Joint investment to house specialist equipment

Last updated: 29/11/2012 17:38:24


Specialist equipment and aids to help people continue living independently at home will be housed in a new purpose-designed building - thanks to a joint investment by Walsall's health and social care chiefs.


The Integrated Community Equipment Service (ICES) will be moving to a base over 10,000 sq ft at Electrium Point in Forge Lane, Willenhall, by next spring.


The service provides a wide range of equipment and aids from a simple walking stick, through to commodes and shower chairs up to profiling beds and pressure relieving equipment as well as managing a full Minor Adaptations Service for ramps and other modifications to people's homes.

It is currently provided out of three factory units on the Bentley Lane Industrial Estate.


A growing demand for this type of equipment means the service needs to expand and Walsall Council and Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust have invested £325,000 in the relocation.


The new building has been designed by health and social care teams in conjunction with site owners Hortons' Estates.

It will include a new Wheelchair Service Clinic with its own technician and stores, a decontamination unit so that all equipment returned can be cleaned and re-used, and a dedicated bed and mattress store.


Councillor Barbara McCracken, Walsall Council Coalition portfolio holder for social care and health, said: "People want to continue living in their own homes and communities where they feel comfortable and confident.


"If they have had surgery, such as a hip replacement for example, they are naturally concerned about how they will be able to manage at home following discharge from hospital.


"The range of equipment and support available can take away this anxiety and their confidence grows, aiding their recovery in a home environment.


"The relocation is much-needed as this important service continues to grow."


Richard Kirby, chief executive of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said: "The service provided by Walsall ICES is vital to the local health and social care economy, as it enables people to remain living in their own homes, with the help of specialist equipment to maintain as much independence as possible.


"We are very pleased to be able to move to this new purpose-built unit as the service continues to grow.”


Richard Norgrove, property director of Hortons' Estate, said: “We have been pleased to work with Walsall Council and Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust with their requirement for a community equipment Stores and have liaised closely with them in the design and layout of the property.


"We have been working closely with the trust to ensure that the design and layout meets their requirements and have built up a close relationship through the process.


"Hortons' has a long history of working with occupiers in their property needs and we look forward to completing Unit 5 at Electrium Point for Walsall ICES.”


The new base is alongside a new Ambulance Hub for West Midlands Ambulance Service and other council-run services, including Links to Work which creates employment opportunities for adults with learning disabilities.


ICES is managed by Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust on behalf of the Joint Commissioning Unit.