How Hcsuk is sourcing quality and cost-effective PPE solutions

I was recently approached, interviewed and filmed by Sky News on the extreme challenges facing the whole of the social care sector regarding adequate supplies and provision of PPE for frontline care workers: a subject that I know continues to make the headlines on a daily basis.

We are assured by the Government that there is adequate PPE to go round for everyone and yet that is definitely not what I am hearing. My experience is somewhat different; from reduced manufacturing capacity due to factories having been in lockdown, coupled with a huge spike in worldwide demand, NHS procuring our regularly ordered stocks of essential PPE, unscrupulous companies profiteering from this crisis with no due care to the quality of product they are supplying, suspicious certificates used as a basis for CE marking of PPE including FFP2 and 3 masks and eye protection to name but a few of the challenges we are currently facing.

How do we know who we can trust?

I hope that you know that here at Hcsuk, we are very particular about the quality, value and specification of products we are happy to recommend.

In this current climate, I am offered disposable face masks and hand sanitisers by the pallet load, on a daily basis, by faceless contacts, at vastly inflated prices, origin unknown and available sometime in the future, as long as we pay up front in full, and forego any rights to cancel of return the orders.

With regular reports on out of date, dirty masks which fail to meet quality standards and have questionable certification being delivered, this is not a risk I can take on behalf of my customers or my business.

Only yesterday, I received this lovely feedback from one customer:

‘I completely agree with you and everything you do and 100% agree that we are lucky to have a supplier like you who is ethical and believes in quality’

The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) posted the below information with regard to fake PPE products and the verification of Certificates and Declarations of Conformity:

‘The majority of certificates that we see are clearly not legitimate but there are occasions when documents have been forged and they have to be checked with Notified Bodies.

If you are presented with certificates which you are unsure of you can check their authenticity through the following portals.

We are constantly reporting the instances to Trading Standards and The Office for Product Safety and Standards and we will continue to do this. The COVID 19 crisis and the shortages have seen an incredible number of spurious offers from opportunist importers trying to take advantage. Don’t be caught out.’

So, in the absence of any credible supplies of disposable face masks, we have decided to think outside of the box and source an alternative face mask solution for our customers, which is manufactured in a UK factory with swift lead times.

Through our membership of British Healthcare Trades Association, which operates under a strict code of conduct for fair trading, and is overseen by Trading Standards, I have made contact with a UK manufacturer of pressure relieving equipment, who, like so many have adapted their manufacturing activities to do their bit and help fight COVID-19 by manufacturing a non-disposable respirator mask.

The manufacturers have put a lot of thought into the design, functionality and safety of this mask to ensure it is lightweight and comfortable for the wearer whilst also meeting infection control protocols and being effective against both droplets and airborne particles, making it superior in quality to the surgeons masks and giving peace of mind to both staff and providers that they are getting enhanced protection.

We have already had some very positive feedback on the masks, that they are very ‘lightweight and comfortable’ and that the staff feel ‘very safe and protected wearing them’

They are currently in use in their thousand in NHS hospitals, care homes, GP surgeries and community councils.

We already have an order placed with the manufacturer and will have stock in and available next week, so no long lead times prevail!

Please know we are continuing to do everything in our power to source quality and affordable PPE solutions, I am spending the majority of my time on this mission to help keep our #carehome customers, #careworkers and #carehomeresidents safe and protected.

If you would like any more information or to talk to someone regarding the respirator masks the please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01773 713713 or email us at sales@hcsuk.co.uk

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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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