Wheelchair headrest for use when in Wheelchair accessible vehicle. Looking for info.

My wife is having to move from a car to a WAV (wheelchair accessible vehicle). We have a loan of a WAV for a few days from motability. My wife does not have a headrest on her wheelchair. The problem we have is that my wife falls asleep within minutes in the WAV and her head falls backwards. If I was to break quickly my wife would have no neck support. Also, on uneven roads her head has no support and is being moved left, right, up and down. I called the NHS wheelchair service and they said they did not supply headrests as there was research to show that they were not useful. Maybe I was unlucky in who I spoke to but surely this can’t be right. Has anyone had a similar experience or a solution?


Hi, what sort of wheelchair is it? I’ve got both a powered and manual chair through wheelchair services. They supplied my powered chair with a headrest. My manual chair doesn’t have one. I think you must have been unlucky with who you spoke to. If you had an accident then your wife would get whiplash. I used to teach in a special school where many of the kids were wheelchair users. They came in by school transport and it was mandatory for them to have a headrest on their chair. I don’t have a WAV but think the next one will need to be one so you’ve highlighted a problem with the manual chair. I think you need to get back on the wheelchair services!!

Hi, no this doesnt sound right to me either…can Motability answer this question? I think they’d have some experience of it.

I take it the chair is your wife’s own? Who supplied it? Can they help?

Maybe a new chair with headrest is needed now. My wheelchair is from WS and does have a headrest.


Hi again, just googled the topic and yes, a headrest can be fitted retrospectively and is needed for some conditions and ought to be used for support.