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Wheelchair Services

Wheelchair Services

Home > Therapy Services > Mobility service > Wheelchair Services

Welcome

We are a small friendly team, happy to help you get the best from your Wheelchair Services.

We aim to maximise the mobility and independence and improve the quality of life for people living with a disability and their carers through timely access to appropriate assessment, provision and maintenance of Equipment.

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About the service
We loan wheelchairs to eligible people across the Airedale Wharfedale & Craven district, as well as providing a repair service through an approved repairer department owned and managed by the Trust.

We are based at Airedale General Hospital in a recently refurbished site and we assess patients in clinics, at local schools and in the community. We run joint Physiotherapy, Neuro and Diabetic clinics and special seating clinics for postural support.

Accessing the service

We are open Monday to Thursday 0830 to 1630 hrs and Friday 0830 to 1600 hrs

01535 292228

Wheelchairs.agh@nhs.net
Agh.orthotics@nhs.net

Facilities

We are based at Airedale General Hospital in Building 16, adjacent to Zone C Entrance with disabled parking facilities outside.

Wheelchair Services

We are a small friendly team, happy to help you get the best from your Wheelchair Services.

We aim to maximise the mobility and independence and improve the quality of life for people living with a disability and their carers through timely access to appropriate assessment, provision and maintenance of Equipment.

About the service
We loan wheelchairs to eligible people across the Airedale Wharfedale & Craven district, as well as providing a repair service through an approved repairer department owned and managed by the Trust.

We are based at Airedale General Hospital in a recently refurbished site and we assess patients in clinics, at local schools and in the community. We run joint Physiotherapy, Neuro and Diabetic clinics and special seating clinics for postural support.

How do I access this service?
We are open Monday to Thursday 0830 to 1630 hrs and Friday 0830 to 1600 hrs

01535 292228
wheelchairs.agh@nhs.net

We are based at Airedale General Hospital in Building 16, adjacent to Zone C Entrance with disabled parking facilities outside.

Am I eligible?

Referrals can be made to Airedale Hospital Mobility Services for a Wheelchair assessment when the patient meets the following criteria

  • Registered with a GP within the Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group area including Bentham
  • Lawfully entitled to reside in the UK and to receive NHS treatment for use in their own home
  • The person must have an identified long term medical condition or palliative care needs requiring a wheelchair
  • The person must also have a long term mobility problem and be classified as unable to, or virtually unable to walk indoors or outdoors. Long term is more than 6 months.

The service is primarily for daily indoor mobility covering significant periods of use. People who require a transit chair for occasional outdoor only use will not be eligible for an NHS wheelchair.

 

Wheelchair services DO NOT PROVIDE

  • For short term use (less than 6 months)
  • Wheelchairs for occasional outside use only
  • Wheelchairs to be used instead of armchairs or dining room chairs (static seating)
  • Attendant pushed wheelchairs for general use by multiple people in a care or nursing home
  • Wheelchairs for portering purposes for example transferring residents from room to room in a care or nursing home)
  • Powered outdoor only wheelchairs
  • Mobility scooters
  • Wheelchairs specifically for work, education or sporting requirements
  • Powered packs or powered wheels that are retro fitted to manual wheelchairs
  • Seat raisers in powered wheelchairs
  • Sunshades/ canopies for buggies unless required for specific medical need
  • Trays unless required for postural support or independence as identified by wheelchair service on assessment.
  • Transportation clamps for transportation purposes.
  • Buggies for Children who can be accommodated in a standard retail buggy unless supportive seating is essential

The assessing clinician will identify the mobility and postural needs with the patient and their carers before deciding the most suitable provision.

Signposting to local suppliers and charitable organisations will be provided for any referrals which do not meet the eligibility criteria.

Referral

Your initial referral would be from your GP or Allied Health Professional within the Airedale, Wharfedale & Craven District and after that you can re-refer when you need to.

We triage referrals every day so we can provide standard wheelchairs and cushions for you as soon as possible. We may need to contact you or your referrer for more information so please give us as much information as possible. We liaise promptly with other health professionals to provide advice and urgent assistance. After your referral has been accepted we will contact you about the next step. Sometimes we may refer you to other services if we cannot provide you with a wheelchair or you need specific help from another agency.

Triage & Assessment

Triage & Scheduling
We triage daily according to your level of need and our qualified therapists use the NHS England categories of need. You will then need to wait for a therapist to review your case according to your priority and decide on the right course of action for you.

Assessment
Our qualified therapists will assess your case and can sometimes prescribe your equipment without needing to see you. In this case we will write to you with the option to have a wheelchair and explain the voucher option. If you decide you want a voucher you tell us and we send it to you along with your prescription, otherwise we arrange for delivery and handover of your wheelchair.

In more complex cases we need to conduct a more detailed clinical assessment and you will receive an appointment. The assessment could be based in our clinic, at your home or school and could include more than one member of our team depending on your needs.

If you are being assessed for a powered chair, there are various stages of the assessment including a GP confirmation of medical eligibility, an environmental assessment of accessibility and you will need to demonstrate safe handling and control before your chair can be issued. You would also need to pass a road safety test before being allowed to go outdoors.

Handover of your wheelchair

Our therapist will decide how best to handover your new equipment and seating. This could be with the therapist and rehabilitation engineer, or by our approved repair technicians. In all cases we will conduct a thorough handover of your equipment explaining it fully and adjusting it to suit your specific needs.

Your handover will include a demonstration of how:

  • the wheelchair folds and unfolds
  • the footrest is attached/detached to the chair
  • to remove and replace the armrest for transfer
  • a power chair is recharged and how often it requires charging
  • a lap strap works and is adjusted

The therapist will also ensure any special items from your old wheelchair that are required are transferred to your new wheelchair (e.g. modified arm pads or back supports etc.)

The wheelchair and any accessories are prescribed for your own use to meet your clinical needs and the wheelchair identified will be the most cost-effective model available.

You are borrowing the equipment from us and must look after it according to our terms and conditions. The videos in the understanding wheelchairs section further down may help you understand how to care for your equipment.

Prescription of a wheelchair

Following your assessment our qualified team will agree and document your prescription and decide which equipment best suits your clinical and postural needs.

We prescribe and provide Wheelchairs and appropriate seating specifically for you and adapt it to meet your specific needs. This is particularly important for Children and those with long term degenerative conditions, whose equipment must allow for growth and specific postural needs. We will order your equipment and make you an appointment when it arrives.

If you choose to purchase outside of our approved NHS range, there is a voucher scheme whereby you can top up the funding approved by the service to buy your own. We will explain this option and help you understand what’s involved in you being responsible for repair and maintenance.

Review & Repair

Review
You can contact us at any time if your needs change and we will re-assess you. If you are concerned at all please ring us for advice – we are happy to help.

Our rehabilitation engineer will contact you every year to visit and inspect your powered wheelchair. We are making sure the chair is safe and working properly and is still suitable for your needs. We will identify any servicing or repairs required and arrange for these to be done.

Our repair technicians will carry out any repairs or maintenance required when they visit you for a repair – they will check for any further work required and either carry this out or arrange another date.

If you no longer require your wheelchair you can arrange for us to collect it by calling 01535 292228.

Repair
We provide a comprehensive repair and maintenance service for free on our single number 01535 292228.

When you ring please tell us as much as possible about the fault with your chair so we can prepare the repair call for you. We will give you a date for the repair technician to attend at your home. We aim to fix your wheelchair within three working days, however this does depend on the nature of the problem.

If you ring outside our working hours please leave us as much information about the problem on our answer machine we will ring you back the following morning.

We do have a 24hour callout for emergencies on 01535 292511. This is for full time users who are entirely dependent on their wheelchair and have had a significant equipment failure and are at risk of harm. We will respond to your call within an hour. If we can’t fix your wheelchair and need to take it away or get parts for it we will try to give you a replacement but this is not always possible and depends on your prescription.

The service is free of charge for reasonable wear and tear on wheelchairs provided by our service. We may charge you in cases of neglect, repeated misuse or willful damage. We do not provide roadside repairs or recovery home.

FAQs about getting a wheelchair

Q. How can I get a wheelchair?
A. If you meet the eligibility criteria you can ask your GP or other health professional to complete a referral on your behalf. Once your referral has been accepted you can then re-refer at any time.

Q. Have you got anything lighter that I can lift into the boot of my car?
A. Our typical standard wheelchair only weighs 14kg which is considered lightweight. If you want to get an even lighter chair you can take the voucher option where we give you the equivalent cost of purchase to the NHS and an allowance for repair for a warranty period. You will need to pay the difference and be responsible for repairs and maintenance.

Q. Do you provide power packs?
A. No we do not provide power packs but we will consider compatible power packs to be fitted to certain wheelchairs with prior agreement. Please contact the service to discuss this further. Power packs can be very heavy to attach and are not suitable for many clients. It is very important that if you decide to purchase one that you trial it at a reputable shop prior to you deciding to buy one.

Q. Can I take my wheelchair on holiday?
A. Yes, if it is covered by your holiday or home insurance.   If your holiday company request the weight of your wheelchair it is on the manufacturers label on the frame.

Q. What do I do if my wheelchair breaks down on holiday?
A. Contact the local wheelchair service if in the U.K. If you’re abroad please contact the service on your return to arrange its repair for wheelchairs provided by Airedale NHS Foundation Trust.

Q. Do you do short term loan?
A. No we only provide wheelchairs for long term needs as stated in our eligibility criteria. We would refer you to the British Red Cross or other charities and local mobility shops for you to hire.

Q. If I breakdown away from my home in my wheelchair will you collect me or repair my wheelchair whilst out?
A. The repair service does not provide roadside repairs or recovery home. You need to include this in your own breakdown or recovery insurance including possibly in a wheelchair accessible taxi.

Q. How long does it take to get a wheelchair?
A. From receiving your referral to your equipment being received we aim for less than 18 weeks. If the equipment required is in stock we may be able to provide it quicker. There is a longer wait on some specialist assessments and equipment, in particular when supplying powered equipment or things from multiple suppliers.

Q. What happens if my condition changes and/or the wheelchair no longer meets my needs?
A. You can contact us directly or be referred by a health professional and provide details of how your condition has changed and what aspects of your wheelchair no longer meet your needs. We will review your case and agree an appropriate plan with you.

Q. Could I have a headrest?
A. Headrests are only provided for specific clinical reasons and not for vehicle transportation, this is yours or the transport agency’s responsibility.

Q. I have a private wheelchair; can the NHS provide me with a cushion?
A. No we can only provide cushions for NHS prescribed wheelchairs and vouchers that we have issued the prescription for.

Understanding wheelchairs – helpful videos

Airedale Wheelchair Services has contributed to the Understanding Wheelchairs project.  The project has been split into five videos, each about different aspects of a wheelchair.

Part 1 – The Parts of a Wheelchair

Part 2 – Using a Wheelchair

Part 3 – Transportation

Part 4 – Maintenance

Part 5 – Your NHS Wheelchair

Useful Resources

Links