More than a million older people and disabled people who need
equipment to help them remain independent, are to benefit from a
new support team launched by health minister Jacqui Smith.
The team will advise councils and NHS trusts about modernising
local equipment services such as walking frames, smoke alarms,
adapted kitchen equipment and special seating for disabled
The NHS Plan set key targets to ensure community equipment
services are both integrated and improved. Over a million people
were helped with these services last year, and the NHS Plan aims to
increase this by 50 per cent by 2004.
Smith said it was vital that people received the right support
to make the most of the equipment: “That’s why community
equipment services are a vital part of the government’s plans
to improve the lives of older people and people with
“We are making extra money available to both health and social
services, but more than that we are also setting up a National
Implementation Support Team to make sure that we find out where the
best practice is, share it, and give people practical information
abut how to develop the services,” Smith concluded.