TGA Mobility: BHTA Customer Service Team Of The Year Award Winner

Mobility Scooter Customer Service Team

Pictured from left-to-right: Mike Lord, BHTA Chairman; representing TGA – Justin Bone, After-sales service; Kim Cook, Customer Service; Daniel Stone, Managing Director; Sarah Mead, Customer Service Manager; Tim Ross, National Sales Manager; Dom Thomas, Service Manager; Bill Turnbull, BBC Journalist

The national mobility scooter specialist TGA has won the prestigious Customer Service Team of the Year Award once more at the recent British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) Annual Awards Dinner, Grange St. Paul’s Hotel, London.

The BHTA is the UK’s largest healthcare association with all of its members adhering to a Trading Standards Code of Conduct. This means customers of member companies, such as TGA, can rest assured that they will receive professional support and service. The BHTA Annual Awards Dinner was a glamorous black-tie affair attended by key figures within the healthcare sector and proceeding were hosted by BBC journalist and celebrity Bill Turnbull.

TGA has now achieved the Customer Service Team of the Year Award twice in a matter of a few years. This follows additional success in 2014 when its scooter puncture sealant won the BHTA Independent Living Product category. TGA’s latest success once again highlights its commitment to providing customers with assured independence and peace of mind. TGA won by receiving the largest number of customer satisfaction nominations from the public who highlighted the superb service they had received. 30 individual members of staff within TGA, from a range of departments, were specifically mentioned for their diligence and pro-active attitude. Nominations related to a variety of services from product ordering, after sales and servicing through to knowledge of the Motability scheme and specialist advice. Read more….

TGA Mobility Scooter Gives Disabled Ex-Chauffeur And Sports Car Fan Driving Freedom

Breeze Midi 3 Mobility ScooterDespite being unable to drive a car or walk without difficulties anymore due to Peripheral Neuropathy, Andy Bennett, 48 from Troedyrhiw in Wales, is enjoying the freedom to drive once more thanks to a life-changing ‘Breeze Midi 3’ mobility scooter from TGA.

Originally from Port Talbot, Andy has always led an active life through weight lifting, martial arts and outdoor pursuits. He was a single parent for 12 years however this did not stop him from enjoying many physical activities and being a busy wedding chauffer and delivery driver. During his career he was able to drive many top car brands include Daimler, Ferrari and Porsche and also owned a top specification Toyota Celica along with a Suzuki GSXR-750 motorbike.

However over a period of several years Andy began to experience growing pain in his hands and feet, especially when lifting weights in the gym. He was finally diagnosed with Diabetes that resulted in walking difficulties and Peripheral Neuropathy – a condition caused by nerve damage. Andy’s limited mobility was compounded by a knee injury that left him restricted at home without the ability to drive independently. This loss of his job and access to the wider outdoors was sending him ‘stir crazy’ until he discovered an easy-drive three-wheeler TGA mobility scooter. Read more….

Theraposture Launches Two New Pioneering Assistive Beds – Rotoflex Super-Bariatric and Rotoflex Low Access

Theraposture, the proven OT choice for quality assistive beds and cots, has unveiled two new versions of its original and leading Rotoflex turning bed system at the OT Show (Stand D30, NEC, 25-26 Nov, 2015).

The original and trusted Rotoflex range from Theraposture is the widest and most diverse available. Each highly sophisticated and reliable rotational bed provides the ultimate assistive solution for disabled users so they get in and out of bed independently. Through precision German engineering its electrically powered variable height, profiling and rotating mechanisms move a user from a recumbent to an upright seated position. The Rotoflex ensures a standing transfer can be achieved more safely for a semi-ambulant user without the need for carer invention.

To extend the Rotoflex’s scope of suitability, Theraposture was delighted to launch two new versions at the OT Show – a Super-bariatric and a Low Access version.

Super-bariatric Rotoflex bed

Theraposture has supplied a 230kg SWL (Safe Working Load) bariatric Rotoflex since 2011 suitable for users weighing up to 190kg. However in response to a need from larger clients, this leading specialist has introduced an extra heavy-duty version that has a 300kg SWL. This Super-bariatric Rotoflex is now the highest user weight capacity turning bed available as it can comfortably support a user weighing up to 245kg.

Alongside the Super-bariatric Rotoflex, the new Low Access version also delivered a show highlight as it now represents the lowest rotating bed available today. Based on Theraposture’s original and proven design, the new Low Access Rotoflex provides an ultra-low sleeping surface and powered rotational assistance ideal for smaller users and those requiring a lower seat height. Its variable height functionality is particularly beneficial as it allows the sleeping platform to be raised from 32cm to 82cm above floor level. This means, similar to all Theraposture beds, it fully meets BSEN60601-2-52 regarding safe working heights, along with an ability to avoid any risk of entrapment.

Liam Braddell comments: “The launch of our two new Rotoflex assistive beds at the OT Show has been a resounding success. Both the Super-bariatric and Low Access turning bed systems have generated significant interest from OTs who were keen to understand why our products are so highly regarded. Our Trusted Assessors demonstrated all the unique features of each ergonomic bed that can be tailor-made with a variety of aesthetically pleasing finishes. The high quality engineering by world-class PhysioNova GmbH delivers smooth and controlled movement so that the user is assured throughout the transfer experience. Both beds have intuitive controls and we have also just introduced enhanced mattress fixtures to minimise movement when profiling and for easier removal when cleaning.”

Liam concludes: “These two new Rotoflex beds reaffirm our position as market leader. We now have a range of four proven and trusted versions of the Theraposture Rotoflex with powered rotation along with two versions of the Rotocare with manual rotation. With the addition of our extensive choice in mattresses for diverse and changing needs – this is the most comprehensive and established range available. Every assistive bed is also backed-up by assessment-led provision and unsurpassed after-sales care that includes 14-day suitability guarantees and comprehensive warranties. Our Trusted Assessors look forward to fulfilling the demonstrations booked at the show and delivering positive outcomes for all with these two new remarkable Rotoflex beds.”

For further details please call FREEPHONE 0800 834654

About Theraposture

Theraposture is a caring and ethical family company incorporated in 1981 with an outstanding reputation within the healthcare industry.

Well-respected and regarded as a leading expert in its field, Theraposture is a highly pro-active member of the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) and fully complies with its Trading Standards approved Code of Practice.

Regularly recommended by professionals who include Occupational Therapists, GP’s, Nurses, Case Managers and Manual handling advisors, Theraposture is seen as the first choice for reliable, quality assistive furniture that delivers a remarkable improvement to the lives of so many individuals living with restricted mobility.

Theraposture takes its corporate social responsibilities seriously and is key sponsor of the Disabled Living Foundation charity (DLF) and has also been accredited as a corporate friend of the College of Occupational Therapists.

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Ailsa Reston, Occupational Therapist (OT), highlights the benefits of prescribing motorised TGA Wheelchair Powerpacks to protect carers from excessive back strain, when propelling manual attendant-controlled wheelchairs.

About the Author: Ailsa Reston, Occupational Therapist
Ailsa Reston qualified as an OT in 1986 from St. Andrews School of Occupational Therapy. She initially worked in the NHS in the field of adult physical medicine and then specialised in the field of neurology and the treatment of Stroke. In 1999, alongside fellow OT and COTSSIP member Bev Kelly, she set up the independent OT Practice, RKS Occupational Therapist Services based in Cheshire. RKS recommends the TGA Wheelchair Powerpack range to its clients including the Solo, Duo, Duo HD and PLUS models.

Wheelchair_pushing_assistanceAs average wheelchair occupant weight increases, fitting a TGA Powerpack can be a proven solution to help push a manual wheelchair

A TGA Wheelchair Powerpack is a powered unit that can be fitted to the underside of a manual attendant-controlled wheelchair. It can include one or two drive wheels that are powered by an on-board battery connected to controls mounted on a wheelchair handle. With a top speed of 3-4mph, it is the perfect solution to help push a manual wheelchair.

This is particularly important for carers who regularly have to negotiate slopes, ramps, kerbs or uneven surfaces – it eliminates potential overexertion. TGA Powerpacks fit a wide variety of wheelchairs including many tilt-in-space models and the recently introduced bariatric ‘PLUS’ helps push an occupant and wheelchair weighing up to 32st. Models can also provide forward and reverse motion to assist with manoeuvring in restrictive spaces.

When OTs prescribe a TGA Powerpack, they have complete confidence it will deliver the appropriate assistance for clients and their carers. Ergonomically speaking, TGA’s design has been carefully considered to ensure unhindered walking as its Powerpacks fit further underneath wheelchairs than competitor versions. The new PLUS, 32st capacity version, can greatly reduce moving and handling risks for carers attending to bariatric clients – a major issue faced by many healthcare professionals.

With the growing trend towards larger, heavier care home residents and private individuals, motorised assistance to propel attendant-controlled manual wheelchairs is becoming ever more essential. TGA Powerpacks allow wheelchair users, without independent mobility, to engage more fully with local communities and benefit from improved wellbeing.

The evidence for change – why TGA Wheelchair Powerpacks help to protect the health and safety of carers

Most independent OTs receive countless enquiries from disabled people and carers who are seeking powered assistance to push an attendant-controlled wheelchair. It is critical that wheelchair attendants in the community can manoeuvre immobile people in a strain-free manner and without affecting posture.

Fitting a battery-powered TGA Powerpack can provide appropriate assistance for carers, so that the effort needed to exert is nominal, ie. steering the wheelchair rather than pushing it. This gives carers protection against back and shoulder injuries, as well as safeguarding those with heart or respiratory conditions.

A TGA Powerpack will also provide benefits to employers in the care home sector. It can ensure carers are not put at risk in relation to pushing loads that exceed Health & Safety Executive recommendations (HSE). This in turn can reduce the potential for staff being off work or working less efficiently due to injury or illness. As a proven product range in the long term care sector, the TGA Wheelchair Powerpack significantly improves the quality of life of care home residents and individuals living in the community along with their families. It allows manual wheelchairs to be easily pushed outside in areas that may otherwise have been inaccessible.

Loads that are safe for carers to push are based on guidelines issued by the HSE. These clearly state that the exertion of force in excess of the guidelines, increases the likelihood of injury. It should be noted that HSE guidance assumes that the wheelchair being pushed is well maintained and being operated on a smooth surface. Unfortunately this may well not reflect most real life situations for carers and wheelchair users, especially those negotiating uneven paving, carpet and kerbs.
Pushing the combined weight of a wheelchair and occupant can easily exceed HSE guidelines – both for initiating momentum and also keeping the wheelchair moving.

The excessive stresses and strains being commonly placed on carers today can also be illustrated clearly by the following data:

A six-year-old child weighing 20kg will, in conjunction with a standard wheelchair (12kg), have a combined weight of approximately 32kg. This is just over the safe limit for a female to push in order to maintain a chair’s momentum, on a gradient of 1:12, without risk of injury. In the same scenario, an 80kg adult in conjunction with a standard wheelchair (15kg) will weigh 95kg, well beyond the safe limit for males and females to push.

Significant evidence continues to mount regarding the moving and handling risks associated with carers pushing manual wheelchairs. As an example, the ‘Keeping the Wheels Turning’ white paper produced by the University of Dundee in association with NHS Fife, states why Powerpacks significantly reduce pain and health-related difficulties for attendant carers:

‘….shoulder pain for example is over four times as common for carers propelling attendant-controlled manual chairs as for those where the user has a power assisted chair. It is also noticeable that carers propelling manual wheelchairs are very much more likely to report heart, breathing or balance problems than those supporting powered wheelchair users….’

Within the data, it also confirms that without the use of powered momentum, the number of healthcare professionals complaining of back pain increases by 25%. Coupled with statistics demonstrating that the majority of wheelchair occupants and attendants are aged 40+, the health and mobility benefits of fitting a Powerpack are heightened even further.

When you consider the above, unfortunately best practice in moving and handling will not be adhered to on a regular basis throughout the community. Therefore the added use of powered propulsion, as provided by fitting a TGA Wheelchair Powerpack, should be a critical consideration when prescribing a manual wheelchair.

Making a real difference at community level – RKS and the TGA Wheelchair Powerpack

We have recently provided a TGA Powerpack to a customer who came to us with a voucher from NHS Wheelchair Services. He approached us for a lightweight wheelchair and a Powerpack to enable him to access the shops and local amenities with his wife. The gentleman had a severe visual impairment, Arthritis and was unable to walk more than 20 yards. He was given a choice of transit wheelchair that fulfilled his prescription and he chose one that was lightweight so his wife could lift it in and out of the car easily.

At RKS we have a selection of Powerpacks in the showroom that were demonstrated to them. They decided on the TGA Powerpack as this was the lighter option and was easier for his wife to fit to the wheelchair. She found the controls much simpler to use too. When demonstrating the chosen wheelchair and TGA Powerpack, the gentleman stated that the provision of this would ‘change his life’. Previously if he went out with his wife he had to sit in the car or alternatively remained housebound.

At RKS we also carry out work for local military veteran charities such as SSAFA and the Royal British Legion. I recently recommended a lightweight wheelchair with a TGA Powerpack to a 90-year-old ex-serviceman who suffered from Angina and a severe back problem. As he was unable to walk any distance due to his medical condition, his daughter wanted to take him out to the local shops, amenities and on day trips. His daughter also had trapped nerves in her back and struggled to push their existing NHS wheelchair, especially on inclines. The provision of a TGA Wheelchair Powerpack has made pushing the wheelchair and her father around hilly Cumbria strain-free. Both wheelchair and Powerpack did not require excessive lifting to place in a car boot, which also helped to improve the quality of life for the client and his daughter.

Another recent example involved provision of a TGA Wheelchair Powerpack to a gentleman who had experienced a Stroke – resulting in left-sided weakness. He was able to propel himself around his home in a wheelchair but outside accessibility was not possible as he lived on a steep hill. The provision of a TGA Powerpack enabled his wife to take him into the local village with far greater ease, especially when coming back up the hill to their home.

Benefits to carers and wheelchair occupants of specifying a proven TGA Wheelchair Powerpack

The TGA Wheelchair Powerpack is light-in-weight and therefore makes lifting easier for carers when placing in a car. This is especially important as many may themselves be elderly or have medical problems such as back issues or Arthritis. The ergonomic controls make handling of the Powerpack straightforward and the battery can be removed quickly for off-board charging. The extended, padded handles provide better grip – which is of benefit if reduced dexterity is a problem for carers.
The simplicity of connecting the TGA Powerpack drive unit to the controller is also a feature that OTs feel enables easy use. This TGA Powerpack it is not as fiddly as some other models on the market. Being able to put the TGA Powerpack on the majority of wheelchairs makes, with the multitude of bracket options available, gives the customer choice over the type of wheelchair that fulfills their needs. The Powerpack can also be fitted to wheelchairs with a tilt-in space-feature. As some of these specialist wheelchairs are quite big and bulky to push, it is a significant advantage to have powered propulsion with these chairs.

The TGA Wheelchair Powerpack can be positioned further under the wheelchair and therefore does not pose a tripping hazard for the attendant. The ability to change speed also allows the individual pushing the wheelchair to walk at a pace that is comfortable for them. The use of a Powerpack enables the wheelchair and occupant to be more easily propelled across grass or gravel and up or down slopes and ramps.

Conclusion – why the TGA Wheelchair Powerpack is a proven, trusted choice

Working in independent practice for many years now, I have seen the negative impact of excess strain on carers pushing attendant controlled manual wheelchairs in terms of muscle and back injury. This issue will only continue to grow as the trend toward heavier wheelchair users becomes ever more pronounced. Supported by HSE clinical evidence and guidelines, recommending the addition of a TGA Powerpack to attendant-controlled manual wheelchairs is now an essential consideration.