Category Archives: General News

NEW: Code of Practice for Planning & Commissioning Technology Enabled Care Services (TECS) coming soon.

Posted on: 23/10/2015 | Categories: Blog, CECOPS General, General News, Uncategorized

 TECS CodeA new and unique Code of Practice for Planning and Commissioning TECS, an official CECOPS guide, is set to be published in the coming weeks.

The main reason for the guide is that, to date, other Codes of Practice for TECS have focussed exclusively on the service provision and supplier end of the market.

This new Code will help all those with responsibility for planning and commissioning TECS to overcome the many and longstanding barriers to adopting TECS more widely, and ensure projects and initiatives are delivered efficiently and effectively, with the ability to measure their success.

The Code acts as a risk, quality and performance framework. It takes organisations through sequential steps, allowing a readiness assessment check at every stage and promoting continuous improvements.

The Code can be used for all digital health and care technologies, in the health, housing and care sectors. Technologies covered by the Code include for example telehealth, telecare, telemedicine, telecoaching and self-care apps. It also has wider application for use when introducing any assistive technology or medical device related service.

The Code covers services as single entities e.g. a telecare control centre, or grouped together as digital health and care, or integrated with a wide range of assistive technology services.

This Code is supported by a self-evaluation and continuous improvement software tool, iCOPS® – see here for details:

Whilst the Code is mainly aimed at the UK, the principles apply internationally.

It is anticipated that the Code will eventually fit in with the CECOPS registration and accreditation scheme, although it will also be available as a standalone guide.

The Code is made up of 16 Code Standards. These are supported by relevant outcomes and sub-clauses.

The 16 Code Standards are:

CODE STANDARD 1: Strategic planning and preliminary considerations

CODE STANDARD 2: Involvement of stakeholders, users and carers

CODE STANDARD 3: Partnerships, joint working and integration

CODE STANDARD 4: Governance and risk management

CODE STANDARD 5: Business case development

CODE STANDARD 6: Investment and funding

CODE STANDARD 7: Procurement

CODE STANDARD 8: Service requirements and specifications

CODE STANDARD 9: Contractual arrangements

CODE STANDARD 10: Eligibility criteria and self-funding

CODE STANDARD 11: Legal & regulatory obligations and standards

CODE STANDARD 12: Information technology and information management

CODE STANDARD 13: Marketing and promotion

CODE STANDARD 14: Implementation

CODE STANDARD 15: Performance management and continuous improvement

CODE STANDARD 16: Measuring and evaluating service impact


If you are interested in this new Code, please contact us and we will let you know when it is available.


T: 01494 863398



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Addressing the ‘care crisis’ by deploying Assistive Technology effectively

CareThe growing elderly population is a global trend which, coupled with an increase in the number of people living with Long-Term Conditions (LTCs), increases demand for health and care services, with associated fiscal strains, in all societies.

Continuing with the same models of delivery is not going to be sustainable. New approaches and service delivery models need to be found that will deliver more efficient and effective care, whilst maintaining safe and good quality services.

People need to be equipped with the right products and services to help them become more independent and to be better supported in managing their own care. This includes disabled children and adults, to ensure they have the same life expectations, opportunities and outcomes as other citizens. Services also need to be geared toward prevention and early intervention to avoid unnecessary and costlier episodes of care later on.

One method to address some of the concerns above is the better deployment of assistive technologies – from orthotics, prosthetics, walking aids, beds, wheelchairs, and communication aids, through to more advanced electronic assistive technologies such as telecare products and telehealth equipment. If used strategically these can support health and care services significantly and meet a range of government policy aims.

Not only does effective provision of assistive technology improve outcomes for service users, including social inclusion and quality of life, but it can also reduce the burden on the state by enabling independent living, enhancing employment prospects and enabling individuals to take control of their own lives – all of which have a part to play in tackling the worldwide problem of funding longevity.

But a shift towards better deployment of all assistive technologies has not really happened at scale, for a variety of reasons. At strategic level, there is generally failure to appreciate the benefits of this equipment, and as a result there is no overall strategy or vision to integrate the many departments and bodies which currently issue it in such a piecemeal way.

Most assistive technology-related services operate completely separately and independently from one another, resulting in duplication, poor use of resources, and wastage, not to mention the effect on the service user of having to undergo multiple assessments.

One of the results of failing to provide assistive technologies and disability equipment effectively is significant unnecessary cost for the health and care economy, for example through delayed hospital discharges, and unnecessary hospital and care home admissions. Providing services inappropriately is always a false economy.

Incorporating assistive technologies into the delivery of health and care provision is a whole-systems responsibility. It starts with good planning, commissioning and governance. This inevitably flows through to good service provision and clinical involvement. Each of these service areas needs to be clear about their respective responsibilities. There also need to be measurable outcomes and standards in place.

The new UK-wide Code of Practice for Disability Equipment, Wheelchairs and Seating Services

The new UK-wide Code of Practice for Disability Equipment, Wheelchairs and Seating Services is designed to address this, and offers a template for commissioning and providing services; it includes clearly defined and specific standards and measurable outcomes.

Following the Code, in all its parts, will go a long way in overcoming many of the difficulties highlighted above and will significantly improve both clinical and financial outcomes. It will also help to identify where weaknesses are within the whole system and allow root causes to be traced. Following the Code will also enable any equipment-related strategies to be achieved.

The Code, in some or all its parts, relates mainly to disability equipment, wheelchair and seating services. It also applies more generally to other assistive technology-related services; there are certain Code Standards which provide a link to related services, which will assist with integration and offering seamless provision.

The Code is free of charge to organisations registered with CECOPS, or a hard copy or an eBook can be obtained from here: or via the CECOPS website:

Revolutionary New Self-evaluation & Performance Management Tool now available to Support Planning, Commissioning and Provision of Assistive Technology related services, iCOPS®

In addition to the Code CECOPS has supported the development of iCOPS®, the first ever self-evaluation and performance management software tool for assistive technology related services, including wheelchairs, to complement its scheme.

iCOPS® gives commissioners, providers and clinical staff the ability to evaluate and review services, manage contracts, instil good governance, monitor, assess and manage quality, safety and performance, and drive continuous improvement.

iCOPS® also enables organisations to comply with all their obligations including CECOPS and ISO, for example.

Details about iCOPS® can be found here: A free one month trial is available.

Find out more about the Code and how it fits with the wider CECOPS scheme here:

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss any of the points above.

Brian Donnelly

Brian is the founder and director of CECOPS CIC and the author of the Code of Practice.

CECOPS CIC is a not-for-profit social enterprise and is the independent standards body for disability equipment services in the UK.


t: 01494 863398


Follow us on Twitter: @cecops

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Wheelchair & Seating Services now covered by CECOPS Standards – UK and beyond!

Posted on: 24/03/2015 | Categories: CECOPS General, General News, Uncategorized, Wheelchairs

9452CECOPS CIC is the independent standards body for disability equipment services, and runs a scheme whereby organisations register and can become accredited against its officially recognised and widely supported Code of Practice.

We are pleased to announce CECOPS has extended its Code to specifically include wheelchair and seating services, and now also applies UK-wide, and perhaps beyond.

However optimistic and committed governments and organisations are to improving outcomes for disabled people, practical steps are required to make these improvements; I believe this Code lays down steps that need to be taken. Let’s just hope it is followed!” Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, DL

The new code of practice covers the commissioning, provision, and clinical and technical aspects of services. It is made up of 47 measurable outcomes. The code covers everything relating to statutory provision of disability equipment and wheelchairs, including user involvement, governance, joint working, eligibility criteria, funding, operational management, performance, training, assessments, and risk management. It uniquely covers such things as holistic, person-centred and anticipatory assessments.

The Code is free of charge to organisations registered with CECOPS, or a hard copy or an eBook can be obtained from here: or see the home page of our website.

The Code sets a national (UK), and perhaps international, benchmark against which services can be measured, and sets a realistic level of service people should expect to receive – something that has been missing for a long time.” Sir Bert Massie CBE, DL

Organisations register with CECOPS either voluntarily or as requested by commissioning authorities (in tenders, for example). Registration is an organisation’s public declaration that it is adhering to the principles of the code of practice.

Organisations can also become accredited. This is via an external assessment by DNV-GL Healthcare, world leaders in quality and risk management. Again, this can be done voluntarily or in response to commissioning requests. Accreditation is similar to ISO, only much more detailed and service specific.

Many NHS organisations, local authorities and other care providers are already working with the Code.

CECOPS facilitates both quality assurance and creation, where disability equipment is concerned. It can be looked at as a value-chain model that, end-to-end, interlinks the commissioners with service users, through the activities of clinicians and providers.”
Frede Jensen BSc (Hons), MSc, IQA (Internal Quality Assurer), Lead Auditor and a Six Sigma Black Belt.

An approved training scheme is in place; you can become a CECOPS approved trainer yourself and train your staff or colleagues, or organisations can have their staff trained by another CECOPS approved trainer.

HSE recognises the need for guidance, and welcomes the Code of Practice…” Health and Safety Executive

In addition CECOPS has supported the development of iCOPS®, the first ever self-evaluation and performance management software tool for assistive technology related services, including wheelchairs, to complement its scheme.

iCOPS® gives commissioners, providers and clinical staff the ability to evaluate and review services, manage contracts, instil good governance, monitor, assess and manage quality, safety and performance, and drive continuous improvement.

iCOPS® also enables organisations to comply with all their obligations including CECOPS and ISO, for example.

Details about this revolutionary new tool can be found here:

National Wheelchair Managers’ Forum (NWMF) is very excited to be working with CECOPS to develop the Code of Practice for Wheelchair Services. This is long overdue…” Krys Jarvis, Chairperson, NWMF

To find out more or find how you can work with CECOPS please contact us. Thank you.


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CECOPS & the new European Code of Practice for Telehealth Services

Posted on: 02/06/2014 | Categories: Case Studies, CECOPS General, General News, Uncategorized

We are pleased to announce that we have established links with the new European Telehealth Code of Practice (Telescope project) to provide synergies for organisations working with both disability equipment and telehealth services.

CECOPS CEO, Brian Donnelly, has worked with Dr. Malcolm Fisk, UK lead for the Telescope project, to carry out a read-across exercise between our Code for community disability equipment and the new European Code of Practice for Telehealth Services.

The assessors for the European Code are DNV GL, who also carry out CECOPS’ assessments for accreditation. This means that we can establish passporting arrangements for organisations providing both community disability equipment services and telehealth services (including telecare): where organisations meet certain CECOPS standards, this will also apply to certain standards from the new European Code – and vice versa. There would of course be financial benefits from being assessed by DNV GL against both Codes at the same time.


Our CEO says:

Clients access different types of equipment from a variety of sources; to ensure they receive good quality and safe services regardless of the type of equipment, it is essential that we work together with other standards bodies to help providers achieve better outcomes as efficiently as possible. The aim of our Code was never to create unecessary extra work with regards to assessing compliance; we are therefore delighted to be able to work with other bodies to streamline gathering of evidence and streamlining of assessment processes to achieve our aims.

Please note that whilst CECOPS has established links with the European Code for Telehealth, we are not in a position to endorse specific codes, or prefer one over another. Where appropriate, CECOPS is willing to engage with other organisations wishing to look at a similar read-across exercise.


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Tell us your equipment related stories!

Everyone, at some point in their lives, knows someone who has used disability equipment of some sort. No doubt you will have heard of good experiences, but you will also have heard of the not so good. You may have heard of a child waiting long periods for equipment, or someone not able to be discharged from hospital because of equipment delays. On the positive side you may have heard where equipment has allowed someone to communicate, or to live and lead a relatively normal life.

Our CEO recently wrote a blog post about his next door neighbour, which generated significant interest – see HERE. This blog highlighted the importance of equipment, as well as the lack of integrated working across all care services, waste in administration and money, and an appalling experience received by the end user.

The importance of disability equipment is often not fully understood or appreciated.

We often hear about strategies for early intervention & prevention, hospital discharges, re-ablement and rehabilitation services, moving more care into the community etc., with little reference to the equipment needed to achieve them.

Disability equipment has many purposes and can be used for example as a temporal aid following an operation, to allow people to live independent lives or to communicate, or to be kept alive. If disability equipment is commissioned and provided right, many positive and good quality outcomes can be achieved.

We would like you to share your stories with us – the good and the bad, so that we can generate more evidence to help us in our quest to raise awareness of the importance of equipment, and to improve service standards nationally.

Please post your cases below or to: and title them ‘Case Examples’. Feel free to anonymise the characters, but it would be helpful to have your name and details. If we want to post your case example on our website, we will contact you beforehand to seek you permission. Thank you in advance.

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CECOPS supports aims of ‘Better Care Fund’

Working with us will help the 14 integration pioneer areas, and others, achieve many of the aims of the recently announced Better Care Fund (in England). The integration initiatives intend to transform the way health and care is being delivered to patients by bringing services closer together.

The main aim of the integration pioneer work is to make health and social care services work together in order to provide better support at home and earlier treatment in the community, to ultimately prevent people needing emergency care in hospitals or admissions to care homes. Providing timely and effective disability equipment services is key in supporting these aims.

Working with us will enable your organisation to achieve some of the other aims of the integration pioneer work, including:

• Reduction of avoidable hospital admissions and the length of time people who are admitted to hospital need to stay there
• Supporting people to live well for longer, leading more socially active independent lives
• Achieving better value for money, through cost avoidance savings
• Reducing demand for urgent care at hospitals
• Delivering prevention and early intervention strategies
• Improving outcomes for patients and their experiences of care e.g. right first time
• Reduction in care home admissions
• Supporting workforce with the skills to deliver integrated equipment provision
• Ensuring adults and children experience high quality and seamless care
• Supporting rehabilitative care
• Supporting older people with long-term conditions and families with complex needs
• Providing supportive guidance on integration, joint working and pooled funds

If you are interested in finding out how working with us can support your work on integration, contact us today: or call us 01494 863398

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Not quite ready for CECOPS accreditation? Why not try a Support Visit?

CECOPS Support Visits are provided by our partner organisation, DNV Healthcare, to any organisation commissioning or providing disability equipment. Support visits are designed to help identify areas for improvement in your service, including commissioning, provision, and clinical activities, as well as providing an opportunity to find out more about the Code of Practice and the benefits it can bring. There is no requirement to register with CECOPS or to become accredited before arranging a support visit.

Support visits can be used in a number of ways:

To provide a better understanding of the Code of Practice and the accreditation process
To discuss which parts of the Code of Practice are applicable to your organisation/service provider
To identify key areas for local quality and safety improvements, in line with the Code of Practice
To provide an independent and non-committal review of your disability equipment provision against the requirements of the Code of Practice
To check how ready your organisation is for CECOPS accreditation by identifying gaps and recommending key areas to focus on
To develop an action plan to prepare for accreditation, or as a standalone exercise

DNV assessors will work with you to develop an agenda for the day according to your needs. Download a copy of a Support Visit flyer HERE

To arrange a visit or find out more about what could be covered in a support visit, please contact DNV on 0161 475 6691, or by email at:

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CECOPS assessments undertaken by DNV Healthcare, global leaders in quality, safety and risk management

Accredited Users of the CECOPS Code of Practice are given a full assessment every three years with interim annual health checks. World class assessors, DNV Healthcare, carry out these assessments on our behalf.

DNV Healthcare is a reputable organisation with an extensive background in the development and management of large scale assessment and inspection schemes. This includes providing assessments for all hospitals in England on behalf of the NHS Litigation Authority, as well as working with Macmillan Cancer Support to assess the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark for cancer care centres throughout the UK.

James Lawrence, Director of DNV Healthcare UK said:
The CECOPS requirements not only focus on safety but have a strong drive towards improving the quality of life for service users. As a foundation, the work DNV will be undertaking on behalf of CECOPS is therefore closely aligned to our values of promoting safety and quality within healthcare.


CECOPS Chairman, Sir Bert Massie CBE said:
Our aim is to ensure every aspect of the Code of Practice Scheme is robust and credible. By contracting DNV as our preferred provider for assessments we have a much greater chance of realising this aim, especially given DNV’s extensive experience and reputation in this particular field.



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Involving Users and Carers…it’s important to us!

Posted on: 23/01/2014 | Categories: Blog, CECOPS General, General News, Service User experience

Are you serious about involving Users and Carers in your services? We are! We take involvement of Users and Carers so seriously that we have introduced a Code Standard (45) which ensures they are at the centre of service planning, design and review. We feel this is the only way services can truly meet the needs of end users.

Our work strongly promotes improved outcomes for users and carers and to do this we feel their views need to be sought at the early stages. That is why we have introduced Code Standard 45 into our Code of Practice. In fact our assessments include Code 45 as a mandatory requirement i.e. failure to comply with it could result in overall failure of accreditation.

The overall Outcome our assessment team would look for in relation to Code 45 is:

The commissioning, design, performance standards and product selection of community equipment involves service users and/or carers as a matter of course.

To meet Code Standard 45 commissioners/planning teams, providers and clinical teams will have taken input from service users and/or carers when developing services, strategies and policies. Some example roles and responsibilities of service users could include:

  • interpreting policy into service delivery
  • reviewing assessment facilities and new equipment for suitability
  • reviewing outcomes from questionnaires and surveys, etc.
  • analysing and reviewing compliments and complaints
  • advising on local and national disability policies and/or legislation
  • development of equipment specifications.
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About us and how you can work with us…at a glance

We are a not for profit CIC and we manage a registration and accreditation scheme for the unique Code of Practice for disability equipment. We support all sectors in commissioning and providing safe, good quality and efficient services, whilst enabling compliance with legal and regulatory obligations.

We also offer approved training and self-regulation software (iCOPS™), as well as support visits from our accreditation partner DNV Health Care if you don’t feel ready for accreditation.

CECOPS is a self-regulatory model which incorporates indirect regulation i.e. meets other regulatory requirements e.g. HASAWA, CQC Standards, Medical Device Regulations, in one place. Unlike inspections, our model puts you in control of managing your own quality, safety and performance related issues.

 How can I work with CECOPS?

As a Commissioner: Until now there has been little guidance and no specific standards available for commissioning disability equipment services. Our Code includes all the relevant outcomes you would expect from any provider. You can now request that all providers working with equipment, including clinical teams and Care Homes etc., work to the CECOPS Standard, either as Registered or Accredited. This will ensure all quality, safety and performance management issues are addressed in one place, as well as complying with relevant legal and regulatory obligations.

 As a Provider: Do you already provide a safe and good quality service, and want to promote this fact? Now you can opt to become Registered or Accredited with CECOPS as a means of demonstrating to regulators and commissioners etc. that you are working to the highest available standard in this field. This will separate you from the rest and give you competitive advantage. Commissioning authorities up and down the country are already requesting CECOPS compliance…don’t miss out!

 Download a copy of our brochure here

 Contact us today to find out more about registration and accreditation: or call 01494 863398.


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