The provision of wheelchairs by the NHS can be incredibly beneficial. If you believe that you are entitled to an NHS wheelchair and would benefit from one, we encourage you to contact your local wheelchair services. It’s important to note that each area has its own set of criteria, so it’s essential to find out what the criteria are for your specific location. By doing so, you can ensure that you receive the appropriate assistance and support.
Once you are accepted as being entitled to a wheelchair, the next decision will be as to what type of wheelchair they are willing to provide. Remember, this is based on actual needs, not on what you would personally like. If you can justify why you need a specific chair, or extra functions above the basic then you may or may not be given that chair. The NHS wheelchair services have a limited budget which they have to spend carefully in order that they may enable as many people as possible to be mobile.
If you are able to self-propel, or are unable to operate a powerchair you will almost certainly be provided with a manual wheelchair to push yourself about, or for another person to push you in. This doesn’t mean you can’t get a supportive seat/cushion though so make sure they are suitable for your needs. In some specific circumstances you may be provided with a powerchair that has a control for someone else to drive the chair for you.
Someone who is unable to push themselves in a manual chair will usually be provided with a powered wheelchair, unless this would be considered dangerous, or their home is unsuitable. NHS wheelchairs are generally designed to be indoor chairs, so yes you may go shopping, school, college, etc… whilst using them, but don’t expect them to be able to be used on rougher terrain.
Further information can be found below: