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How lateral thinking is enabling best use of resources vertically for care provider

23/11/2020
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A piece of equipment initially purchased to address one problem is now delivering positive outcomes in a raft of services, as a result of ‘outside of the box’ thinking.

The equipment is one of AAT’s Sella powered stairclimbers, at Care Plus Group (CPG) in North East Lincolnshire. Initially sourced for its Community Urgent Care multi-disciplinary team’s palliative work, the Sella is now helping the local community health and adult social care services achieve optimum efficiency and value when transporting clients with reduced mobility. The Sella moves them up and down stairs safely and with dignity. It enables greater deployment of single-handed transfer, whether addressing acute health crises, hospital admission, discharge or empowering a client to recover at home without major disruption.

It all began from a conversation among the End of Life team at Care Plus Group, about the issues supporting clients in their last days, transporting them downstairs to a specialist bed or moving into a hospice. The transfer process often required ambulance staff, who had other calls on their time and resources.

AAT demonstrated the machine to the team, who were so impressed that a Sella was purchased. AAT trained the core team, and a member of that team to train further staff on its use. Word of mouth once the Sella was in place led to its use being extended to the wider local ambulance transport, district nurses and specialist nursing teams.

It has also been used as an interim solution when a client’s stairlift broke: instead of their having to be admitted to a short-term residential placement with its associated cost in adult social care, the Sella was loaned to them, enabling them to stay at home, safely.

“We’d not seen anything like it in the area before it was demonstrated to us,” observes Care Plus Groupsenior occupational therapist Michelle McIvor. “The stairclimber has proved invaluable in enabling Care Plus Group to increase its function, reduce pressure on NHS services and reduce cost of adult social care. 

“One of the main aims of the CUCT is to reduce the pressure on the ambulance service, hospital avoidance and reducing the length of stay in hospital. The use of the stairclimber, and other specialist equipment, has allowed the CUCT to increase its function and aid the NHS by achieving positive outcomes. Client feedback further highlights the comfort and safety they felt when it is used, which in turn has built further positive outcomes for the CUCT.”

AAT’s Sella is the most adaptable stairclimber on the market. Easy to use, the German-engineered Class 1 medical device automatically but gently powers up and down stairs- up to 300 from a single charge. It can tailored to individual needs, shapes and sizes in seconds, accommodating passengers up to 135kg/21 st. It can be fitted direct to a wheelchair, or its integrated seat minimises the transfer need and number, further improving client safety

The Sella itself requires just one carer to operate. Its high balance point means little physical strength is required to safely use the machine. Speed of movement is set by the operator, to whatever rate they feel comfortable. The Sella’s motor undertakes the drive, with the carer only required to lightly balance, and steer at the top and bottom of the flight. A continuous motion delivers a smooth transfer, with automatic braking gently holding on each riser for optimum safety. The Sella folds compactly away when not in use.

Sella is just one of the pieces of assistive technology to support people with reduced mobility available from AAT the stairclimber people. Its solutions extend beyond stairclimbers, to the Stabilo range of vacuum posture devices that aid sensory and physical support in resting, bathing and sleeping and motorised solutions for dignified and safe independent or aided moving and handling.

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