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My wheelchair enables me to live my life – so why should I have to pay for it?

Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
"A wheelchair, manual or powered, can cost anything from £2,000 right up to £20,000, depending on the individual’s bespoke needs. Contrary to popular belief, the NHS doesn’t just hand them out like candy. There are a number of schemes to help individuals afford them, but the process of getting the correct wheelchair that will ultimately maximise a user’s independence is a complex and lengthy process." Samantha Renke
There is a great post in the Metro today by @SamanthaRenke16 about the cost of wheelchairs that you might like to have a look at.

What has been your experience of getting a wheelchair? Let us know.
Scope
Senior online community officer

Replies

  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,009 Disability Gamechanger
    Throughout my 19 years as a wheelchair user.....about 2 years part time and 17 full time..I have gone through about a dozen wheelchairs. Some were manual, some were electric. Some were used and others new.

    I tried one on Motability and never again! Ok I was naive enough to think that after the 3 year lease, I could keep the chair...WRONG! And it cost me almost 4k!!

    I bought my first 2 powerchairs for a grand each and didnt get assessed...and they damaged my legs/feet.

    Sadly Wheelchair Services, like everyone else, struggles on not enough money and not enough therapists. Therefore there are long waiting lists. BUT boy! do they do their stuff once you`re in the system! They are interested in the person and not how much they have to spend!

    I would never buy a chair again!
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    Throughout my 19 years as a wheelchair user.....about 2 years part time and 17 full time..I have gone through about a dozen wheelchairs. Some were manual, some were electric. Some were used and others new.

    I tried one on Motability and never again! Ok I was naive enough to think that after the 3 year lease, I could keep the chair...WRONG! And it cost me almost 4k!!

    I bought my first 2 powerchairs for a grand each and didnt get assessed...and they damaged my legs/feet.

    Sadly Wheelchair Services, like everyone else, struggles on not enough money and not enough therapists. Therefore there are long waiting lists. BUT boy! do they do their stuff once you`re in the system! They are interested in the person and not how much they have to spend!

    I would never buy a chair again!
    I agree. I built my son’s wheelchair after learning that no one could help me at all. Disability funding cuts are everywhere. My son’s therapist helped me find a wheelchair engineer and we also contacted Surrey University for advice and information.

    There is very little info out there unfortunately. After telephoning Surrey University with my questions, I made some plans feeling more hopeful and happy again. The whole thing was a valuable exercise in patience and creativity. All I had to do was to order the parts online or over the phone.

    And it was totally worth it. My son now has a custom made wheelchair he loves to use. I tried out many wheelchairs, did a lot of research, made notes, asked several questions and then I eventually decided not to use NHS wheelchair services.

    This is why we do need out of the box thinking skills. 
  • Pete2Pete2 Member Posts: 86 Pioneering
    So pleased that you could make your sons wheel chair........is it electric or manual?   
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    Pete2 said:
    So pleased that you could make your sons wheel chair........is it electric or manual?   
    Pete2 said:
    So pleased that you could make your sons wheel chair........is it electric or manual?   
    Manual, he has good upper body strength. 
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,009 Disability Gamechanger
    Pete2 said:
    So pleased that you could make your sons wheel chair........is it electric or manual?   
    Pete2 said:
    So pleased that you could make your sons wheel chair........is it electric or manual?   
    Manual, he has good upper body strength. 
    is your son fully grown..ie will he outgrow his chair?
  • disabledkennydisabledkenny Member Posts: 40 Connected
    Hi Everyone, I agree I have discovered that the NHS services do not have enough funding also here in Oldham, I have an electric powered wheelchair a Salsa Mini 2 I need a raising seat for high up items & to enable me to stretch as unable to through nerve damage to the spine the latest condition I have 21 other conditions, also need a reclining back rest with a moulded back rest rather then a flat one as get thrown about with the standard flat back rest, it will cost me £1,374.00, so managed to get £1,000 so far through 2 grants, I am on benefits so unable to pay for it myself, I am waiting to hear from 2 other grants that I have applied for.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,955

    Scope community team

    Hi @disabledkenny. Do you have any idea on a time frame for when you'll hear back?
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

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  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @disabledkenny, how are you? I just wanted to check in and see if you have heard back from the other grants you applied for? :)
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  • Jean EveleighJean Eveleigh Member Posts: 125 Pioneering
    I have a manual chair from wheelchair services and an electric chair funded jointly by my employer, Access to Work and Myself - the electric chair was built specifically to my needs the manual was just an off the shelf big enough for me to fit in - but having both gives me greater flexibility and options especially when traveling on public transport than just one or the other.

    The Manual chair is serviced yearly by wheelchair services and they take care of any repairs of needed, but I have to pay for the service and insurance for the electric as well as any repairs it may need.
  • disabledkennydisabledkenny Member Posts: 40 Connected
    Hi Jean, every one is entitled to a NHS electric wheelchair where they provide services, repairs & parts, it is good that your employer pays for the wheelchairs, but for you to have to pay for services, etc is OK if you can afford it, if you do find it a struggle then ask your GP to refer you to NHS Wheelchair Services who will assess you & find you a suitable electric wheelchair, hope this helps, take care Kenny.
  • Jean EveleighJean Eveleigh Member Posts: 125 Pioneering
    every one is entitled to a NHS electric wheelchair where they provide services, repairs & parts, 
    Unfortunately this is incorrect Kenny - Each NHS trust can set their own criteria for upgrading a persons need from a manual wheelchair  to an electric one.  In my NHS Trust an electric wheelchair will only be granted to people with no mobility below the waist not those who can mobilise short distances with or without support and the ability to self propel or not is not taken into account either.
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,009 Disability Gamechanger
    I know people who cant have a wheelchair services electric wheelchair too. There are reasons like sight, inability to control....but having said that it is possible to get an attendant steered electric wheelchair too.
  • yingtongyingtong Member Posts: 37 Pioneering
    I have a NHS electric wheelchair,,previously I had a manual one,I recently had a replacement one specially made for me and it only took five week and I can only speak highly of The NHS wheelchair service.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    That's so great to hear @yingtong! I am so glad they have been able to support you!
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