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Planned changes to wheelchair, specialist seating and repairs services in the Spelthorne area from 1st July 2022

In July 2020, a new NHS wheelchair service was launched across Surrey and North East Hampshire. This service, which is run by Millbrook Healthcare Group, provides a fully integrated and personalised service to service users. As part of this service, clinical assessments, wheelchair repairs and maintenance, delivery and collection, specialist seating and ongoing support are all provided through one organisation and a single point of access.

With the service now operating across Surrey and North East Hampshire, we are now expanding this service so it also includes Surrey clients who have been under the care of the wheelchair services team at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton (part of St George’s University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust). This also includes clients of the Roehampton Special Seating service.

This change is due to happen from 1 July 2022 and will mean that clients’ care will transfer across to the integrated service, where they would be seen by the Millbrook team in future.

Millbrook Healthcare will be writing to everyone who is transferring over to the Surrey service, with all the information clients would need (including contact details). In the meantime, if clients need to contact the new service from 1 July they can call 0330 124 8210.

More information about this planned change, including how we have engaged with clients, and the latest frequently asked questions, can be found here


This service provides wheelchairs, buggies, pressure distributing cushions and associated special seating for people of all ages with a permanent disability affecting their ability to walk. It is an ‘open access’ service and registered clients can contact therapists for information and advice as necessary. The Wheelchair Service is based at Queen Mary’s Hospital and is for people registered with GPs in Wandsworth, Richmond, Kingston, Merton and Sutton.

What We Offer

We assess clients in their own homes or in clinic at Queen Mary’s Hospital. This is carried out by experienced Occupational Therapists or Physiotherapists to assess their requirements for manual or powered wheelchairs, specialist children’s buggies and associated supportive seating. The service also offers a pressure mapping service.

Once equipment has been provided, the service continues to monitor clients’ needs and carry out equipment maintenance work via a contracted repair company.

Facilities

  • Dedicated clinic rooms with ceiling track hoists, height adjustable plinths, disabled toilets and personal care facilities.
  • Outdoor driving test area.
  • Two Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV’s), each with fold down ramp and winch.

Types of wheelchairs

Below are the varieties of wheelchairs provided by The Wheelchair Service and a brief description of the eligibility criteria for the provision of each wheelchair:

MANUAL WHEELCHAIRS

  • Transit / Attendant Propelled
    • The client is unable to walk outside but can walk indoors (with or without aids).
    • The client has a helper who is medically fit and able to push and control the wheelchair safely.
    • The wheelchair must be used at least four times a week outside the home environment.
  • Self-Propelling (Standard Issue and Medium-Active Users)
    • People with restricted mobility.
    • People who can use the chair independently & safely.
    • People living in an environment where the larger wheels would facilitate use of the chair.
  • Lightweight Wheelchairs may be issued to:
    • People who unable to mobilise independently indoors.
    • People who can safely use a wheelchair independently in all environments.
    • People who will be active and functionally independent both indoors and outdoors at all times of the day.
    • People whose activity levels will be significantly improved.

POWERED WHEELCHAIRS

  • Electrically Powered Indoor Chair (EPIC)
    • The user is unable to walk, or walking is medically not advised.
    • The user is unable to self-propel or is medically unfit to self-propel.
    • The user is physically and cognitively able to handle the EPIC safely.
    • The user has no medical condition or taking any medication that prevents safe use of the EPIC.
    • The user does not suffer from Epilepsy, seizures, or blackouts.
    • Must have a signed medical consent form by your GP.
    • The user will achieve significant functional and personal independence in their own home.
    • The permanent home environment is suitable for a powered wheelchair.
    • The user able to manage the essential care of the wheelchair, including charging the wheelchair.
    • Will use the wheelchair for a significant amount of time every day.
    • They are available for both adults and children.

*Please note:

  • These wheelchairs are not supplied for exclusive use in day centres or schools.
  • These wheelchairs are prescribed on a case-by-case basis for clients in residential care/nursing homes.

Electrically Powered Indoor-Outdoor Wheelchair (EPIOC)

  • All the above criteria still apply
  • Client must be prepared to and be able to participate in the whole assessment process, including the driving proficiency test and outdoor driving skills assessment.

CHILDREN’S WHEELCHAIRS & BUGGIES

  • Special Needs Buggies
  • The child has a permanent mobility problem or limited mobility walking outdoors.
  • The child requires more postural support than can be provided by a standard commercial buggy.
  • The child is of an appropriate age, weight and size to use a buggy rather than a wheelchair (usually up to 5 years old).
  • Where appropriate, a supportive seat insert may be provided for use in the child’s own buggy.
  • It is expected that a child will progress into a wheelchair as he or she gets older.
  • Buggies are not provided for children when the request is for behavioural reasons alone.
  • Accessories not for a clinical need (i.e. rain cover, play trays, baskets) will not be provided by the Wheelchair Service and will need to be privately funded.
  • Accessories used solely for the purpose of restraint will not be supplied.
  • Double buggies are not provided by the wheelchair service.
  • Three-wheeled buggies are not provided by the wheelchair service

Children’s Manual Wheelchairs

    • Children who are unable to or have limited ability to walk.
    • Children who have the ability to safely self-propel to increase their mobility and independence, may be given a self-propelling wheelchair.

*Please note:

  • Accessories are only provided as part of a postural support system to meet assessed clinical need.
  • Accessories needed for transportation that are not clinically required are the responsibility of the transport provider e.g. some headrests.

The Personal Wheelchair Budget (PWB)

Personal Wheelchair Budgets (PWB) have now replaced the previous Wheelchair Voucher Scheme.  The PWB has been designed to provide wheelchair users with greater autonomy and choice over their wheelchair provision.

Please follow this link for full information on how we offer PWB’s: St George’s NHS Wheelchair Service PWB Information Leaflet

Cushions and Accessories

Pressure distributing cushions

A range of wheelchair cushions are available from the Wheelchair Service. Cushions are issued following an assessment by the Wheelchair Service therapist, to improve posture or tissue viability.

Cushions are not usually provided for clients classed as occasional users, however if a client has a specific need for a pressure cushion or has an existing pressure sore that is affected by sitting in the wheelchair a pressure cushion may be provided.

Accessories to suit posture and mobility requirements

Accessories can be provided to improve seating and postural support in a wheelchair. Such equipment may also promote increased functional independence and mobility. Assessments for this type of equipment will be carried out by an appropriately experienced therapist from the Wheelchair Service and a rehabilitation engineer, if required.

Wheelchair Maintenance, Repairs and Collection

A repair service is provided for chairs issued by the St George’s NHS Wheelchair Service.  Clients should not attempt their own repairs. If you require repairs, servicing or collection of an unwanted wheelchair currently on loan by the St George’s NHS Wheelchair Service, please contact the below details:

Opcare

Tel:  020 4505 3500

E mail: approvedrepairer.stgeorges@NHS.net

Opcare will check all issued equipment on a regular basis.  Wheelchairs issued are on loan and remain NHS property. If you no longer need your wheelchair, please telephone Opcare to arrange collection. To make the most of our resources and keep waiting times as low as possible, most equipment returned will be refurbished to a high standard and reused.

Wheelchair hire and purchase information

Please contact the Wheelchair Service for an up to date list of the approved suppliers and hire information

Wheelchair Service User Group

The Wheelchair Service User Group is a group of people who have received a wheelchair from the NHS Wheelchair Service. They meet regularly with service providers and other interested parties to discuss ways of improving provision for wheelchair users. Meetings are held at Queen Mary’s Hospital.

If you are interested in joining the group, please contact:

Caroline Bathurst carriebathurst@gmail.com