New assessment house to speed up equipment requests

Published 20th December 2017

Cllr Shackleton with Charlotte Leadbetter-Chase
Cllr Shackleton with Charlotte Leadbetter-Chase

A special ‘assessment house’ has been created at the Independent Living Centre in Smethwick to speed up requests for equipment and adaptations to help people live independently in their own homes.

A specially trained team made up of prevention assessors, occupational therapists and sensory rehabilitation officers can now carry out face-to-face assessments and demonstrations of equipment in a number of every day settings such as bedrooms, bathrooms and living rooms and a kitchen.

The rooms have been fitted out with a range of equipment such as walking frames, high seated chairs, perching stools and bathing aids as well as a vertical lift and a stair lift which people can see in use.

The therapy and sensory teams can carry out a range of assessments for people including using bedroom and bathroom equipment, walking aids and coping with stairs.

For people with visual and hearing difficulties, items such as liquid level indicators to help with the filling of  cups and flashing doorbells to help assist a person in knowing someone is at the door are available.

Assistive technology can also be provided with items such as medication reminding devices and smoke alarms.

Councillor Ann Shackleton, cabinet member for social care, who opened the facility with David Stevens, Sandwell Council's executive director of adult social care, health and wellbeing, said: “I’m delighted to be able to formally open this excellent new ‘assessment house’ which has already carried out 75 assessments since it opened in November.

"The facilities are extremely impressive. The main benefit for residents who need equipment and/or adaptations to help support them  to live independently in their own home, is that it will speed up the waiting time for face-to-face assessments.

“The most popular areas which people need help with are bathing and mobilising around their home, and the assessment team works hard to identify what equipment will most benefit residents.”

Once the assessment has been completed, any equipment identified is then delivered to their home free of charge on a loan basis.

A more detailed assessment can be carried out at home if necessary.

Council figures show that more than 12,000 people are currently provided with equipment to help keep them safe and living independently in their home, with another 2,500 active users of assistive technology in Sandwell.

Anyone wanting an appointment for an assessment can:


Call: 0121 569 2266

Write to: Sandwell Enquiry, PO Box 15825, Oldbury B69 9EL

Fax: 0121 569 5789

The contact centre is open from 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Thursday, and 9am to 5pm on Fridays.