View Full Version : Choice of Powered Wheelchairs: the PCT Voucher Scheme worth 2403.

11th June 2011, 16:20
I've had one good experience this week. Perhaps I'm also the only person not to have known about this before. Let's see.

I need a new wheelchair. Why? A good few reasons, not least that it is too hard for me to get into the one I have from the PCT which, I think, was supplied by MNDA to their wheelchair service and thence, free, to me.

I asked the PCT people for help (really, really hefpful). I was reassessed and offered a new chair. Now, I've written elsewhere that being able to raise and lower the seat height is important to me because I can still transfer IF it involves a downhill 'plonk' but not if it's level or uphill. For more detail see http://forum.mndassociation.org/showthread.php?375-What-I-ve-discovered-(3)-Powerchairs-an-elevating-experience.

There was nothing on offer from the PCT did that job properly, and access would have remained a problem. The solution was to invoke the option to buy.

It works like this. First, get assessed or reassessed by the PCT and gain approval to proceed. Then you go out and identify the wheelchair you want, liaise with the PCT to agree that chair's suitability, get a price quote on paper and submit it to the PCT. The supplier (in Wiltshire, at least) has to be a member of the NHTA (national healthcare traders association). Then the PCT pays a sum to the trader and you pay the rest. In Wilts the PCT will contribute 2403, but I've no way of knowing what other PCTs do - you'll have to ask.

Finally, you pay to maintain the chair and when you no longer need it, you sell it and keep the proceeds. Given that we all have diferent needs, this route will clearly not suit some and you have to think about future changes in your ability and consequent need for specialised chair add-ons, and timescales, etc But this facility exists and suits me so I guess it will suit others...Good luck.


11th June 2011, 20:28
This is good to know. I was unaware of this and was told that could only get an indoor chair via NHS, this to me is unacceptable. This could offer a better opportunity to get a chair that is more lifestyle friendly.

12th June 2011, 16:01
hiya- your experience is different to my mums as she was given an indoor/outdoor one by the NHS

13th June 2011, 09:43
Hi Robin,
Ive been told about this voucher scheme too but sadly it isnt operational everywhere. My local authority dont run with it and only provide a wheelchair
that they assess for - I too asked for a wheelchair that went up and down for transferring and also it means I can still do a little bit in the kitchen reaching things which helps my independence/quality of life etc. However, they refused this even though I volunteered to pay the necessary top up. I know the whole wheelchair service is a difficult area but I have written to my MP to highlight the fact that in some areas the service is extremely poor as it needs to be a better service universally.

13th June 2011, 18:50
Why on earth does the English NHS have different standards in different areas? Postcode lottery, I suppose. Needs to change, and soon. I had the National Audit Office here today but, not knowing your experiences, didn't make any comment about wheelchair provision, and that is exactly the sort of thing they were interested in. I know! I have their email and I'll copy over your comments to them. They were nice blokes and I'm sure they'll take the point. Too late for you this week, though. Write your MP? (there is a point to that because the NAO report is due this autumn and that will induce a period of change when many things might be up for grabs). I'll copy any response I get back to you (PS they also read this Forum, by the way).


13th June 2011, 19:31
Check out the following thread on BuildUK http://www.magimedia.co.uk/buildforum/viewtopic.php?t=4694&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0 Wheelchair services funded me for a Invacare TDX SP flex wheelchair, it has electric tilt, electric backrest, electric leg rests and electric raiser, it also has LCD colour controller and G-Trac. MNDA kindly funded the raiser and gtrac ;-)

Legal Requirements For NHS Provision of Wheelchairs

Voucher Scheme

The Voucher Scheme was introduced in 1996 and the principles governing this scheme are set out in HSG(96)53. Essentially this scheme enables disabled people to use their own money to buy wheelchairs not normally provided by the NHS with the assistance of a voucher for the value of an NHS wheelchair.
Can be found on page 7 http://www.wheelchairmanagers.nhs.uk/servicestandards.pdf

Robyn Copley-Hirst
14th June 2011, 11:27
Hi All (and Robin)

Just a quick note to say that the people they are interviewing, and the people whos names we put forward, were chosen to try and represent different geographical locations.

I'm sure they will take note of any differences due to location with their various interviews, but if you have any further comments after the interview I'm sure they'd welcome them - no one person can remember everything in a single interview, Robin, it's such a huge topic! Thanks for your feedback on how things went.

Best Regards


14th June 2011, 17:53

You are a source of wondrous information. Thank you. The pdf you link to http://www.wheelchairmanagers.nhs.uk/servicestandards.pdf is a bit indigestible for me, but Google HSG(96)53 produces a document of great readability and much interest to Vanessa, Luce and G60dubber amongst many others. Here's para 4 and 5 to motivate a full reading of the whole document.

4. The aim of the scheme is to give disabled people more choice of wheelchairs within the NHS
by offering them three options:
a. to accept the wheelchair prescribed, as at present
b. to contribute to the cost of a more expensive wheelchair of their choice. They will
own the wheelchair and be responsible for its maintenance and repair. This will be
called the independent option
c. to contribute to the cost of a more expensive wheelchair of their choice from a range
selected by the local wheelchair service. The NHS will own the wheelchair and be
responsible for its maintenance and repair. This will be called the partnership option.
5. The key principles of the scheme are:
a. universal eligibility anyone assessed as meeting the local eligibility criteria for
wheelchair may apply
b. assessment and review of needs by the wheelchair service and prescription of
a suitable wheelchair in consultation with the user (and, where appropriate,
their carer or representative)
c. supply of the wheelchair through agreed suppliers
d. continued access to NHS

I don't know enough to decide if the document means that the NHS must offer a voucher option. Perhaps others will form an opinion?

What is the site you link to on BuildUK? The thread on wheelchairs was interesting but the existence of a site like that even more so. I tried to browse further but all links refused to play. Robin

14th June 2011, 18:08
Thanks Robin, if they read this forum I think Ill starting ranting more!! vanessa
Thanks Jeannie too - shall follow up the links,

14th June 2011, 21:13
Hi Robin, Patrick posted the link on builduk so the thanks goes to him ;-) thanks Patrick. BuildUK was the first MND forum set up in the UK, I think it's been running for approx 11-12yrs now. It's a great site very helpful with many fantastic people/friends. http://www.magimedia.co.uk/buildforum/index.php

15th June 2011, 09:09
Thanks again. I'll have a good poke around....

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