Equipment Lifecycles and Stewardship 

Product Lifecycles

For each of Quest 88's Therapy Products we have designated a Product Lifecycle.

Equipment does not last forever, and equipment for children who use it on a daily basis, will certainly have a limited life in the same way as a bicycle, shoes, or car seat. Pinpointing the time at which equipment is no longer safe or suitable is extremely difficult, as each child and family situation is different.

The quality of preventative maintenance and vigilance also differs between organisations around the country. Tyre wear is visible and wheels can be replaced within the Life Cycle of say, the Kaye Walker, however, there are less visible signs of wear and tear on frames for example, depending on the normal or abnormal stresses applied to them.

Each piece of equipment tells its own story if you know how to look for certain signs. The maintenance section in the equipment user manual will help you to look for them.

Life Cycles are not a mechanism to create extra demand for equipment, but are a responsible and necessary response to create better equipment stewardship and safe use:

There are exceptions to the rule: If for example, children use the equipment outside of its intended use by sitting and jumping on the frame, OR parents use the frame as a place to store heavy objects, the Life Cycle (useful life) of the Kaye Walker will be foreshortened.

Those responsible for the issue and maintenance of equipment therefore need to make a judgement concerning evidence of equipment abuse and should take the equipment out of service immediately regardless of any stated Life Cycle. The other extreme is that the equipment gets very little use in its first 5 years of issue and is in effect nearly new by the time it is issued to the first child who will use it for a reasonable period of time. Again in this situation, those responsible for reissue of equipment will need to evaluate the frame and decide to prolong the circulation providing the equipment is kept under review.

Life Cycles are not a mechanism to create extra demand for equipment, but are a responsible and necessary response to create better equipment stewardship and safe use:

  1. As they acknowledge that equipment does not last forever and provide discussion points for users, therapists and managers by which they can evaluate equipment already in circulation.
  2. To prevent unconstrained reissue of equipment which if left unchecked, will be to the potential detriment of the users’ safety and/or physical development.
  3. We believe designated Life Cycles will reduce the number of incidents or near misses related to equipment which is old and potentially dangerous (in some cases equipment in excess of 10, 15 and 20 years old which show no evidence of maintenance).
  4. They increase the speed at which advancements and new technology can reach and benefit users.

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