Supply Chain Challenges Hitting Community Loan Equipment Availability

We have heard over the last couple of weeks that local authorities are experiencing supply chain issues affecting the availability and increasing the cost of community loan equipment.

Earlier this month Sunderland City Council went live with an automated telephony service focused on getting more of their loaned equipment returned from people who no longer need it. 

In just two weeks since the launch the response has exceeded expectations. Directly from calls made by the Contact&Connect system, 17% of people who answered said they had equipment they wanted to return – over 70 pieces of equipment have been collected and being recycled back into the system, equating to a saving of just under £5,000.  

Sunderland’s Occupational Therapy Service Manager said, “It’s absolutely proven it’s worth, the opportunities for prevention are just huge.”

Not only is equipment coming back in, the calls are also supporting the ‘ongoing conversation’ and have found people who can’t remember how to use the equipment, others who have tampered with it, as well as people who need different and/or additional equipment. 

“The amount of information coming back into the system is really beneficial”. 

We’re looking forward to building the business case further and sharing the Contact&Connect approach with others. Using the data and figures from Sunderland we can showcase the power of automated telephony to support councils facing a range of challenges, and help them better support people in their communities who need this vital equipment.