Equipment and adaptations: guidance on provision - executive summary

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.

Sensory Impairment

The See Hear Strategy provides a strategic framework of action for meeting the needs of people with a sensory impairment against a background of increasing demand, requirements for greater efficiency and effectiveness, and Health and Social Care Integration.

The timely provision of appropriate equipment is crucial in terms of effectively delivering the wider strategic objectives of the See Hear strategy. As with people with all other needs, equipment can make a significant difference, helping people to fulfil their potential, and actively participate in employment, education, and in their everyday activities, supporting their overall well-being.

Appropriate specialist alarms can also help ensure people with sensory loss are kept safe in their home. The Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 (Tolerable Standard) (Extension of Criteria) Order 2019 brought in a requirement for all homes in Scotland to have interlinked alarms. Although the legislation does not refer to specialist alarms, it is important to highlight that existing Deaf alert systems are not compatible with the new interlinked products. Therefore, if a homeowner has an existing specialist alarm, they will need to contact their local Health & Social care, Sensory impairment services, to seek advice on which type of new system they will require to purchase, so that they select a system which will also provide them with the option for new compatible specialist deaf alarms, which can then be installed by the local services.

In terms of overall responsibilities, Health and Social care Partnerships and their Community Equipment services should ensure that they work with relevant stakeholders, and have effective pathways in place which meet the key equipment needs of people with sensory loss, and offer streamlined access to a range of appropriate equipment as part of the core equipment service provision.

Key Actions

  • Health & Social care services and their Community Equipment services should ensure that they work with relevant stakeholders and have effective pathways in place which meet the equipment needs of people with sensory loss
  • This should include the provision of streamlined access to a core range of appropriate equipment for both hearing and visual impairment.



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