A Valentines day question for you…. How important is trust in your business relationships? (and how to avoid the pitfalls of trading with unscrupulous healthcare suppliers.)

I recently visited a care home customer who was very excited to be taking delivery of 2 brand new reclining tilt in space chairs. They had purchased them at a ‘fantastic price!’ couldn’t believe their luck, a company had emailed a very ‘special offer’ The chairs were described as ‘particularly well suited to users who are seated for long periods of time and at risk of developing pressure ulcers’, and included a high risk cushion making it a very comfortable all day solution for use both at home and also in nursing homes.

You know what they say about when something appears to be too good to be true …………?

So we decided to undertake some market research of our own, regarding this ‘special offer’, and it quickly became very apparent that it was just too good to be true. It turned out that the customer had paid for a high risk chair but received a medium risk inferior version.
They did manage to extract a £300 refund from the company, but that is not the point!
This kind of miss selling could seriously compromise the health and wellbeing of our elderly and vulnerable loved ones. I have wondered how many other residents in care homes skin integrity is being jeopardised as a result of this unscrupulous company who clearly either have little knowledge of the potential gravity of their business practices, of simply are putting sales and profit above values, ethics and morals.
As companies within the healthcare sector, I believe that we have a moral obligation to do what is right by our clients, and to demonstrate integrity and ethics in the way in which we conduct business.

So how do you know who you can trust, when sourcing vital healthcare equipment?

As a business who has worked in the care sector for over 25 years, passionate about enabling people to live independently, safely and with dignity, we made a decision several years ago to join The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA), the UK’s oldest and largest healthcare association, founded in 1917.
The BHTA has almost 500 company members, employing over 17,000 people – making or selling healthcare and assistive technology products that help people live more independently.
We became part of this association so we could clearly demonstrate through their Chartered Trading Standards Institute approved Code of Practice which,as a member, we sign up to, that we take our business seriously. We give our commitment to high levels of customer care that go above and beyond our legal obligations, giving customers confidence, and building relationships based on trust and adding value.

BHTA PIC

So how will you benefit from working with BHTA member companies like us?

For members of the Public – Wherever you see the BHTA logo, you know you’re dealing with a company you can trust. You’ll get clear information about your rights, receive a high standard of customer service and have access to an independent complaints process. If you’re looking for an approved supplier who can assess your needs and help you to choose the right product or service
For Care Professionals – When you’re working with a client to maintain their independence, you want to know the products and services they’re using are right for them. BHTA members follow strict guidelines on customer care and won’t sell anything that doesn’t meet customers’ needs.
For Trade Customers – Working with BHTA member companies will ensure you receive the very best customer service consistently.
If you are looking to work with a supplier or retailer to maintain a client’s independence, then contacting a company that is a BHTA member is the first step to ensuring that the company you build a relationship with is aiming for the highest possible standards in everything that they do.
Look out for these logos

BHTA PIC2

I would like to leave you with a favourite saying of mine by John Ruskin, a leading art critic and prominent social thinker of the Victorian era.
‘It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”

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Customer Testimonials

“We’ve built a strong working relationship with Hcsuk over many years, having used them to source, install and service our medical training equipment. We have always found the team very professional, helpful, and well-organised. We’d like to give a particular shout out to Phil, the technician / engineer who has been the consistent friendly face visiting our business to inspect and test our mobility hoists every 6 months. Thank you for all your support and advice.”

P. B. (Care Manager), Blue Bird Care Ltd

You are part of a great company, if we can help you grow by contracting you out to our sites its good for you, but it’s great for us because your service is fantastic, very efficient, everyone within Hcsuk is super helpful in answering queries and every time we’ve had an issue, Hcsuk has always been there to solve the problem almost immediately, which is fantastic.

Leicestershire County Council

Truly exceptional levels of customer service, the best I have experienced for many years. Very helpful staff made follow up calls to ask how the equipment was performing and supplied extra user instructions to supplement the manufacturers manual. I would not hesitate to order from this company again.

Savills Estate Agents

We would just like to pass on our thanks for all of your help with our orders and would be pleased if you would also pass on our thanks to the manufacturers for being so accommodating in meeting our requirements. We have found everyone very helpful.

Lincs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Since I set up the account for Hcsuk over 18 months ago I have found them to be an excellent advocate of our products. They have been willing to learn about the technical and servicing elements to our hoists and the sales staff have really taken on board and proactively promoted our range where possible. I feel that as a company Hcsuk have got the desire and right people in place for growing in this competitive industry. They seem to push themselves to go that little bit further and offer that little bit more to stand out from the rest. May our relationship continue going from strength to strength.

Joerns Healthcare

As a care home manager I have used Hcsuk for my supplies for the last 20 years in two homes. I have always found them to be helpful and reliable. Their products are of the highest standards, they are able to source anything. The delivery service is prompt and regular so I do not have to keep large amounts of stock. They supply extra services such as servicing and repairs which are done efficiently, and training in COSHH. The reps are pleasant and helpful bringing new products to my attention but are never ”pushy”. Aftercare is good, any problems soon sorted. I would recommend them highly and would not think of using anyone else.

Littleover Nursing Home

HPC have supplied Hcsuk (Health Care Services Ltd) for well over a decade now and we would consider them to be a high quality and professional business run in an organised and progressive manor. We do not rank our customers or have a preferred customer status but if we were to introduce such a scheme I can confirm that Hcsuk would easily make such a grade.

HPC Healthline

As a manufacturer we look for key values in a distributor some of these include honesty, reliability, commitment and reputation. Hcsuk carry all of these and many more. With a twenty plus year working relationship we now place Jo and the team at the top of our distributor list. I have no hesitation in recommending Hcsuk to any prospective manufacturer or customer and wish Jo and the team all the best for the future.

Cleenol Group Ltd

It is brilliant that we are able to ring Health Care Services and that you will go the extra mile to get us the stock we need as soon as possible.

Rykneld View Nursing Home

Just to say a huge thankyou to you and your fantastic team, and I mean that from the Heart. I have never before experienced such a person centred company.

Hampton Grange Nursing Home

What I like about working with Health Care Services is the relationship we have built up and the personal service. The homes report that you always deliver on time, the quality is consistantly good and the prices competitive. Your team members are always willing to go that extra mile for us and if ever we have an issue there is always someone there to save the day.

Eastgate Care

VAT Relief Information

Conditions for VAT relief for disabled people

Some of the products which can be purchased from the Hcsuk website are available for an eligible person to purchase without paying VAT on them. HM Revenue and Customs sets out the conditions when equipment for disabled people might be free of VAT and how to claim exemption from paying VAT on these products.

Products a can only be exempt from VAT when all the following conditions are met:

  1. The customer is eligible to purchase supplies at the zero rate
  2. The goods are for the personal or domestic use of the customer
  3. The goods and services are eligible to be supplied at the zero rate

A more detailed explanation of each of these conditions is given below, but you should visit the HM Revenue and Customs Website to fully understand the conditions

The product must be being purchased for someone who is chronically ill or disabled.

A person is ‘chronically sick or disabled’ if he/she is a person:

It does not include a frail elderly person who is otherwise able-bodied or any person who is only temporarily disabled or incapacitated, such as with a broken limb.

‘personal or domestic’ use means that the supply must be made available specifically for the use of an eligible individual.

You don’t have to physically buy the goods in person. If your parent, guardian or wife or husband buys the goods and services for you, then you won’t be charged VAT.

What counts as personal or domestic use?

Personal or domestic use means that the goods or services are supplied for your own private use, rather than for business purposes. Also, the goods or services must be just for your own use – not for use by anyone else, or chronically sick or disabled people in general. However, if you and your partner are both chronically sick or disabled and you buy goods or services for both of you to use, then you won’t have to pay VAT.

Products which are offered for sale on this website which qualify for VAT relief to be claimed for an eligible person.

The products which can be bought without paying VAT are:

Only the products on our site carrying the VAT exemption price (the smaller price marked ex VAT) are eligible to be purchased this way and you must tick the box on the basket page indicating that you wish to claim VAT exemption on the items in your basket that are eligible for VAT relief.

How to claim

On the my basket page of this website a link to the online declaration form is provided if the basket contains a product that qualifies for VAT relief. You must tick the box to state you wish to claim VAT relief on the eligible product and complete in full the reason by which you are ‘chronically sick or disabled’ and name and address of the claimant. If possible the person making the claim should complete this form, but a family member, carer or medical professional may complete the form on the claimants behalf. To submit the claim and receive the VAT relief, click the ‘Submit VAT Relief Claim’ button before proceeding to the checkout.

Please note that all orders submitted with a VAT relief claim form completed are checked before the order is processed.

It is necessary to complete a separate claim form each time a qualifying product is purchased from Hcsuk.

 

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