Unsure about if this product suits your needs?
Let AskSARA guide you

Three simple steps to your personalised advice report

1 Choose a topic

2 Answer some questions

3 Get advice

Start here


This section includes doors and door equipment that may assist with entering and exiting a room or building.

Sliding doors may be useful where space is limited, or for people who have difficulty opening a swing door. They may also enable greater room for manoeuvre when using hoists or shower chairs in small bathroom areas. Sliding doors may have single, double, or treble panels;, they may slide telescopically or in a concertina fashion, and are operated manually, by remote control, or push-button.

Folding doors may be useful where space is limited or for wheelchair users who have difficulty opening a swing door. They may also be useful if a room needs to be partitioned for greater privacy.  They provide greater room for manoeuvre when using hoists and shower chairs in small bathroom areas. 

Automatic doors are operated by electro-mechanical or electro-hydraulic activators. Alterations based on individual requirements may be possible. Other features may include sliding or swing doors for indoor or entrance use, choice of operating methods including foot or hand operated switches, pressure mats and movement sensors. It is strongly advised that automatic doors are fitted with a presence detector to ensure that the doors remain open until the threshold area is clear.

Door openers are fixed to existing manual doors and enable them to be opened automatically or by powered assist. The automatic door openers can be operated by a range of controls for example: touch switch, pull cord, pressure mat, remote control, suck and puff and intercom activation.

Door closers are fitted to existing manual doors to close the door automatically. They are fitted overhead, at floor level or concealed in the door. Some door closers operate on adjustable time delay. There is an emergency override on some systems to close a door automatically in an emergency.

Door holders and sensors are intended to hold a door open and allow controlled closure with an adjustable time delay to enable a wheelchair user or ambulant person with a disability to pass through. Also included are sensors which prevent closure if the doorway is obstructed.

Abloy Door Opener
Door opener-closer. Comprises: push and go function; free swing function, door can be opened manually and left in an open position; fire detector asse...
Automatic sliding door system suitable for interior or exterior use. Comprises: surface-mounted unit; adjustable speed controls; up to 30-second open ...
Automatic Folding Doors
Automatic folding doors. Comprises: aluminium profiles; integrated lip seals; can be fitted with contact-free switches and can be programmed with lon...
Automatic Sliding Doors
Sliding doors designed to access without contact with the door. Comprises: air lock function, two coordinated door systems control access; controlled ...
Disabled Door Entry Systems
Door opener comprising single input sensor switch available in a range of materials. Vandal-resistant. Can also be used for environmental controls, fo...
Doc M1 & M2 Door Restrainers
Doc M compliant device which when set into concrete, is designed to hold an external door open. Comprises: nylon coated steel tube construction; catch...
Door Thresholds
Triple seal, heavy duty aluminium draught excluder for external doors.
Dorgard Fire Door Retainer
Automatic fire door closing system. Comprises: battery operated unit; automatic release when existing fire alarm sounds, triggered by a continuous fir...
Electro-mechanical Power Assisted Operators Type A
Mains powered door opener which can be manually switch operated via push pads or swipe cards or automatically operated via motion sensors. Comprise: '...
Folding Door Gear Range
Range of manufacturer's folding doors. Options: top hung or bottom rolling; range of door weights; range of materials and sizes.
Freedor Wireless Fire Door Closer
Automatic fire door closing system. Comprises: for installation at the top of the fire door; allows the door to swing freely, and be left in any posit...
Gilgen Automatic Swing-door Drive Systems
Swing door drive units for conversion of standard doors with the option of solely motorised, or a combination of motorised and spring assisted closure...
Hideaway Pocket Door Kit
Pocket door frame kit for mounting sliding door into a cavity wall space; header assembly, pre-fitted track, steel wrapped timber studs, two wheel han...
Radio Frequency Door Opener
Radio frequency door opener for sliding or swing doors. Comprises coded transmitter and range of control options including push-button or spring switc...
Sliding Door Gear Range
Sliding door gears for use with internal sliding or folding doors. Suitable for doorways, wardrobes and kitchen cupboards. Range of sizes available.
Spectra Automatic Door Opener
Door opening device for either side of an internal or external door. Comprises: coded signal for security; adjustable opening time; manual override; o...
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.


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.


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 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

Support us by donating

Need to speak to us?
back to top