Medequip: Improvements to community equipment services in Kirklees
February 2023 Report
Healthwatch Kirklees’ and Medequip are on a mission to provide the best community equipment services for people in Kirklees
Working together to create a community equipment partnership with one of the largest providers of community equipment (Medequip), your feedback has identified where systems can be enhanced and improved.
Since 2021, we have been working closely with Medequip talking to people who use equipment in their homes that helps keep them independent. (Equipment such as walking aids, rollators, walking sticks, walking frames and grab rails, seating aids, support cushions, perching stools, and chair raisers.) In partnership with Medequip, we have been able to give local people a chance to share their experiences directly with the providers of their community equipment service.
What we did
Initially, we hosted an ‘Independent Living Forum’, which was a chance for people to give feedback on Medequip’s services and also to signpost them towards the best ways to access assessments and equipment. The forums were a good way to get the engagement process going. However, we wanted to find other, more creative ways of encouraging ongoing feedback from the people reliant on Medequip services for their independence in everyday life.
To encourage people who need support with independent living to provide feedback on the services they provide we recommended that feedback be captured in different ways:
- Review and respond
In addition to a detailed questionnaire, we set up a system and promotion for people to give feedback on Medequip’s services by leaving a review on the Healthwatch Kirklees website. Every review is read and responded to by a member of staff at Medequip who respond directly to issues arising, answer questions and provide advice and guidance where required.
- Healthwatch on tour
Medequip commissioned our Engagement & Information Officers to spend a day each month with a Medequip technician and driver, out and about providing community equipment services across the borough of Kirklees. This opened up a unique opportunity to listen directly to people using Medequip services and their carers in their own homes. As well as gathering relevant feedback, this level of engagement provided a unique opportunity to share information on important issues such as support available to carers.
- Focus week
From 20-24 June 2022, all engagement in Kirklees focused on gathering feedback on Medequip’s services. Engagement workers visited 3 separate groups: a carers support group, a lunch club and a disco for people with a disability and feedback was obtained in these settings. During this week our Healthwatch on tour engamgent officer also spoke to 6 people who were receiving equipment. Messages on our social media highlighted opportunities to give feedback on Medequip’s services via the website and informed people about how to return equipment using the ‘amnesty bins’ at various locations in Kirklees.
Your feedback being heard
- Feedback so far has been extremely positive, with four and five star reviews and identification of a number of action points which Medequip will implement.
- We collected 39 reviews via the website all of which were read and responded to by the Medequip team.
- As a result of the work other Healthwatch have been asked to undertake similar projects and improve community care equipment in their regions.
Working together to improve community equipment services for people in Kirklees
Our engagement workers will continue to listen out for Medequip feedback during all their outreach sessions and provide information/signposting where required.
We’re excited to say that the out and about with a Medequip driver is now a regular monthly event proving invaluable to ensuring the voices of those we need to reach are heard.
In Summer 2023 we will do another Medequip focus week.
Share your experiences
Have you used Medequip’s services?
Do you use walking aids such as rollators, walking sticks, walking frames and grab rails, seating aids such as support cushions, perching stools, and chair raisers? Do you have a profiling bed or aids to help you get in and out of bed? Do you have any other equipment in your home to help keep you independent?
Medequip and Healthwatch Kirklees want to know what you think about the service and products offered by Medequip. What’s good and what could be improved? Please leave a review here to have your voice heard by the providers.
Health and social care providers can best improve services by listening to people’s experiences. We make sure NHS leaders and other decision-makers hear your voice and use your feedback to improve care. We welcome your comments and thoughts via email to email@example.com or in the boxes below. (Please note comments are moderated before publishing).