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Shower and changing tables

This section includes shower cradles, trolleys, stretchers and changing tables to assist with bathing and personal care. Some are designed to accommodate the size and weight of a heavier user. They are suitable for adults, children or both. 

Shower cradles can be used with a mobile or ceiling track hoist to transfer a person into the bath. They are often customised to the posturing needs of the individual. They provide comfort, support and safety for individuals who may prefer bathing to showering. They can be combined with a multi-functional mobile chassis for use over a toilet, in a shower or as a transporter within the home. Some are mobile as standard.

Hinged shower stretchers and benches are for use in the shower or over a bath. Some can also be used as a changing table in a wet or dry area. They can be folded up against the wall when not in use.

Changing tables are free-standing or mobile and provide a surface on which a person can be changed, cleaned or dressed. Some are fixed height, others have height adjustment that may be operated electrically, mechanically or hydraulically so that the table can be positioned at a comfortable height for the carer. Many have safety guards and are usually used with hoist systems. Some have an adjustable angle backrest.

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 Nursing Shower Bench
Powered, adjustable height, wall-mounted shower stretcher. Comprises: steel frame; padded bed and sides; wipe-clean material; drop down sides; shower ...
Advance Bath Chair
Removable bathing chair for children and adults aged 1-18 years. Comprises: adjustable position, tubular metal frame; slip-resistant supports, and per...
Amber Electric Height Adjustable Shower Stretcher
Electric height adjustable shower stretcher. Designed to allow user to be positioned on the stretcher and washed under running water. Comprises: showe...
Amber Powered Variable Height Shower Stretcher With Adjustable Backrest & Side Rail 190cm
Adjustable height wall-mounted changing bench. Comprises: galvanised steel; untreated stainless steel tubing for adjustable height profile; powder coa...
Amber Wall Mounted Powered Variable Height Changing Table
Height adjustable shower table. Comprises: stainless steel frame; fast lift speed; anti-finger entrapment safty rail.
Aqua Electric Shower Trolley
Electric shower trolley. Comprises: braked castors; drop down safety rails; padded rail covers; vinyl mattress and pillow; adjustable back support; h...
Aqua Hydraulic Shower Trolley
Hydraulic shower trolley. Comprises: vinyl mattress and pillow; braked castors; foot pedal adjusts height; coated drop down safety rails; extendable f...
Aqualine Shower Bed
Adjustable height shower bed. Comprises: wall-mounted bracket; fold up facility; powered height adjustment; hand control unit on wander lead; integrat...
Atheo Over-bath Shower Table
Over-bath shower table. Comprises: designed to fit over a standard bath; padded surfaces; wheeled trolley base; folds for storage; wheeled storage bag...
Barella Heavy Duty Electric Shower Trolley
Electric shower trolley. Comprises: height adjustable; tilts in both directions via hand control; anti-corrosion treated frame; plastic ABS mattress b...
Barella2 Hydraulic Showering Trolley
Shower trolley. Comprises: height adjustable tilting platforms; anti-corrosion treated frame; plastic mattress base; side rails, fasteners and interna...
Bariatric Changing Couch
Bariatric changing couch. Comprises: adjustable backrest; retractable wheel design with adjustable foot; hand switch; clearance beneath frame for mob...
Basic Shower Trolley
Mobile shower trolley. Comprises four braked castors; manual height adjustment; folding side supports; soft, wide mattress which extends to cushion si...
Carevo Shower Trolley
Mobile shower trolley. Comprises: three control panels to control the trolley functions; elevated back support; width adjustment option to accommodate...
Changing & Showering Table
Changing and showering table. Comprises: four brake castor wheels; drop down cot sides; stainless steel frame; Polygiene coated mesh, designed to prev...
Chiltern Shower Trolley
Mobile shower trolley. Comprises: padded waterproof mattress; side and wedge head support; drop down tubular steel sides; padded covers; four braked c...
Chiltern Shower-changing Stretchers
Wall-mounted shower stretcher and changing table. Comprises: fold up table top; two supporting legs; adjustable angle elevating head end. Children's s...
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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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