Call for solutions to support socially distanced assessments

Posted on 12 June 2020 (Permalink)

We are looking for technologies or processes to allow Community Occupational Therapists to assess residents/their homes for disability adaptations or specialist equipment  with less physical contact.

What is the Challenge?

In Worcestershire, Community Occupational Therapists (OTs) from our Health and Care Trust work in cooperation with the local council to assess and implement adaptions residents may need to their homes to support short or long term functional issues  with activities of living they may have. They also assess for specialised equipment that may be needed to support independent living.

This process typically starts from a visit to the home by the OTs who will measure the home and use their healthcare expertise to assess the sorts of alterations which may be needed. This could be anything from a stairlift, to full sized wheelchair lifts or from a raised toilet seat to creation of ground floor wet rooms.

Once the OTs have completed the assessment, and decided what’s needed, a pathway of co-development with the council will then proceed with a number of consultations with architects and building firms. The council will usually make the application to access the disabilities grant required to complete the work (which will take a long time), before the equipment can be fitted.

There will be multiple follow-up physical visits to the property to confirm the adaptations and design with the resident and other stakeholders, with the council managing the building work and OTs providing the medical expertise and final sign-off with the resident.

During covid, this service was temporarily stepped down and is being re-established, with a corresponding large waiting list the service will need to work through. 

The service believes this re-establishment period is a good opportunity to look for innovations or processes other areas have used to make this service more efficient.

In particular they are looking to:

  • Primary benefit: Due to Covid, reduce the requirement for on-site visits to the home to assess the home correctly for adaptations or equipment.
  • Secondary benefit: Increase capacity of the service and reduce waiting lists through better ways of working.

What are they looking for?

The service would like to hear from those working in this area with evidence of improving the assessment and delivery process of making disability adaptions to peoples homes within the NHS/Local Authority.

This could be from other public bodies who have developed a particularly good process for this, or from innovators who may have developed a technology (remote building designing software etc) which is being used in this sort of service and delivers the primary benefit.

How do I submit?

Simply click on 'Innovation' on the Meridian platform and complete the online template.  Once completed click on 'Publish' and this will be submitted to our review team.  All submissions will be reviewed by our Meridian team before they are visible on the platform and we will contact you if you require any further information.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at

What do I do if I can't click 'publish'

If the publish button is unavailable then there may be some required fields that have been left incomplete.  Once these have been completed you should be able to submit your innovation for review by our team.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at

What happens to your submission 

When you submit an innovation, Meridian will notify you if other similar innovations have been submitted - you can either get in touch with them to partner up or go ahead and get your innovation published!

Your innovation submission will be visible to the entire community of users once the Meridian team has reviewed it.  We appreciate that some information is commercially sensitive so this information will only be visible to our WMAHSN moderators and will not be shared with anyone unless we consult you first, this information is identified within the form. Once submitted our Meridian moderators who are active in the innovation space will review your idea and get in touch with any feedback or suggestions before this is published to the main site. They are able to see any content marked ‘Confidential’ to assess your innovation more effectively and practically in order to support its development without giving away too much information on the open innovation exchange.  At this stage we will also look to identify any support you have indicated and get back to you with any feedback, suggestions, signposting or useful information.   

Once published others will be able to give feedback and comment on your submission and circulate this to their networks.  All innovations which pass our evaluation will be discussed with the Trust leaders involved, allowing them to contact the innovator to progress any interest.

Already engaged with the AHSN Network of The AHSN Network Innovation Exchange? 

As a network we endeavour to provide innovators with a commonality of service across our Innovation Exchanges, this includes the use of a single industry engagement form which we use as part of the Meridian process.  If you have already completed this and submitted it to another AHSN or via our AHSN Network Innovation Exchange then please email this to our Industry Gateway ( who will be happy to support you to engage with the WMAHSN. 

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