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WATER WELLNESS: ACCESSIBILITY


Access For Everyone


EASY ACCESS TO FACILITIES IS A LEGAL REQUIREMENT FOR POOLS AND LEISURE CENTRES ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND COMMERCIAL OPERATORS NEED TO ENSURE THAT PEOPLE WITH A DISABILITY HAVE THE SAME OPPORTUNITIES TO USE SWIMMING POOL FACILITIES AS THEIR ABLE-BODIED COUNTERPARTS ENJOY. WE TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THE PRODUCTS AND SYSTEMS ON THE MARKET THAT ARE DELIVERING ACCESS FOR ALL By Andrea Hartshorne


I


f you cast your minds back a few years, seeing a lift or hoist at a swimming pool was a rare sight indeed, but thanks to legislation for commercial pools, systems that provide access for all are now a common sight at public swimming pools across the country and are increasingly being installed in the domestic sector too.


Christian Dunnage of Dolphin Mobility comments on sales: “Sales of pool lifts have been fairly stable, although we feel many public pools have put off installing a lift because of the economic climate. We feel many people are waiting for a client to complain rather than proactively seeking the inclusion of disabled people.” He goes on to advise that pitfalls for consumers can include buying unsuitable products from online only vendors who don’t provide an install service and are not familiar with the products they are selling. There are many companies willing to sell you a ‘box’ which may turn out to be entirely


The manual EZ from Suntrap


Systems is easily operated, easily manageable, easily removed from the poolside and easily affordable


unsuitable to the site in question. There are many factors to consider, such as deck construction, whether the pool is above or below ground, the height of the waterline, is there a gutter or water channel present, will the lift be left in situ or do you have space to store it when not in use, etc.


HIGH DEMAND FOR SUNTRAP SYSTEMS


Suntrap Systems is a long established company with an extensive portfolio of disabled pool access lifts and hoists with a range of models, all CE certified, to suit all budgets and applications.


Available from Suntrap Systems, the PRO SPA 40 can lift users over 1m – perfect for hot tub access


Their manual EZ Pool Hoist/Lift is very much in demand as it enables operators to comply with the latest DDA regulations at an affordable price. It is supplied complete with a mesh sling seat but has an option of a moulded hard seat with a Rover Transporter enabling a person to be moved directly from changing room to poolside and then into the pool. Another lift that is proving popular is the Portable Pro Pool Lift which requires no poolside fixing, is easily wheeled from one location to another and yet has a lifting capacity of 28.5 stones (181kg). It is unique as it has a short sideways traverse into the pool and is automatic thus enabling the user to be


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totally independent.


The innovative Revolution Pool Lift is truly versatile being adaptable for both in-ground pools and spa pools. Attachments such as a wheelchair, spine board and gurney, make it ideal for specialist care and hydrotherapy pools.


If access is required for a spa pool, their range of specialised lifts to clear walls up to 60 inches in height will provide the solution. Suntrap Systems operate nationally to provide recommendation, specification, installation, maintenance and servicing of all equipment supplied. The high quality of all their products, which are suitable for both new-build and retrofit projects, ensures reliable and trouble-free operation for many years to come. With the ever increasing array of products and systems that are readily available, this means access to pools and spas has never been easier!


INCREASE IN ENQUIRIES FOR ASTRALPOOL


AstralPool UK have noted an increase in enquires and conversion to sales of their specific range of hydraulic chair lifts. A lot of this interest stems from new builds but also critically from customers who are looking to retrofit these types of access equipment into ageing facilities that may be undergoing extensive refurbishments to bring the facilities up to current standards. They advise that to ensure full


SPN February 2014 81


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