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NHS Wheelchair Service

Hi, I am a wheelchair user and I work for a company called AJM Healthcare which is contracted by the NHS to provide wheelchairs and other mobility equipment through the Wheelchair Service in various parts of the country. If you are living in the London boroughs of Redbridge, Havering or Barking and Dagenham, I would very much like to hear from you about the service you have been receiving. Thank you. Best regards, Rudi

Replies

  • diyjoediyjoe Posts: 6Member Listener
    Hi Rudi 

    I am not qualified to comment as I live outside the areas stipulated, I live near Ashford in Kent, the boroughs you mention are in striking distance.  Have any of your depots got the facility to give basic training in manual wheelchair skills like curb climbing,  If you have, is the training restricted to those people you supply chairs to.
    Regards
    Eric
  • rudewellrudewell Posts: 2Member Listener
    Hi Eric

    Thank you for your enquiry.

    Unfortunately, the company does not provide training in wheelchair skills but  perhaps this is something they might consider in future.

    One place where wheelchair skills training is available is the BackUp trust, based in south London. Here is a link for them: www.backuptrust.org.uk. I hope they can help.

    Best regards

    Rudi
  • rayreyrayrey Posts: 10Member Listener
    Would you like to comment on NHS ENGLAND policy of personal wheelchair budgets,how will an open market opinion affect your company
    Regards rayrey
  • diyjoediyjoe Posts: 6Member Listener
    I am not a company, but I think it is about time the whole wheelchair industry was investigated. from manufacturers down to the actual providers which are normally profit making companies contracted by local CCG's, the providers having no competition except for maybe at the quotation stage. The quotation stage not being very transparent.

    It is my opinion that wheelchairs should be provided by reputable high street providers with properly trained staff on a competitive basis giving a service that adheres to the NHS model. It is my belief by opening up the market in this way and permitting users to shop around with a decent personal budget would see a fall in the overpriced and often imported wheelchairs. 

    From my experience the voucher system is low in value compared to the final price one can pay for a suitable to personal needs chair, The voucher needs increasing and this could be done by eliminating the current practice of supply by a single CCG appointed supplier. 

    At the moment in my area and possibly the same in most areas, to obtain a wheelchair someone needs to refer you. That someone , as in my case, new nothing about wheelchairs, only the need for one was recognised. However on the referral form, even though I described fully the use I wanted to put a wheelchair to, which I know now was the description  an active wheelchair, a box was ticked by an inexperienced person which referred to a tank,  and that is what I was offered by the NHS supplier. I could not lift it, to put in the boot of my car, and there was no consideration of future needs.

    I think, the sooner wheelchair services are thrown open to a competitive market and the user given a decent personal budget or decent voucher, cutting out CCG  appointed suppliers or making them join a competative market,wheelchair users and the NHS will be better off. 
  • rayreyrayrey Posts: 10Member Listener
    Great news this week
    NHS England website has annouced that you have a legal right to a personal wheelchair budget so start looking in the open market,
    But remember the battle starts with the assessment, perhaps some of you have  some experience or guidance that could share
    As you can choose what Hospital you attend, maybe this also means you can choose your assessor, not sure about that,
     thought s .any one
    I would like Scope to take the whole personal wheelchair budgets thing on as a project as I predict it could be a struggle for some people 
    Love to you all out  there, together we can overcome
    Rayrey







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