Equipment and adaptations: guidance on provision

Guidance outlining the responsibilities of NHS Scotland, Local Authorities, Integration Authorities, and their Housing and Education partners for the provision of equipment and adaptations, with the aim of supporting partnerships, across Scotland, to deliver a more equitable and accessible service.

Postural Care

For people with many conditions, effectively addressing their postural care needs, is central to maximising their independence and well-being, and their potential to engage fully in everyday activities. In addition, for the person, family and carers, this supports the promotion of self-management, which is a wider driver in terms of other national strategies, both for children and adults e.g. Ready to Act, and the Framework for supporting people through Recovery and Rehabilitation during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The postural care strategy, Your Posture Matters outlines a range of key ambitions to improve postural management care for people of all ages across Scotland, and specifically highlights the critical role equipment plays in meeting those aims.

Equipment has the potential to protect, preserve and improve someone's positioning; their age, the reason why they have a movement difficulty and geographical location should not be a barrier to accessing the right equipment to protect their posture.

Ambition 3
Your Posture Matters

Any equipment and adaptation solutions should be considered in the context of '24 hour postural management' so that this is complimenting the wider interventions.

It is also crucial that comprehensive education is provided for a wide range of professions and staff, working across all relevant services, on the importance of postural care for people of all ages. There are powerful examples evidencing the difference the timely provision of equipment to support postural care can make to both children and adults. With children it is evidenced that this can change the trajectory of their lives, vastly improving the quality of life they will experience and their well-being, as well as the positive benefits for their families. For people with long-term conditions and older people, again this can change their ability to be able to maximise their functional potential for as long as possible, significantly supporting their mental health.

It is therefore essential that Integration Authorities, and their equipment services, have an aligned strategy and policy, for the provision of equipment which helps supports those ambitions.

Good Practice Example

In NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Specialist Children's Services Physiotherapists have worked collaboratively with their local Community equipment service, to stock and recycle SleepSystem products and assessment kits to help streamline and standardise access to this equipment. This has brought a range of efficiencies including, reducing demand for wider ongoing service inputs and care, reducing clinical input time, improving decontamination, streamlining procurement, and promoting self-management. This work was recognised at the national AHP awards in 2020 as an example of good practice.

Read the report from Glasgow City for more information

Historically, most community equipment services have routinely provided supportive seating for postural care needs, however, far less have systematic arrangements in place for the provision of other key products which can ensure correct alignment e.g. SleepSystems. This issue requires to be addressed, and services should work with all relevant stakeholders to develop effective arrangements for the provision of this equipment acknowledging that it can take a variety of forms e.g. a SleepSystem can constitute simple cushions or a complete bed system.

Scottish Government guidance in relation to the Provision of Equipment to Children and Young People with Disabilities (2015), specifically highlights the requirement to standardise the provision of SleepSystems as standard core equipment for children.

Key Actions

  • Health & Social Care services should have an aligned strategy and policy, for the provision of equipment for people of all ages, which helps support the Postural Care Strategy.
  • Health & Social Care services should work with all key stakeholders, and community equipment Store service providers, to develop effective arrangements for the provision of SleepSystems and other relevant products which support effective postural care.



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