I was contacted by a solicitor who was the clients deputy. Client had no family hence the decision to appoint a representative to act in their best interest.

The solicitor asked me to assess if he could have a chair as bed bound and end stage dementia. Solicitor/deputy did not know what equipment to buy and realised the benefits and need for a skilled assessment by a qualified professional.

I visited the out of area client and conducted a physical examination and assessment to ascertain postural needs.

I was able to ascertain exact postural needs and identify suitable options of specialist seating by matching needs with seating specifications.

I had been advised by the deputy that client would self fund any identified equipment to avoid application delay with the NHS or LA. The client did have excess funds and it seemed the right decision.

However what was paramount was my assessment identifying the right equipment.

My physical assessment also needed to capture aspects of the environment and nursing home routine for my client.

I contacted a reputable company CareFlex whom I liaised closely with and requested specialist seating with exact specification to meet the unique needs of the individual. I requested a trial of the seating.

A trial enables ongoing assessment. Try before you buy. I was acting in someone’s best interests and vital to ensure the best outcome was achieved and aspects of cost efficiency.

Seating was trialled for a week and I had e mailed staff at the home my evaluation tool to complete each time seating was used to enable me to conducts thorough evaluation.

Correct positioning and use of functions was demonstrated to staff.

As the client had been bed bound staff had to be encouraged to sit my client out regularly while the trial opportunity was available. Opportunities needed to be maximised.

I rang the home each day to prompt and ensure this would happen.

After the trial period evaluation forms were faxed back for me to analyse for tolerance and patterns as well as skin integrity and comfort.

Analysis enabled me to make an accurate informed decision for my client to ensure the product was matched to the individual needs.

Professional written report with assessment findings sent to deputy.

A quote was requested and sent to the deputy with the exact specification and advised VAT not payable as individual purchase.

Seating was delivered and fitted in 4 weeks.

Improvement in clients health and well-being and was evidenced by staff, deputy and BIA/DoLS assessor for the authorisation.

Advantages

  • Client got the right chair for his needs with the right specification
  • No waiting times for assessment or equipment
  • Trialled before purchased
  • Most cost efficient
  • Not influenced by seating company/ no bias
  • Assessment by qualified professional
  • Noticeably improved health and well-being of client: cognitively physically and emotionally

Disadvantages

  • Cost of OT assessment

I did advise the written professional assessment could have been utilised to present to continuing health care as evidence to request funding for the bespoke specialist equipment however as client had monies and some decisions made prior to losing capacity it was agreed in best interests to utilise own funding to avoid delay.