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Improvements to Wiltshire’s Wheelchair Service

People in Wiltshire with long-term mobility issues are receiving a much better wheelchair service, following a number of quality improvements put in place by providers Wiltshire Health and Care. Waiting times for appointments have reduced, with the majority of people now receiving their mobility equipment within the targeted 18 weeks from referral.

The wheelchair service is diverse, taking referrals from GPs and accredited therapists for people of all ages registered with a Wiltshire GP and who need a wheelchair at least 4 times a week. The number of service users remains steady at around 5,000, but there are increasingly more people with complex needs requiring specialist electric wheelchairs.

Wiltshire Health and Care maintains and services all wheelchairs and mobility equipment issued, which ranges from basic children’s buggies through to posturally supportive standard wheelchairs with or without pressure cushions and other accessories such as foot-straps, headrests and arm supports.

Based at Melksham Community Hospital, the Wheelchair Service consists of a 19 strong team of clinicians, administrators and technicians, managed by a Clinical Lead.

Clinical Lead, Wendy Busby said: “Having the appropriate number of staff to manage the service, an onsite lead and effective communications between the different elements of the team has resulted in a much improved service. I’m really proud to lead such an enthusiastic, hardworking and caring team, who are prepared to go the extra mile for our patients.”

Looking to the future, Wiltshire Health and Care is improving stock control and flow of equipment and is in the process of developing a personal wheelchair budget option, so that people can choose to buy and own their equipment. Additional information is being developed to signpost patients to other wheelchair suppliers from the Wiltshire Health and Care website.