Wheelchairs

Northumbria Healthcare first in UK to use digital wheelchair-sharing

Two North East hospitals are expected to become the first in the UK to introduce an innovative solution to support patients, visitors and staff who need wheelchairs.

User-friendly digital wheelchair-sharing stations will be installed at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington and North Tyneside General Hospital.

This forms part of a new partnership between Northumbria Healthcare NHS FT and Wheelshare, which forms part of a 12-month trial.

The trial is believed to be a good showcase for the Wheelshare system and the issues it aims to address.

Damon Kent, Managing Director of Northumbria Healthcare Facilities Management - the Trust’s estates subsidiary - said: “We’re really pleased to be leading the way on this and becoming the first hospitals in the country to install this technology, as we look to ensure the best possible experience for patients and visitors to our sites.

“We recognise that the current system can be quite hit and miss, with wheelchairs not always in the right places at the right times, so we’re hopeful that this new system will work really well, ensuring that patients and visitors will always be able to find a chair ready to go when they arrive at our hospitals.”

Wheelshare already provides its platform to hospitals and medical centres but is now entering the UK market, and the first hospitals to benefit from its service will be Northumbria Healthcare’s two chosen sites, which care for a wide range of patients.

In the case of the Northumbria trial, the wheelchairs will be free to use for up to 12 hours.

The wheelchairs will be available free of charge to patients via a user-friendly automatic station, backed by a 24-7 helpline and at-site maintenance support.

Users will need to swipe a credit card to release a chair (no fees will be charged) and must ensure they return them correctly, so they are available for other users.

Up to now, the company has recorded more than one million rental hours by more than 150,000 unique users.

Chief Business Development Officer, Nir Tobis, said: “While this will not apply in all cases, we have found that traditional hospital provision of wheelchairs can result in poor patient experience, high maintenance demands, low availability, and issues for patients and visitors actually finding a wheelchair when they need it.

“Our innovative docking stations offer a user-friendly solution to all of this, and we pride ourselves on providing a service that really makes a difference to patients, visitors and staff, ensuring that they can easily access a chair so that their visit to the hospital is as smooth as possible.

“Plus, if there are any issues, there is a support line that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and a full maintenance service means that the system and chairs will not be out of action for prolonged periods.”

NHE Sept/Oct 21

NHE Sept/Oct 21

Improving care for long-term conditions

Join us in our September/October edition of National Health Executive, as we explore a range of topics impacting and improving the care that we can deliver to patients, the facilities within which we deliver them, and the opportunities in the digital space to accent and evolve our care capabilities

Videos...

View all videos
National Health Executive Presents

National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Festival: Digital Healthcare

The integration of new technology, such as using virtual outpatient appointments instead of face-to-face reviews of patients in the hospital. Adapting the ways in which our NHS workers serve people has been critical in continuing to provide high-quality treatment, a positive patient experience and preventing Covid-19 transmission during the pandemic. Our healthcare sector has the potential to transform the way we continue to provide essential services while also improving patient care. But how easy is the integration of these innovations into routine NHS practice?

On the 28th of October, at the NHE365 Virtual Hospitals & Technology Enabled Care online event, we will be discussing patient flow and experience, reducing waiting times, reducing the patient backlog and increasing technology adoption. Will you be attending? 

Finger on the Pulse

Ep 14. Health messaging is a science, Professor Craig Jackson

On Episode 14 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast, we're joined by Professor Craig Jackson, Professor of Occupational Health Psychology
Birmingham City University to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, the health messaging around it and how those in power have missed a trick by overlooking the key role of psychology in informing the public of restrictions, measures and the ever-changing situation

More articles...

View all