Environmental Control Service for North Thames (RECES)

Covering North London, Hertfordshire and Essex

The North Thames Regional Environmental Control Equipment Service (RECES) provides electronic assistive technology to severely disabled people to enable them to live more independently at home.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

We are closely monitoring information from HM Government, the NHS and the World Health Organisation regarding Covid-19.

The safety of our clients, staff and suppliers is of the utmost importance to us. This is exceptional times and we will continue to monitor the rapidly changing situation as it evolves and adjust our policies and processes accordingly.

Please continue to send us referrals and they will be placed on our assessment waiting list according to the priority determined for the information given. However we are not able to say when the assessment will be undertaken. A member of our Team may contact you for further information to assist with the process.

Existing users of EC Equipment should continue to contact their Supplier to request any support needed for their equipment. Details are below, in some cases this will be RECES. They will try to resolve any issues as well as possible given the Covid-19 restrictions.

What is an Environmental Control System?

This is electronic equipment which enables remote control of appliances at home by an easy access controller for those with very limited hand or other functional movement, where standard controls are not suitable.  This may arise from a medical condition such as Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease, Muscular Dystrophy, Spinal Cord Injury, Cerebral Palsy or severe Arthritis.

Environmental control functions can include;

  • Call for carer assistance or urgent help
  • Door entry intercom and access
  • Loudspeaking hands-free telephone
  • Television, DVD and other media devices
  • Lighting and ‘plug-in’ electrical appliances
  • Computer control and special access methods

"I can do things myself and not rely on others. It keeps my sanity!"
(Jonathan – Possum Vivo! user).

Computer access

Computer access devices allow people who have problems using conventional controls (eg. keyboards or mice) to access the computer. Adaptations to assist with computer access can include the following:

  • Alternative keyboards eg. alternative keyboard layout
  • Alternative mice eg. a trackball, joystick or touchpad, head tracking or eye gaze
  • Additional accessibility software, eg. on-screen keyboards, word prediction, speech recognition

The computer can also be adapted in a number of ways using ‘in built’ accessibility settings. The My Computer My Way website from AbilityNet covers a range of options, for example filtering key presses or changing the mouse pointer.

What are the benefits?

To increase independence for the user and allow them to remain at home unattended, confident that it is secure and help can be contacted if needed. It can enhance quality of life within the home setting, help maintain the integrity of family life and reduce reliance on others and the need for institutional care. Access to computer technologies and the internet can enhance a person's participation and social interaction.

Who is suitable for Environmental Controls?

Environmental Control equipment is provided to people of any age satisfying the following criteria:

  • Have a long term and substantial disability caused by disease, injury or congenital condition.
  • Have the necessary abilities and motivation to operate the equipment satisfactorily.
  • Able to operate the equipment independently.
  • Where other, simpler or more cost effective solutions are not suitable.

Who pays for the equipment and service?

The equipment is provided on a ‘free of charge’ loan basis to an individual for their use, usually at their place of residence. Full training is given to the user and others involved. Also funded is a service & maintenance contract with the supplier to cover equipment problems. Additional functions and adjustments can be made to suit an individual’s changing needs and circumstances.

Funding for equipment is limited and priority of provision is given to those with a rapidly deteriorating condition, who live on their own, are at risk, and those with a long term substantial need. Separate funding must be obtained for ancillary equipment such as door, window or curtain openers.Permission from housing association or landlord may also be required.