Monthly Archives: January 2014

Tell us your equipment related stories!

Everyone, at some point in their lives, knows someone who has used disability equipment of some sort. No doubt you will have heard of good experiences, but you will also have heard of the not so good. You may have heard of a child waiting long periods for equipment, or someone not able to be discharged from hospital because of equipment delays. On the positive side you may have heard where equipment has allowed someone to communicate, or to live and lead a relatively normal life.

Our CEO recently wrote a blog post about his next door neighbour, which generated significant interest – see HERE. This blog highlighted the importance of equipment, as well as the lack of integrated working across all care services, waste in administration and money, and an appalling experience received by the end user.

The importance of disability equipment is often not fully understood or appreciated.

We often hear about strategies for early intervention & prevention, hospital discharges, re-ablement and rehabilitation services, moving more care into the community etc., with little reference to the equipment needed to achieve them.

Disability equipment has many purposes and can be used for example as a temporal aid following an operation, to allow people to live independent lives or to communicate, or to be kept alive. If disability equipment is commissioned and provided right, many positive and good quality outcomes can be achieved.

We would like you to share your stories with us – the good and the bad, so that we can generate more evidence to help us in our quest to raise awareness of the importance of equipment, and to improve service standards nationally.

Please post your cases below or to: and title them ‘Case Examples’. Feel free to anonymise the characters, but it would be helpful to have your name and details. If we want to post your case example on our website, we will contact you beforehand to seek you permission. Thank you in advance.

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CECOPS supports aims of ‘Better Care Fund’

Working with us will help the 14 integration pioneer areas, and others, achieve many of the aims of the recently announced Better Care Fund (in England). The integration initiatives intend to transform the way health and care is being delivered to patients by bringing services closer together.

The main aim of the integration pioneer work is to make health and social care services work together in order to provide better support at home and earlier treatment in the community, to ultimately prevent people needing emergency care in hospitals or admissions to care homes. Providing timely and effective disability equipment services is key in supporting these aims.

Working with us will enable your organisation to achieve some of the other aims of the integration pioneer work, including:

• Reduction of avoidable hospital admissions and the length of time people who are admitted to hospital need to stay there
• Supporting people to live well for longer, leading more socially active independent lives
• Achieving better value for money, through cost avoidance savings
• Reducing demand for urgent care at hospitals
• Delivering prevention and early intervention strategies
• Improving outcomes for patients and their experiences of care e.g. right first time
• Reduction in care home admissions
• Supporting workforce with the skills to deliver integrated equipment provision
• Ensuring adults and children experience high quality and seamless care
• Supporting rehabilitative care
• Supporting older people with long-term conditions and families with complex needs
• Providing supportive guidance on integration, joint working and pooled funds

If you are interested in finding out how working with us can support your work on integration, contact us today: or call us 01494 863398

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Not quite ready for CECOPS accreditation? Why not try a Support Visit?

CECOPS Support Visits are provided by our partner organisation, DNV Healthcare, to any organisation commissioning or providing disability equipment. Support visits are designed to help identify areas for improvement in your service, including commissioning, provision, and clinical activities, as well as providing an opportunity to find out more about the Code of Practice and the benefits it can bring. There is no requirement to register with CECOPS or to become accredited before arranging a support visit.

Support visits can be used in a number of ways:

To provide a better understanding of the Code of Practice and the accreditation process
To discuss which parts of the Code of Practice are applicable to your organisation/service provider
To identify key areas for local quality and safety improvements, in line with the Code of Practice
To provide an independent and non-committal review of your disability equipment provision against the requirements of the Code of Practice
To check how ready your organisation is for CECOPS accreditation by identifying gaps and recommending key areas to focus on
To develop an action plan to prepare for accreditation, or as a standalone exercise

DNV assessors will work with you to develop an agenda for the day according to your needs. Download a copy of a Support Visit flyer HERE

To arrange a visit or find out more about what could be covered in a support visit, please contact DNV on 0161 475 6691, or by email at:

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CECOPS assessments undertaken by DNV Healthcare, global leaders in quality, safety and risk management

Accredited Users of the CECOPS Code of Practice are given a full assessment every three years with interim annual health checks. World class assessors, DNV Healthcare, carry out these assessments on our behalf.

DNV Healthcare is a reputable organisation with an extensive background in the development and management of large scale assessment and inspection schemes. This includes providing assessments for all hospitals in England on behalf of the NHS Litigation Authority, as well as working with Macmillan Cancer Support to assess the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark for cancer care centres throughout the UK.

James Lawrence, Director of DNV Healthcare UK said:
The CECOPS requirements not only focus on safety but have a strong drive towards improving the quality of life for service users. As a foundation, the work DNV will be undertaking on behalf of CECOPS is therefore closely aligned to our values of promoting safety and quality within healthcare.


CECOPS Chairman, Sir Bert Massie CBE said:
Our aim is to ensure every aspect of the Code of Practice Scheme is robust and credible. By contracting DNV as our preferred provider for assessments we have a much greater chance of realising this aim, especially given DNV’s extensive experience and reputation in this particular field.



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Involving Users and Carers…it’s important to us!

Posted on: 23/01/2014 | Categories: Blog, CECOPS General, General News, Service User experience

Are you serious about involving Users and Carers in your services? We are! We take involvement of Users and Carers so seriously that we have introduced a Code Standard (45) which ensures they are at the centre of service planning, design and review. We feel this is the only way services can truly meet the needs of end users.

Our work strongly promotes improved outcomes for users and carers and to do this we feel their views need to be sought at the early stages. That is why we have introduced Code Standard 45 into our Code of Practice. In fact our assessments include Code 45 as a mandatory requirement i.e. failure to comply with it could result in overall failure of accreditation.

The overall Outcome our assessment team would look for in relation to Code 45 is:

The commissioning, design, performance standards and product selection of community equipment involves service users and/or carers as a matter of course.

To meet Code Standard 45 commissioners/planning teams, providers and clinical teams will have taken input from service users and/or carers when developing services, strategies and policies. Some example roles and responsibilities of service users could include:

  • interpreting policy into service delivery
  • reviewing assessment facilities and new equipment for suitability
  • reviewing outcomes from questionnaires and surveys, etc.
  • analysing and reviewing compliments and complaints
  • advising on local and national disability policies and/or legislation
  • development of equipment specifications.
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About us and how you can work with us…at a glance

We are a not for profit CIC and we manage a registration and accreditation scheme for the unique Code of Practice for disability equipment. We support all sectors in commissioning and providing safe, good quality and efficient services, whilst enabling compliance with legal and regulatory obligations.

We also offer approved training and self-regulation software (iCOPS™), as well as support visits from our accreditation partner DNV Health Care if you don’t feel ready for accreditation.

CECOPS is a self-regulatory model which incorporates indirect regulation i.e. meets other regulatory requirements e.g. HASAWA, CQC Standards, Medical Device Regulations, in one place. Unlike inspections, our model puts you in control of managing your own quality, safety and performance related issues.

 How can I work with CECOPS?

As a Commissioner: Until now there has been little guidance and no specific standards available for commissioning disability equipment services. Our Code includes all the relevant outcomes you would expect from any provider. You can now request that all providers working with equipment, including clinical teams and Care Homes etc., work to the CECOPS Standard, either as Registered or Accredited. This will ensure all quality, safety and performance management issues are addressed in one place, as well as complying with relevant legal and regulatory obligations.

 As a Provider: Do you already provide a safe and good quality service, and want to promote this fact? Now you can opt to become Registered or Accredited with CECOPS as a means of demonstrating to regulators and commissioners etc. that you are working to the highest available standard in this field. This will separate you from the rest and give you competitive advantage. Commissioning authorities up and down the country are already requesting CECOPS compliance…don’t miss out!

 Download a copy of our brochure here

 Contact us today to find out more about registration and accreditation: or call 01494 863398.


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CECOPS or ISO 9001:2008: which one, or both?

ISO 9001:2008 quality management standards make a routine appearance in tender specifications for disability equipment services, which is understandable as for many years ISO has been the only credible standard available. But not any longer! Many of our users are also ISO accredited, and it has been interesting to get their views, and the views of professional quality and risk management assessors, on the CECOPS standards over against ISO.

 The general consensus is that ISO is a good general framework, but CECOPS contains all the specifics for a quality equipment service.

CECOPS’ key advantage is that it is specific to the environment of a disability equipment service, so it covers the nitty gritty issues that crop up every day in real life. CECOPS’ Code of Practice is a uniquely practical tool for making service improvements, in an organisation of any size.

 CECOPS also deals with commissioning and clinical activities which are areas beyond the scope of ISO’s quality framework.

 See the areas covered by the CECOPS Code here:

 Read the following perspectives on CECOPS and ISO from a CECOPS Accredited User organisation and also a professional quality and risk management specialist.


The Pluss Organisation – Our experience of CECOPS Code Standards as a provider of Community Equipment Services (CES)

 Pluss is pleased to announce that it recently achieved full accreditation status for CECOPS Code of Practice – one of the few in the UK!

 Following our CECOPS Accreditation Status, we would like to share our experience of this journey to encourage other organisations to do so. If you haven’t, or are not thinking of becoming CECOPS Accredited, or expecting your Provider to, then we would seriously ask you to think again. The CECOPS accreditation process is a very worthwhile exercise, especially if you really care about delivering a quality service for your commissioners and more importantly for your service users – you need to be on this journey.

 Pluss has successfully held BS EN ISO: 9001:2008 Quality Management Systems since 1993. Although the ISO quality management system is really good we found the CECOPS Code Standards and the accreditation process to be more multi-dimensional and covers a broader scope that actually fits the service provision.

 The CECOPS accreditation process is not only for providers but for also for commissioners. The CECOPS accreditation process covers all the criteria you would expect for a Total Quality Management System, and more. 

 CECOPS sits exceptionally well within Community Equipment Services, and compliance with the Code of Practice is not very difficult if you are already working to a quality management system – although you do need to have all your ducks in a row.

 For example, you will need up to date evidence that the following is communicated:

  • Health & Safety  procedures, risk assessments
  • HR policies & procedures
  • Company / Corporate procedures
  • Operational manuals
  • Training  records
  • Etc, etc

 So, even though the CECOPS process is a means for getting one’s house in order, Pluss found this process to be a positive challenge – we had all of the above requirements in place but not necessarily in the same place! 

 Our commissioners have comfort and reassurance in knowing that we have met all relevant legal and regulatory requirements in one place and that once a year we will have a CECOPS health-check to ensure we maintain this high level of service.

 We are more confident that our end users will be in receipt of better quality outcomes, as a result of the CECOPS work, and that we will continue to seek to improve a high level of customer satisfaction – and the overall CECOPS process enables us to do so.  

Pluss are now in the process of including its other CES contracts to become CECOPS Accredited and are hoping to become the first wheelchair service in the country to be CECOPS Accredited. Christine Wheeler, Pluss, Equipment Contract Manager


CECOPS and ISO 9001:2008: Disability Equipment Services, UK – by Harriet Smith, Senior Quality & Risk Specialist, DNV Healthcare UK

 What does CECOPS offer in addition to ISO 9001:2008?

CECOPS code standards provide a quality management framework for both commissioners and providers of disability equipment (including clinical staff). The code standards are designed to be specific to disability equipment services; they put unambiguous requirements around the more generic principles of ISO; CECOPS puts flesh on the ISO bones.  They are not in disagreement; CECOPS and ISO fit effortlessly together. The CECOPS code eliminates the need for smaller equipment services to have to interpret the more ‘ambiguous’ generic statements made within ISO, and apply them to their industry. Few other service industries can boast the same luxury.

 Assessment for CECOPS accreditation is more designed around observation and interview, with a greater focus also on outcomes, rather than the checking of the reams of paper that is expected within ISO certification. 

 As time moves forward, the CECOPS Code Standards will evolve as legislation and regulation within the equipment service changes; it is also something that the sector itself can take a degree of ownership over and ‘drive’ its own quality – unlike the large, cumbersome ship of ISO. 

 CECOPS standards are contained within the main principles of ISO, and more, including:

  • Customer focus
  • Leadership
  • Involvement of people
  • Process approach
  • Systems approach
  • Continual improvement
  • Factual approach to decision making
  • Mutually beneficial supplier relationships

 CECOPS Code Standards are much more service specific and add ‘meat on the bones’ for the disability equipment sector. Unlike CECOPS, ISO does not specifically address the commissioning or clinical aspect of disability equipment services.

 Harriet Smith BSc (Hons) MSc, CMIOSH, Senior Quality & Risk Specialist, DNV Healthcare UK. 

 Harriet Smith has successfully completed the IRCA certified ISO 9000:2000 Series QMS Lead Auditor course, and the ISO 22301 Internal Auditor Course for Business Continuity. In addition to the CECOPS assessments, she regularly undertakes international healthcare assessments against the DNV International Accreditation Standards for Healthcare; she delivers training in Europe on healthcare quality management systems and is an assessor for the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark®, which recognises high standards in cancer care environments.
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*NEW* CECOPS for Care Homes and Hospices

CECOPS is extending its work to include Care Homes and Hospices. This is the first time any comprehensive standards for equipment have been available for these service areas to follow.

 Disability equipment is regularly assessed for and used in care homes and hospices e.g. hoists, life support ventilators. We sometimes hear stories in the news of serious incidents and fatalities involving equipment failure, with heavy fines for care home owners, suggesting that sometimes equipment issues are not well managed in these settings. Our work is aimed at supporting care homes and hospices by preventing these incidents from arising in the first place, and by ensuring there is clear guidance to follow.

 Although there are many health & safety and regulatory obligations applicable to care homes and hospices, we feel there is a lack of clear and comprehensive guidance available for the assessment and safe use of equipment. Also, to date there has been little equipment related training made available for staff working in these areas.

 Working with CECOPS will support care home providers and hospices in meeting all their equipment related health & safety and regulatory obligations in one place, whilst ensuring safe and good quality outcomes are experienced by the end user.

 How does CECOPS work for Care Homes and Hospices?

Quite simply, organisations can register with us for £150 per home/hospice (group discounts apply). This includes a copy of the Code of Practice, certification and a listing on our website. Accreditation is also available from our external assessment partner DNV Healthcare (current assessors for NHS Litigation Authority and Macmillan Cancer Support). Accreditation involves an assessment of your services. Unlike regulation, the assessment processes is to facilitate you through a process. It enables you to drive your own quality standards. Costs for accreditation are agreed directly between you and the assessment team. You can contact the assessment team here to find out more: 

 Why work with CECOPS?

There are many aspects to managing equipment effectively within the care home and hospice setting, ranging from proper assessment to provision, use, decontamination and maintenance etc.

 Many organisations have been prosecuted with regards to unsafe and misuse of equipment, with very costly fines imposed. Besides the fines and reputational damage, there have been lives lost because of the misuse of equipment which could have been prevented. Equipment issues are also looked at by CQC inspectors.

 Working with CECOPS helps an organisation reduce risks significantly, and ensures better quality and safer services are provided.

 Contact us today to find out more: or call us 01494 863398

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*NEW* CECOPS for Wheelchair Services!

We are very pleased to announce that we are extending our work to include wheelchair services!

We are regularly asked whether our Code covers wheelchair services: whilst most of the outcomes in our Code apply to this service area, there are some issues relevant to wheelchairs which haven’t been comprehensively covered in the Code to date. To address this we have been in discussion with the National Wheelchair Managers Forum (NWMF). We are pleased to say that everyone at NWMF is keen to support us in extended the Code to specifically cover wheelchair services. We will keep you up to date on this new and exciting development!

 National Wheelchair Managers Forum is very excited to be working with Brian Donnelly to develop the Code of Practice to include Wheelchair Services. This is long overdue and will further enhance the Healthcare Standards for NHS Commissioned Wheelchair Services developed by the NWMF, creating a benchmark and evaluation process to ensure patients are receiving a good standard of care and service delivery. Krys Jarvis, Chair, National Wheelchair Managers Forum


Extending the Code to include wheelchairs is an important and exciting development for us. Wheelchair services play a fundamental role in the care setting, supporting people to live independent, self-determined and free lives, and we are looking forward to expanding into this key area. Brian Donnelly, CEO, CECOPS

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CECOPS Approved Training Courses now available, nationwide!

CECOPS Approved Training Courses are now available on Commissioning & Governance, Service Provision and Clinical and Professional Responsibilities, and are running at locations across the UK.

…I generally found the training to be extremely useful and enjoyed the day. It put flesh on the bones and helped me understand, firstly, how the Code would relate to our business and, secondly, the practical issues involved in implementing the Code… Douglas Armour, Director, Community Equipment Services, British Red Cross

CECOPS Approved Training Courses are designed to give you an understanding of the Code requirements and help you comply with them; courses cover the content of each Code Standard, relating it to your work environment. Courses are suitable for all areas where disability equipment is commissioned, assessed for and provided e.g. NHS organisations and Local Authorities, care homes, hospices, home care providers and special schools.

As a Nurse working as a Clinical Advisor within an Integrated Community Equipment Team I felt the content of the course was really useful, and I would recommend that other Nurses attend. Adele Brunsdon, ICES Clinical Advisor Nurse, Gloucestershire

Click here: to see details of courses in 2014 on the following areas: (1) Commissioning & Governance; (2) Service Provision, and (3) Clinical & Professional Responsibilities.

I came away from the day with the conviction that formal standards were necessary and that it would give a framework for different authorities to measure themselves by. Hazel Gallagher, OT TCES Project, Middlesbrough

Courses run on a regular basis at various locations across the UK. Special arrangements can also be made for group training to be delivered on your own premises.

To book courses, or to find out more about the availability and location of courses, please contact the training organiser, Disability North:

Tel: 0191 2336714



*CECOPS has set up an Approved Training programme. CECOPS Approved Trainer status is granted to individuals who have met pre-set criteria and received induction training. Approved Training is available to cover all aspects of the Code of Practice.

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