Our Services

Wheelchair Service

Our wheelchair service provides permanent wheelchairs for patients who are registered with a Bolton GP, who have a physical disability affecting mobility that requires them to use a wheelchair for all their mobility needs.

Patients are assessed and provided with a manual or powered wheelchair to meet their clinical needs. Specialist seating, pressure relieving cushions and accessories can be provided for users with more complex needs.

Specialist clinics are undertaken on a regular basis, for individuals requiring specialist mobility equipment and bespoke modifications.

A wheelchair will not be expected to meet all seating needs and should be used as part of a 24hr postural management regime. We cannot support alternative funding or requests for any static seating or other equipment.

Individuals are eligible for a permanent wheelchair if they are aged three years or over, and are permanently restricted in mobility due to medical reasons.

Users under the age of three may be seen by the service if specialist seating in a buggy or wheelchair is needed. Patients can be referred to the service via their GP, consultant, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, social care professional or accredited wheelchair therapist.

When a referral is received, the applicant is invited to attend the appropriate clinic for an assessment. The service continually works hard to improve waiting times for assessments and as standard equipment is held in stock, the user can often take it home immediately from the clinic appointment.

Specialist equipment will need to be ordered and the patient will be invited back to clinic once in stock.

Home, work and school visits can be made when necessary due to ill health, exceptional circumstances, or where an assessment of the environment for wheelchair accessibility is required.

Existing users of NHS wheelchair equipment can re-refer themselves for a reassessment.

The service requests that you empower all existing patients with wheelchair equipment provision, or their parental/family representative to contact the wheelchair service directly to request a review/re-assessment.

Re-referrals can be made by email, letter or telephone.

Following referral, an assessment is carried out by trained staff which involves reviewing the applicant’s medical history, a discussion of clinical mobility need, and a physical/postural assessment.

During the assessment the therapist looks at the person’s abilities in the following areas:

  • Neuro-musculoskeletal
  • Cognition (understanding)
  • Motor skills (ability to perform movements)
  • Sensory skills (sight, touch, hearing)
  • Psychosocial skills (ability to relate to others)
  • Educational skills

The assessment also considers the individual’s lifestyle, what they want to be able to do independently, and where. Where necessary, users have to show that they can move themselves around safely in a manual wheelchair or operate a powered wheelchair.

After the assessment, the most suitable type of equipment will be issued, or ordered. We provide many different types of wheelchair including manual wheelchairs, active user wheelchairs (which can be adjusted to meet specific needs more than standard chairs), powered wheelchairs, pressure relieving cushions, and special seating inserts.

By providing users with the most suitable equipment we aim to give them more independence, reduce pain and correct posture or accommodate postural deformities.

The service offers personal wheelchair budgets (PWB) which means the individual then has a choice of provision – that is to have a wheelchair free of charge from the NHS or to opt for provision of a PWB with top up or via a third party provider. This is discussed at assessment and a support plan is completed with the patient.

We train the user and carers how to use the wheelchair equipment, how to push and move the wheelchair with as little effort as possible and educate them on the importance of pressure relieving exercises. We also work with other agencies to make sure the patient’s environment is suitable for the wheelchair, whether this be at home, work or educational establishment.

Users are provided with information on the maintenance/repair arrangements for the equipment; they are also informed that their needs can be re-assessed as and when necessary at a future clinic appointment.

When referring to the service please share your assessment findings with us and forward a short report, please do not discuss alternative equipment with the patient or their families.

The specialist wheelchair therapist will assess and provide mobility equipment, pressure cushions and accessories according to the clinical presentation of the patient.

We also provide training for therapists and therapy assistants to enable them to assess and prescribe basic wheelchairs directly from our service.

Advice and support for all health professionals is always available by phoning the department.

Key contact numbers

Wheelchair Service

Tel: 01204 462777

Equipment Repair Service

Tel: 01204 390742

Email: Bolton.wheelchairs@boltonft.nhs.uk

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