DLF supports the development of an improved Assistive Products List for WHO

The DLF welcomes BATA's initiative to create a UK stakeholder group to further develop the WHO's APL (Assistive Products List) for the UK. At a meeting in July initial supporters of this new programme of work agreed to work together to define a new list of the most essential assistive products in use. The DLF has signed up to BATA's Statement of Collaboration and welcomes future involvement in this work.

John Lamb, Executive Director of BATA writes:

'The idea of creating an APL for each nation came from the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a way to highlight the unmet need for AT around the world. More than one billion people need assistive products, a number expected to double in the next 30 years. However only 1 in 10 of them have access to appropriate assistive products.

According to WHO’s Global Cooperation on AT programme: “The APL encourages countries to develop a list of national priority products, and is a guide to enhance production, procurement and service provision, to develop reimbursement policies and to shape markets. Future work will also relate to standards and procurement for priority assistive products.”

In the UK AT has always suffered from a low level of awareness on the part of policymakers, carers and, sadly, users: awareness both of the capabilities of the technology and its benefits. That may be down to a lack of training, but surely it is also due to the fragmented nature of the sector – small groups of people – working independently often with minimal resources. I believe the APL project is an opportunity for organisations and individuals to come together and to speak with a much louder and more coherent voice about what AT can achieve.

BATA believes it is important to establish our national priorities by finding out how many people are using which assistive products and how can we reduce the cost of providing those products, so that all UK citizens can afford access to them.'

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