Wheelchair choice - assistance needed

How do I get a new wheelchair? I have one supplied by my local Wheelchair Services (only quite recently as well) but it’s not really working for me. When I started to use it more in the house as well as outside, I thought it was OK. But I’ve been crossing my feet to hold my weaker leg up and have developed a real problem in one hip (hurts like h*ll and makes walking even more difficult than it was). This means that I really have to use the footplates indoors and they don’t really fit very well. I have trouble getting around doorways and getting up close to where I want to go etc, etc. Also, my 'chair is fairly light I suppose, (15k ish), but I stand no chance of getting it plus myself into the car alone. I can’t walk well enough to stand by the car whilst putting it in, and then can’t walk unsupported round the car to the driver door. So, what do other people do? How do I go about getting a new wheelchair that’s light enough and will allow me to tuck my legs away better to navigate the house? I would love to have one supplied to me on the NHS / Wheelchair Services, but doubt that this is possible (if anyone has I’d love to know!) but ultimately I am prepared to pay for what I need. However I only want to pay for what I need, I’d like to get some advice from someone who’s income is not dependent on my choice. Ie. I’d like to know that the salespersons income does not come from the profit margin from the sale. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Sue

hi sue

i had loan of an emergency wheelchair recently from the red cross (had it 4 weeks) i needed someone to push me due to total right side weakness. ot came to my house for assessment and a week later (5 days i think) a nhs wheelchair appeared for my use-permanent loan but basically its mine.

i contacted 2 local companies re power chair-one never replied-the other measured me and gave brill advice and there was no hard sale at all.

is ot a option for u to be assessed?

ellie x


It is perfectly possible to slide across from your wheelchair to the driver’s seat. Take the wheels off and put on the front passenger seat. Then if your wheelchair is light enough pass it across your body and put it on top of the wheels on the passenger seat.

Depending how thin you are; sorry not trying to be rude; some people can slide it behind the driver’s seat?

The only problem here is the scratching of your sill by the wheelchair as it has to be positioned close for using a transfer board.

I have solved this problem; to explain for the last 10 years I have been trying to market this product but have failed miserably. So if you pay for postage I will send you one; free; it will stop any damage to your car.

This will explain:

  1. Executive Summary

We are a company committed to providing quality vehicle accessories at an inexpensive price to meet the specific needs of wheelchair users (please note we are not any longer).

Our core product is the SillSave – a rubber mat to protect the sill of a car when a wheelchair user transfers in or out, either to drive or as a passenger.

We identified a significant problem for wheelchair users from first-hand experience, namely the scratching and denting of the sill of a car when positioning the wheelchair beside it in order to transfer in or out*.* The person transferring using a slide board has to get as near to the car as possible otherwise the slide board is not long enough. It would be impossible to make the board longer; owing to stress factors and the need for it to be light and thin enough to slide under the person’s backside.

This damage not only makes the car look unsightly but incurs costs for repairing dents and for resprays which lose the owner their insurance excess or their “good condition” bonus if it is a Motability vehicle. Add to that the inconvenience for a disabled person of being without a car whilst it is being repaired and it is no surprise that SillSave has already generated interest simply by word-of-mouth in the disabled community.

The SillSave is a fabric-covered rubber mat, held in place by a magnet, that folds over the door sill, allowing the wheelchair user to transfer in and out of their car without damaging the sill. It is reversible so it can be used on the driver’s or passenger’s side, front or back. The shape allows you to position it one-handed and because the magnet keeps it in place the wheelchair user can transfer in/out with confidence.

Please note I am not selling I am only giving it away.

You should contact your O/T who will organise a free chair from the wheelchair services. They will then service and make sure it is right for you as everyone has different requirements.



Ask for a referral back to wheelchair services explaining your difficulties.

I have just done this with my wheelchair, different issues but they have made several adjustments.

As opposed to a v light one, this may not be possible to get from wheelchair services. Have seen some great ones at over a thousand pounds but not a chance of having that unless i have a lottery win. Be interested to hear if you get any suggestions.

Hi Sue

You can ask to be reassessed by the wheelchair services. The first one I had, when I was just an occasional user, was a very heavy clunky one. But when I started to use it all the time I got reassessed and was given a lighter one that had a much more comfortable cushion.

Even if you don’t think anything they offer is suitable, they will have a voucher scheme. This is where they give you a voucher to the value of the wheelchair they would have provided. You can then use this to buy your own chair from an approved shop, and pay anything on top of what the voucher is for. This is how I got the chair I use now - I got a voucher for about £500, which I put towards getting a much lighter and smaller chair (it wasn’t cheap but I was lucky enough to have my employer pay for the rest).

Hope you get what you need.


Hi sounds like they didn`t do a great job when you were assessed for your present chair. They are very strict in our neck of the woods. But even so they are tied to the rules they have to follow.

I`ve had my current electric indoor/outdoor chair for a few months. It was from wheelchair services.

My house is knocked to bits where my footrests and armsrests have clonked the walls and doorways. I actually had some doors removed and the doorways widenend. But our bungalow was built in the 60s and isnt really suitable for a wheelie. I cant hold my feet up when the footrrests are off, so the knocks and bangs continue.

I said to my hubby that I want the house to be open plan. He says I am doing that a bit at a time!

Other respondents to your post have told you about the voucher scheme.

I hope you get sorted.

luv Pollx

Thanks to everyone who responded to me. I will be contacting Wheelchair Services about a new chair or a voucher. I think the problem many people have is that when they first meet with Wheelchair Services it’s all new to them and so they don’t know what is important. This is certainly what happened with me; as I hadn’t really used a chair before I didn’t know enough to ask the right questions. So I’ve ended up with a chair that’s fine for occasional use, when my husband can pick it up & put it in the car, but to use around the house and to be able to be independent, I need a smaller lighter one. I’ll post what happens on here. George I’ve sent you a PM about your Sillsave, sounds like a great idea. Sue