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    • Diamandis
    • By Diamandis 6th Feb 18, 6:49 PM
    • 262Posts
    • 425Thanks
    Diamandis
    Complaints to wheelchair service
    • #1
    • 6th Feb 18, 6:49 PM
    Complaints to wheelchair service 6th Feb 18 at 6:49 PM
    Hi All,

    Just wondering if anyone has any knowledge of making a complaint towards an NHS wheelchair service or if anyone has any advice here?

    Last year I was provided with a manual wheelchair, I was firstly given a chair that I was unable to reach the wheels on, so could not propell myself. They made some changes to the chair so I could just about touch the wheels but the bioengineer advised it wasn't really ideal. I'm still unable to propell the wheelchair and have to rely on other people all the time. My main issue is at work, I'm unable to get around the office by myself and have to disrupt other people's work and beg them to help me which makes me feel dreadful.

    The wheelchair service advised that because I don't use the chair in the house they wouldn't normally provide a powered chair. I would use the chair in the house if it fitted through the doors in my property but it doesn't.

    I've also tried getting Access to work to help but my employer is expected to pay £1000 and I'm expected to pay £2000 towards the cost of it (which I can't afford to pay upfront - you can't pay this up). It would also only be covered for warranty repairs for a short period and I'd then have to fund any repairs not covered by the warranty and after this period.

    I am currently staying in a job I don't want to be in because I'm unable to get to interviews independently and am unable to go out on my own (and very rarely with help as other people struggle to push me in the wheelchair too).

    I feel like I need to take the next step with a formal complaint to the wheelchair service, which I've not done yet so if anyone has any tips on doing this or any other advice then fire it at me!

    Thanks!
Page 1
    • w06
    • By w06 6th Feb 18, 9:00 PM
    • 531 Posts
    • 801 Thanks
    w06
    • #2
    • 6th Feb 18, 9:00 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Feb 18, 9:00 PM
    If it's a simple manual chair and it's interferring with work your best bet is probably to buy your own, they don't have to cost a fortune, mine was £300 I think and does the job (I had a wheelchair service one initially 20 years ago)
    • Diamandis
    • By Diamandis 6th Feb 18, 9:24 PM
    • 262 Posts
    • 425 Thanks
    Diamandis
    • #3
    • 6th Feb 18, 9:24 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Feb 18, 9:24 PM
    Hey, my issue is that I'm unable to propell a manual wheelchair myself. Sorry if that wasn't clear.
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 6th Feb 18, 9:50 PM
    • 7,674 Posts
    • 16,659 Thanks
    kingfisherblue
    • #4
    • 6th Feb 18, 9:50 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Feb 18, 9:50 PM
    Hi All,

    Just wondering if anyone has any knowledge of making a complaint towards an NHS wheelchair service or if anyone has any advice here?

    Last year I was provided with a manual wheelchair, I was firstly given a chair that I was unable to reach the wheels on, so could not propell myself. They made some changes to the chair so I could just about touch the wheels but the bioengineer advised it wasn't really ideal. I'm still unable to propell the wheelchair and have to rely on other people all the time. My main issue is at work, I'm unable to get around the office by myself and have to disrupt other people's work and beg them to help me which makes me feel dreadful.

    The wheelchair service advised that because I don't use the chair in the house they wouldn't normally provide a powered chair. I would use the chair in the house if it fitted through the doors in my property but it doesn't.

    I've also tried getting Access to work to help but my employer is expected to pay £1000 and I'm expected to pay £2000 towards the cost of it (which I can't afford to pay upfront - you can't pay this up). It would also only be covered for warranty repairs for a short period and I'd then have to fund any repairs not covered by the warranty and after this period.

    I am currently staying in a job I don't want to be in because I'm unable to get to interviews independently and am unable to go out on my own (and very rarely with help as other people struggle to push me in the wheelchair too).

    I feel like I need to take the next step with a formal complaint to the wheelchair service, which I've not done yet so if anyone has any tips on doing this or any other advice then fire it at me!

    Thanks!
    Originally posted by Diamandis
    Our wheelchair service no longer provides a wheelchair at all, unless you need to use it inside the house. My son just about qualified because he is still in full time education (special needs course) and is (just about!) under 20.

    If you have the enhanced mobility rate of DLA or PIP, I believe that you can exchange this for an electric wheelchair.
    • Diamandis
    • By Diamandis 6th Feb 18, 10:03 PM
    • 262 Posts
    • 425 Thanks
    Diamandis
    • #5
    • 6th Feb 18, 10:03 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Feb 18, 10:03 PM
    Wow, that's terrible. The NHS say that an assessment should take into consideration physical and social needs, as well as the environment in which you live and work so I don't see how that's applied in your area.

    I do have enhanced PIP but we need the motobility for a car that's suitable for my needs so I'm unable to get a wheelchair too.
    • venison
    • By venison 6th Feb 18, 10:10 PM
    • 1,931 Posts
    • 2,060 Thanks
    venison
    • #6
    • 6th Feb 18, 10:10 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Feb 18, 10:10 PM
    Before our grandson died he had a powered wheelchair provided by a charity, just a thought OP might be worth investigating?
    I am a BG on loans,credit cards and benefits I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly". Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
    • GlasweJen
    • By GlasweJen 6th Feb 18, 10:16 PM
    • 6,450 Posts
    • 11,622 Thanks
    GlasweJen
    • #7
    • 6th Feb 18, 10:16 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Feb 18, 10:16 PM
    Would you be able to self propel a different chair or does your disability affect your arms/stamina?

    Have you had physio to teach you to use your chair properly?
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    • Diamandis
    • By Diamandis 6th Feb 18, 10:36 PM
    • 262 Posts
    • 425 Thanks
    Diamandis
    • #8
    • 6th Feb 18, 10:36 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Feb 18, 10:36 PM
    Before our grandson died he had a powered wheelchair provided by a charity, just a thought OP might be worth investigating?
    Originally posted by venison
    Sorry for your loss. I'll certainly keep an eye out for anywhere that might be able to help.
    • Diamandis
    • By Diamandis 6th Feb 18, 10:40 PM
    • 262 Posts
    • 425 Thanks
    Diamandis
    • #9
    • 6th Feb 18, 10:40 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Feb 18, 10:40 PM
    Would you be able to self propel a different chair or does your disability affect your arms/stamina?

    Have you had physio to teach you to use your chair properly?
    Originally posted by GlasweJen
    I've had two chairs and couldn't propel either of them. My disability affects my arms and legs, I just can't move my own weight with my arms.

    The occupational therapist showed me how to use it properly (or as properly as I can) but I just can't do it.
    • winnac01
    • By winnac01 7th Feb 18, 10:29 AM
    • 26 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    winnac01
    wheelchair service won't give you one unless its the final solution, I had a brain hemorrhage last year that left me paralyzed down my left side, so I could not walk or use my left arm to propel myself but rather than give me a powered chair I was fitted with a one-handed self-propelling chair ,these cost in some cases as much as a powered chair, the logic behind it being that because of my age (43) giving me an electric chair would slow my recovery and they were probably correct as im back on my feet and dont use a wheelchair in the house anymore, but I did a lot of research on buying a powered chair and your only using it for work or short distances you could pick one up for £500 on ebay easly.
    • w06
    • By w06 7th Feb 18, 12:20 PM
    • 531 Posts
    • 801 Thanks
    w06
    Doesn't solve the problem but if you've a manual chair with big wheels (ie the type that the user is able to propel themselves, if they can). Making sure that the tyres are blown up to their correct pressure makes a huge difference.

    I can't push myself far but having the tyres well inflated makes the difference between me and the person with me having a bit of independence, for example manouevering a few yards within a shop, and being too breathless to do any of the pushing.

    spending £10 on a track pump and tyres being inflated to the pressure it says on their wall (65psi in my case) worth every penny.

    If you're not totally dependent on a chair you wouldn't qualify for a powered chair from our wheelchair service either
    • GlasweJen
    • By GlasweJen 7th Feb 18, 8:58 PM
    • 6,450 Posts
    • 11,622 Thanks
    GlasweJen
    I've had two chairs and couldn't propel either of them. My disability affects my arms and legs, I just can't move my own weight with my arms.

    The occupational therapist showed me how to use it properly (or as properly as I can) but I just can't do it.
    Originally posted by Diamandis
    It doesnít sound like youíve been set up properly, an electric chair is usually a last resort as they can be unreliable and if the battery packs in youíre left stranded.

    I would complain and ask to go in for a rebuild. You should be able to touch the inner rim of your chair easily when sitting all the way back in your chair on your cushion. You should also be able to attend classes to learn to use the chair properly, not just a quick demo. Can you tilt yourself back to go up a pavement for example? You should be able to.

    They might suggest special wheels which make the chair go more efficiently and are almost like an electric chair, they are definitely worth a shot.

    If you absolutely canít get on with the chair you might need to go into hospital as an inpatient for an assessment on a rehab ward, this happened to someone I know and eventually they worked out where things were going wrong and she got sorted out. Her problem was co-ordinating the movements and she needed quite a lot of input.

    You might benefit from being around other wheelchair users, do you socialise with other people in chairs or are you on your own with the chair? Iíve learned loads attending wheelchair groups and itís helped lots with my confidence. Google wheelchair [activity] and your town and see what comes up. I play wheelchair tennis (badly), rugby (worse) and go to a reading group thatís mostly wheelchair users. I used to go to a cycling class and wheelchair yoga. Thereís wheelchair everything! The best bit is seeing other peopleís chairs and using sports wheelchairs, I much prefer my rugby chair to my actual normal wheelchair, I use it to go out in sometimes.
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    • mrcol1000
    • By mrcol1000 8th Feb 18, 11:04 AM
    • 4,566 Posts
    • 3,934 Thanks
    mrcol1000
    It sounds to me like the OT is the problem not the wheelchair service. They will provide whatever the OT tells them you need. The service differs from area. In mine area it is no longer run by the NHS but a private company. Any excuse to get out of providing an electric wheelchair and they will. I was assessed as being entitled to one but prefer a manual one for now.

    There are charities which will fund one if your OT says you need one and explains why the NHS won't fund one. Is there a charity that supports people with your disability? There are a huge wave of charities which provide grants for equipment that can't get it from normal sources. Some are quite specialised (one only supports former secretaries). But there are a few general ones. You however again need your OT support.
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 10th Feb 18, 8:11 AM
    • 425 Posts
    • 419 Thanks
    Cyclamen
    It seems a bit of a postcode lottery for wheelchair services. I couldn't drive the chair they gave me as it was such a tight fit in the house it left me exhausted from cognitive energy, and as we didn't have a wheelchair taxi in the area at the time it was no good for going out. The OT who assessed me suggested a type of chair and tried to get it funded but even though it was cheaper than what they provided me they wouldn't fund it.

    In your situation I think i'd phone and talk to the OT at wheelchair services first. If that doesnt work put a complaint in in writing asking for a written reply.

    Have you the means of transporting a powerchair if you did get one?

    There are all sorts of options out there for transportable chairs that can be picked up from ebay new to you) or from online shops but they may not suit your needs.

    Have a look on the 'turn2us grants finder' page and see if their is any help available in the form of a grant. If you have a union or professional body for work they may also have a benevolent fund.

    There are some 'self propel' chairs tat are operated by pulling/pushing levers rather than rotating the wheels.. I am sorry I don't know much about these I have just seen them being used a few years ago.

    I hope you find a solution.
    • Diamandis
    • By Diamandis 10th Feb 18, 5:57 PM
    • 262 Posts
    • 425 Thanks
    Diamandis
    Thanks for everyone's responses. The operational services manager was copied into one of my informal emails and has emailed me today saying she will speak to my bioengineer before my appointment with them on Monday. I'll keep you all updated.
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