Accessing the Service

How can I get a wheelchair?

In order for a wheelchair to be provided by us, you will need to be assessed. A referral will need to be made by your GP or a registered healthcare professional.

If you already have an NHS wheelchair, you can contact us directly to request a reassessment if your clinical needs change, unless you wish to be referred for your first powered wheelchair. If you do not already have a powered wheelchair, you must ask a Healthcare Professional to complete a referral on your behalf.

What happens after I've been referred?

An appointment will be made for you to have a full clinical assessment of your mobility needs, including pressure care, by one of our qualified occupational therapists or therapy assistants.

How long does it take to get a wheelchair?

We aim to provide you with your equipment within 18 weeks of receiving your referral. There is a longer wait if you need a specialist assessment and/or specialist equipment.

Where will the assessment take place?

Most assessments are carried out in our purpose-built clinical facilities. Depending on your circumstances, an assessment can be carried out at your home.

Will my home be suitable for a wheelchair?

You may require an environmental assessment of your property for suitability of the equipment that best fits your needs.

What happens after I've been assessed?

If, after your assessment, it has been determined that you need a wheelchair, we will supply and set up the mobility equipment, including any cushions or accessories that you may require.

I have a private wheelchair, can the wheelchair service provide me with a cushion?

No we can only provide cushions for NHS prescribed wheelchairs

Are all surfaces suitable for my wheelchair?

No, unfortunately not.  Some surfaces, such as loose gravel and grass, can be difficult to manoeuvre over and a loss of traction may be experienced. Extra care and consideration should be taken before you decide to drive your wheelchair over such surfaces. Sand is not a suitable surface for a wheelchair at all due to the loss of traction that can occur and the potential damage to the wheelchair bearings and/or the motors. Please read the wheelchair manufacturer’s instructions for further information.

Service & Repairs

What do I do if my wheelchair needs repairing?

We offer a repair and maintenance service. A trained wheelchair service engineer will be available to repair your equipment in your home, workplace or day centre. You can make an appointment via email or by calling your local customer service team.

Can I have my wheelchair repaired at the service centre?

Yes, but only by prior arrangement if this option is more convenient for you.

Do I have to pay for repairs?

Equipment provided under the NHS is repaired at no cost to you.  There are costs if you decide to pursue an alternative option under the Personal Wheelchair Budget scheme (PWB).  Please click here for more information on a PWB.

If I breakdown away from home, will you be able to repair my wheelchair while I am out or take me home?

The repair service does not provide roadside repairs or recovery home. You need to make your own arrangements for this.

What happens if my wheelchair needs repairing when you are closed?

We have an out-of-hours repair service available for emergency repairs.  Contact your local customer service team for more details.

How do I arrange for my wheelchair to be serviced?

Depending on the type of equipment you have been supplied with, we will be in contact with you annually to carry out a multi-point safety check on the wheelchair.

Short term loans

I have broken my leg and will require a wheelchair while I recover.  Am I entitled to a wheelchair?

The wheelchair service only provides a wheelchair if you have a medical need lasting longer than 6 months.  Please click the link for information on where you can hire a wheelchair on short term loan.

I want to be able to go out with my family when they visit once a month. Where can I obtain a wheelchair?

The wheelchair service only provides a wheelchair for regular use (at least 4 times a week for 4 hours at a time).   Please click the link for information on where you can hire a wheelchair for occasional or short term loan.

Rehabilitation

I am being transferred for rehabilitation. When will I receive my wheelchair?

The rehabilitation facility is responsible for supporting your mobility needs while you are undergoing rehabilitation.

The wheelchair service provides equipment when a person has reached their full rehabilitation potential.  Your therapist will refer you to the wheelchair service when the time is right to establish your longer term wheelchair and seating needs. 

Being discharged from hospital

I do not know when I will be discharged from hospital. When will I receive my wheelchair?

While you are in hospital, you will be assessed by a hospital therapist (OT or Physio) who will refer you to the wheelchair service once your discharge date is known. You will be provided with the wheelchair prior to discharge if you need it to be independently mobile within your own home. Otherwise, you will receive your wheelchair as soon as possible after you have been discharged.

I do not know my discharge destination. When will I receive my wheelchair?

Before a wheelchair can be issued, we need to know your discharge location.  Depending on the location, you may or may not meet the criteria for NHS provision. 

I am being discharged to a care home. Am I entitled to a wheelchair?

If you need a wheelchair to move independently within the care home, you may be eligible for an NHS wheelchair.  If you need a wheelchair so that care staff can move you between the rooms in the care home, the care home is responsible for providing a wheelchair.  For more information on provision into care homes please see “Information for Care Homes”

My needs have changed

What do I do if I no longer need my wheelchair?

We offer a collection service. If you have any equipment you no longer require, you can arrange for this to be collected by contacting your local customer service team.

What do I do if my needs change?

If you feel that your needs have changed, please contact your local customer service team, who will place you on the list to be re-assessed.

What can I do if my wheelchair is uncomfortable?

If your wheelchair is uncomfortable, please contact your local customer service team, who will place you on the list to be re-assessed.

Can I sell my wheelchair and equipment if I no longer need it?

No. If you no longer need your wheelchair and accessories, these will need to be collected by us. It is not permitted to sell your old equipment once it is no longer required.

Can I make modifications to my wheelchair?

No. It is not permitted to carry out any modifications to the wheelchair, either by yourself, your carer or your family member. If you feel your wheelchair needs any adjustment, please contact your local customer service team.

Can I give my wheelchair to somebody else?

No. Your equipment may not be suitable for their needs and the old equipment must be returned to us.

Holidays

Can I take my wheelchair on holiday?

Yes, if it is covered by your holiday or home insurance.   If your holiday company request the weight of your wheelchair it is on the manufacturers label on the frame.

What if my wheelchair breaks down while I am on holiday?

Contact the local wheelchair service if in the U.K. If you’re abroad please contact the wheelchair service on your return to arrange a repair.

Adding on power

Do you provide power packs?

No we do not provide power packs.

I want to be able to fit a power pack to my wheelchair. Can I do this?

Fitting a power pack to an attendant-propelled or transit wheelchair may be possible but not all wheelchairs can be fitted with a power pack. You should get advice and an assessment from a suitably-qualified person and, if a compatible power pack can be used, it should be fitted by a person who is competent to do so. You can find our guidance here

Can I pop into the service centre?

Yes. However, so that we can offer you the best possible service, we recommend that you call your local customer service team in advance, so that we can make sure that the most appropriate member of the team is available to help you.

Should you drop into one of our service centres without making, or being offered, an appointment, the most appropriate member of the team might not be available to assist you.

Please note that all clinical assessments are by prior appointment.

Other facilities

I need to know my weight but I am unable to stand on my scales?

The wheelchair service has weighing scales that can be accessed in a wheelchair.  Please contact the service to arrange a time to use these scales if you would like to be weighed.  You need to know the weight of your wheelchair so you may need to be transfer out of your wheelchair during the first visit.  If you require assistance to transfer out of your wheelchair, please contact the service prior to visiting so that we can ensure there are staff available to assist you. We can also weigh you during any appointment that you have with the service.