"A little piece of equipment can make a huge difference..."

Colleagues from our Joint Equipment Centre (JEC) have been reflecting on the role they play in supporting some of our most vulnerable residents in Aberdeenshire. 

They provide occupational therapy aids, hospital beds and lifeline equipment to name but a few. They supply, deliver, fit and maintain equipment to help clients remain in their own homes, for either short or long term use, enabling their independence and supporting the delivery of Health and Social Care Partnership services. 

The team at the JEC have a well organised production line and process email and telephone enquiries leading to new referrals, which result in the delivery, repair and maintenance of around 40,000 pieces of equipment per year. 

We’re trying to up our game when it comes to working across services together as One Aberdeenshire and Technical Assistant, Louise Fletcher thinks the JEC team – which includes technical, administrative and store based roles – are a really good example of joined up working. Those who use the centre include occupational therapists, district nurses, physiotherapists and professionals from ARI and Woodend Hospital. 

Louise explains: “We work in our communities, for our communities at the same as being one big team.” 

Friends and family of clients can also self-refer to the JEC for minor adaptations and community alarm/telecare for Aberdeenshire residents living in their own homes, sheltered housing or supported living. As Louise puts it: "A little piece of equipment can make a huge difference to a person's independence. We store and maintain a lot of equipment at the centre, and it is a big undertaking with everyone playing their part.

"The process kicks-off when a referral comes in from the Healthcare professionals (who have assessed the client), technicians will pick the equipment required the day before as per prescribed order and then arrange to deliver and install. 

“There are a minimum of seven JEC staff and vans out daily, covering all areas of Aberdeenshire installing, collecting and repairing equipment, so every step needs to be well planned. Good communication from the prescriber is key.” 

The Joint Equipment Centre opened in 2010 as a partnership between the council and local NHS to make better use of its resources by sharing and reusing items such as hoists and specialist equipment given to clients. This has proven to be extremely successful: from financial, operational and waste perspectives. 

An impressive 42724 items were delivered in the last year – more than ten times the number organisers had originally expected in a year! In addition to delivering an average of 3600 items per month, the centre uplifts around 1300 items and achieves a re-use rate of 80% after cleaning, checking and repairing these.

Any enquires about JEC services should be made through our Contact Centre on 0345 608 1206.