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Bath/shower boards, seats and stools

This section includes seating that is suitable for use in a bath. Some seating is designed to accommodate the size and weight of a heavier user, some has colour contrast which may help a person with memory loss to recognise it. Bath seating is suitable for adults, children or both. 

Bath boards may be removable or mounted to the wall beside the bath. The latter can fold up against the wall when not in use. They provide a seated area over the bath which can provide a safer seated method of transfer in/out of the bath. Wall-mounted bath boards can, in some instances, be the only type of bath board which will fit a bath with irregular shaped sides or a side which is very narrow (perhaps due to tiling over the bath).

Bath seats are removable and enable the user to sit in the bath to wash. The user requires good upper body strength and balance to step into the bath and use this product safely. They can be used with bath boards, over-bath showers and are often used with additional grab rails. Some have legs and sit in the bath, some are hooked over the bath rims and suspended in the bath.

Swivel bath seats have a backrest that fits over the bath and swivels to aid transfers over the bath. They have armrests, and most have a lever to lock the swivel mechanism in place when the user is sitting down on the seat and when over the bath. These seats do not lower the user into the bath. Swivel bath seats may be suitable for use with an over-bath shower.

Combined boards and seats consist of a bath board attached to a bath seat and have the advantage of being more stable than two separate units. Slatted versions would be more suitable for use with an over-bath shower.

Transfer bath benches have a longer board than a standard bath board that extends over the outside bath rim over the floor. Consequently you can sit on the bench with your legs and hips aligned to the length of the bath, unlike when using a standard bath board when your legs extend away from the bath. They have two feet inside the bath and two longer feet outside the bath, they also have a backrest. The feet are height adjustable. You need to be able to lift your legs over the bath rim and slide your bottom over the middle of the bath independently or with the assistance of a carer. Most transfer benches have a handle to pull on for assistance when moving to the centre of the bath. Some have a sliding seat which can make it easier to slide along the bench.

Shower seats are suitable for use in the shower at a fixed height. Some of these seats are designed to fit in a corner. There are a range of seat styles and armrests providing a range of support and comfort. Some shower seats can be folded up against the wall when not in use.

Static shower stools are free-standing. Some are modular, allowing armrests and backrests to be fitted, which increases the amount of support for the user. Some are foldable, and some have built-in backrests.

Children's stretchers enable children to be showered lying down or in a reclined position at a good height for parents or caregivers.

Acrylic Shower Stool
Free standing shower stool. Comprises: stool for for wetroom or bathroom; ideal for resting when running bath or getting changed; non-slip protective ...
Adjustable Bath Seat Board
Plastic moulded bath board comprising drainage hole; soap holder; and integral handle.
Adjustable Height Gap Front Shower Stool
Adjustable height shower stool. Comprises: plastic coated steel frame; rubber ferrules; plastic seat with front cutout and tubular armrests.
Adjustable Height Gap Front Shower Stool
Free standing shower stool. Comprises: white coated frame; tubular side armrests; detachable perforated polypropylene seat; front cutout.
Adjustable Height Shower Stool
Free standing shower stool. Comprises: ferrules; adjustable height, aluminium frame; removable solid plastic seat; two side support handles.
Adjustable Height Shower Stool
Height adjustable shower stool. Comprises: aluminium frame; plastic seat with textured surface and drainage holes.
Adjustable Height Shower Stool With Circular Seat
Free standing shower stool. Comprises: four rubber feet; adjustable height aluminium legs; plastic solid round seat. Options: taller model from some s...
Adjustable Height Shower Stretcher
Wall fitted shower stretcher. Comprises: manually adjustable height; does not require fixing to the floor; stainless steel frame with powder coated fi...
Adjustable Shower Stool
Adjustable shower stool. Comprises: aluminium frame; height adjustable; four legs with non-slip rubber ferrules; moulded plastic seat; can be cleaned.
Adjustable Swivel Bath Seat
Adjustable width swivel bath chair. Comprises: aluminium frame with stainless steel and plastic grip, polypropylene plastic seat; rotating seat with l...
Adjustable Swivel Stool With Grab Bar
Adjustable height shower stool. Comprises: safety handle; seat with swivel action - when depressed seat can be turned through 360 degrees in 90 degree...
Adjustable Width Swivel Bath Seat
Swivel bath seat. Comprises: adjustable width; white aluminium frame with stainless steel fasteners; plastic moulded back and seat with cut-out; rotat...
Adjustable Width Swivel Bather
Swivel bath seat. Comprises: epoxy coated steel frame; range of widths; perforated, moulded plastic swivel seat; backrest; seat lock and release lever...
Advanced Shower Seats
Hinged extra width shower seat for bariatric use. Comprises: wall fixing brackets; hinged drop down seat; adjustable height legs. Options include: pad...
Ailsa Bath Seat
Contoured bath seat. Comprises: moulded plastic; front cutout; four legs attached to rectangular base; four plastic suckers; release tags. Options: tw...
Akw 2000 Series Shower Seats
Wall-mounted hinged shower seat. Comprises: two adjustable height legs; ferrules; plastic seat. Options: seat back and arms.
Akw 4000 Series Fold Up Shower Seat
Extra wide hinged shower seat. Comprises: wall fixing brackets; hinged drop down seat; adjustable height legs; hinged drop down arm supports; moulded ...
Akw Freestanding Shower Stool
Free standing shower stool. Comprises: four PVC suction feet; adjustable height aluminium legs; plastic perforated seat. Options include: available wi...
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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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