THURROCK is to join with Essex and others to provide equipment people need to make their lives easier.

Cllr Barbara Rice, portfolio holder for health and social care, told Wednesday evening’s meeting of Thurrock Council’s cabinet: “This is a common sense proposal which gives us better value for money and also enables us to offer equipment at favourable rates to local people who have to pay for their own equipment.”

She explained: “It’s to do with equipment such as simple aids to daily living, helping people to bathe and toilet themselves or assist with their mobility, to more complex apparatus.”

Members agreed the council should work with Essex County Council and NHS partners for new commissioning arrangements for getting and delivering community equipment services through a local authority trading company owned by Essex which links into a Department of Health sponsored scheme hosted by Croydon Council.

She said: “It means the equipment will be secured either by the trading company or the Croydon scheme, whichever can do it on more advantageous terms.

“In addition there is a retail element of the service which will provide residents who are not eligible for community equipment to buy on favourable terms.”

Cllr Rice said she estimated £98,000 will be saved in the first financial year rising to around £198,000 in 2016/17.