Design Specific – Innovators For The Transport And Treatment Of Obese And Wheelchair Bound Patients

Designers and manufactures of a wide range of specialist medical devices and dental equipment for handling patients with special needs all over the world.


The movement and treatment of obese/bariatric patients can be challenging and time consuming not only for the patient but also the health professional. Traditional transportation within a medical facility by wheelchair can often mean that the patient will still need to be hoisted out of the wheelchair and onto a treatment chair or bed in a difficult and undignified procedure. Tasks such as lifting, transferring, and repositioning patients can also be difficult for even the most experienced health professional and when repeated for a number of years patient handling tasks alone can wreak havoc on the spine’s health, meaning there’s a possibility of developing back pain without a significant injury. Often obese/bariatric patients have movement difficulties and need the use of a wheelchair for everyday routine. These problems are particularly significant within dentistry when most surgeries only have treatment chairs to treat patients up to a maximum of 23 stone and where wheelchair bound patients need to be manhandled into equipment.


Design Specific design and produce a wide range of specialist medical devices and dental equipment for handling patients with special care requirements including Obese and wheelchair users all over the world. Originally focusing on wheelchair users within dentistry, the company has over recent years designed and developed a range of transport and treatment chairs that make the entire process faster, safer and less strenuous for both the patients and health professionals.

Working with NHS in 2000 the company developed a device that allowed patients to be treated in their wheelchairs the device then reclined to allow the dental professional to work either in the standing or sitting position providing comfort for both parties during treatment. The modern version of this has been developed further and when used in conjunction with a Bariatric Bench also developed by the company allows for the treatment of obese patients up to 59 stone either in a wheelchair or not. With the increase in obesity both within the UK and Design Specific’s main export market, the USA, a new product – the Bariatric Treatment Chair was developed and whilst it can be used for all patients it has designed specifically for the obese market. The design of equipment for obese patients demands special consideration, as generally their movement is more restricted.

Therefore, when reclining the backrest, the headrest position remains consistent so that optimal support can be achieved for all patient. The leg rest extends when raised, to avoid the patient sliding between leg and cushions. This device can be used to treat patients up to 71 stone and with offers the same working environment where side mounted twin hydraulic rams allowing the health professional to work seated with the device in the 500mm down position or standing with the devise in raised to full height of 1000mm.


The most recent addition to Designs specific specialist medical devices is the Transport and Treatment, a product designed specifically for both the transport and treatment of obese patients of up to 71 stone in a comfortable manner. Many heavy patients have real problems in walking even short distances and even when they reach a treatment clinic, they have problems with the facilities provided. The Transport and Treatment Chair is a drive assisted chair to reduce the effort required in the transport mode. It is able to recline for dental, podiatry, ophthalmic and maxillofacial procedures. The seat is low to make access easy and both arm rests can be removed independently if required to make the transportation of the client even easier.

Design specific work with NHS Trusts within the UK and have supplied equipment across the globe including New York University college of dentistry, Government of south Australia and US Department of veterans. They are certified with ISO9001:2015, FDA , TGA & CE.

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