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Ineligible For NHS Wheelchair Voucher

airbusA346airbusA346 Member Posts: 19 Connected
Hi,

I've had an wheelchair from the NHS wheelchair service for over 20 years.  At the end of last year I decided to try and get a more suitable wheelchair for my needs from the NHS after having my current Invacare Action 3 for 15 years.

I was seen in January where I told them I needed a lighter chair because lifting it in and out of my car was getting hard and was causing a lot of pain in my back when doing this.  I also told them I needed more support to stop twisting and leaning when using the chair.  They offered me one chair (Rubix) which they said was the only choice available and was lighter than my current chair.  After a bit of research I found the chair wasn't lighter.  They didn't believe me, so I asked to be seen again, which I was in March.  They weighed my current chair and the Rubix and they were amazed that my Action 3 was 1kg lighter.  They said the Rubix was my only choice or try and improve my Action 3.  They also told me to consider the NHS voucher.

I was sent a cushion which was no more supportive, so after much waiting I was seen in August for a reassessment.  They tried me with one cushion which is an inch thicker than my current cushion and commented than I looked wrong sitting on the cushion.  Can't believe they didn't realise this was because the chair is set up wrong, so it would need the axle/wheel heights etc changing.  So they ordered a different 2 inch cushion and I asked to be told how much the voucher would be worth.

I didn't hear anything so thought I would email them asking what was going on, to be told that I was ineligible for the voucher, because I don't use my chair indoors.  So why the heck did they mention it in March.  They knew when I use the chair at that time.

At the moment I really think the service isn't fit for purpose.  So for me to get a suitable chair I need to spend £4.5k.  

Absolute joke!!!!

Replies

  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,353 Disability Gamechanger
    @ airbusA346, Hello, are you trying to get a normal self propelled wheelchair? Or an small electric type chair / mobility scooter? I find it hard to believe you think you have to spend £4500 to get a chair suitable to your needs and liking. I think you could be expecting to much are you claiming PIP and get the enhanced mobility part? If so this can and should be used to fund your transport needs.
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    Hello @airbusA346. Welcome to Scope.

    Why do you have to spend that much on a wheelchair? Do you get enhanced mobility PIP or not? If so, you can use the money to buy a wheelchair privately. Search online for local mobility aid stores or contact Motability for advice and information. Try out different wheelchairs before making a decision. Go to the store and ask questions. 

    Ask about costs as well. Who is going to push the wheelchair? When will you need to use it? Is it a outdoor or indoor wheelchair? Also pay attention to your gut feeling when using the wheelchair. Remember, the wheelchair also must be comfortable. Make sure to take out insurance in case of a wheelchair related emergency. 

    My son uses a manual wheelchair. Depending on the nature of your physical impairment, a manual chair might be suitable. Which has more tips on picking out a suitable wheelchair. My son got his first ever wheelchair from the Disabled Living Foundation, this was after we contacted NHS mobility services and they said no to us. That was nearly two years ago now, how time flies.. 

    https://www.which.co.uk/later-life-care/home-care/out-and-about/getting-a-wheelchair-through-the-nhs-or-privately-abumf8w9swyy

    I hope this is useful! 
  • airbusA346airbusA346 Member Posts: 19 Connected
    wilko said:
    @ airbusA346, Hello, are you trying to get a normal self propelled wheelchair? Or an small electric type chair / mobility scooter? I find it hard to believe you think you have to spend £4500 to get a chair suitable to your needs and liking. I think you could be expecting to much are you claiming PIP and get the enhanced mobility part? If so this can and should be used to fund your transport needs.
    @wilko It is for a folding active manual wheelchair.  The price also includes a seat cushion and backrest.  The enhanced mobility side of my PIP gets used to keep my car on the road (I don't use Motability).
    Hello @airbusA346. Welcome to Scope.

    Why do you have to spend that much on a wheelchair? Do you get enhanced mobility PIP or not? If so, you can use the money to buy a wheelchair privately. Search online for local mobility aid stores or contact Motability for advice and information. Try out different wheelchairs before making a decision. Go to the store and ask questions. 

    Ask about costs as well. Who is going to push the wheelchair? When will you need to use it? Is it a outdoor or indoor wheelchair? Also pay attention to your gut feeling when using the wheelchair. Remember, the wheelchair also must be comfortable. Make sure to take out insurance in case of a wheelchair related emergency. 

    My son uses a manual wheelchair. Depending on the nature of your physical impairment, a manual chair might be suitable. Which has more tips on picking out a suitable wheelchair. My son got his first ever wheelchair from the Disabled Living Foundation, this was after we contacted NHS mobility services and they said no to us. That was nearly two years ago now, how time flies.. 

    https://www.which.co.uk/later-life-care/home-care/out-and-about/getting-a-wheelchair-through-the-nhs-or-privately-abumf8w9swyy

    I hope this is useful! 
    @April2018mom For me to get a light enough wheelchair that's how much they cost with items like cushions and backrests added.  The chair is for outdoor use.

    It has already been suggested I try and get funding from a charity, but I have been told if I paid some of the costs, there is more chance of them agreeing to funding the chair.  So my plan was to use the voucher to contribute to the costs.

    My main issue at the moment is the fact I was offered the voucher in March, but they've now changed their mind.  I try and maintain some mobility and I get penalized for it.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @airbusA346, thank you for taking the time to share this with us. I'm sorry you were unsuccessful with getting a the support you need. Do you have another health professional (your physio, occupational therapist or social worker) who could endorse your need for a new wheelchair?

    Please do let us know how you get on!   
    Scope

  • airbusA346airbusA346 Member Posts: 19 Connected
    edited October 2019
    Hi @airbusA346, thank you for taking the time to share this with us. I'm sorry you were unsuccessful with getting a the support you need. Do you have another health professional (your physio, occupational therapist or social worker) who could endorse your need for a new wheelchair?

    Please do let us know how you get on!   
     @Chloe_Scope I don't unfortunately.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @airbusA346, I'm sorry to hear this. Would you be able to get a referral from a GP? Or you could request a needs assessment which would look at everything, with the possibility that they will be able to recommend what is needed in terms of a wheelchair.

    I hope this helps.  
    Scope

  • airbusA346airbusA346 Member Posts: 19 Connected
    Hi @airbusA346, I'm sorry to hear this. Would you be able to get a referral from a GP? Or you could request a needs assessment which would look at everything, with the possibility that they will be able to recommend what is needed in terms of a wheelchair.

    I hope this helps.  
    @Chloe_Scope I don't think it would make a difference, because I'm already in the system at Wheelchair Services.
  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,353 Disability Gamechanger
    I have just bought a light weight self propelled wheel chair with user and assistant brakes as well cushion included a thicker one may could be better total weight 18kgs or 40lbs. Folds can be put into four door car behind front seat or in the boot.cost £140, free delivery on eBay.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @airbusA346, I'm sorry you don't think this would be helpful. I hope other members, like @wilko, will be able to share their experiences with you.
    Scope

  • airbusA346airbusA346 Member Posts: 19 Connected
    wilko said:
    I have just bought a light weight self propelled wheel chair with user and assistant brakes as well cushion included a thicker one may could be better total weight 18kgs or 40lbs. Folds can be put into four door car behind front seat or in the boot.cost £140, free delivery on eBay.
    @wilko my current Action 3 is 9kg.  Which is the frame weight without wheels etc.  Which is the part weight which is important to me, because of lifting it into the boot.
  • buzzerbuzzer Member Posts: 107 Pioneering
    edited October 2019
    @airbusA346
    have you considered a wc hoist for your car, there are several lightweight portable types, and a good secondhand market. seems it would be a more cost effective solution than a new chair. 

    Try & be kind to one another even if we may have different views. 

  • airbusA346airbusA346 Member Posts: 19 Connected
    buzzer said:
    @airbusA346
    have you considered a wc hoist for your car, there are several lightweight portable types, and a good secondhand market. seems it would be a more cost effective solution than a new chair. 
    @buzzer Thanks for the suggestion.  But I don't think that would really solve my problem. ;)
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    edited October 2019
    Have you contacted Remap? They might be able to help you.  https://www.remap.org.uk/
  • airbusA346airbusA346 Member Posts: 19 Connected
    Have you contacted Remap? They might be able to help you.  https://www.remap.org.uk/
    @April2018mom I have never heard of them.
  • airbusA346airbusA346 Member Posts: 19 Connected
    The Opcare clinic are no longer responding to my communications.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm sorry to hear that @airbusA346, was this the people you were speaking to previously?
    Scope

  • airbusA346airbusA346 Member Posts: 19 Connected
    I'm sorry to hear that @airbusA346, was this the people you were speaking to previously?
    Yes.  Opcare run the local wheelchair services for the NHS.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    I imagine this is very frustrating! Is there a number you could call?
    Scope

  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 Pioneering
    This sort of issue is why I have used Motability for some years now. Whilst it isn't specifically cheap to do so in general, when it comes to adaptions and alterations they are very good. Although I am not supposed to go out I still do very occasionally so intend to get one more car before I give up driving completely. My current car has a hoist fitted to enable the lifting of a scooter in and out and the new car will also do so. The cost for my current car was an extra £250 and for the new one will be £200. I am also having hand controls fitted at no extra cost which, although it worries me somewhat about getting used to the differences, should help with my lower body issues.

    As far as I have been able to find out, the NHS do not provide wheelchair support for any person able to walk even a few paces.

    My current chair that I sometimes use cost me £545 and is extremely light and comfortable for me and is made from aluminium rater than steel. I picked it out in the showroom years ago and cannot remember the make or model offhand. Whilst I can still just about lift it in and out when needed I have used the scooter far more but I am certain the hoists can cope with chairs if required. It would be worth talking to whomever handles the fitting of adaptions for your area. Their name and number should be available from any local Motability garage.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • airbusA346airbusA346 Member Posts: 19 Connected
    Just to be clear I know the NHS won't buy the chair I've been quoted (even though it would be nice).  All I'm after is a contribution via the voucher scheme.

    Two people at the wheelchair services told me to consider it, now they have back tracked.  Now they won't speak to me because I've 'caught them out'.  They were obviously hoping I hadn't remembered.  The latest assessor didn't say I wasn't eligible either when I asked how much it would be... surely he should have known as soon as I asked.
  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,353 Disability Gamechanger
    Having reread your thread you are on enhanced mobility pip and use the money to run your own car. I am the same but run my own car and have two mobility scooters one boot type used for outings ect and the larger one for dog walking. Allowing for paying car insurance, break down cover and annual mot and £40 of petrol a month I am able to save money from my pip mobility part. Unless your car needs regular repairs or is much more costly to run than the average car then rethink your financial situation 
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