Specialist assisted bath enables young people in care to enjoy bathing again


Applewood Respite Centre in Tadworth, Surrey, installs Scorpio Plus variable-height bath

Applewood Respite Centre in Tadworth, Surrey, is providing safer bathing for children thanks to a unique variable-height bath from Abacus Healthcare.

Opened in 2011, Applewood is a respite care centre for local families with disabled children aged between five and eighteen. With six beds, the centre is looking to expand its services so that it can support a further 15 families across the Surrey area.

Offering a mix of daycare and support services for overnight breaks, Applewood can accommodate children with a variety of conditions including autism, Down’s Syndrome and epilepsy. A range of specialist facilities, including assisted bathrooms with patient handling equipment, ensure a safe, relaxing and comfortable living environment for the children when they stay at Applewood.

After careful consideration, Abacus Healthcare was selected to supply and install a Scorpio Plus bath with integrated changing and drying platform and powered transfer seat. The bath can be raised to the most-comfortable working height for carers, minimising the risk of injury and back pain. The transfer seat can also be detached and used as a wheelchair eliminating the number of transfers between the bathroom and other rooms. This makes bathing a safer, quicker and more enjoyable experience for both the carer and bather.

Elizabeth Mahdi, centre manager and qualified nurse, said: “Here at Applewood, we are 100% focused on providing the very-best care for our young people. We offer a variety of flexible care packages to families and always complete a series of comprehensive assessments prior to offering a place.

“This is absolutely essential to ensure we have all the appropriate facilities and support levels required to meet each and every child’s individual needs.

My care team and our children have benefited significantly from the installation of the new Scorpio Plus bath. It can be raised higher than our previous bath, which is important as it protects the staff from potential back injuries.”

Linda Bolding, senior residential worker, added: “The Scorpio Plus bath is in regular use during the week as its assists with the bathing of children with certain conditions requiring additional care. The fact that the transfer seat can be detached and converts into a transit chair is a huge benefit when moving children back and forth from bedrooms.

“As I have suffered from back ache previously, I really appreciate that the Scorpio Plus has an integrated platform so I can change and dry the children without having to bend down or transfer them to another piece of equipment.”

Abacus managed every aspect of the project, from initial demonstration through to site survey, bathroom design, installation and carer training. The Scorpio Plus was positioned so that it could be easily accessed from three sides by carers, allowing the safe and efficient transfer of children from wheelchairs or mobile and ceiling track hoists.

Sign up for your free email newsletter

Abacus had to overcome a number of installation challenges at Applewood, which included having to fit the bath in conjunction with its original underfloor heating system.