consumers are more loyal to brands than almost any other consumer group, with a consultant from AdWeek highlighting that disabled consumers are more likely to be advocates for the businesses and brands that they love because they are hungry for products that work for them. This loyalty is largely driven by the high-degree of trust afforded to brands of powerchairs by end-users, who rely on the devices to fulfil one of the most important facets of their lives, their mobility.
Suppliers and retailers that do a good job are rewarded by endusers who are more likely to sing a products’ or business’ praises to friends and family, spreading awareness through valuable word-ofmonth recommendations. For competitors, trying to entice consumers away from brands they are loyal to is a difficult task, hence the importance of being first to establish brand loyalty with end-users.
It has led to a significant investment in marketing by key players keen to raise brand and product awareness of their products amongst both endusers and retailers in the market.
As Karma’s Mark Duffield explained: “We spend a lot marketing our products to generate interest in our products and brand.” Whilst often not selling to end-users, powerchair suppliers can often be found at shows and exhibitions across the UK throughout the year, whilst TGA’s recent regional Retailer Roadshow reflects its desire to get in front of dealers face-to-face. “TGA’s trade programme includes free outreach roadshows, marketing, PR and point of sale – all aimed at supporting powerchair sales for dealers,” commented TGA’s Tim Ross. “This regional activity is bolstered by national brand building and continual social media and press coverage which focuses on evidence-based testimonials.”
With a potentially new, untapped customer base soon to enter the private market through Personal Wheelchair Budgets, alongside the ever-popular Motability scheme, marketing and advertising in the industry is likely to see as much growth as product innovation.
For manufacturers and retailers, establishing loyalty with customers early on is vital to avoid having to try and attempt to sway committed consumers away from their favourite brands and dealers further down the line.

ON THE HORIZON

With a population that continues to age, a national personal budget initiative encouraging end-users to consider buying privately, and an extremely loyal customer base, it is no surprise that the powerchair market is one of the most hotly contested areas of mobility.
It is a market not without its challenges however, with TGA’s Tim Ross indicating that as supplier and retailer competition increases, ensuring end-users are not taken advantage of becomes all the more crucial. “One of the main challenges will always be signposting people to the right powerchair supplier. It is essential that accurate and objective information is available, particularly online, that helps individuals make an informed decision,” cautioned Tim.
“Customers need to be in control of the purchasing process and to be able to talk to specialists with genuine expertise – not pushed into buying a product that only suits the dealer.
“As the market expands, without regulation, more suppliers can appear who are not ethical or have a true understanding of conditions. Therefore, it is imperative credible businesses continue to improve assessment processes and access to accurate information so end users make the right choice.”
In the more immediate future, Brexit concerns could spell trouble for suppliers and dealers in the industry, particularly in relation to quick access to vitally important spares needed for servicing and new chairs to meet growing demand.
Distributing the Paravan range of powerchairs from Germany, Precision Rehab’s Matthew James discussed what effect Brexit could play on his company: “As most of the Brexit agreement is unknown, it is a hard question to answer, however, we predict it will slow our delivery times from the EU by around 2 weeks and increase the amount of administration dealing with import paperwork required for customs clearance and duties. “Hopefully the euro exchange rate will settle and the pound will return to rates before Brexit as then prices would be better for the end users.” Whilst Brexit is often spoken of as the troll lurking under the bridge for many UK businesses, Karma’s Mark stated that it is the level of competition in the UK market that is the real challenge for suppliers, stressing the need to stay one step ahead with innovation.
“Competition is the biggest challenge but fortunately Karma are constantly striving to improve their products and designs to satisfy demand, so they’re a great supplier to work with,” he remarked.
Despite the challenges ahead, players in the market remain largely optimistic and those that continue to prioritise the two core foundations of product quality and service quality will be well-placed to reap the rewards on offer in the expanding powerchair market.

For more information on how Precision Rehab can help you find your next wheelchair which is suitable for all your needs Contact Us

 Read the full published article here – Page 72-82

Why I wish I had known about Naidex sooner!

It’s been eight weeks since the order for my dream electric wheelchair was placed. I have had many appointments with Occupational Therapists, Social Workers, suppliers and my local Wheelchair Services throughout the years. Many of these appointments just ended in tears. I became reluctant to try any new equipment as I knew finding a chair which would allow me to be comfortable and independent, was incredibly challenging and emotionally draining for me.

I have a condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2. SMA is a rare, degenerative, genetically inherited neuromuscular condition. As a result of a delay in diagnosis of scoliosis on top of this, I have alway had quite complex postural and positional needs. 

Without the correct equipment, general life can be a struggle, if not impossible. For instance, the chair I currently have is an indoor chair. It has zero tilt functions, is rigid and makes it impossible for adequate positional changes. It is not intended to be used on long distances, it can run out of charge easily, limiting my social outings. 

All chairs (including my current chair) I have come across, simply do not meet my needs. This has been the reoccurring issue when seeking an appropriate chair.

I had pretty much lost all hopes in finding the right chair. But at the beginning of March, I was approached by Naidex and asked if I would like to come a long and be an ambassador. I’m going to be honest and admit that I had never heard of Naidex until then. 

As stated on their website, ’Naidex is Europe’s most established trade, professional and public event dedicated to the care, rehabilitation and lifestyle of people with a disability or impairment.’ Naidex is free to attend and welcomes all walks of life. Naidex hosts hundreds of exhibitors, seminars and live demos. Including opportunities to engage in discussions with professionals and receive 1-2-1 guidance. 

Due to previous not so pleasant experiences with specialists and trialing equipment (which clearly was not tailored for me), I began believing that my body was the problem. I was afraid of feeling ashamed by being surrounded by all sorts of equipment that wouldn’t be suitable for me, however, rolling into the NEC I soon realised that boy, was I wrong! I was spoiled for choice and felt like I was stepping into a candy shop, surrounded by people who wanted to engage and discuss the many ways I didn’t even realise my life could be improved. For once I didn’t feel pressured, I felt confident and even curious to discover and eager learn.

After a couple of hours of chatting, eating and observing, I then happened to meet the lovely team at Precision Rehab. They specialise in wheelchairs and adaptive technology. I had a delightful chat to Matt and it was clear that he was passionate about his job and was very experienced. He was understanding and instilled me with confidence, then suddenly I decided to brave another dreaded assessment. 

On the 23rd of May, Matt drove to my house with variety of chairs for me to try. But this assessment was different and somewhat of a Cinderella moment. (Except with wheels, of course!) 

Never in my dreams did I believe that I would find such a cutting-edge and comfortable yet sassy and stylish chair. The PR30 was made for me! The Paravan PR30 features many elaborate functions which will allow for independent positional changes to help manage and relieve pain to allow me to sit comfortably for longer periods of time. I’m also very much looking forward to expanding my shoe collection as I will finally be able to wear high heels(!!!) all thanks to the electric footplate adjustment feature, of course!

I would have never discovered Precision Rehab, nor found the courage to arrange an assessment  if it wasn’t for their stand at Naidex. 

I strongly recommend everyone to visit Naidex as there is something for everyone and you might just surprise yourself and discover something new as I did. I wish I had known about it sooner. I’m currently in the stage of my life where I’m looking to move out of my family home and I hand on heart I cannot wait be back at Naidex in the new year to discover what else is out there for me!

For more informaiont Contact Us

Article by: Kat Z Claws
Youtube Channel: Kat Z Claws

THIIS.- Precision Rehab’s powerchair display leads to OT Show success

After showcasing a range of mobility aids at the 2018 Occupational Therapy Show, including the UPnRIDE, Sunrise Q700 UP M and Paravan powerchairs, Precision Rehab has said that it received extremely positive feedback from OTs visiting the exhibition.

Precision displayed the UPnRIDE and Sunrise Q700 UP M standing powered wheelchairs alongside the Paravan PR50, Paravan PR30 Evo II and the Paravan Piccolino, which features a low to floor seat height of 38cm with an option of 36cm.

Matthew James, Co-Director at Precision Rehab, commented: “The OT Show has been great for us in the past, and this year’s event was no different.

“The two-day event was a fantastic platform for us to showcase and demonstrate our range of powered wheelchairs to OT’s from around the UK and discuss their client’s requirements and book assessments in a relaxed and friendly environment.”

To read the full published article click here

American University Dream comes true for Tilly

18-YEAR-OLD TILLY GRIFFITHS FROM STOKE, HAS JUST STARTED A FOUR-YEAR COURSE AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY.

What makes it truly remarkable is that Tilly was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2, a neuro muscular condition which means Tilly has the equivalent strength of a new born baby. Tilly requires a 24hr care package and she is the first student from her part of the country and possibly the first in the UK to have the cost of this covered by the NHS when studying overseas.
Something else that has helped Tilly is a new powered wheelchair, a Piccolino, supplied by Precision Rehab.
Tilly has used wheelchairs and powered wheelchairs from an extremely young age as she explains: “Throughout my life, the chairs I have had have been a huge part of my life and everything I have achieved – allowing me to be the person I want to be. When I received confirmation that I would be able to start university thanks to the NHS covering the cost of my care package I knew I would need a new chair as my previous one was starting to show its age.”
Once funding has been secured from the Newlife Charity, she got in touch with Matthew James of Precision Rehab, who she has known since she was at Primary School.
However, this wasn’t a straightforward order as Tilly required a chair with very bespoke adjustments and the deadline for leaving for America was very tight. Tilly’s chair is fitted with a K120 seat which can accommodate paediatrics and small adults as its flexible design allows for growth and support as the seat system will adjust to accommodate postural changes. Upper body supports including thoracic supports can also be fitted and alternative seating options are also available including Jay and moulded seat systems.
The design of the chair and its ability to go into a horizontal position means it can also convert into a changing table so Tilly and her carer do not have to worry about always being in close proximity to hoists or slings.
Due to Tilly’s lack of strength, her chair has to have a highly sensitive joystick and Precision Rehab addressed this by fitting a
Micro Glide mini joy stick, while the R-Net Omni display unit allows Tilly to monitor her speed and functions and control all parts of the chair independently including Bluetooth and infra-red devices.
“I love my new chair” says Tilly. “Matt has done an amazing job to incorporate all the features I wanted – right down to a phone charger and new mouldings on the base of the chair as I wanted them to look sleeker.”
One of the most important additions to the chair was the fitting of Neater arm supports which Tilly has been using since starting middle school as Tilly’s mother Jackie explains: “When Tilly started middle school, she was determined to be as independent as possible and this included being able to feed herself and the arms supports from Neater Solutions enable her to do this and so much more. Not only do the arm supports enable Tilly to feed herself, use her laptop and play the piano they have also had a positive effect on her respiratory function. The arm supports support her forearms and rotate her shoulders back and Tilly’s respiratory consultant has continually been impressed with her respiratory function and believes it is probably down to her using her shoulders and therefore improving her posture as without arm supports Tilly’s arms would sit in her lap 24/7.”
Tilly is a true inspiration to other teenagers living with a disability. To be accepted into Stanford, she needed to gain A and A stars, which she achieved and recorded results which placed her in the top 1% in the entrance exam worldwide. Jackie continued: “We are incredibly proud of Tilly and what she has achieved. She is now settled into university life at Stanford and I cannot thank everyone involved enough.”
Matt is delighted with the positive feedback about the chair. “Over the years I have known Tilly she has never failed to impress me with her determination to live life to the full despite her disability. We believe that every client is unique and so go the extra mile to find a bespoke solution to ensure every client receives a chair which meets all their individual
requirements.”

 Read the full Article here – Page 32-33

London to Brighton Bike Ride 16th September 2018 for Caudwell Children because Caudwell Children do so much for so many children

Matt James is fundraising for Caudwell Children

Precision Rehab Ltd Co-Director Matthew James will be taking part in the London to Brighton bike ride to raise funds and awareness for Caudwell Children’s Charity.

Matthew has worked in the disability industry for over 25 years, he says that Caudwell Children have always done so much to help young disabled people, from funding for a powered or manual wheelchair, to a dream holiday with specialist support, care support or even simple advice. Caudwell Children are always happy to listen and help, to find out more about Caudwell Children click the link Caudwell Children.

This will be the third time that Matthew will have done the London to Brighton bike ride, with the 1st time being some 25 years ago, following Matthew completing last years ride (2017), he has committed to making this an annual event for the Childrens charities within the disability sector.

Please help Matthew reach his target of £5,000.00 (or more) any donations no matter how large or small will help, so if you would like to donate please click the link to Matthew’s Just Giving Page.

London to Brighton Charity Bike Ride on 17th September 2017

Precision Rehab Ltd Co-Director Matthew James will be taking part in the London to Brighton bike ride to raise funds and awareness for Caudwell Children’s Charity.

Matthew has worked in the disability industry for over 24 years, he says that Caudwell Children have always done so much to help young disabled people, from funding for a powered or manual wheelchair, to a dream holiday with specialist support, care support or even simple advice. Caudwell Children are always happy to listen and help, to find out more about Caudwell Children click the link Caudwell Children.

This will be the second time that Matthew will have done the London to Brighton bike ride, with the 1st time being some 25 years ago, Matthew has commented to say he would like to make this an annual event for the Charity.

Please help Matthew reach his target of £8,000, any donations no matter how large or small will help, so if you would like to donate please click the link to Matthew’s Just Giving Page.