Sandwell Council has an in-house equipment store which at the time of the training had re-designed their service to enable them to complete some assessments via a triage and telephone based system or in a centre / hospital meaning that some of their clients were not seen in their own home. This enabled Sandwell to get some low level equipment out to clients in need without the delay of waiting for a home assessment. They also noticed that the waiting times for assessment were increased by the need for an assessor to review the equipment once delivered.
Sandwell recognised they needed to update their technicians’ skills as they would now need to deliver, set up and demonstrate equipment in clients’ homes. They also wanted to ensure the technicians were able to recognise risk in other areas within the home.
After discussions and a full tender, Sandwell decided to work with the DLF to deliver our then-new course: Trusted Assessor: Installing and Demonstrating Minor Adaptations to all the staff [please note that the equivalent course is now known as Trusted Installer]. DLF met with managers and occupational therapy staff to ensure the course met their needs and delivered six courses at their own venue.
Sandwell chose DLF Training as DLF “came out on top on both quality and price which made them the obvious choice”. They also “liked the way DLF offered different tiers / levels of Trusted Assessor training that fitted different job types”.
The training taught the technicians about the equipment they would be installing, covering how to measure clients to ensure the equipment fitted, to check the environment was safe for equipment to be installed, how to ensure the client would use the equipment safely and be sure that it solved the client’s difficulties. They were also taught demonstration skills and what to do when the equipment did not meet the need.
Technicians were also tested on their learning to ensure the knowledge was embedded and so that they could receive the Trusted Assessor accreditation.
As a result of training Sandwell staff achieved Trusted Assessor status. Although staff had some concerns initially about the changes to their roles, “all those that undertook the course were pleased with the content and learning” and further “are happy and confident with the new duties of demonstrating equipment”.
Sandwell are now within the top five equipment stores for equipment provision, reducing risk and increasing customer satisfaction. The training has “reduced re-visits being made by Prevention Assessors, this creates greater assessment capacity within their Therapy Service.’’
During the training it was highlighted that some of the equipment available may not have been the most current model on the market. As a result of the training, the equipment stores manager engaged with suppliers to visit and show new product ranges and uses. This enabled the service to expand their provision.
The training also highlighted areas of uncertainty around some equipment and the assessment factors relating to it, resulting in updating some policies to make processes clearer. DLF continues to work with Sandwell to support their on-going work to provide excellent customer service and quality provision.