Abacus Healthcare makes bathing more enjoyable for Southampton family

28-year-old Katherine Orman from Southampton, who lives with severe disabilities, can now experience the pleasure of being bathed at home thanks to a Gemini platform bath from Abacus Healthcare.

Disabled Katherine and her mother Gillian, are enjoying bath-time again thanks to a Gemini assistive bath supplied by Abacus Healthcare

Disabled Katherine and her mother Gillian, are enjoying bath-time again thanks to a Gemini assistive bath supplied by Abacus Healthcare

 Katherine requires 24-hour care from her mother, Gillian, and a Social Services care team. As Katherine has grown, bathing her at home had become extremely difficult and resulted in more bed washing. Since Katherine is unable to walk, moving her between rooms, from her bed and into the bath, requires transfer equipment such as hoists and wheelchairs. Although these have resolved many moving and handling issues, bathing Katherine in a standard bath was still problematic. It was especially challenging for carers who had to manually lift Katherine in and out of the bath. This situation improved dramatically when Abacus Healthcare was commissioned to install a powered, height-adjustable bath with built-in changing platform.

 Gillian explains: “I first discovered this bath at the local Bradbury centre which provides respite care for disabled individuals and their families. I enquired about their Gemini and decided this style of bath would be perfect for Katherine. The care team were more than happy to help me bathe Katherine and demonstrate all the features it provided. As it has an integrated height-adjustable platform, I could change Katherine above the water line and lower her gently into the temperature-controlled water to bathe. This meant additional transfers could be avoided and my back was protected against potential injury.”

 Gillian continues: “Bath-time was supposed to be a relaxing, pleasurable experience for Katherine and I. However in reality, using a standard bath meant each visit to the bathroom was very stressful. Bathing at home was becoming impossible, as Katherine would get agitated when I’d mention bath-time and I would be anxious about damaging my back.”

 Gillian contacted her local council and her Occupational Therapist, Pauline Dix to enquire about the possibility of a powered bath being installed in her home. Following home assessments to identify the specific challenges that the Ormans were facing, Pauline approached Abacus Healthcare to assist with the project and installation of a new bath.

 Abacus Area Sales Manager, David Bertorelli, visited several times to provide guidance and offer support throughout the installation process. David assessed Katherine’s needs, the requirements of her primary carer, Gillian, and to understand the moving and handling challenges they faced day-to-day. It was then clear the Gemini bath would match her bathing needs perfectly, enhanced further by a more accessible bathroom.

 David completed a full survey and supplied room layout designs to ensure maximum access for a wheelchair and hoists. Before and during the bathroom conversion, David liaised directly with the building contractor to ensure all bath pre-installation requirements were met. This allowed the specialist Abacus fitters to install the Gemini bath in a matter of hours. David then returned to provide user training after completion.

 Gillian summarised: “I can honestly say our new Gemini bath has improved our lives and happiness no-end. Being able to manoeuvre around the bathroom quickly and easily is so crucial. I have also been free of back pain for the first time in a long while. I can now comfortably bathe Katherine everyday and when I say ‘bath-time’ to her, Katherine’s eyes light up and she gives me a big smile which is quite simply priceless.”


Disabled Animal Rescue Worker With Osteoporosis Discovers New Lease of Life


Cliff Quinn, who lives in Cambridge, is 54 years old and has severe Osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a progressive bone disease that is characterised by a decrease in bone mass and density which can lead to an increased risk of fracture.

Cliff’s Osteoporosis has affected his daily life by severely restricting his walking capabilities and making standing impossible for him. Having such restricted mobility meant that going outdoors was not an option for a while. However, Cliff was determined not to become a prisoner in his own home and began researching the options that would enable him to regain his freedom.

With the aid of Motability Cliff decided that the TGA Vita 4 mobility scooter would help him recover his independence and give him the opportunity to lead a more social life….read more


Theraposture, the UK leading specialist in power-adjustable care cots and beds, has received high numbers of visitors to its stand at Kidz Scotland held at the Royal Highland Exhibition Centre, Edinburgh.

Theraposture’s Assessor for Scotland and Northern England, Jean-Luc Durand, explains the unique benefits of Theraposture cots and beds to Occupational Therapists at Kidz Scotland.

Theraposture’s Assessor for Scotland and Northern England, Jean-Luc Durand, explains the unique benefits of Theraposture cots and beds to Occupational Therapists at Kidz Scotland.

The Assessors on the stand were busy throughout the event demonstrating the benefits of choosing Theraposture sleeping solutions to therapists and parents of disabled children. The three products on display all equally raised significant interest, which included the fully modular Mascot Mark 2 cot, niche Safe-T Bed and padded Hannah cot. The Safe-T bed was combined with a Symmetrikit sleep system to demonstrate how together, improved postural positioning can be achieved at night. Symmetrikit also exhibited a Theracare Low adjustable bed on its stand which was equally as popular.

Liam Braddell, Theraposture Sales Director commented: “Kidz Scotland has been an excellent event for us. It has continued the success we achieved at Kidz South with visitors keen to understand more about the unique differences our cots and beds deliver. The overall atmosphere of the show was positive and refreshing as we engaged with so many new faces who were attending a Kidz exhibition for the first time.”

Liam continued: “A major topic of conversation for us was the cost effective benefits of the Mascot cot. As it is the first, fully modular design available in the UK, it can be easily adapted if user needs change. This eliminates the need to purchase new cots in the future and hence provides significant cost savings. We also spent considerable time explaining our trusted assessment procedures and seven-day suitability guarantee. Kidz Scotland appeared to be well attended and we intend to exhibit again next year. We look forward to welcoming an equally high number of families and healthcare professionals to our next product showcase at Kidz-up-North in November.”

Theraposture will be on stand B10 at Kidz-up-North, 20th November, Event City, Manchester.



PLS, a Mobility Networks company, has successfully engineered and installed a unique stretcher lift to a highly bespoke, medical coach built by King Long – a world’s first in lift design for disabled passengers.

Stephan Frank, Across Transport Manager (left) takes ownership of a fully converted, wheelchair accessible coach built by King Long and fitted with a unique and bespoke PLS stretcher lift. Andy Palmer, PLS UK Sales Manager (right) is pictured with Stephan.

Stephan Frank, Across Transport Manager (left) takes ownership of a fully converted, wheelchair accessible coach built by King Long and fitted with a unique and bespoke PLS stretcher lift. Andy Palmer, PLS UK Sales Manager (right) is pictured with Stephan.

PLS is the UK-leading name in the design, manufacture and maintenance of powered lifts and ramps for accessible buses, coaches, ambulances and specialist vehicles. PLS was commissioned by the coach manufacturer King Long to install a specialist accessible lift to a flat floor, 12.2m XMQ6129 coach. This accessible, Across ‘Jumbulance’ now operates in the UK and France, providing transportation for severely disabled passengers and medical personnel. The addition of a fully automatic, powered stretcher lift by PLS has allowed passengers with severely limited mobility to go on holiday whether bedbound or using a wheelchair. The coach was fitted with floor rails for wheelchair tie-downs and removable seating so that several wheelchairs could be accommodated along with four stretcher beds.

The complete conversion of the King Long coach to a fully accessible, specialist care vehicle involved over 12 months of endeavour. The final vehicle is a pioneering design in accessibility and is unique across the world. Both the coach convertors, BDC of Blackpool, and PLS, the lift supplier, had to overcome several challenges to ensure the Jumbulance met all the criteria required.

PLS successfully designed and fitted a stainless steel, fully automatic stretcher lift that was housed in the base of the main locker. This substantial feat of engineering brought together lifting principles and components from several, individual PLS AccessTM designs. The result was a strong, safe platform with a 500kg lifting capacity that smoothly rises from ground level up to a raised side door entrance. The powerful lift requires no manual operation and incorporates all the safety features associated with PLS products – from automatic ‘roll-off stops’ and anti-slip surfaces to a flat bridging plate for seamless transfers. The 2100x925mm platform provides ample space and lifting capacity for a stretcher-bound passenger along with a carer who can operate the lift via a roaming controller.

Adam Beck, PLS Managing Director commented: “The PLS team and I are proud to have produced such a pioneering solution for King Long. We had to engage all of our extensive experience in this project, combining concepts from several lift models into one unique solution. As PLS has recently located to substantially larger premises, we were able to accommodate the complete coach inside the building when installing the lift – another first for us. In the past 20 years I would regard this as the most complex, yet rewarding installation PLS has ever achieved. Throughout the build we worked closely with King Long and BDC to ensure the highest quality was delivered in terms of lift installation. This in turn ensures maximum safety and peace of mind for operators and passengers. When you consider the accessibility and subsequent new travel experiences the PLS lift now opens up, our involvement in the conversion is even more fulfilling.”

Ray McNally, King Long Director added: “It certainly was a challenging adventure, but King Long was keen and enthusiastic to accept this specialist project. By coordinating and working closely with both PLS and BDC, King Long with its coach production flexibility was able to offer a complete one stop solution with a combination of practicality and uncompromising luxury.”




Susan_Mallow_on_minimoSusan Mallows, 51 from Romford, has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and difficulties walking, however she has been able to continue enjoying shopping and exercising with the assistance of a pioneering new type of TGA mobility scooter.

Susan is a lovely lady who was unfortunately diagnosed with MS aged 32. MS is a neurological condition that affects around 100,000 people in the UK and symptoms can include fatigue, vision problems and difficulties with walking. Susan’s balance and walking problems meant she had to retire early from her secretarial career at the local council. Nevertheless she continued to support her busy husband Terry who also worked for the council as a public sector architect, hence how they met. Now both retired, the Mallows are making the most out of life with a love for shopping, gardening and holidays. Susan has used a mobility scooter for many years to remain mobile outdoors, however their level and range of freedom has recently increased thanks to a remarkable new type of scooter – the TGA Minimo.

The TGA Minimo is a 4mph, lightweight mobility scooter that can be folded single-handedly into a compact size by activating a simple lever. It requires no parts to be dismantled for storage and once folded, it can easily be lifted into a car boot so ideal for days out. Susan’s version also has a revolutionary lithium battery, which is so lightweight, it can literally be raised with one finger. Her Minimo perfectly fits in their Citroen C3 car so enjoying independent mobility further afield is possible. Susan said: “What a difference my Minimo has made, I love it. Shopping has always been a big part of my life and now accessing Lakeside and Bluewater is no bother at all. We keep the Minimo in the car and when we go out we simply take it out, unfold and go. Driving around shops is hassle free as it is so manoeuvrable and as I can take my own scooter with me, it saves me from having to pre-book a hired one. Being able to go out on your own terms is brilliant and my Minimo allows me to visit my local special needs exercise classes.”

Terry added: “Before the Minimo, we had previously owned two TGA scooters. These were excellent models, however the fact the Minimo folds in one piece is a big bonus to me when it comes to convenience. We did look at scooters from other suppliers, however, as we had previously received such great service from TGA in the past, we decided to stick with them. The lithium battery is quite a remarkable piece of design as it is so lightweight and I know without Susan’s Minimo, we simply couldn’t get around and enjoy time out together.”


TGA_mel_richardsDespite living with an MS-like condition that causes walking difficulties, Mel Richards, 43 from Edinburgh, has been able to continue enjoying a varied lifestyle and is applying to Higher Education thanks to a Supersport mobility scooter.

Mel was originally from Brisbane in Australia and able-bodied when she came to the UK on holiday between semesters at the University of Queensland over 20 years ago. Having arrived and almost immediately broken an ankle on the unfamiliarly snowy streets, her stay has extended slightly beyond the original twelve weeks planned. With the injury almost resolved Mel was offered a one-year office manager contract working in Stockport which subsequently progressed into a journalism career, writing for computing magazines including MacWorld, Internet Today and Secure Computing. This included another unexpected side trip onto the staff of a paranormal title working with Uri Geller and writing about ghosts, psychics and conspiracy theories for six months.

In 1998 and now in Wales writing about computer security, she was diagnosed with a progressive neurological condition that continues to restrict her career and lifestyle activities, even having moved to accessible accommodation in Edinburgh. Despite the mobility issues, Mel still remained keen to complete a Degree even after her previous course in Australia was cut short due to the development of her British writing career. Now Mel has a new ‘Harley Davidson’ style TGA mobility scooter, she has been able to independently travel to Ruskin College at Oxford (part of the Adult Residential College network) and is launching plans to enrol on a new Degree.

Mel said: “I have just taken ownership of my second TGA Supersport after nine years of remarkable independence given by my first model. As I live in Edinburgh’s historic Old Town and have major difficulties walking, I need a scooter that has the power to tackle steep hills and lots of cobbles – my Supersport just eats them up! It is such a strong, reliable machine that when needed, it can drive straight over uneven kerbs and gives me a comfortable seat out at Hogmany, the Military Tattoo, Festivals and loads of other public events. I get stopped all the time by people in Edinburgh who are taken aback by its ‘Harley Davidson’ looks and ask for details of where to get one – I’m thinking of making my own TGA business cards! With my replacement SuperSport and a new assistance dog called Kim, yes Mel and Kim no joke, I was able to do a test run by train to an Open Day at my new intended college in Oxford. I’m looking at the Foundation Degree in Business and Social Enterprise – all very exciting and means I will be able to get closure on my previous unfinished degree in Australia.”

Mel’s Supersport is a leading choice across the UK for individuals living with restricted mobility. It is a three-wheel, 8mph scooter with performance to tackle uneven terrain and off-road tracks and trails. It is first choice for many members of the Disabled Ramblers Association, which is a charity that organises rambles nationwide for mobility scooter users. The Supersport resembles more of a mini-motorbike that a mobility scooter and is engineered with black and chrome components. It is highly manoeuvrable and with the assistance of ramps, station staff and pre-booking, the Supersport is accepted onboard trains managed by certain operators such as East Coast, as per Mel’s recent experience.

Mel concludes: “My recent visit to Oxford was a great success. Famous for educating people from the Labour movement, including John Prescott, the campus at Old Headington and its new building have been specifically designed for maximium accessibility. It has large lifts, wide corridors and an excellent open plan layout. Now I have seen it all first-hand, I have peace of mind I can study and live independently at Ruskin College next year thanks to my trusty TGA Supersport.”

Isabel Coe, Chief Executive of East Anglian Driveability, Talks About Mobility Scooter Safety.

TGA Mobility is based in Sudbury, Suffolk and has been a respected designer, manufacturer and provider of mobility products for almost 30 years with a specialty in scooters. TGA is renowned for its high quality, diverse range that includes the Breeze that is a national favourite, the revolutionary Minimo car boot scooter through to the funky cutting edge Vita and market-leading Wheelchair Powerpack.

As a family-run business with a proven manufacturing heritage, TGA is dedicated to quality, innovation and service with all of its products undergoing rigorous testing before delivery ensuring peace of mind and trouble free ownership.