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Wiltshire Wheelchair Service

Wiltshire Wheelchair Service

Am I eligible for a wheelchair from the Wiltshire Wheelchair Service (WWS)?

You may be eligible for a wheelchair from WWS if:

  • You are registered with an NHS Wiltshire GP
  • You have a long-term physical condition that restricts your mobility and the wheelchair is used by you regularly throughout the week.
  • The wheelchair will be required for a minimum of six months unless there is a life expectancy of less than six months that requires a rapid response from the Service.

The WWS supplies free of charge, the following types of wheelchairs, pressure and postural equipment on the wheelchair, according to your assessed clinical needs:

  • Wheelchairs that someone else pushes for you (attendant propelled wheelchair)
  • Wheelchairs that you can physically propel yourself (self-propelled wheelchair)
  • Powered wheelchairs – mainly for indoor use with outdoor capability, (only when you are unable to walk or self-propel around your home).
  • Wheelchairs for children, including buggies (where a shop-bought buggy does not meet your child’s clinical need).
  • Pressure-relieving cushions for use in the wheelchair to meet your assessed clinical need
  • Special postural seating to help you maintain an optimal sitting posture when you are unable to do this yourself. This could include a tilt in space function on the wheelchair.

It is worth noting that the service does not supply:   

  • A wheelchair to be used in place of a static chair where the latter would be more appropriate.
  • Three or four-wheeled scooters, electric buggies or powered wheelchairs for outdoor use only (also known as EPOCs)
  • Wheelchairs that will solely be used in a work situation. These are accessible by other government means, such as Access to Work.
  • Wheelchairs to specifically meet sporting requirements.
  • Wheelchairs, powered or non-powered, that will solely be used in a school or other place of education. These are provided by application through Education.
  • Wheelchairs for portering in hospitals or care homes
  • All-weather clothing, rain covers, sunshades or spare tyres.
  • Pressure-relieving cushions which are solely for use in an armchair or other seating
  • ‘E-motion’ or other assisted hand rim systems.

How do I get referred to WWS?

If you think you meet the above criteria, talk to your GP, community Physiotherapist or local authority / community Occupational Therapist and ask them to make a referral on the WWS referral form. On receipt of the referral WWS will review the referral and contact you, either to gain more information about your needs, or to advise you of the next step in the process to receiving a wheelchair as appropriate.

WWS assessment process of your needs

On receipt of a referral, a trained wheelchair therapist will decide if a wheelchair can be sent to you, or if you need to be assessed further for a wheelchair to meet your clinical needs.

If you need further assessment this is generally carried out at one of our clinics. In certain circumstances either due to your clinical condition, or we need to assess your home environment, an assessment may be carried out in your home.

What happens at your assessment?

A wheelchair therapist will talk with you and your carers about your medical conditions that affect your mobility, and measure you for a wheelchair to meet your clinical needs. This may include an assessment of your posture and any pressure issues you may have due to long periods of sitting.

What happens after your assessment?

The wheelchair therapist will order the wheelchair and cushion that will best meet your clinical and mobility needs as determined during the assessment. The ordering and delivery of a wheelchair to WWS may take up to 8 weeks.

This wheelchair will be either delivered by the WWS to your home or you may need to return to clinic to have the wheelchair specifically set up to your clinical needs.

What if you desire more choice in a wheelchair than WWS can supply?

You can have a greater choice by applying for a Personal Wheelchair Budget (PWB). This allows you to use the money that the WWS would spend on your wheelchair as part payment for a wheelchair of your choice. If you wish to pursue this option, discuss this with either your referrer or the wheelchair therapist at assessment. More general information on PWBs can be found on this NHS link.

https://www.england.nhs.uk/personal-health-budgets/personal-wheelchair-budgets/

Any wheelchair supplied by WWS is serviced and repaired by our team of technicians (Delivery and Repair Team) at no cost to you. This is not the case if you go down the PWB route.

As the wheelchair is on long term loan to you, WWS does expect you to keep the wheelchair and postural equipment in a good and clean condition. You may be charged for repairs if you have not followed the guidance that is given to you when you receive your wheelchair. 

What to do if you no longer need or want the wheelchair?

Please ring WWS on the telephone number below so we can arrange collection.

How to contact us

Wiltshire Wheelchair Service
Melksham Community Hospital
Spa Road, Melksham SN12 7NZ
Tel: 01225-899130

Where can I get a wheelchair for a short term loan period?

There are several possible ways you may hire/loan a wheelchair for a short term period:

* your social care-/inpatient- or community therapist to order a temporary wheelchair from Medequip
* the British Red Cross on 03004561914 or book a short term loan wheelchair online https://www.redcross.org.uk/get-help/borrow-a-wheelchair
* the Independent Living Centre in Semington on 01380 871007
* your local mobility shop.

A list of alternative suppliers for short term loans is available here