NHS hospitals install Israeli-invented wheelchair docking stations in UK first

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NHS hospitals install Israeli-invented wheelchair docking stations in UK first

The innovative Israeli docking stations solve the problem of visitors or patients not being able to find a wheelchair.

An example of the wheelchair docking system in Israel (Image: Wheelshare)
An example of the wheelchair docking system in Israel (Image: Wheelshare)

Two NHS hospitals will be the first in the UK to introduce an innovative wheelchair ‘docking station’ thanks to a partnership with an Israeli company.

Wheelchair-sharing stations from Israeli company Wheelshare will be installed at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, and North Tyneside General Hospital.

The 24/7 and free-of-charge wheelchair docking stations aim to end the problem of patients or visitors needing wheelchairs and not being able to find one at the right time.

“We’re really pleased to be leading the way on this and becoming the first hospitals in the country to install this technology, as we look to ensure the best possible experience for patients and visitors to our sites,” said Damon Kent, managing director of Trust’s estates subsidiary.

Nir Tobis, from Wheelshare, said that traditional hospital provision of wheelchairs often resulted in low availability and issues for patients finding a chair when needed.

“Our innovative docking stations offer a user-friendly solution to all of this and we pride ourselves on providing a service that really makes a difference to patients, visitors and staff, ensuring that they can easily access a chair so that their visit to the hospital is as smooth as possible,” he said.

The docking system will also have a round-the-clock maintenance helpline to ensure the chairs are fit for purpose.

The system will be trialled for 12 months in the first instance. Globally, Wheelshare says it has recorded around 1m rental hours by around 150,000 unique users.

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