Rebecca has been a full time powered wheelchair user for about 10 years.
Before that she used a manual chair until it became too difficult to push herself. The Wheelchair Service agreed that she needed a powered wheelchair but the one they were offering didn’t meet Rebecca’s needs (particularly for parenting, sporting activities and driving an adapted vehicle). She had a detailed talk with an agent from Midshires who specified a chair to meet her needs, with a full costing. That meant that when Wheelchair Services made their first offer for the value of the voucher she could show them what a standard chair would cost and make them increase their offer. Rebecca was very pleased she could negotiate a good deal from the Wheelchair Service, and that she could afford to top up the voucher. She is very aware that people who don’t have money and people who can’t speak up for themselves as she did must be getting a worse outcome.
Ian told us: “Expect to be told ‘No’ the first time. Always argue.” He started using a powered wheelchair full time about 6 years ago.
He has two, both of which he bought himself, one for indoors (and for air travel) and the other in the boot of his car. He visited Naidex and the Mobility Roadshow to view and try chairs, then had a visit from Hearing and Mobility who showed him a range of chairs and features that would be useful to him (including at work). His local Wheelchair Service would not supply a powered wheelchair so he applied to Access to Work. They turned him down too, but Ian appealed to his MP who got the decision overturned. Access to Work funded his existing chair retrospectively and provided adaptations at his work place. Ian has had a really useful service from Hearing and Mobility and from David Relph Adaptations who supplied his boot hoist. They liaised with each other to ensure that his car and hoist would be compatible with his wheelchair.
Chris is a 12 year old full time wheelchair user. He uses a manual chair indoors and a powered wheelchair outdoors (when not on his hand trike).
He was referred to the Wheelchair Service at the age of 3 and they have never really provided a suitable wheelchair. His first manual wheelchair was too heavy for him and his parents had to find a better one themselves. The Wheelchair Service finally provided him with a Kuschall manual chair when he was 9. As he grew, the same problems repeated themselves. His parents have now been told that the Wheelchair Service will not fund the manual chair he needs as it is too expensive. Chris’s latest manual wheelchair and powered wheelchair were funded by Newlife Foundation. His mother has a list of charities and knows who will fund what equipment. Newlife Foundation use Midshires to supply the wheelchairs they fund. The Midshires rep now knows Chris and his family very well and they feel he gives them good advice. Find out more in the childrens' section
Lynn uses a Karma Ergo manual chair with a Benoit Light Drive power pack.
This suits her because it’s light and easy to dismantle for travelling. The manual chair was funded partly by a voucher from her Wheelchair Service. The remainder was provided by the MS Society, the ACT Foundation and a small local charity. She found it quick and easy to apply for these grants. Lynn selected the manual chair by researching online for a light, foldable chair. She saw the power pack on another user’s chair at the Mobility Roadshow and asked him where he got it. She had a demonstration from the supplier, who confirmed it could be fitted to her chair and let her try it out.
Last updated: April 2015