Have you had to pay for a wheelchair? — Scope | Disability forum
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Have you had to pay for a wheelchair?

Liam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,105 Pioneering
Over on our Facebook page, we shared an article by The Guardian talking about funding for wheelchairs.

One of our wonderful Helpline advisors, Jean Merrilees, is quoted in the piece:
"With wheelchairs sometimes costing in excess of £10,000 we need to see the funding pressures the NHS is facing addressed, so disabled people can access specialist equipment that supports independent living, rather than many continuing having to bear the brunt of these costs themselves.”
Here on our community, we'd like to know: have you had to pay for a wheelchair, or use crowdfunding to raise money? How easy is it for you to access equipment?

Share your experiences below.



  • Liam_Alumni
    Liam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,105 Pioneering
    We've already had a few responses on Facebook.

    Charlotte says:
    "I've been told to use Go Fund Me to raise money for the wheelchair I need to leave my bedroom. I need £2,000 and have only raised £80 since starting, because I have hardly any family. It's so shocking that this is what they've resorted to "

    Jean says:

    "My NHS manual wheelchair was taken back by mistake when I got an electric one through access to work, it took 18 months of fighting and a formal complaint to get them to admit they had effed up and then another 2 years till they replaced it, we had to purchase a cheap cr***y manual that was no where near suitable but all we could afford to span those 3.5 years - I am still recovering from the damage it did to me"

    Amanda says:

    "The NHS voucher scheme is a joke. The alternative? The completely unsuitable wheelchair which came nowhere near to matching my daughter's needs and would have meant she would never have been able to go anywhere independently even though she's 20 and at uni. Guess what ... we took the pitiful voucher - the value of which was half the cost of her old wheelchair issued by the NHS 5 years earlier (which she had outgrown). The rest we were lucky enough to get part funded by a charity and also did our own fundraising too. This situation absolutely grieves me - a wheelchair is someone's legs, their independence, their access to life and needs to be properly funded."

    Karon says:

    "I can't afford a wheelchair at the moment so until I have enough money to buy an electric one I am unable to go out alone. I have borrowed a manual one so my husband can take me out but he works full time to pay the bills like a lot of people at moment so going out is rare"
  • cen12
    cen12 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    I have recently had to buy a new self propelled wheelchair.
  • Liam_Alumni
    Liam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,105 Pioneering
    Hi @cen12,

    Thanks for sharing! What was that like? How easy was it to get that sorted out?
  • Topkitten
    Topkitten Member Posts: 1,285 Pioneering
    Before I started having problems in my neck again I needed a wheelchair. I contacted the NHS but was informed that, as I could walk more than 3 metres, I didn't qualify for one. I rented a manual one from a local charity for 3 months and purchased it very cheaply at the end of that time. However, a year or so later I began having problems lifting it in and out of the car because it was made from steel. Still not qualifying for help I purchased an expensive aluminium (manual again) one but in less than a year couldn't manage that either. As my mobility vehicle was due to change I sorted a more suitable car out and had a hoist fitted (which was subsidised by Motability. Mum helped  (paid most for) a fold-up boot electric scooter that was adapted to the hoist by the company that fitted it.

    I was informed early on that I could get assistance from a few charities regarding these purchases but I didn't want to take their limited means from people that didn't have the options I did.

    The lack of support in matters like this from Britians NHS is despicable.

    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.


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