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Bags, covers and holders

This section includes equipment designed to hold mobility aids, cover wheelchairs and scooters, and provide storage for areas for wheelchair and scooter users. They are suitable for adults, children or both.

Bags and baskets for wheelchairs may fit over the backrest and may have a backrest cushion attachment, or hang on the push handles. Others are styled as rucksacks. Some styles which fit under the seat may not be recommended for folding wheelchairs.

Bags and baskets for scooters fasten to the back of a scooter seat in the style of a rucksack, or that attach to the armrest of the scooter via hook, Velcro or loop fastenings.

Oxygen cylinder holders for scooters or buggies either fasten to the back of the seat in the style of a rucksack or are or attached via Velcro or loop fastenings.

Trays will fit most wheelchairs although the shape, size and material composition of trays vary.

Crutch and walking stick holders are bags, clamps and holders to attach walking sticks, crutches and sticks to a wheelchair.

Storage covers protect the wheelchair or scooter when left outdoors.

Seat and hand/controller covers provide protection against the weather when scooter is in use.

Canopies protect the user and the scooter or buggy from the weather, especially the rain. The canopies have rigid frames that fit on most scooters or buggies and are usually made of nylon, plastic or other waterproof material. Most have roll up or opening sides, and may be left on the scooter or buggy.

Back Holdall
Wheelchair or scooter backrest holdall. Comprises: vinyl coating; polyester fabric; top zip opening; carry handle and securing strap. Options include:...
Back Pack Shopping Bag
Wheelchair back pack. Comprises: zip top; back pack can be looped over rear of wheelchair; built in carry handles. Accessories: additional shoulder st...
Backpack Mobility Scooter Bag
Scooter shopping bag. Comprises: designed to accompany larger scooters; made from showerproof nylon; compartments for storage within the bag; carrying...
Backpack Scooter Bag
Back pack scooter bag. Comprises: zip fastening; carry handles; designed to be used on small and medium scooter seats without a headrest.
Backpack with Hook & Loop
Backpack with hook and loop. Comprises: main storage space and smaller front pocket; zipper closure; the strips can be detached from the backpack; the...
Backpack with Push Handle Loops
Backpack with push handle loops and carry handle. Comprises: main pocket and smaller front pocket; zipper closure; the wheel chair handle loops detach...
Bexhill Armrests
Inverted 'L' shaped vinyl padded armrest. Comprises: forearm support and area for activity or hand positioning; attaches to most wheelchairs via exist...
Carrier Bag Hooks
Hooks to attach to the back of a scooter seat for carrying shopping bags. Options: single or dual hooks.
Coloured Wheelchair Carry Bag
Wheelchair carry bag designed to hang from rear handles when chair is being pushed. Comprises: fabric; removable zip pouch; handle loops; range of col...
Colourmax Maxi Scooter Backpack
Scooter backpack. Comprises: main compartment; smaller front pocket; padded shoulder straps; breathable mesh backing; can be attached to the back of a...
Colourmax Mini Backpack
Mini backpack. Comprises: main compartment; smaller front pocket; waterproof material; padded shoulder straps; breathable mesh backing; can attach to ...
Comfort Holdall
Wheelchair back cushion and waterproof carry bag with zip opening which fits over backrest on wheelchair.
Compact Mobility Bag
Mobility bag. Comprises: holdall with straps and carry handle; zippered compartment; front and back mesh compartments.
Contoured Trays
Made-to-measure trays. Range of features, for example, padded finishes, adjustable width grab bars, range of tray mounting brackets.
Coolbag Backpack
Coolbag backpack. Comprises: backpack with insulated lining; designed to keep stored food and drink cool; exterior pockets and separate internal compa...
Crutch Or Walking Stick Holder For Scooters
Metal crutch and/or walking stick holders with metal brackets and Velcro fastenings for attachment to rear of scooters.
Delta Tiller Cover
Cover designed for mobility scooters with a delta shaped tiller. Comprises: nylon with a see through pane; cuffed opening for access to the handles. ...
Deluxe Lined Scooter Crutch Bag
Wheelchair bag with long pockets designed for crutches. Comprises: fits onto the back of most standard scooters; carry handle; long pockets designed f...
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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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