Wheelchairs — Scope | Disability forum


diyjoe Member Posts: 14 Connected
This is the 3rd attempt to post a message. I keep getting pop ups from Scope that eradicates previous attempts, perhaps this is because I am a newbie?.

I will not go into  the full detail I have experienced with the local NHS Wheelchair Service Provider but I am at last after 9 months from referral to be given a wheelchair that is claimed to be suitable for my needs. During this period I have managed with loaned or hired chairs and learnt the very basic of skills for my self to be almost independent. I now wish to become skilled enough to mount curbs and similar skills and the only contact I have been given by the service provider is a personal trainer living over 60 miles away and the cost of the course with travel is prohibitive.

I note that several hospitals which specialise in spinal injury run courses on wheelchair skills but nothing in East Sussex. Does any one know of any courses in this area please.



  • Misscleo
    Misscleo Member Posts: 647 Pioneering
    Cant credit this.
    You wait for a wheelchair then the fools dont teach you how to use it

    May i suggest you look on line for a local shop that sells scooters. Mobility shops will help people to use wheelchairs as well as scooters.

    Also get someone to go with you to a road where you can practise going up and down gutters. I say take someone with uou cos my freinds wheelchair tipped over while she was trying the up & down gutters. You may not beable to pick it up on your own
  • marmalade
    marmalade Member Posts: 69 Pioneering
    Hi there
    8f you go onto the motability page they have links to services who can do that for you.  Good luck
  • Richard_Scope
    Richard_Scope Posts: 3,128

    Scope community team

    Have you seen this organisation?

    They run several courses.

    Specialist Information Officer and Cerebral Palsy Programme Lead

    'Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.

    Want to tell us about your experience in the community? Talk to our chatbot and let us know. 
  • diyjoe
    diyjoe Member Posts: 14 Connected
    Thanks for the replies, I have already seen the Back Up Trusts website, none of the courses offered are in my area or within a 50 mile reach.

    The model set by the NHS for NHS service providers appears to include  having on the providers premises  curbs, ramps etc for basic instruction, as well as many other ideals like supplying a wheelchair suitable to the needs of the user. Unfortunately the money used in debates etc and production of this model is an absolute waste, the model has no bite due to the addition of the words NON MANDATORY,  and passes the responsibility of the service on to CCG,s who in turn contracts commercial firms to supply the final service. The prime objective of these private companies is to make a profit, the model set by the NHS is secondary. Hence in this area there are no training courses and one is lucky to obtain a NHS chair suitable for ones needs. Wheelchair services are a post code lottery.

    Sorry to have gone on a bit, I will continue to look for a skills course in East Sussex..

  • bigade53
    bigade53 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Cheap enough to buy second hand wheelchairs. If you buy electric factor in £100 for new batterys as most will need them. Then practice when u can . 
  • diyjoe
    diyjoe Member Posts: 14 Connected
    Yes, cheap enough to buy second hand. I have bought two cheaply a non active for indoor use but really too big for me. The other an argon that needs adjusting for seating comfort and COG. The local authorised supplier of these chairs does not have a work shop, and refereed me to another authorised dealer  30 miles away, who in turn told me the wheelchair needed to be returned to the original supplier. On contacting Sunrise Medical with serial number they told me the chair was obsolete, no spares available and suggested I should buy a new Argon 2.  Unless you know what you are doing second hand wheelchairs are a no no.
  • diyjoe
    diyjoe Member Posts: 14 Connected
    My local wheelchair Service Provider recently found the money to run an active wheelchair users course, which was most useful. I think it will take me many years of practice to carry out the skills automatically without thinking, especially balancing on two wheels to go down slopes or traverse rough ground. I take my hat off to the two young ladies one with oxygen equipment, also on the course, that picked up the necessary control required so quickly.
  • marmalade
    marmalade Member Posts: 69 Pioneering
    So glad after all this time you managed to get something near to you.  I am sure you will pick it up in no time.  Good luck 
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,555 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @dijoy, thank you for sharing this with us. I'm so glad this was something they were able to offer and I hope it will help you going forward :)

  • pollyanna1052
    pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,032 Disability Gamechanger
    Interesting post/replies!

    Over the past 20 years I have had a myriad of wheelchairs. Some I bought new, some 2nd hand. Some on the NHS. Some damaged me...therefore I would always urge an assessment by a trained wheelchair therapist. Now I realise this means only using NHS staff, which usually entails a very long wait. But it is worth it. If you can muddle along with a chair till then, then do.

    I got a previous chair from a dealer with Motability. The arm foam was **** and as soon as I went near anything which put a little pressure on the arm, it shredded! I had a few replaced. But it did have a great feature...a kerb climber! This prevented me having to look for a dropped kerb...which are lacking in a lot of places.

    My current chair is from Wheelchair Services. I got it within 3 months of asking, as when my Motability lease was up I was left with no chair. I`d paid 4k out and thought I could keep the chair. How wrong was I?

    So this wheelchair malarkey is full of potholes...be careful you dont find yourself in one!
  • diyjoe
    diyjoe Member Posts: 14 Connected
    It sure is full of potholes, latest one I have come across is my Helium chair was pulling right, most likely cause the right caster not running freely. On examination it had no free spin.  On slackening axle, it was ok. Cause inside the two bearings is a little bush to stop bearings being squashed together. Obviously a bit short just needed to be a bit longer or shimmed. An easy job taking about half hour. As chair is under guarantee I contacted supplier. The manufacturer don’t supply spares for the caster they only supply whole caster. Thank god it’s under warranty.