TECS CodeA new and unique Code of Practice for Planning and Commissioning TECS, an official CECOPS guide, is set to be published in the coming weeks.

The main reason for the guide is that, to date, other Codes of Practice for TECS have focussed exclusively on the service provision and supplier end of the market.

This new Code will help all those with responsibility for planning and commissioning TECS to overcome the many and longstanding barriers to adopting TECS more widely, and ensure projects and initiatives are delivered efficiently and effectively, with the ability to measure their success.

The Code acts as a risk, quality and performance framework. It takes organisations through sequential steps, allowing a readiness assessment check at every stage and promoting continuous improvements.

The Code can be used for all digital health and care technologies, in the health, housing and care sectors. Technologies covered by the Code include for example telehealth, telecare, telemedicine, telecoaching and self-care apps. It also has wider application for use when introducing any assistive technology or medical device related service.

The Code covers services as single entities e.g. a telecare control centre, or grouped together as digital health and care, or integrated with a wide range of assistive technology services.

This Code is supported by a self-evaluation and continuous improvement software tool, iCOPS® – see here for details: www.icops.co.uk

Whilst the Code is mainly aimed at the UK, the principles apply internationally.

It is anticipated that the Code will eventually fit in with the CECOPS registration and accreditation scheme, although it will also be available as a standalone guide.

The Code is made up of 16 Code Standards. These are supported by relevant outcomes and sub-clauses.

The 16 Code Standards are:

CODE STANDARD 1: Strategic planning and preliminary considerations

CODE STANDARD 2: Involvement of stakeholders, users and carers

CODE STANDARD 3: Partnerships, joint working and integration

CODE STANDARD 4: Governance and risk management

CODE STANDARD 5: Business case development

CODE STANDARD 6: Investment and funding

CODE STANDARD 7: Procurement

CODE STANDARD 8: Service requirements and specifications

CODE STANDARD 9: Contractual arrangements

CODE STANDARD 10: Eligibility criteria and self-funding

CODE STANDARD 11: Legal & regulatory obligations and standards

CODE STANDARD 12: Information technology and information management

CODE STANDARD 13: Marketing and promotion

CODE STANDARD 14: Implementation

CODE STANDARD 15: Performance management and continuous improvement

CODE STANDARD 16: Measuring and evaluating service impact

If you are interested in this new Code, please contact CECOPS and they will let you know when it is available.

T: 01494 863398

E: info@cecops.org.uk

Twitter: @cecops


 bed blockingThe growing elderly population is a global trend which, coupled with an increase in the number of people living with Long-Term Conditions (LTCs), increases demand for health and care services, with associated fiscal strains, in all societies.

Continuing with the same models of delivery is not going to be sustainable. New approaches and service delivery models need to be found that will deliver more efficient and effective care, whilst maintaining safe and good quality services.

People need to be equipped with the right products and services to help them become more independent and to be better supported in managing their own care. This includes disabled children and adults, to ensure they have the same life expectations, opportunities and outcomes as other citizens. Services also need to be geared toward prevention and early intervention to avoid unnecessary and costlier episodes of care later on.

One method to address some of the concerns above is the better deployment of assistive technologies – from orthotics, prosthetics, walking aids, beds, wheelchairs, and communication aids, through to more advanced electronic assistive technologies such as telecare products and telehealth equipment. If used strategically these can support health and care services significantly and meet a range of government policy aims.

Not only does effective provision of assistive technology improve outcomes for service users, including social inclusion and quality of life, but it can also reduce the burden on the state by enabling independent living, enhancing employment prospects and enabling individuals to take control of their own lives – all of which have a part to play in tackling the worldwide problem of funding longevity.

But a shift towards better deployment of all assistive technologies has not really happened at scale, for a variety of reasons. At strategic level, there is generally failure to appreciate the benefits of this equipment, and as a result there is no overall strategy or vision to integrate the many departments and bodies which currently issue it in such a piecemeal way.

Most assistive technology-related services operate completely separately and independently from one another, resulting in duplication, poor use of resources, and wastage, not to mention the effect on the service user of having to undergo multiple assessments.

One of the results of failing to provide assistive technologies and disability equipment effectively is significant unnecessary cost for the health and care economy, for example through delayed hospital discharges, and unnecessary hospital and care home admissions. Providing services inappropriately is always a false economy.

Incorporating assistive technologies into the delivery of health and care provision is a whole-systems responsibility. It starts with good planning, commissioning and governance. This inevitably flows through to good service provision and clinical involvement. Each of these service areas needs to be clear about their respective responsibilities. There also need to be measurable outcomes and standards in place.

The new UK-wide Code of Practice for Disability Equipment, Wheelchairs and Seating Services

The new UK-wide Code of Practice for Disability Equipment, Wheelchairs and Seating Services is designed to address this, and offers a template for commissioning and providing services; it includes clearly defined and specific standards and measurable outcomes.

Following the Code, in all its parts, will go a long way in overcoming many of the difficulties highlighted above and will significantly improve both clinical and financial outcomes. It will also help to identify where weaknesses are within the whole system and allow root causes to be traced. Following the Code will also enable any equipment-related strategies to be achieved.

The Code, in some or all its parts, relates mainly to disability equipment, wheelchair and seating services. It also applies more generally to other assistive technology-related services; there are certain Code Standards which provide a link to related services, which will assist with integration and offering seamless provision.

The Code is free of charge to organisations registered with CECOPS, or a hard copy or an eBook can be obtained from here: http://www.troubador.co.uk/book_info.asp?bookid=3270 or via the CECOPS website: www.cecops.org.uk

Revolutionary New Self-evaluation & Performance Management Tool now available to Support Planning, Commissioning and Provision of Assistive Technology related services, iCOPS®

In addition to the Code CECOPS has supported the development of iCOPS®, the first ever self-evaluation and performance management software tool for assistive technology related services, including wheelchairs, to complement its scheme.

iCOPS® gives commissioners, providers and clinical staff the ability to evaluate and review services, manage contracts, instil good governance, monitor, assess and manage quality, safety and performance, and drive continuous improvement.

iCOPS® also enables organisations to comply with all their obligations including CECOPS and ISO, for example.

Details about iCOPS® can be found here: www.icops.co.uk. A free one month trial is available.

Find out more about the Code and how it fits with the wider CECOPS scheme here: http://www.cecops.org.uk/2015/03/wheelchair-seating-services-now-covered-by-cecops-standards-uk-and-beyond/

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss any of the points above.

Brian Donnelly

Brian is the founder and director of CECOPS CIC and the author of the Code of Practice.

CECOPS CIC is a not-for-profit social enterprise and is the independent standards body for disability equipment services in the UK.

e: info@cecops.org.uk

t: 01494 863398

w: www.cecops.org.uk

Follow us on Twitter: @cecops


Fundamental standards of care that all health and social care providers will be required to meet and service users should expect to receive.

The government has announced legislation which introduces fundamental standards for health and social care providers. Subject to parliamentary approval, they will become law in April 2015.

The new measures are being introduced as part of the government’s response to the Francis Inquiry’s recommendations and are intended to help improve the quality of care and transparency of providers by insuring that those responsible for poor care can be held to account.

How the fundamental standards will work in practice:

  • the fundamental standards will define the basic standards of safety and quality that should always be met, and introduce criminal penalties for failing to meet some of them.
  • the standards will be used as part of the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC’s) regulation and inspection of care providers. The CQC will be able to hold providers to account if they are not being met, including through the courts where appropriate. Registration with the CQC will also be dependent on compliance.
  • the duty of candour will require NHS bodies to be open and transparent with service users about their care and treatment, including when it goes wrong.
  • the fit and proper persons requirement means that all directors of NHS bodies must pass a test proving they are fit and proper persons. The CQC will be able to insist on the removal of directors that fail.

As part of the fundamental standards, a new duty of candour and fit and proper persons requirement for directors will be introduced for NHS providers from October 2014, and will be extended to all providers by April 2015, subject to parliamentary approval.

The fundamental standards are:

  • care and treatment must be appropriate and reflect service users’ needs and preferences
  • service users must be treated with dignity and respect
  • care and treatment must only be provided with consent
  • care and treatment must be provided in a safe way
  • service users must be protected from abuse
  • service users’ nutritional and hydration needs must be met
  • all premises and equipment used must be clean, secure, suitable and used properly
  • complaints must be appropriately investigated and appropriate action taken in response
  • sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, competent, skilled and experienced staff must be deployed
  • persons employed must be of good character, have the necessary qualifications, skills and experience, and be able to perform the work for which they are employed
  • registered persons must be open and transparent with service users about their care and treatment (the duty of candour)

More details HERE


CECOPS Approved Training Courses on disability equipment in Care Homes and Hospices are now available across the UK. Courses are based on the officially recognised Code of Practice for Community Disability Equipment.

“The provision of community equipment is a very important growth area. HSE recognises the need for guidance, and welcomes the code of practice developed by CECOPS. The code will help organisations who commission or provide community equipment make health and safety improvements in their businesses.” Health and Safety Executive

Many types of disability equipment are used regularly within care home and hospice settings e.g. hoists, pressure mattresses, standing aids and life support ventilators. Without training and clear guidance setting out responsibilities and obligations, things can go wrong, including poor quality of care, serious injuries and fatalities. This can also result in prosecution for care home and hospice owners and staff. Attending the CECOPS courses can minimize the risk of these problems arising.

Our courses have a practical focus and are designed to help you with meeting the requirements of the Code of Practice, which includes your existing health & safety, medical device and regulatory obligations (e.g. HSE, CQC).

Our courses support organisations, through the better assessment, use and management of equipment, to help avoid such things as falls, pressure ulcers, infections and cross contamination, together with deteriorating health conditions owing to poor or untimely equipment provision.

Attendance is therefore strongly recommended if you are in any way involved in the management, provision or clinical aspects of disability equipment in these settings.


Disability Equipment in Care Homes and Hospices – This course addresses how you can meet our Code of Practice requirements whilst ensuring high service quality in relation to operational, training and health and safety issues, with a strong emphasis on the legal framework, governance, risk management and user involvement. It supports organisations in meeting their range of obligations.

The course also includes, for example, detailed coverage of: assessment of the client’s needs; medical device management; decontamination and manual handling issues.

Who is the course aimed at?
This course is essential not only for owners of care homes and hospices, but operational managers and for all staff involved in the assessment and provision of equipment including for example, nurses, therapists and carers.

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.

Cost: £135 plus VAT (refreshments and lunch included)

To book courses, or to find out more about the availability and location of courses, please contact us:


Tel: 0191 2336714

E-mail: kevin.wright@disabilitynorth.org.uk

You will need to book early to avoid disappointment as places are limited.

…the Code will enable organisations to address all regulatory and legal requirements… ADASS (Association of Directors of Adult Social Services), President

Please forward this information on to other appropriate individuals within your organisation who may be interested.


Building projects given the green light to start producing homes that will support older and disabled people to live independently.

Building projects up and down the country have been given the green light to start producing homes that will support older and disabled people to live independently for as long as possible, Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb announced today.

Last year the government asked local authorities to bid for a share of £300 million to boost the supported housing market. The Department of Health has now allocated funding to build 3,544 new homes.

Norman Lamb, Care and Support Minister said:

As we know, most people want to be independent in their own homes and as the population ages, more and more of us will need housing that supports us to do that.

We have awarded companies funding to build 3,544 homes around the country. These will be tailored to people’s needs and will help them to remain active as long as possible without the need of going into a care home.

Better and more suitable housing will also alleviate pressure on carers and families, as the person being cared for will be able to carry out everyday tasks more easily.

Building new supported housing will help to meet the big long-term challenges such as demographic change and the ageing population. Affordable supportive housing is designed to be accessible and aid independent living by having, for example:

  • very few or no stairs
  • cupboards that are at a reachable height for wheelchair users
  • adapted bathrooms that are easy to access for older or disabled people
  • handrails to reduce the chance of falls

High quality, innovative housing of this kind will help people receive care and practical help in their own home, reducing the need for them to go into care homes or hospitals. Specially designed housing of this kind can give people the option to downsize from a larger home to a more manageable property designed for their needs.

More details HERE