The market for equipment for people with a disability in the UK has been forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.5% through 2016, driven by growth within the new healthcare reforms and the sophistication of different technologies.
Sales of disabled equipment in the UK have increased by 92.6% over the last 10 years and the total market size increased by 9.2% last year.
The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) of 1995 defines a disabled person as someone with a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
According to the Office for Disability Issues, there are nearly 11 million disabled people in Great Britain, of whom 5 million are over state pension age and 800,000 are children.
This estimate covers people who have a long-standing illness, disability or infirmity and who have significant difficulty in carrying out day-to-day activities. The number of disabled people has fluctuated somewhat during the current decade but the long-term trend is upwards, as the population ages.
The trend towards care in the community has resulted in increasing numbers of disabled people living at home, creating demand for specialist aids and equipment. In addition, since the authorities are required to pay care-home fees only for those elderly people who have health problems, and since care-home fees can soon devour a person's savings, many people prefer to stay in their own homes for as long as possible -- for financial as well as emotional reasons.
Demand for equipment for people considered as disabled has been growing steadily in the last decade, as the UK's population ages and the number of people with disabilities increases correspondingly. Older people make up a large proportion of those that use mobility equipment and artificial limb services, while many require the use of vision or hearing aids.
Equipment for the disabled is distributed through a wide range of channels. The NHS is the largest supplier of equipment to users and it, in turn, is supplied by manufacturers and wholesalers. Other sources of equipment for the disabled include local authorities, clinics, care homes, healthcare centres and voluntary organisations.
Within the structure of the marketplace, there are a number of global companies (many of which are based abroad), as well as smaller specialist companies. Many companies provide a wide range of products to public purchasers as well as to private consumers.
Key vendors currently dominating this market space include Invacare Corp., MEYRA-ORTOPEDIA Vertriebsgesellschaft GmbH, and Sunrise Medical Inc.
For more information on the market for equipment for people with a disability in the UK, see the latest research: UK Disability Equipment Market
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