Wheelchair — Scope | Disability forum


Domdi Member Posts: 6 Listener
Does any one else have a problem with their local wheelchair service.my sons chair is no longer fit for purpose, but when I asked about getting a new one we were fobbed off, and told he still had 6 months life in it. The chair is now affecting other things because he will not be supplied with a new communication aid until we get a new chair, because of fixing it to his chair.


  • Katherine Hayward
    Katherine Hayward Member Posts: 74
    edited March 2015
    Hi Domdi. I saw your post just now and thought I really identify with this. I went to my wheelchair service years ago and fought and fought to get an electric wheelchair from them. They gave me a standard manual wheelchair which is of no use to me whatsoever because I can't push a manual wheelchair (I have spastic quadriplegia CP). The chair is just sat in my garage and I've had to purchase an electric one because they wouldn't fund a specialist one like I need. Have you got anywhere with this issue since your last post? if your son needs a new chair they shouldn't be dictating to you about how much life the chair has left in it. I'm in need of a new chair soon, and am reluctant to go back to my wheelchair service. I got a printed sheet of electric wheelchair suppliers from them and have spent the past few years struggling to come up with funds for my new chair.
  • Jean_OT
    Jean_OT Member Posts: 513 Pioneering

    Hi Domdi

    The first step for most people who need some support with mobility will be to ask their GP to refer them to their local NHS Wheelchair Service http://www.wheelchairmanagers.nhs.uk/services.html

    At the moment, NHS Wheelchair Services seem to have a bit of a reputation for being variable in the provision they give. It seems that perhaps some Wheelchairs Services are better than others but also that provision can vary according to where they are in the financial year and how much budget they have available. As I write this, there are measures being put in place to try to make the NHS Wheelchair Service more person centred and fit for purpose by the introduction of Personal Wheelchair Budgets:  https://www.england.nhs.uk/personal-health-budgets/personal-wheelchair-budgets/

    In theory, when the new scheme is fully implemented it might overcome some of the difficulties that people find with the existing provision.

    If anyone feels they are a valid complaint about the provision they are receiving from their local Wheelchair Service, which they haven’t managed to resolve informally by talking to the Service Manager, I would urge them to make a formal complaint using the Service’s complaints procedure.

    Best Wishes



    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist

  • Zeezee
    Zeezee Member Posts: 78 Pioneering
    My daughter is waiting for her first manual wheelchair but at the assessment they didn't even try her in a wheelchair to see if she can use one. She needs lateral supports,pommel,chest harness,foot plates with supported straps, hip/thigh supports and tilt in space and that is to just sit in the house, all her chairs have these adaptations. Her wheelchair will have a raised peice on the cushion and a lapstrap. So I know without all the adaptations she needs just to sit in one place she has no chance at all using a wheelchair with no support. Its like the wheelchair service has no idea about cp at all. If she is using all her strength to sit up she has no chance pushing a wheelchair. They won't even give me a parent pole so how would I push a three year olds wheelchair. I am 5ft 8ins. She has no road sense as she has been pushed in a snappi buggy for the last two years and as she is quadriplegic it is not safe to assume her arms are going to work all the time.
    My daughter s physio and MEAP worker are less than pleased and have told me to refuse this useless piece of equipment when it is delivered. Its just another fight I could do without but am obviously going to take on because my daughter can fly around my house and playgroup in her Scooot, ( with the extra waist support and my adaptations) so I know she could use a properly adapted wheelchair. And two other children at her pyhsio have the kind of wheelchair she needs from the wheelchair service, so I won't stop until she gets it.

  • leggett
    leggett Member Posts: 1 Listener
    I can walk alittle but need a wheel chair mostly. I havent been out for 2 years give or take. I hAve a very large step to get in or out of my house. I have been told I'm not elagible for a ramp. I said I'm not happy and was told I would have to be assessed far enough I thought. I received a phone call from a lovely lady saying it would be about 6 months as I was a non priority. All I want is a ramp not a life support machine although It feels like it some days. Anyone have any advise other thank buy one lol.
  • ourvoices
    ourvoices Member Posts: 47 Connected
    edited August 2017

    Hello All,

    I am still waiting for an NHS wheelchair, some 7 months after the process started.  I have been forced to buy my own, as I was struggling to manage increasing amounts of pain.

    There are some interesting articles here about the struggles people are facing with obtaining wheelchairs:



    If you are getting nowhere with the NHS in regards to obtaining a wheelchair, then crowd-funding might be the new alternative.

    Domdi - don't take 'no' for an answer. Ask your GP for their support and go back to your wheelchair services and complain if you have to.

    I am currently on the PIP war path, but this might have to be my next area of attack.

  • tanya100
    tanya100 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Wheelchair services are awful , we ended up having to buy another wheelchair for my daughter because the one she was using didn't meet all her needs.  Their attitude was that there are people in more need which of course we are not denying.  After cancer treatment left my 15 year old with avascular necrosis her mobility was lost quickly.  They don't realise the emotional impact these things have on a child for school etc
  • Jean_OT
    Jean_OT Member Posts: 513 Pioneering

    Unfortunately people often report to Scope that they are struggling to get the provision they need from their local NHS Wheelchair Service. We would always advise people with a valid concern to be persistent and make a formal complaint to the Wheelchair Service if necessary.

    With regards to children's wheelchairs (also buggies and trikes) parents sometimes end up turning to the charity, Whizzkidz, to request the necessary equipment http://www.whizz-kidz.org.uk/get-our-help/equipment

     Another organisation to try is the Variety Children's Charity: https://www.variety.org.uk/what-we-do/wheelchairs

    For adult powered wheelchairs and scooters the Mobility Trust can sometimes assist:  http://mobilitytrust.org.uk/

    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist