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Local inventor aims to revolutionise wheelchairs

Local inventor aims to revolutionise wheelchairs

Wednesday 05 August 2020

Local inventor aims to revolutionise wheelchairs


Guernsey is the first place in the world to be able to offer a new carer-controlled, power-assisted wheelchair to islanders through the St John Healthcare Shop in the Rohais.

The Ypush was created by local designer Brian Harrison in his St Andrew’s workshop with the comfort of carers in mind.

Following its Guernsey introduction, it will go global later this year, with orders being placed by suppliers in Europe, Asia and America.

“The Ypush focuses on helping the carer,” said Mr Harrison. “We realised how physically demanding it was for a carer to push someone in a manual wheelchair. Pushing can be challenging enough on a flat surface, but on a slope or a tricky path it can be pretty much impossible.

“If the carer is struggling and the occupant feels like a burden to the carer, it can feel easier to just stay at home. We wanted to remove that barrier and create a solution that would ensure the carer and occupant could both enjoy getting out and about.”

St John HealthCare Shop

Pictured: The chair is available to buy at the St John Healthcare shop.

The chair is being sold through the St John Healthcare shop. A demonstration chair is available to borrow for prospective users, and another is available on a trial basis for care homes.

The Ypush is Class 1 Medical Device compliant and features puncture-proof tyres, fail-safe braking, and an integrated power drive. It can also be packed up for transportation to allow travel options that might otherwise be difficult for wheelchair users.

“It has opened up a new life for us,” says Sue Mollett, an islander who tested the first prototype Ypush with her partner Tony. “I used to dread going to Town, it was not something I looked forward to. Going uphill is bad enough, but going down is even worse.

“When I first saw the Ypush I really struggled to hold back my tears, tears of joy.”

Pictured top: Guernsey designer Brian Harrison with the Ypush wheelchair of his design.

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