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Bibs and aprons

This section includes coverings to protect clothing. they are suitable for adults, children or both.

Coverings include:

  • Bibs
  • Aprons
  • Neckerchiefs
  • Coveralls.

Assistive features include:

  • Washable coverings often have a cloth outer layer with a PVC or waterproof backing, which may help prevent liquids soaking through to your clothes
  • Troughs or pockets that can catch dropped food so that it doesn't fall onto the floor.
  • Velcro or popper fastenings may make putting on and removing the covering easier
  • Wider neck to assist with putting on and removing the covering
  • Fire-resistance may provide protection against dropped ash if you smoke
  • Disposable coverings may be useful if you are unable to wash reusable coverings regularly.
Adult Apron
Comprises: outer layer of cotton drill; inner towelling layer; waterproof PVC backing. Options: bamboo towelling version. Range of colours.
Adult Dribble Bib
Adult dribble bib. Comprises: cotton absorbent towelling; stain resistant; waterproof nylon backing; adjusts to fit a range of neck sizes; machine was...
Adult Neckerchiefs
Adult's bandana bibs/neckerchiefs. Comprises: Upper side is 100% cotton, backed with fleece; Allows air to pass through; Adjustable fastening. Options...
Back Opening Clothing Protector Bib
Back opening clothing protector bib. Comprises: cotton absorbent towelling; waterproof nylon backing; designed to be stain resistant; can be adjusted ...
Bibetta Feeding And Weaning Ultrabib
Children's bib. Comprises: Neoprene body; fold out pocket to catch spills; secured at the back by an adjustable Velcro strap; machine washable and sui...
Bibetta Super Soft Dribble Bibs
Dribble bib. Comprises: absorbent micro-fibre fabric with waterproof backing; machine washable, tumble drier safe. Options: range of colours.
Bibetta Weaning Ultrabib With Sleeves
Children's bib. Comprises: Neoprene body; nylon arms with elasticated cuffs; fold out pocket to catch spills; secured at the back by an adjustable Vel...
Bibette Ultra Disposable Bibs
Disposable bibs. Comprises: poly backed, tissue fronted bibs; size large; tie straps; catch pocket on front.
Bioprene Adult Bibs
Washable Neoprene bib with anti-microbial properties. Comprises: rubber inner layer; nylon outer layer; fold out bib trough if required. Machine washa...
Blackwatch Heavy Duty Adult Bib
Adult bib. Comprises: secures with poppers; absorbent cotton surface; PVC under layer; crumb catcher; machine washable.
Care Designs Cross Scarf Style Protector
Cross scarf style protector. Comprises: hook and loop front fastening; absorbent middle layer; waterproof back layer; designed to wick away moisture, ...
Care Designs Neckerchief Style Clothes Protector
Neckerchiefs bib. Comprises: absorbent front fabric wicks away moisture helping to keep skin dry; middle absorbent layer and waterproof back layer; ma...
Care Designs Pashmina Scarf Style Clothes Protector
Clothes protector designed in a pashmina style. Comprises: fabric front with an absorbent middle layer and waterproof back layer; fastens at the back ...
Catchkin Napkin Bib
Napkin style bib with waterproof backing and tie neck. Range of decorative patterns available.
Charles & Victoria Apron Bib Dining Tops
Dining apron. Comprises: cotton with fleece backing; front pocket; Velcro attachment around the neck and hand ties around the waist. Options: range of...
Classic Kerchiefs
Cotton or towelling neckerchiefs designed for adults and children. Comprises: a range of colours and designs backed with a waterproof breathable mater...
Clothing Protectors
Adults bibs with a waterproof backing. Choice of towelling or brushed cotton front with tartan outer.
Crumb Catcher Apron
Apron suitable for adults and children. Comprises: waterproof polyester material; longer length front; wide shouldered; crumb catcher situated at wais...
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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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