Equipment you can borrow | Oxfordshire County Council

Equipment you can borrow

Our online catalogue allows you to choose and request items of equipment free of charge.

If you have problems bathing, washing or dressing as a result of a long term condition, there is a range of equipment to help you or the person who cares for you.

If you are in hospital you should contact the occupational therapist based in your hospital to discuss your equipment needs.

If you have short term needs, or do not expect your condition to be permanent, contact the Community Therapy Service on 01865 903750

Our online Oxfordshire Direct Access to Equipment catalogue allows you to assess your needs, choose and request selected items of equipment yourself. The website is hosted and managed by Millbrook Healthcare for Oxfordshire County Council.

It is important that you read the information below before using the site.

How the equipment can help

Equipment may help with some of these common problems:


  • climbing a flight of stairs
  • managing one or two steps


  • standing at the kitchen sink / cooker to prepare food
  • carrying food and drinks to a table.


  • standing long enough to strip wash
  • stepping into the bath
  • getting up and down from the bottom of the bath
  • standing to use an over bath shower
  • stepping in and out of a shower cubicle/tray
  • standing long enough to use a shower cubicle/tray.


  • getting on and off the toilet
  • balancing when dealing with clothes before or after using the toilet
  • getting to the toilet at night.

Are there charges for the equipment?

Equipment will be available free on loan to you if you are:

  • a permanent Oxfordshire resident (for example, you pay council tax in Oxfordshire)
  • you have any long term medical condition (for example, arthritis, heart condition) regardless of your housing tenure (ownership).

Hand or stair rails

All rails are available to owner occupiers and those living in rented accommodation. When rails are installed it becomes your responsibility to ensure they are maintained properly and arrange their removal when they are no longer needed.

Housing Association tenants and Oxford City Council tenants should contact their landlord direct if they require any hand rails or stair rails as they are responsible for providing these for their tenants.

Finding out whether equipment is suitable for you

We recommend that you complete the Direct Access to Equipment online self-assessment tool first.

This will help guide you to the best option or equipment solution for the problem you have identified.

How to use the self-assessment tool

  • Click on the self-assessment icon. You will then need to click on one of the relevant topic icons in the self-assessment tool and answer all the questions in the topic section you have chosen.
  • Once you have done this, click on the 'submit' button. This will bring up a new page showing pictures of the most suitable equipment that could help you with the difficulty you have identified.
  • If you click on each picture it will take you to a page that will give you detailed and valuable information on each product with guidance on its suitability and safe use.
  • To ensure your selection is appropriate it is important that you read the information on the equipment selected and the accompanying guidance carefully before deciding to select it as an item you wish to request.

How to request equipment

  • This is done online using a shopping basket.
  • Having completed the assessment tool and read all the information you will need to decide which items you wish to request. You may not need all of the items suggested as some are similar so you will need to select the most appropriate ones you feel need and will use.
  • You may need to measure for certain items to ensure you select the right size when you order. There are downloadable guides alongside the product.
  • When you click on the equipment picture it will take you to a page with product information, when this product may be useful and any risks to consider.
  • On that page you then have option of requesting that piece of equipment via a shopping basket by the 'add to basket' tab. Add the items you wish try to your shopping basket and follow the instructions on the web page.

What if I need the same item in two places?

Sometimes the same item will appear more than once as an option and you may only need request one unless it is being used in a different location, for example, you may need to order two raised toilets seat for use in a downstairs and upstairs toilet.

Online registration

Once you have added all the equipment needed, you must complete the online registration if you are a new user. If you have used the site before you may just log in.

If your personal details change, for example, you have moved house, you will need to update your information when you next use the site.

After submitting a request

Once submitted the shopping basket will go to an occupational therapist supporting this process.

The occupational therapist will review your request. If the occupational therapist is able to approve your request you will be contacted to confirm this. They will authorise your equipment and inform the equipment supplier that the order has been approved.

If there are concerns about the selected equipment being suitable for your needs or disability and /or you have requested a number of items of equipment, they may contact you to discuss this further before they authorise any equipment.

When will the equipment arrive?

Once you have been told your request has been authorised, you will need to contact the equipment supplier NRS Healthcare on 0300 100 0043 to arrange delivery and safe installation of the selected items.

Rails are normally fitted at standard heights but where this is not possible they will consult with you regarding the position.

You should receive your equipment within seven working days from the date you contacted NRS Healthcare to arrange delivery

The authorised equipment supplier's staff have been police checked. They should have ID and be wearing uniform with a logo for 'NRS Healthcare'.

If you are concerned about the authenticity of staff, contact NRS Healthcare on 0300 100 0043 not Oxfordshire County Council.

After your equipment arrives

Oxfordshire County Council will contact you to check that you are satisfied with the equipment and it has met your needs.

If there are concerns about the equipment or your difficulties have not been resolved an occupational therapist will contact you to discuss other options or give additional advice or support.

Having problems using the online catalogue?

There is help button on each web page of the site which may assist but if you still have difficulty using the Direct Access to Equipment catalogue please contact:


We would welcome comments on your experience of using the online catalogue. Please email

Other ways of finding equipment

County council occupational therapy clinics

Clinics are run regularly across Oxfordshire.

An occupational therapist will advise you about options to meet your difficulties and, if you are eligible, may be able to provide you with suitable equipment.

If you would like to attend a clinic, contact us.

You will also be able to get advice, information about other organisations that may be able to help.


Guideposts is the Oxfordshire branch of the Disabled Living Centres. It is based at the Independent Living Centre (Abingdon) Abingdon Resource and Wellbeing Centre, Audlett Drive, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 3G.

This service provides impartial information and assessments for adults.

They have several types of equipment for demonstration. Downloadable factsheets are available from

Guideposts can also give you information on other charitable organisations that may be able to provide financial help to individuals who meet their criteria.

Buying equipment privately

There are many retailers in Oxfordshire and on its borders where you can buy equipment that is not provided by Oxfordshire County Council through this self-assessment process.

  • Suppliers listed on the Guideposts website.
  • Check under 'Disability Equipment' in the yellow pages.
  • Our authorised equipment contractor Millbrook also sells equipment online. For details go to the website.
  • Mail order purchasing: mail order companies will send you catalogues free of charge, the advantage being you can research and compare prices but you will not be able to get advice, see the equipment or try it first before purchasing. Ask if they will make a refund if the product does not suit you and check the delivery times and charges.
  • Buying second hand equipment: There are advertisements for buying second hand equipment in the magazine Disability Now. This is a monthly newspaper for disabled people. Go to the website. Also check the Guideposts website. Take care when buying from local paper classified ads. Always inspect for any faults.

Please note: if you buy privately, Oxfordshire County Council will not refund any money to you for the cost of the equipment purchased.


Videos on how to use equipment safely - the videos are available in the How To section of the council's YouTube channel.

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Last reviewed
05 May 2016
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