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Doorbells and door entry systems

This section includes doorbells and door entry systems with accessible features.

Doorbells which flash, vibrate or sound loudly may help a person with hearing loss to be alerted when the doorbell is pressed. When the doorbell button is pressed, a unit within the home flashes, a portable pad vibrates, or a loud ring is sounded. Some doorbells have a combination of more than one of these features. 

Most models are wireless, and are either battery powered or the chime unit plugs directly into an electric socket.

Door knock beacons are attached to a door and flash a strobe light if they detect a knock on the door.

One-way intercom systems enable a user to speak to, and hear a caller at their door. They can also release a door latch so a caller can be let in without the user having to go to their door. Some have a video function to enable the user to see the person at the door as well as speak to them.

Two-way intercom systems enable communication between two or more rooms, or between one or more rooms and a box outside the front door. They can be used to talk to a caller at the door before the user decides whether to let them in.

Telecare door entry systems enable a person to open their front door with a remote control system and/or enable a carer or the emergency services to open the front door with either a remote control or by contacting the person's help centre.

Sound indicators are alerting systems which may flash a light or trigger a vibrating pager to notify a person of their doorbell. They may also be used to be alerted to the telephone ringing, a smoke alarm or baby monitor. 

Access Trigger
Radio pendant with push-button operation for use with manufacturer's range of control units and enabled systems. Comprises: gives authorised carers ac...
Amplicall 16 Doorbell Amplifier
Door ring indicator which flashes and emits a loud ring. Comprises: loud ring and flash when door bell is pressed; adjustable volume; wall mountable; ...
Amplicall 20 Doorbell And Telephone Ring Indicator
Telephone and door ring indicator which flashes and emits a loud ring. Comprises: loud ring and flash when an incoming call is received or door bell i...
Audioline Watch & Care Wireless Video Baby Monitor
Digital monitor system. Comprises: camera; base unit; colour monitor with LED night vision; auto sensor; two-way conversation; remote music playback; ...
Bellman Ionisation Smoke Alarm
Smoke detector which forms part of the Bellman 868 Paging System to work with a range of alert devices including a portable receiver, vibrating pager,...
Bellman Optical Smoke And Heat Transmitter
Smoke detector which forms part of the Bellman 868 Paging System. Comprises: optical sensor designed to detect smouldering fires; safety device to pre...
Bellman Visit Alarm Clock Receiver With Bed Shaker
Alarm clock with amplified and flashing alarm with a vibrating pad that works as part of the manufacturer's paging system. Comprises: uses different s...
Bellman Visit Alerting System Flash Receiver
Flash strobe receiver alert which indicates a compatible transmitter has been activated by illuminating different coloured symbols (telephone, smoke a...
Bellman Visit Carbon Monoxide Detector
Carbon monoxide detector and transmitter for use in connection with the Bellman system to allow connection to receivers including strobes, pagers and ...
Bellman Visit Portable Pager Receiver
Multi-alert receiving pager. Comprises: when a signal is received from a compatible transmitter a different vibration pattern will alert you to which ...
Bellman Visit Portable Receiver
Receiver activated via radio signals from any transmitter within the Bellman paging system. When activated the receiver sounds an alarm and illuminate...
Bellman Visit Push Button Transmitter
Push button transmitter which, when triggered, operates a Bellman receiver such as an alarm clock, pager or strobe (not supplied). Comprises: can be ...
Bellman Visit Wrist Receiver With Charger
Wrist worn receiver for use with the Bellman Visit paging system which notifies the user of a range of alerts including doorbell, telephone, smoke ala...
Care Call Pager For Carers
Battery operated portable pager to be used with manufacturer's compatible monitoring systems. Comprises: internal rechargeable battery; belt clip; nec...
Care Call Signwave For Carers
Receiving pager for use with person to person fob, chair leaving alarm, bed leaving alarm, fall alarm or movement detector transmitters (not included)...
Digital Video Baby Monitor Watch
Digital video baby monitor watch. Comprises: live video with audio; vibration alert; two-way voice intercom; remote controlled lullaby melodies.
Door Entry System
Door entry system providing visual and audible identification of a caller before an external door is opened. Works in conjunction with a standard tele...
Echochime300 Doorbell
Wireless door chime with option to add transmitters that will sound the chime when a telephone rings, a door/window is opened or movement is detected....
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Buying equipment

There are several factors to consider when purchasing equipment.

Making complaints and reporting unsafe products

In most instances a complaint should initially be made to the supplier who provided you with the item. CAB has a range of guidelines on their website on making a complaint about poor service or faulty goods. These include complaining by phone, complaining in writing and template letters. CAB advice about making a complaint.
If you are not satisfied with the supplier's response then you may choose to complain to:

  • an ombudsman scheme
  • a regulator
  • an independent mediator
  • a trade association (if the supplier is a member of one)

 

Safety incidents involving medical devices can be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on the GOV UK website www.mhra.gov.uk or their Adverse incident centre hotline 020 3080 7080. The MHRA is the government agency responsible for ensuring that medical devices and medicines work and are acceptably safe. Their definition of 'Medical devices' includes devices used for assisting patients and users, thus many daily living aids such as bath lifts, commodes and walking sticks are medical devices. Any incident involving the safety of a medical device (including safety issues with its instructions for use) should be reported to the MHRA, especially if the incident contributed to, or could have caused injury, life-threatening illness or death.

Buying from a private person

Buying from a private person gives you fewer rights. You will only be able to claim against the seller if the product doesn't match its description or if the seller did not own it. Consequently, some firms occasionally pretend to be private sellers to avoid their legal responsibilities towards customers. If you suspect this has happened to you find out about your rights and what action to take on the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) website https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/ or call 0345 404 0506 to speak to the Citizen Advice consumer helpline.

Guarantee

The length of the manufacturer's guarantee does not limit any claim you may make to the seller as if a product develops a fault outside the guarantee period you can still claim against the seller if you can show that the fault was unreasonable at that period in the products life.

 

You may be asked whether you would like to purchase an extended warranty. Remember that your statutory rights exist, under the Sale of Goods Act, whether or not you choose to buy their warranty and whether or not the goods came with any guarantee. Manufacturers' guarantees are separate from the automatic rights you have against the seller, and may be more limited. For more information read the Citizens Advice Bureau guide to guarantees and warranties.

Maintenance and insurance

For large complex items, such as a stairlift, check what kind of maintenance contract the supplier offers.

Membership of trade associations

Some suppliers are members of a trade association. Many of these trade associations have a code of practice that governs their members' customer service, and thus may help to project you from unscrupulous selling practices. For example, some trade associations prohibit their members from contacting people uninvited to try and sell their products. They may also prohibit their members from using high pressure selling tactics such as offering a discount if you order that day, or phoning their manager while demonstrating the equipment to you to agree a 'special discount/deal'. Thus if you have a choice of suppliers for the product you wish to purchase we recommend you consider the suppliers who are members of trade association.

We record suppliers' membership of several trade associations (see a list of these trade associations) and our ratings give greater weighting to trade associations with codes of practice which are approved by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) (e.g. the British Healthcare Trade Association) or governed by an audit scheme which meets the requirements of the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

We also record whether suppliers meet the ISO 9000 series of standards. These standards define a Quality System which certifies that formalised business processes are being applied, and thus may be another indicator to look for if you have a choice of suppliers.

VAT

You may be able to purchase equipment designed for use by disabled people without paying the VAT if you are 'chronically sick or disabled', and you are buying the item/s for your own personal or domestic use. For VAT purposes, a person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they:

  • Have a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out everyday activities.
  • Have a condition that the medical profession treats as a chronic sickness (e.g. diabetes).
  • Are terminally ill.

 

So, you won't qualify if you're only temporarily disabled or incapacitated (e.g. if you have a broken leg).

Examples of products which are likely to qualify for VAT relief (if intended for the personal or domestic use of a chronically sick or disabled person) include:

 

  • wheelchairs
  • stairlifts
  • computer software or hardware designed specifically for disabled individuals
  • kettle tippers, tap turners, button hooks and similar gadgets or devices that are designed solely to make everyday tasks easier for disabled individuals
  • artificial limbs
  • vehicles that have been adapted for use by a wheelchair or stretcher user

Price

Price is important but, if we list more than one supplier, it is important to look for more than just the cheapest price. Check when the prices were last updated (this should be stated under each price). Consider whether:

  • Postage/delivery is included (if shopping by mail order or online)
  • Is the supplier a member of a trade association? (see below)
  • Is one supplier listing the price with VAT and another without VAT?
  • Check the suppliers' returns policies and any guarantees / warranties (see below).
  • For complex equipment that requires maintenance and/or servicing check what's included in the price and what the ongoing costs will be.

Get advice and an assessment

Experienced therapists or trusted assessors know a lot about products and will help you make sure the product is right for you now and will continue to be suitable in the future. 

 

You may be able to get an assessment and advice from social services. GOV.UK website
Alternatively you may choose to pay for a private occupational therapist. If you wish to request a private appointment with an occupational therapist then you can obtain details of local private occupational therapists from the 'College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section - Independent Practice' (COTSS-IP) website. www.cotss-ip.org.uk or phone their enquiry Line: 0845 129 7699.
You can check whether a therapist is state registered with the Health Care professions Council (HCPC) at www.hcpc-uk.org/audiences/

Try before you buy

You can find out about products and try them out, with independent advice at an Independent Living Centre (ILC). There are about 30 ILCs in the UK. Most do not sell products but they will be able to tell you where to buy them. We recommend you make an appointment before you visit

You could view equipment at an exhibition. They are a good opportunity to see what's available and meet the competing suppliers. The main exhibition of equipment is NAIDEX, held annually at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, and Glasgow. www.naidex.co.uk


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