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Taps and soap dispensers

This section includes taps, tap conversions and soap dispensers with assistive features.

Lever taps may have longer than standard levers, quarter-turn action to reduce the effort needed to turn the tap or thermostatic control to reduce the risk of scalding. The length of some of the levers may allow elbow operation. Lever taps are available as individual pillars, single lever mixers or twin lever mixers. Also included are replacement lever tap heads.

Self-closing, push down taps enable the water flow to continue for a predetermined period, once the tap has been activated.

Toggle action taps have a vertical toggle which requires only a small degree of movement to operate.

Knee and/or foot controlled taps have a horizontal lever extending under the basin for operation by knee, floor plate, pedal or lever for foot controls. Some automatically shut off after pre-set time period.

Automatic taps and conversion kits. Automatic taps enable the user to activate the water by placing their hands under tap. No contact with the tap itself is required. Also included is equipment to convert existing taps into automatic taps.

Soap holders and dispensers are mainly wall-mounted which are either operated by flicking a lever to release the soap, or are activated by an infrared sensor which then releases a pre-set amount of soap. Some may also dispense shampoo and lotion.

Ability Line Thermostatic Wall Fitted Sink Tap
Bath mixer tap with lever operation. Comprises: lever operation of water flow, lever has softened edges; thermostatic temperature with 38 degree C saf...
Ability Special Bath Mixer Tap
Bath mixer tap with lever operation of all controls. Comprises: lever operation of water flow, water temperature and shower diverter; lever has soften...
Ability Swivel Spout Basin Mixer Tap
Swivel spout basin mixer tap. Comprises: anti-shock lever; contemporary design; high visibility graphics.
Accessibility Tap Atp01
Accessibility tap. Comprises: temperature controlled tap; panel valves; long reach swivel spout; can be top or side mounted; WRAS approved TMV mixing ...
Adjustable Temperature Non Concussive Basin Tap
Adjustable temperature, push down timed flow basin mixer tap. Comprises: flow time of 15 seconds; control lever for water temperature.
Aquarius Dm Short Pillar Tap
Deck-mounted automatic tap with stainless steel finish. Movement under spout activates flow.
Commercial Series Temperature Adjustable Timed Flow Basin Mixer
Adjustable temperature, push down timed flow basin mixer tap. Comprises: chrome plated brass; flow time of 6-8 seconds; water temperature adjusted by ...
Cool Touch Deck Mounted Medical Safety Tap
Deck mounted extended lever mixer tap with adjustable fitting cranked legs. Comprises: swivel spout; dual flow spout with hot water run through an inn...
Counter Mounted Infrared Soap Dispenser
Counter mounted infrared soap dispenser. Comprises: touch free; soap is dispensed when hand is placed under the sensor.
Extended Single Lever Medical Basin Tap
Extended single lever medical basin tap. Comprises: all fittings and connections; for hot and cold water supplies.
Hart Commercial Push Button Foot Tap
Floor tap with foot activated push button control. Comprises: button control designed to provide continuous water supply as long as the button is dep...
Htm64 Safe Touch Thermostatic Wall Tap
Thermostatic single lever mixer tap. Comprises: lever rotates through 180 degrees, designed to be operated by hand, wrist or elbow; surface temperatur...
Inta Adjustable Flow Non Concussive Basin Taps
Pair of adjustable flow time basin taps. Comprises: adjustable flow time from 3-30 seconds; mechanism that prevents water constantly running even if b...
Inta Contemporary Lever Operated Spray Mixer Tap
Single lever basin mounted mixer tap. Comprises: lever rotates through 180 degrees, designed to be operated by hand, wrist or elbow.
Inta Contemporary Non Concussive Basin Taps
Pair of push to operate timed flow basin taps. Comprises: flow time of 15 seconds.
Inta Foot Operated Floor Mounted Mixing Valve with Continuous Flow Stop
Foot operated floor mounted mixing pedal tap. Comprises: designed for foot or knee operation; separate pedals for hot and cold; floor mounted. Option...
Inta Foot Operated Floor Mounted Valve
Foot operated pedal tap. Comprises: designed for foot or knee operation. Options: floor mounted or wall mounted; mixer with separate controls for hot...
Inta Infrared Minimalistic Battery Operated Basin Mounted Tap
Basin mounted tap with infrared operation. Comprises: flow time adjustment range of 0 to 60 seconds; designed for use with an approved thermostatic mi...
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

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