A few years ago, when we thought my wife’s disability was temporary, we got what is described as a “short transit” wheelchair for when she wants to go shopping. My wife’s problems are not going away and she is complaining that this wheelchair is not comfortable enough. It wasn’t expensive.

Does anybody know if we may obtain a better one through the NHS or Social Services? And, if so, how we go about it? It must fold so we can put it into the car boot.

If your area is anything like ours wheelchairs are probably supplied by the Occupational Therapy team rather than the NHS or Social Services.

We actually bought Mum’s secondhand from our local Mobility Shop - if memory serves me correctly it was about £60 (this was back in 2010). The local Hospice charity shop where I volunteer often gets donated 2nd hand wheelchairs and we sell them for around £50. If getting a secondhand chair it’s worthwhile having it serviced before use.

Getting an NHS wheelchair
Ask your GP, physiotherapist or hospital staff to refer you to your local wheelchair service for an assessment. You’ll need to do this before you can get an NHS wheelchair.

The local wheelchair service will decide if you need a wheelchair and, if so, what type.

You might be able to get a voucher. This allows you to pay towards the cost of a different type of wheelchair.

Thanks to both of you for your prompt advice. It helps to be pointed in the right direction.

We have an Occupational Therapist coming round soon to assess my wife using the shower so we shall take the chance to ask the question then. If she can’t assist, our local GP practice is usually very helpful.

There is a shop selling mobility aids nearby so if necessary we can go there and see what is on offer - but we will give the OT a chance first.

Thanks again.

When the OT visits make sure a full home assessment is carried out.

When my wife first needed a wheelchair we borrowed one from the Red Cross; we had that for well over a year until something more bespoke was required, when the OT was requested to come up with something.

We’re about four years on from that now and she has recently been supplied with an electric chair, (after much hassle). If your supplier should turn out to be Millbrook Healthcare, then be prepared for a long wait and a struggle to get the correct item.

Thank you for your advice. The last OT assessment was done about a year ago, before my wife emerged from rehab. Equipment such as a frame around the toilet and handles in the bathroom were provided - perhaps this assessment needs to be looked at again.

I don’t know the company mentioned, but I will take note of what you say.

If we find there is lot of messing about, delays and so on, then we shall go to the closest mobility aids shop and get sorted out there.

Thanks for passing on the fruits of your own experience - very much appreciated.

That’s true, it is complicated enouhght to find a comfortable wheelchair. You must understand that a person who can’t walk feels all the pain and discomfort because of sitting or lying down all the time.

Old topic. Locked.