Community Equipment Service

Offering choice, flexibility and ease of access to aids to daily living which can help you with activities such as bathing, walking, toileting and personal care.

The Community Equipment Service helps millions of people to be more independent and live life their way. The support can range from simple aids to daily living to more complex equipment. However, there is room to improve the existing way this service is provided. 

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets and Barts Health NHS Trust are working in partnership with a number of accredited retailers to provide community equipment to all residents who require it.

We have changed the way in which you can receive simple aids to daily living, under the Transforming Community Equipment Service (TCES) programme, in line with the Department of Health’s proposals.

Simple aids to daily living support people to maintain their independence in mobility, toileting, bathing, cooking, dressing, reaching, eating etc. Many of these items cost less than £30 and include items such as: kettle tippers, shower stools, reachers, adapted cutlery and raised toilet seats.

What does this mean for service users?

Currently, if you are eligible for local authority or health support, an assessment by an occupational therapist, physiotherapist, community nurse or trusted assessor will take place, after which the assessor orders the items of equipment which is then loaned to you.

Following an initial assessment, social care or health professionals will issue you with a written prescription that can then be exchanged for simple aids to daily living at accredited retailers.

What is a prescription?

If you are eligible for equipment you may be given a ‘prescription’ for your equipment. There is no charge for the prescription.

If you need to have the equipment delivered or fitted, this will be written on the prescription. You should contact your chosen retailer to collect or arrange delivery/fitting of your equipment as indicated on your prescription.  If delivery or fitting is not on your prescription you may be able to negotiate with the retailer to do this for you privately. You can contact them by telephone. There may be a charge for this.

To provide greater choice, you can choose to get an item of a different colour or with more improved features which is known as a “Topping up”. You will need to pay the difference in the cost.

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.

Who are local accredited retailers?

Accredited retailers are a select list of high street retailers with accessible premises and a good knowledge of disability and diversity issues. They are audited and trained by the local authority in line with Department of Health's standards for accreditation.

Accredited retailers who are trained and supported by both the council and health partners. The prescriptions issued can only be redeemed by them.

Benefits for residents

This new way of accessing simple aids equipment will also benefit residents who are not eligible for statutory support by offering them the opportunity to go to a local accredited retailer and buy their own simple items of equipment to help them or someone else e.g. relative, to maintain their independence. You do not need an assessment to purchase equipment privately.  Many of these items cost less than £30 and will assist people with limited mobility, bathing, meal preparation, eating and dressing needs.

Benefits for Service Users

The new service model 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

Contact

For further information about the service, or to arrange removal of equipment you no longer need, you should contact LBTH, Community Equipment Services (CES):

Tower Hamlets Community Equipment Service

Address: Units 2 & 3 Bow Exchange, Yeo St, London E3 3QP  
Tel.  020 7364 1930
Fax: 020 7005 0187
Email: communityequipmentservice@towerhamlets.gov.uk