A local occupational therapy and community equipment service (OTCES) has won an award for making the detailed information in its electronic product catalogue available to professionals outside its equipment and adaptation service.

The web-enabled service at Southend on Sea in Essex provides all commissioning professionals with information about equipment features, manufacturers’ instructions and advice forms about equipment for disabled living.

The service also includes an online ordering module developed to help make the service faster and more efficient for patients.

The OTCES has received recognition for its achievements with the awards of the Southend PCT Chairman’s Innovation Award 2005.

Equipment and adaptation service manager, Neil Keeler, explains: “Getting the right equipment first time to a service user is really important, especially for older people, who sometimes are only willing to allow one attempt to trial an item.

“The enhanced catalogue means more people within the healthcare community can access even more information about the products, which helps ensure the correct item is provided.”

The original electronic catalogue was provided by Ethitec, the service’s software provider, through its ELMS2 (equipment loans management) system, which Southend has been using since 2003. By adding HTML links and online capability, the service has been able to provide more comprehensive information and remote access to the catalogue.

Mike Weatherall, Ethitec’s product manager, said: “ELMS2 was developed to meet the tracking needs of busy equipment loans services and we always work closely with our users to ensure the system continues to perform as they need it to.

“Helping Southend put the catalogue online for its wider healthcare community was simply a case of providing appropriate advice on how to configure their electronic catalogue and also providing a hosting service for the completed online version.”



Southend PCT