NHS and powerchairs

Excuse me because I’m about to have a rant.

I have been assessed by wheelchair services as needing a powerchair because I can’t self-propel but because I can walk a short way I can only have an indoor chair.

It has taken 12 months of physio to get me to the point where I can walk 25m with a rollator. This means that I can get a taxi to the doctors etc.  So at age 57 I can only leave the house if I have somebody to push me or if I am going to certain single destinations.

I bought a chair from Ebay (mainly for my daughter’s wedding) but it is a pile of poo. I had convinced myself that I couldn’t drive. Yesterday I went for an assessment at the Disabled Living Foundation and tried lots of different chairs. The OT said I could probably do ballroom dancing in one!! It wasn’t me who couldn’t drive but the Ebay chair that is faulty. But I digress.

My main point is the issuing of an indoor chair by the NHS. There are no physical limitations that would prevent me using an outdoor chair it’s just the rules. I can walk a few metres but not enough to do anything meaningful. If I need to get somewhere (drs, dentists etc) I have long conversations about how far from the entrance, how far to the examining room, it’s pathetic.

My main bone of contention is the cost – the difference in price between the indoor chair that I was issued and the indoor/outdoor version is only a couple of hundred pounds but the difference it could make to my life is priceless. Grrrrrr


Hi Jane

Oh that's awful, it maybe a good idea to get your OT to have a word with them, lean on them heavily so to speak, to get them to change their mind.

It obviously will not give you any independence if you cannot go outside.  I sometimes wonder what planet these people come from, but I bet if it was for them, there would be no argument.

Hope it all works out for you.



Is there any possible way you could pay the difference?

I know that's probably against the rules too, but if you would be covered for one type of chair, but not for another, that's £200 more expensive, but soooo much more suitable, what would happen if you said you'd pay the difference between the spec you're entitled to, and the spec you want?

I know even £200 may not be easy to come by, but if there's any remote chance they'd let you do it, it seems worth a try.