The Hampshire Wheelchair Service Explained
The Hampshire Wheelchair Service is commissioned to meet the mobility needs of the local population and within the mobility provision, the postural and pressure care needs of the service user.
The service provides assessments, clinical interventions and wheelchair equipment (and ongoing repairs and maintenance) for children (aged 30 months and older) and adults who have long term mobility needs (i.e. over 6 months) due to a disability, terminal illness or severely limiting medical condition.
Millbrook Healthcare provides the service on behalf of the Collaborative*. They provide the following types of wheelchairs and equipment.
- Manual wheelchairs (options for self-propelled or those pushed by an attendant)
- Powered indoor wheelchairs
- Powered indoor and outdoor wheelchairs
- Specialist buggies, wheelchairs and seating for children
- Specialist bespoke seating systems for use with a wheelchair
- Pressure relieving cushions and some accessories for wheelchairs
Current Service Restrictions
Technology advances in recent years now mean that it is available to source wheelchairs (and wheelchair accessories) to meet broader social, lifestyle, wellbeing and independence needs.
The service will always take into consideration these needs when prescribing a wheelchair, however as a solely NHS funded service, Millbrook Healthcare are unable to over-prescribe any equipment to independently meet any of these needs (i.e. where the equipment does not provide a mobility, posture, or pressure care benefit for the service user). This is in line with other NHS Wheelchair services.
For full details of the service’s eligibility criteria, please view here.
Future developments and Personal Wheelchair Budgets
We recognise this is frustrating, and in line with national ambitions, are pursuing the full implementation of Personal Wheelchair Budgets.
Only by working collaboratively with and combining health and social care funding will we be able to provide wheelchairs and associated equipment that meets our population’s broader needs.
What are Personal Wheelchair Budgets?
Personal wheelchair budgets aim to help people to access a wheelchair that meets their health and wellbeing needs and goals, as well as any specific wheelchair requirements that they have.
To date a number of sites across the country have trialled the provision of PWBs. Case studies have shown for those individuals who have received a PWB, greater control & choice over the wheelchair provided, greater independence provided by the wheelchair, and provision of efficiencies to the wider system.
Where are we with Personal Wheelchair Budgets locally?
A local Personal Wheelchair Budget offer was implemented by the service in April 2019 replacing the existing NHS voucher scheme. This allows:
- The person chooses to use their personal wheelchair budget within the NHS commissioned service; Millbrook Healthcare purchases and provides the chair. This also offers the option for contributions to the personal wheelchair budget to enhance the wheelchair people can access. (Notional PWB)
- The person to use their personal wheelchair budget outside of the NHS service. An independent provider receives the personal budget via invoicing the Millbrook Healthcare. This may also be contributed to as above. (Third Party PWB).
However, in both scenarios, any contributions to enhance the wheelchair must be organised by the wheelchair user, either by self-funding or accessing charity funds.
In order to improve the breadth of offer to meet our population’s health and wellbeing needs and goals without the onus on the service user, Commissioners have begun to engage with other health, social, education and government agencies to increase the available contributions towards PWBs.
The aim is to introduce an integrated Personal Wheelchair Budget offer locally by October 2019.
Short term wheelchair & buggy provision
If you require a wheelchair or buggy for a short term clinical need, (six months or less) you should approach your GP or other Healthcare Professional involved in your care. They can arrange a short term loan chair. If you require a temporary wheelchair only for occasional use there are several local companies and charities that can provide chairs for hire or purchase.