Alastair Gibbs, managing director of TPG Disableaids, has told AMP of how he has seen a shift in customer behaviour amid the coronavirus.
Commenting on the changes he’s already seen, Gibbs gave a couple of examples of extreme changes he’d already seen.
He explained: “We are already starting to see signs of hysteria amongst our customer base that appears to be whipped up by sensational reporting by the media.
“This very morning we have delivered a riser recliner chair to a customer who refused to sign the delivery note in case she caught something from it.
“We have had three customers refuse to have their lifting equipment serviced and thoroughly examined to be compliant with LOLER and choose to use possibly unsafe equipment rather than risk catching COVID-19 from the engineer.”
He went on to detail how it has affected other companies he works closely with in the wider industry.
Gibbs added: “I have spoken to two other service and installation companies this morning who are experiencing similar issues. The end result clearly will be a lack of fee earning jobs to give to our staff and potentially dangerous equipment being used to transfer and lift disabled clients.
“We had made robust provision of cleaning and disinfecting processes for both service and installation engineers but early signs are that the fear of what could happen is limiting the calls and visits we could make.”
He concluded: “The negative effect to the end users does therefore seem inevitable at this point in time, not from lack of resource, but from fear in much the same way as fear is stirring up panic buying of basic groceries.”