Wheelchair Update

Hi, Just thought I’d update you regarding my adventures with Wheelchair Services. They came out to the house this morning to assess it for wheelchair suitability. The house is fine. I’d be able to use the wheelchair outside as well providing that it’s on a decent surface. It would really be for use on pavements. That poses a problem, as the pavements are awful in our village and I quite often have to use my pavement scooter on the road. WS are therefore arranging for me to have an outdoor assessment around the village, to see if the sort of chair they’d provide meets my requirements. I’ll then be able to decide whether to accept their wheelchair or take the vouchers and buy my own. If I stay with WS, we’re probably looking at around 6 months before I get a chair. Even if I go the voucher route, I’d still have to go to one of their approved suppliers who they would then liaise with to ensure the wheelchair met their specification before they paid their bit. As an aside, both the OT and WS have suggested we have a low threshold front door fitted. Our current door is only about 2 years old and cost around £3,500, so we’re not keen on the idea of replacing it yet. Has anyone got one and was it worth it? We don’t qualify for any financial aid so would have to pay for it ourselves. Thanks, Heather

Hi Heather.

First off, crikey that is some door you have! We got a new pvc, lead glazed one last year, for £595. I know that`s on the cheap side, but it is a good door. My access is round the back, up a ramped deck and through an adapted door/threshold.

Now then, back to the problem you face;

when OTs recommend something, not everything is chargable. have you checked that a new door falls under that category?

Whilst I was waiting for a suitable outdoor/indoor wheelie, I bought a recon one off ebay for £445. Then sold it for £150 when I got the WS one.

luv Pollyx

Hi Heather,

Last time you posted WS had told you it would be an indoor chair are they now offering an indoor/outdoor?

Otley is full of cobbles and uneven pavements, I needed a chair to cope with that but it wasn’t a problem.

My advice would be to stick with WS and not buy your own. It took weeks of messing about with the cushions and settings on this chair until it was comfortable for long periods – a shop wouldn’t do that, or they might but you would have to pay for each change – I tried 4 back cushions until it was acceptable. (If I had bought each one it would have been very expensive)

I have a low threashold door but I can understand you not wanting to change such an expensive door. Google “threashold ramps” for some under £100.00 alternatives.

Like Poll I bought my own outdoor chair whilst I was waiting for WS – got to get round to selling it now


Hi, I was really surprised yesterday when WS said I’d be able to use the wheelchair outside. Up until then, they’d said I was only eligible for an indoor one. I seem to get a different story every time. The OT had previously said he’d draw up a spec for a ramp and low threshold door, but yesterday said it was up to me to get quotes for the work and send them in for approval. He also previously said we could get £1,000 towards the work if they put it through as Minor Work. Yesterday, he said £750. WS were pushing the low threshold door as currently Social Services have provided a threshold ramp to make it easier/comfier to get the manual wheelchair/scooter outside. However, the threshold ramp isn’t fixed in place, it just pushes up to the threshold, and WS said if it moved away too far and left too much of a gap, it would cause the wheelchair to tip over. I’m going to phone up a paving company and get a quote for a ramp to the front door. Previously, the OT said there had to be a level area at the top of a minimum size to cater for manoeuvring the wheelchair outside, plus WS have said that the ramp needs to fall within certain gradient limits for the wheelchair to be used safely. If they don’t feel access to the property is adequate then that can hold up getting the wheelchair. At the moment, things are just about OK but would benefit from some improvement. Lots to think about. Heather

Also, found this, though notice my previous reply hasn’t made it past the moderators yet. This is for dwellings. 6.15 A ramped approach will satisfy Requirement M1 if it: a. has a surface which is firm and even; b. has flights whose unobstructed widths are at least 900mm; c. has individual flights not longer than 10m for gradients not steeper than 1:15, or 5m for gradients not steeper than 1:12; and d. has top and bottom landings and, if necessary, intermediate landings, each of whose lengths is not less than 1.2m, exclusive of the swing