On being allowed out of hospital after suffering a stroke Bills wife Betty wanted to sleep upstairs in her own bed, this created a problem for Bill as Betty would not allow the installation of a stair-lift and she was adamant that she would get upstairs by herself. To solve this Bill created a new way of offering support to anyone whilst climbing stairs, this has been developed into the Austin StairAid and it's not just stairs it works with.
Phil Richards the Chief Executive of Twin Valley Homes saw the safety rail when visiting Bill and he quickly realised the benefits it offered to endusers, the NHS and other organisations, he introduced Bill to The Blackburn Innovation & Technology Service. The development process that followed has involved many organisations and individuals including Lancaster University, Physiotherapists, Social Services and Occupational Therapists.
The Licensing and patent process would have been difficult without the assistance of The Blackburn Innovation & Technology Service which since 2007 has become the Eureka Programme of No Limits, there have been many highs and lows in the development process but the final product has now been fully tested and is market ready.
The patent has been applied for and CE approval is being sought, Bill hopes that the Austin StairAid he designed to help his wife Betty will now help reduce falls on stairs involving the frail and elderly.