20 May 2020

New Abacus video assessments to support disabled bathers recommended by Occupational Therapists


Video client assessments from Abacus Specialist Bathroom Solutions are proven successful so that Occupational Therapists can support disabled bathers without the need for home visits.

Part of the Gainsborough Healthcare Group, Abacus is an award-winning manufacturer and installer of power-assisted baths and accessible bathrooms. The appropriateness of these solutions is always assessed on an individual basis through the expertise of an Abacus Regional Assessor who works closely with families, carers and Occupational Therapists. To offer peace of mind during the Covid-19 outbreak, Abacus video conferencing is delivering a contactless approach to client assessments so tradition face-to-face visits can be avoided if preferred.

Abacus Assessors are able to broadcast from within their demonstration vehicles which are fitted with a range of bathing solutions. Video calls using a variety of software platforms including Microsoft Teams, Starleaf, Zoom and WhatsApp, allow clients and anyone involved with their care, to be involved with the assessment process whilst avoiding travel or physical contact. Inbound calls from NHS staff using AccurX are also possible.

These calls are efficient and can result in faster positive outcomes as Zoe Cocksedge, Independent Occupational Therapist explains: “Our Zoom video call was useful in that it helped fine-tune requirements for the client. The family were involved as well and the physiotherapist so we could discuss the types of baths available and which one would be the most suitable. We were also able, with the Abacus Assessor’s extensive knowledge, to look at postural management systems as the client has specific needs – these were uploaded during the call.”

Abacus sets up each video meeting as an appointment with a specific date and time which is agreed by all – attendees just simply join. In addition to understanding how a client 'presents', video technology allows the Abacus Assessor and OT to see the intended bath location and review its suitability. Every other aspect of the assessment process using video is the same as a traditional home visit with Abacus using its established clinical checklist.

Zoe adds: “Although we originally thought it would be a good idea to just have a demonstration of the Gemini online, having good information on your website also meant the family had a look beforehand and then were able to ask a lot of questions post the demonstration. They are keen to go ahead and order a Gemini 2000 bath following the Zoom meeting.”

Once assessment, approval and delivery are organised, Abacus continues with its adapted services by installing baths following its new 'Protection Promise'. Its specialist fitters are equipped with PPE and follow strict disinfecting and social distancing protocols. Ultimately this means disabled bathers and carers can continue to benefit from accessible bathing in the community, reduce the risk of injuries and alleviate pressure on the NHS. 

Peter Eckhardt, CEO, Gainsborough Healthcare Group, concludes: "Abacus continues to be an adaptable brand focused on meeting the changing needs of our customers. Video assessments are our latest service which, I'm delighted to say, are making a difference and helping bathers in difficult situations. Add to this the efficient access it provides Occupational Therapists, we believe video assessments will become commonplace in the future. Of course, we will still provide home visits if preferred, however this new technology-based option gives greater choice and flexibility to everyone."

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