Community equipment and assistive technology

There is a wide range of equipment and assistive technology that can be used in your home to make your life easier and to help you stay independent.

You are able to purchase daily living equipment - eg bath boards, raised toilet seats, high backed chairs, rails - and assistive technology yourself through local chemists, major retailers, online and through DIY stores.

Assessments

Sometimes an assessment by an occupational therapist is needed for people with more complex needs. Occupational therapists identify what disabled, frail or elderly people can and can’t do in their everyday life and can make recommendations for:

  • New techniques for completing activities
  • Daily living equipment
  • Changes (adaptations) to the persons home environment 

The aim being for the person to live independently or to support their carers to support them, promoting wellbeing.

Assessments resulting in recommendations for daily living equipment can also be undertaken by trusted assessors – these may be social care staff, health staff including trained Pharmacists.

Prescriptions

Following their assessment by an occupational therapist or trusted assessor the person may be given a prescription for a small item/s of daily living equipment such as a bath board or raised toilet seat.

The person takes their prescription to a local participating pharmacy and redeems it for the daily living equipment prescribed.

If you are unable to visit any of the retailers, you can ask a friend, relative or carer to do this on your behalf. You will need to provide written authorisation that the person can act on your behalf.

Independence East, based in Bethnal Green, is an assessment, demonstration and training house that has a range of equipment and adaptations. The centre is used for assessment clinics.

It is also used by health and social care staff in the borough to undertake further assessments of people’s needs, to try out daily living equipment and adaptations with people before making recommendations for equipment and/or changes to the people’s home environment.

The centre is also a training and development venue for health and social care staff.

Community equipment

Occupational therapists and trusted assessors can also order larger items of community equipment via Medequip for loan to people. This equipment can include specialist seating, mobile hoists, profiling beds etc.

The equipment is delivered and maintained by Medequip on behalf of Tower Hamlets Council. There is a collection service when the equipment is no longer required. 

Benefits for service users

The service will:

  • offer you more choice and control
  • enable you or a nominated person to take the prescription to an accredited retailer and receive in exchange the prescribed equipment
  • allow an increased range of products available immediately
  • offer flexibility, so state supported service users can 'top up' to a product more suited to their lifestyle that is not a 'standard issue' item
  • enable you to live as independently as possible by providing a readily accessible equipment service
  • enable people to purchase equipment privately without assessment/prescription
  • be more responsive to community needs so that the retail market provides equipment based on people’s choices and needs.

For further information about the service, or to arrange removal of equipment longer needed, contact:

Medequip Assistive Technology Ltd.
Unit 2, The Orbital Centre,
Southend Road,
Woodford Green,
IG8 8HH
tel: 0208 709 7050
email: woodford@medequip-uk.com.

Telecare service

The telecare service operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It provides a range of front-line support and prevention technology enabled care solutions and a range of telecare and assistive technology devices including:

  • pendant alarms
  • smoke detectors
  • motion sensors.

The service aims to give people the freedom of living a more independent life at home or in other supported living settings with the peace of mind that someone is always at hand to assist.

Services provided by telecare include:

  • assessment and installation of telecare and assistive technology equipment in the person's home and other supported living settings.
  • monitoring and responding to calls of an emergency nature, received via the telecare alarm call monitoring system.
  • carrying out emergency visits, including welfare checks in response to alarm activations from telecare clients.

Telecare is currently a free service for those that have an assessed need for the service.

For further information about the telecare service, contact the telecare team on 020 7364 4827 or telecare@towerhamlets.gov.uk.