Abacus and Homecare Innovation defy Covid challenges to install baths at pioneering Dutch accessible holiday apartments
Part of the Gainsborough Healthcare Group, Abacus Specialist Bathroom Solutions has successfully worked with its Dutch partner, Homecare Innovation B.V., to provide two Gemini 2000 specialist care baths at new, state-of-the-art wheelchair accessible holiday apartments in The Netherlands.
Located in Egmond aan Zee, The Netherlands, De Egmonden is a fully accessible, energy neutral complex completed in 2020. It provides 25 high specification, self-catering holiday apartments which have been specifically designed to support disabled visitors, carers and families. The spacious layout provides seamless access throughout the building for wheelchairs and mobility scooters – with step-free access and generous turning circles.
The stylish décor delivers a contemporary yet warm atmosphere especially for families with disabled children. The building includes a wheelchair-friendly infrared cabin, accessible gym and onsite physiotherapy services. Each apartment includes state-of-the-art fixtures such as height-adjustable sinks, specialist toilets and moving and handling equipment.
Each apartment has an accessible bathroom and for additional care, there are two shared bathrooms that each provide a specialist power-assisted bath. To ensure maximum support and safety for guests, De Egmonden selected bathing solutions from Abacus Specialist Bathroom Solutions, namely two award-winning Gemini 2000 baths.
Abacus is part of the Gainsborough Healthcare Group which has been a UK manufacturer of specialist baths for over 30 years. It has worked closely with Homecare Innovation for many years which is a Dutch business that has proven to be a trusted European partner for Gainsborough’s export services. Abacus worked alongside Homecare Innovation to provide a complete installation service for the De Egmonden apartments – from site survey through to bath manufacturing, installation and aftercare service.
Homecare Innovation received the initial bath enquiry from the apartments during the summer of 2020. The building was nearing completion and the need for two specialist care baths was then a priority.
Pre-enablement works for electricity, waste and water were imminent, so a site survey was requested as soon as possible. Due to international Covid travel restrictions, Homecare Innovation completed a site survey with remote video support from Abacus. Two Gemini 2000 baths were recommended as ideal solutions for guests as they provide a generous bathing space of 2 metres in length. This would ensure guests of all ages and sizes could benefit from a safe, accessible bathing experience.
The Gemini 2000 is a proven and trusted choice for many Occupational Therapists (OTs) as it is a future-proofed design that won the prestigious Excellence in Caring Award at the OT Show. The popularity of the latest Gemini, since launch in 2019, has been due to its unique dual-lift technology, integrated platform and BioCote antimicrobial technology. Integrated power assistance ensures safe transfers in and out the bath for bathers with restricted mobility and allows carers to avoid back injury from manual handling.
The 3-in-1 changing, drying and bathing platform eliminates awkward transfers and anti-scalding safety is provided by TMV Thermostatic water controls. This high specification design was deemed ideal for De Egmonden as it reflected the quality of its interiors and accessible features.
Clare Long, Export Manager, Gainsborough Healthcare Group, commented: “Due to the pandemic this installation proved very challenging. There were multiple factors Abacus had to overcome to ensure the project came to fruition; however, a highly successful final result was achieved in the end. Every department within the business became involved – from the factory through to technical design and installation. It was a real team effort with so many people working behind the scenes to make it happen.”
Clare adds: “This bath represents a first for us in terms of international installation and will pave the way for further success in Europe as we expand our export services.”
When the installation was scheduled in April 2021, Abacus considered the possibility of directing Homecare Innovation technicians via video link as travel to Holland was severely restricted. However, it was decided that Craig Johnson, Gainsborough National Service Manager, and a UK engineer, needed to be onsite to ensure the project was concluded without issues.
Following a challenging and comprehensive Covid testing procedure, the Gainsborough representatives were able to travel over to Holland and implemented the company’s ‘Protection Promise’ protocols to maximise safety for the client, their colleagues and themselves. All pre-enablement works were completed before arrival and despite a few unforeseen issues, both Gemini baths were installed in just two days. Michel Dalhuisen, Homecare Innovation, concludes: “Bearing in mind the difficulties that Covid presented to all of us, we are proud of how the project was delivered and how we met the installation deadline. With the pressure on, this project proved that Homecare Innovation and Gainsborough have a strong relationship. We kept communication clear with the client and we delivered on all our promises. The client is delighted with the end result as both Gemini baths will provide an exceptional bathing experience for all disabled guests.”