What if you cannot attend your appointment?

If you cannot attend your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible by phoning our administrator, Belinda, on 01825 721506.  There is an answering machine on which you can leave a message.

What happens after the assessment?

We write a report detailing the different systems that we trialled during the appointment and what equipment we recommend. This report is sent to the client and to the referrer and other relevant professionals, with the client's consent. Not all people we assess will be recommended a high technology voice output device as it maybe that a low or lite tech option best meets their needs. If equipment has been recommended, we will order the device and software. This can take a while, but we try to handover the equipment to the client within 12 weeks from the assessment. This can be longer if the client needs specialist bespoke equipment making or if we need to liaise with other services.

What happens during the handover of equipment?

We arrange another appointment with the referring therapist. It is important that the referring therapist attends the handover appointment as we show the client and their therapist how to use the machine and navigate between the different pages. 

We also give the client and therapist information about how to make changes to the way the grids look so that they can start personalising the device, such as saving phrases and messages that the client frequently uses. We also talk about how to charge the device, how all the cables fit together and how to troubleshoot common problems. If we cannot decide which piece of equipment or software is going to best meet the client's needs, we might trial one piece of equipment and then another to help with our decision making.

What is the cost to the client?

The assessment and device are provided though NHS-England funding and as such there is no cost to the client or the referring therapists' service.

What if the device goes wrong?

The referring therapist is the first port of call. If they are unable to fix the problem, they can call us, and we will try and talk though the problem on the phone. If this does not work, we will arrange to pick up the device or have it collected. We hope to be able to provide the client with another device if theirs needs to be repaired.

What if the device no longer meets the needs of the client?

If the device no longer meets the needs of the client, please contact the service. It may be that we can change the device for another, change the layout of the pages on the device or find a different access method.

What if the client no longer wants to use the device?

The device belongs to Chailey Communication Aid Service so if the device is no longer needed, we need to arrange to collect the device and any associated equipment (e.g. mounting/floor stand, switches).

If the device is no longer needed can a local therapist give it to another client?

No, the device belongs to Chailey Communication Aid Service so if it is no longer needed it needs to be returned. Before Chailey reissue equipment the devices need to be decontaminated and all personal data left on the computer by the previous client removed.

What If I need a different mounting option for my device?

Some people already have a communication device that is meeting their needs well but needs mounting onto their wheelchair. This sometimes happens if the client has received a new wheelchair, and their old mounting system is not compatible with their new chair. Such people can be referred to Chailey Communication Aid Service if they meet our criteria for a complex assessment. Please include details on your referral form about how the communication aid meets the client's needs and that only mounting is required. Please include details of the client's local wheelchair service and if possible, the specifications of their wheelchair. 

If a client needs their device mounting, and they meet our criteria, we will contact the local wheelchair service for permission to attach a mounting system to their wheelchair. If the client is privately owned, we will confirm with the client (or owner) that they we can fit a mounting system to the wheelchair. 

Once we have this permission, we may need to arrange for an engineer to visit the client to determine the best way to attach a mounting system to their chair and the equipment needed. Once the equipment has been ordered and received, we will make an appointment to attach the mount to the client's chair.  This appointment may need to happen at Chailey, depending on the client's device and wheelchair. This is because attaching a mounting pole and device can affect the stability of the wheelchair and we need to document if this is a risk. Bespoke parts may also be needed, and these can be manufactured on site. At this appointment we will also need to know the weight of the client to inform the engineer's tilt test when checking that the wheelchair base used is within its safe user limits. For some people, depending on the device prescribed and their wheelchair, we are able to complete these checks and attach the mounting pole during a home visit. 

We can also provide other mounting options including floor stands and desk stands, depending on the need to the client. We can provide one mounting pole with clamps for two wheelchairs (usually a power chair and a manual chair), or a floor stand or a desk stand.

What should I bring to the appointment at Chailey?

If you have a communication aid or mounting system please bring it with you, even if it is old and does not work anymore as it will allow us to see what you used in the past. 

Get the best from your NHS

If you want to share a compliment, raise a concern or if you are just not sure who to speak to you can contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).

Request an alternative format

The Trust provide resources in alternative formats, including language translations, large print, braille, easy-read format or on audio tape. Please contact the Communications and Engagement Team at scftcommunications@nhs.net if you require this resource in another format.