NHS wheelchair vouchers / personal budgets

Hello :)

I am wondering if anyone has experience of NHS wheelchair voucher scheme or wheelchair personal budget?

So far, I have received wheelchairs from NHS and they have covered all maintenance and repairs. However, I may have to change this as the latest assessment has concluded that one function can no longer be prescribed as it is deemed to be for comfort and not clinical need.

If anyone has used wheelchair vouchers or personal budget, can you give feedback on whether:
1. the voucher cost covered the total cost of a similar wheelchair purchased privately? I imagine the NHS will buy wheelchairs in bulk and therefore may receive them at a lower cost that the general public can purchase them for.
2. whether it is possible to use a voucher to purchase a wheelchair privately and then have NHS service oversee the maintenance and repair?
3. if you have used the personal budget to pay the wheelchair service for additional features on the NHS wheelchair, who was responsible for the maintenance and repair of the additional function?
4. any pros and cons based on your experience of using the voucher

In addition, I wonder if anyone has experience of challenging the decision to not fund a function on a wheelchair? In my case, the function I am referring to is the powered recline. This was prescribed on my current NHS powerchair which I have been using for the last 8 years and also was prescribed by the wheelchair service in an assessment I had several months ago. Unfortunately, an error made by the service resulted in the powerchair ordered not matching the specs on the the assessment and rather than re-order based on the original assessment I was re-assessed. The re-assessment was by another person and their opinion on the recline function differs from the first assessor.

Thank you. I appreciate your time in reading and responding.

Ms Wheels :)


  • Ms_Wheels
    Ms_Wheels Forumite Posts: 25
    Sixth Anniversary
    Thank you Sheramber. The link was helpful. It appears the personal wheelchair budget is replacing the voucher scheme.

    I would appreciate hearing if anyone has experience of using the scheme.
  • sleepy14
    sleepy14 Forumite Posts: 44
    Eighth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Hi, I asked my local wheelchair service (Wigan) if I could use the scheme last year, because for a long time I had been asking for a powerchair with a power recline to give easier access to an intrathecal pump I have fitted in my tummy. I kept being told that the cost could not be justified.

    I spoke in the end to a recently qualified OT who didnt have a problem with it. So I now have a Salsa Quickie, I am very happy with it. It has enough tilt, and the back is also able to recline until I am at a 170 degree tilt. It is enough to give access to my 'pump' without having to be hoisted out of my chair and placed on a hospital bed. The voucher, which isnt an actual voucher, it is the amount of money the NHS are willing to pay for someone in my position to be loaned a chair. I just had. to pay for the reclining back rest and the long legs, (which enable my legs to be raised). I think it cost me £300, the wheelchair service maintain the chair, it is on loan to me for 5 years.
  • Ms_Wheels
    Ms_Wheels Forumite Posts: 25
    Sixth Anniversary
    Thank you Sleepy14. It is good to hear your experience and I am really pleased that you were able to find a OT who agreed with your request. I do think that sometimes it depends which OT / physio etc we get to speak to as to whether they deem something to be clinically necessary. Both my physio and GP do not agree with the wheelchair OT.

    The think the solution of you contributing to the cost of the extra features and with the wheelchair service maintaining the chair is a good compromise.

    I have been unable to clarify whether my wheelchair service has the same provision - I do know they allow for patients to contribute to the cost of the wheelchair in order to additional features/equipment but I am uncertain of the terms. The NHS wheelchair service is provided via a private company which covers many counties and each have their own criteria booklet and some are more detailed than others. So far, the only partnership agreement I have found is for another location covered by the same private company which explains they will invoice the patient for additional functions/equipment and they will not be responsible for maintaining additional parts. I would prefer the solution your wheelchair service has!

    I have spoken to the wheelchair service today and they have requested someone from clinical team contact me.

    Thank you again.
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