Providing the correct specialist seating for people with complex needs means they experience less pain, reduced pressure sores, increased functional ability and improved wellbeing from being out of bed. It can also bring financial benefits to health and social care such as reduced care packages, less pressure sores and fewer complications from contractures and other side effects of poor posture.
Due to a rising number of people in the community with complex postural needs, many authorities are facing increasing costs for specialist seating. Therapists can be over reliant on a wide range of suppliers carrying out the assessments on their behalf and providing quotes, which often means long waits for service users and less recycling on existing stock.
- Evaluate your current range of postural seating and help you to identify a “standard” range of postural seating
- Provide regular, training to your prescribers to ensure they understand the range of chairs on your stock list and enable them to assess their service users independently of company representatives in the majority of cases
- Carry out joint assessments with your therapist during the implementation phase and longer if needed
- Establish a team of training champions to reduce the reliance on us over time
In Doncaster Borough Council implementing the above approach using our own highly training OT had the following impact:
- The average cost per chair was reduced by over £1000
- Average time taken from order to installation was reduced from 32 days to just 5 days
- The average number of special chair purchases was reduced by over 75%. Recent figures from 2016 indicate this is now a reduction of 90%
- Spend on special chairs has reduced from £75,474 to £18,062 over 12 months
- Overall spend on chairs has reduced but the number of chairs used, and therefore the number of service users Doncaster has been able to help, has almost doubled
“The whole process and model developed in Doncaster has brought significant improvements. It’s been fantastic that we have been able to provide nearly 50% more chairs for less financial outlay and the time taken from order to installation being 27 days shorter has enabled customers to receive the service in a timely manner. A significant advantage for me will be the change in stock profile over the next 2-3 years; reuse and recycling should increase dramatically as prescribers will be able to order stock with confidence that the equipment will meet needs and be as described.” - Community Equipment Service Partnership Manager, Doncaster Borough Council.