driving assessment centres Archives - Driving Mobility

NWDAS expands Liverpool driving assessment provision with new community Fire Station Outreach Services

The North West Driving Assessment Service (NWDAS) based in St Helens, Merseyside, has launched two new outreach schemes at community fire stations in Liverpool

The North West Driving Assessment Service (NWDAS) based in St Helens, Merseyside, has launched two new outreach schemes at community fire stations in Liverpool, enabling increased access to driving and adaptation assessments alongside home fire safety guidance.

With a team of Occupational Therapists and Approved Driving Instructors, NWDAS is delivered by Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (Bridgewater) and overseen by the charity, Driving Mobility. Driving Mobility accredits twenty independent organisations which offer professional support and driving assessments to people who need to gain, or retain, the ability to drive following a diagnosis involving impairment or disability.

Following the success of a recently launched outreach scheme in Leyland, Lancashire, NWDAS is now officially offering independent driving and adaptation assessments at Netherton and Crosby Fire Station and Bellevale Fire Station, both in Liverpool. As part of this new arrangement, NWDAS clients visiting the two new Merseyside services will be able to access free home fire safety guidance combined with advice about how to stay safe and well at home.

Rebecca Jones, NWDAS Team Leader, comments: “We are proud to have a strong working relationship with partner organisations in local communities and by locating our services within community fire stations we can become even more accessible to the public. The two additional Merseyside locations will provide a reduction in travel time for many people living in the region. Outreach locations not only provide a greater choice of venue but increase availability for assessment appointments as well, which we hope will encourage more people to seek professional driving information and gain specialist advice.”

Rebecca concludes: “As with all Driving Mobility Centres, we always endeavour to ensure the provision of high-quality services and information, and we are delighted to be linking our assessments with an opportunity for clients to gain valuable fire safety advice.”

Assessments are free when referred by healthcare professionals, the DVLA and Motability. Alternatively, individuals can make a self-referral to the service via the main centre in Haydock, at a cost of £50.

To find out more about the support available from The North West Driving Assessment Centre visit www.bridgewater.nhs.uk/northwestdrivingassessmentservice or call 01942 483713.

Twitter: @nwdrivingassess
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BridgewaterNHS
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/bridgewaternhs

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Pictured: Hilary Kay, Specialist Occupational Therapist and Martin Vivers Approved Driving Instructor

National charity Driving Mobility appoints two new board members

Driving Mobility, the charity which accredits a network of driving assessment centres nationwide, has appointed Annie Wallace-Stanley and Sean Lawrence to its board.

Driving Mobility, the charity which accredits a network of driving assessment centres nationwide, has appointed Annie Wallace-Stanley and Sean Lawrence to its board.

During Driving Mobility’s recent national conference and AGM, Annie, Driving Advisor, Cornwall Mobility (left) and Sean, CEO, Hertfordshire Action on Disability, were voted in following a ballot of centre managers.

 Sean commented: ” I am extremely pleased and proud to have been nominated to the DM Board and I would like to thank everyone who voted for me. My first task was thrust on me very quickly, when I was asked to chair the afternoon session at the conference – ‘straight in at the deep end’! I am looking forward to becoming more involved with the NE London project, having joined the Steering Group to support Christine Parr, who is heading up this project.  I am excited about the prospect of developing my communication and teamwork skills, and broadening my knowledge and understanding of the mobility sector and hope to positively influence outcomes for Driving Mobility, it’s Centres and Clients.”

On receipt of the ballot result Annie added: “I was prompted to request nomination to the board because I am passionate about ways to support clients to keep them driving safely for longer. To promote collaboration and encourage engagement with the DVSA, our local GPs, Memory Clinics, OT networks, rehabilitation programmes, ADIs and other relevant individuals/organisations to provide a more consistent nationwide service that can support our clients. I understand the need to move forward with the ever-changing environment in which we live and the varied community of clients that we serve and hope that I can contribute to the future development of Driving Mobility.”

 

East Anglian DriveAbility’s extended centre in Thetford successfully launches to help elderly and disabled drivers

East Anglian DriveAbility (EAD) has officially opened its new extended Thetford centre to high visitor numbers.   

East Anglian DriveAbility (EAD), a charity which is part of Driving Mobility’s UK network of assessment centres for elderly and disabled drivers, has officially opened its new extended Thetford centre to high visitor numbers.

Isabel Coe, retired Centre Manager, officially cut the ribbon to celebrate the opening of the new training facilities and expanded waiting area facilities. The opening was also supported by Helen Dolphin MBE, chair of the EAD charity and highly respected accessibility campaigner. A high number of visitors attended particularly Occupational Therapists (OT) and fellow healthcare professionals who were keen to discover more about the latest services offered by EAD. EAD is currently expanding its services beyond driving assessments to include quality guidance regarding all forms of accessible travel and independent mobility.

Driving Mobility accredits twenty independent organisations which offer professional support and driving assessments to people who need to gain, or retain, the ability to drive following a diagnosis involving impairment or disability. EAD is part of this network with centres in Thetford and Colchester. In addition to guidance regarding adapted controls and wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV), its OTs and Driving Advisors provide additional advice regarding mobility scooters, powerchairs and wheelchairs.

The open day showcased several adapted cars and WAVs from the EAD fleet which included a variety of specialist driving controls and disabled driver and upfront passenger solutions. Visitors were also able to meet several specialist manufacturers which included TGA mobility scooters, Autochair car boot hoists and the WAV convertor Sirus Automotive. The TGA mobility scooter test drive course proved to be busy all day with OTs trialing products and gaining new insight. CEA Mobility, Andys Kars and David Relph also assisted with vehicle adaptations during the event.

Yvette Bateman, CEO, East Anglian DriveAbility, comments: “Our official opening was a significant success for visitors and our charity. Attendees told us they gained so much from coming to the event and hence we now plan to hold an open day annually at either our Thetford or Colchester centre. It was a delight to welcome lots of OT students from the UEA who gained invaluable vehicle and product knowledge for future client prescriptions.  Thank you to all the EAD team for organising such a positive event and we appreciate the support of several manufacturers who attended and added depth to our showcase. We are proud of our new facilities which give us the platform to expand services so independent mobility is achievable for many more people whether that’s in a car or any other mode of accessible transport.”

Occupational Therapists discover the national voice of adapted motoring at RCOT – Driving Mobility

Driving Mobility, the charity that accredits a nationwide network of driving assessment centres, has successfully exhibited at the latest Royal College of Occupational Therapists Conference

Driving Mobility, the charity that accredits a nationwide network of driving assessment centres, has successfully exhibited at the latest Royal College of Occupational Therapists Conference (RCOT).

The team representing Driving Mobility which included Occupational Therapists (OTs), Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs) and centre managers welcomed healthy numbers of OTs onto their stand at the conference.

Information was available to all delegates regarding Driving Mobility services which provides professional driving assessments and advice for individuals with restricted mobility. This support can signpost clients to suitable adapted controls, wheelchair accessible vehicles, training and further services. Centres operate as either independent charities or as part of an NHS Trust so that service users can gain, or retain, the ability to drive following a diagnosis involving impairment or disability. Individuals can self-refer or are signposted by the DVLAMotabilityPolice and healthcare professionals such as OTs and GPs.

In addition to discovering information and seeing specialist steering controls, delegates were able to experience a vehicle simulator on the stand which proved to be very popular. This interactive feature replicated equipment at many centres which is used to measure driver capabilities in a clinically-led format. By sitting in the driving seat OTs were able to more clearly consider the many aspects to consider when assessing a client’s ability to drive safely.

Edward Trewhella, Chief Executive, Driving Mobility comments: “We were delighted that RCOT provided a successful showcase for Driving Mobility services and many delegates benefited from our exhibition display. As many regard us as the national voice for adapted motoring, being able to engage with so many OTs face-to-face is an invaluable opportunity to explain our client-centred ethos. As the national umbrella charity for all the centres, we believe in delivering independence for all and our strong relationship with healthcare professionals is key to achieving this promise.”

 

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Driving Mobility representatives showcase services at The Big Event by Motability

Teams from Derby DrivAbility and Birmingham’s Regional Driving Assessment Centre (RDAC) will be representing Driving Mobility at Motability’s ‘The Big Event’ on Friday 28 June and Saturday 29 June 2019.

Teams from Derby DrivAbility and Birmingham’s Regional Driving Assessment Centre (RDAC) will be representing Driving Mobility at Motability’s ‘The Big Event’ on Friday 28 June and Saturday 29 June 2019. The teams will be on hand to explain to visitors how Driving Mobility centres operate and the varied services they provide.

In addition to the main stand, RDAC’s Stephen Dent, Assessment Manager, (Friday) and Barbara Hutton, Occupational Therapist, (Saturday) will be delivering talks on ‘advice and support available at driving assessment centres’ at 1pm on both days in the main Speaker Area.

The Big Event brings together everything available on the Motability Scheme to make joining the Scheme as easy as possible. It’s free to attend and a great day out for the whole family. There will be:

  • Nearly 200 cars, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs), adaptations, scooters and powered wheelchairs on display
  • The opportunity to test drive adapted and non-adapted cars, including passenger WAV test drive experiences
  • Expert speakers giving talks on all aspects of the Scheme
  • Motability Scheme advisors available to chat to
  • Free parking, free tea, coffee or soft drink
  • A children’s play area including a bouncy castle and more…

The event will showcase:

  • Over 100 cars from 27 different manufacturers
  • Over 45 adapted cars and Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV)
  • Over 50 scooters and powered wheelchairs
  • Specialist advice from our Scheme partners

You can download your free event guide here: https://www.motability.co.uk/tbe_guide_2019.pdf

Driving Mobility’s RDAC Salford assessment centre opens up assistive driving opportunities for Paula

Salford’s RDAC has given powerchair user Paula Taylor from Bolton the route to complete driving independence through its specialist assessment and advice service.

As one of the UK-wide Driving Mobility assessment centres, Salford’s RDAC has given powerchair user Paula Taylor from Bolton the route to complete driving independence through its specialist assessment and advice service.

Charity Driving Mobility, supported by the Department for Transport, accredits twenty independent organisations which offer professional driving assessments to people who need to gain, or retain, the ability to drive following a diagnosis involving impairment or disability. Service users can self-refer or are signposted by the DVLA, Motability, Police and healthcare professionals such as GPs. The new, custom-built RDAC centre in Salford advises Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, mobility scooter and wheelchair users on independence mobility.

Paula, aged 46, has driven the same adapted vehicle since a car accident in 2001 which caused a progressive decline in health and mobility. Following injections in 2003 to treat Fibromyalgia, she became paralysed from the neck down and spent a year recuperating in hospital. Paula was subsequently diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), a debilitating complex pain condition in her limbs.  Now a full-time wheelchair user, Paula’s needs have recently changed and she finds unaided transfers into her car particularly difficult. Having first visited a Driving Mobility centre fifteen years ago, she decided to arrange another assessment at RDAC Salford in preparation for a new vehicle purchase. Paula wanted to ascertain that she was still using the most suitable adaptations and which controls would fit her new vehicle.

Paula comments: “Following my time in hospital, I became very depressed as I needed help with everything. I knew something had to change and my first Driving Mobility assessment in 2004 was incredibly helpful. In fact, I have used the recommended adjustable floor-mounted hand control ever since. I now have a more limited range of movement and a PA visits during the week to assist me – but I’m determined not to lose my driving independence, especially with five children and seven grandchildren. As I wanted to thoroughly research all my options, I contacted RDAC who have been really helpful.”

Following an update regarding Paula’s medical history and a cognitive assessment, Sean Barratt, RDAC Centre Manager, suggested Paula trial various new hand controls to operate the brakes and accelerator, as well as steering wheel rim controllers. However, as Paula found them unmanageable over extended periods of driving time, Sean subsequently recommended she updated her current controls to a Carospeed Menox. This can be installed in most vehicles and is highly adjustable to suit individual requirements. Sean also recommended a steering wheel ball and pedal adaptations to enable Paula to be more comfortable in the car.

Paula concludes: “To be able to talk to a specialist about individual needs and receive impartial advice is so reassuring. I discovered exactly what I needed, and I was delighted that all the adaptation recommendations were suitable for any vehicle. I’m grateful to the Centre staff for also spending time trying to establish which new vehicle would be best for me. They considered transfer requirements and which car could cater for my hoist and powerchair. Following my assessment, I have ordered a new accessible vehicle which fits me like a glove and is so easy to transfer into. The hands-on information that people can receive from Driving Mobility centres is unparalleled. I certainly know where to go next time I need advice!”