Commissioning groups within the NHS have been given the opportunity to think more creatively in how funding will be distributed. With a new personal wheelchair budget being introduced in April this year, it should see CCG’s (Clinical Commissioning Groups) being able to offer wheelchairs and powerchairs of a higher spec than they could previously, provided it is appropriate for the patient.
Wheelfreedom previously attended a wheelchair budget marketing engagement event at the London Oval where these ideas were initially discussed.
The NHS has now included wheelchairs as an area for CCG’s to make improvement plans, having admitted that ‘the wheelchair services provided by the NHS often fall short of meeting the needs of the wheelchair user.’ This change comes as the NHS celebrates its 70th year, for which the current model of wheelchair service has remained relatively unchanged for the last twenty of those years.
This is excellent news, especially for those with complex, long-term conditions, allowing them access to a suitable wheelchair which provides appropriate support is key to ensuring a more comfortable and healthy way of living. With upwards of 1.2 million wheelchair users in the UK, two thirds being regular users, many can have waits of up to a year before getting their chair (15% waiting more than 12 months according to NHS England figures). This new system should prevent public money being wasted supplying incorrect equipment to those who need it most.
What is your experience of the NHS wheelchair services? What do you think of the proposed change? Leave us a comment. For any of the services we provide call us on 0800 0258 005, or contact us via Facebook, or on Twitter @Wheelfreedom.