A new fleet to help keep people independent
At their meeting next week, council’s cabinet will be asked to agree to replace the vans that deliver vital equipment to support people to live independently at home.
Cabinet will be asked to approve between £1.2 and £1.3 million for the vans for the Gloucestershire Community Equipment Service, which delivers medical equipment and aids to people across the county to support them to live independently.
The current lease contract for the delivery vans comes to an end in December 2020 and the county council wants to investigate replacing the 20 old vans with 23 ‘green’ vehicles if possible, in line with their Climate Change Strategy and Clean Fleet Replacement Plan. The council is in the process of moving to cleaner, alternatively fuelled or ‘green’ vehicles as part of its emissions reduction target, so the new fleet will be as green as possible while meeting the needs of the Community Equipment Service.
Cllr Kathy Williams, cabinet member for adult social care operations, said: “We need to increase the delivery vans from 20 to 23 to keep up with the high demand for equipment from the community and we want to replace them with electric or low emission vehicles if we can to reduce carbon emissions in the county. We don’t know yet whether we can move to ‘green’ vans for this sort of service but we’re determined to see if it’s possible.”
The Gloucestershire Community Equipment Service is a county council service, funded by the council and the NHS, which provides both short- and long-term free equipment loans. They provide over 114,000 pieces of equipment per year to people in Gloucestershire. During the Covid-19 lockdown, they delivered a 7-day service and provided equipment to hospitals and care providers to support hospital discharge arrangements and to maximise bed capacity within hospitals.
This includes specialist beds and hoists that enable people to remain at home, equipment for daily living like shower chairs and grab rails, aids for people with sensory impairments, such as flashing doorbells, short-term equipment to help people recover from injuries like a wheelchair or crutches, and Telecare equipment, for example, falls alarms and sensors.
Cllr Williams added: “We know the majority of people in Gloucestershire want to be supported to live independently in their own home as much as they can and we’re committed to making sure they have the equipment to do just that. If you think you could benefit from having equipment at home to help you with daily living, you can complete a self-assessment on the website www.glosequip.co.uk or contact the Adults Helpdesk on 01452 426868.”