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Community equipment regs demand PN voice

“Long overdue” community equipment regulation echoes the need for multi-disciplinary commissioning teams with practice and community nurses at their heart.

A Code of Practice has been launched by CECOPS (The Community Equipment Code of Practice Scheme) in response to “serious clinical and financial failings” in the commissioning of community and disability equipment.

A report by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) shows unsafe community equipment leads to over 30 deaths and 1,500 serious incidents in the UK every year.

Until now there has been no standardised regulation of the commissioning of the 12 million pieces of community equipment supplied each year.

Brian Donnelly, author of the Code of Practice, said the regulation of community equipment is “long overdue”.

Backing the Code, Dr Peter Patel, Chief Executive of the South Birmingham Commissioning Group, said there is “huge potential” for it to be incorporated into a new primary care-based commissioning model.

“It is likely that a new commissioning model will involve multi-disciplinary teams including GPs, Practice and Community Nurses, and Therapists, and this is a recommendation outlined in the Code of Practice,” he said.

“Adherence to the Code would offer clinical and financial benefits for both patients and commissioners and l believe there is great potential for the Code to be integrated into primary care commissioning.”