FAQs for Wheelchair Commissioners and Service Providers

This page is under development in collaboration with wheelchair service commissioners. If there is particular information you would like to be included in this section, please contact us

Models & Standards

There are a variety of models and standards which can be applied and need to be complied with by Wheelchair Commissioners and Service Providers, here we have detailed some of the most important.
What is the Operating Model for NHS- Commissioned Wheelchair Services?

The Operating Model for NHS- Commissioned Wheelchair Services has been developed by the National Wheelchair Managers Forum (NWMF) in collaboration with, amongst others, wheelchair users and the Postural Mobility Group (PMG). It is a set of principles that reflect the needs of wheelchair users, describe the minimum requirements and highlight best practice. The principles work in accordance with legal requirements.

The Model Service Specification for Wheelchair and Posture Services?

wheelchairs-model-service-specification.pdf (england.nhs.uk)

The Model service specification was written in 2017 and is likely to be updated as it still refers to CCGs rather than ICBs. NHS England cannot mandate ICBs to follow the service specification as each one is an independent body, however both NHS England and the Wheelchair Alliance would expect services to be commissioned and provided in line with it as it is an example of best practice. The Wheelchair Alliance is currently linking with some ICBs asking them to sign up to delivering services in line with the specification and the Wheelchair Charter as a minimum – we believe things could be better however a minimum baseline is a beginning.

What are the Healthcare Standards for NHS commissioned Wheelchair Services?

Healthcare-Standards-NHS-Commissioned-Wheelchair-Services-Final-April-2015.pdf (wheelchairmanagers.org.uk

The Healthcare Standards for NHS commissioned wheelchair services was written and published in 2015 by the National Wheelchair Managers Forum. NHS England has said on its website that it is an example of best practice which commissioners (the ICBs) should follow, along with the Wheelchair Charter. You may want to use it when talking to your NHS wheelchair service about your needs when considering your first wheelchair, when needing a replacement or when looking for repairs to be carried out.

Waht is the Allied Health Professionals Referral to Treat Guide?

Microsoft Word - AHP RTT guide 22 December 2011.doc (publishing.service.gov.uk

This is another document that is mentioned on the NHS England website and was published in 2011. We are very aware that that was over a decade ago and are talking to NHS England about revisions to these documents. We are aware that there is ongoing work on the dataset, which was last reviewed in 2015. The dataset is the information that ICBs will need to submit so that NHS England, and anyone wishing to look at the data, can see how wheelchair services are performing against a number of different areas. We will be talking every quarter with NHS England about the results, what they mean and actions that need to happen should the performance fall below that which is expected.


Waht are the Rehabilitation Engineering Services: Functions, Competencies and Resources?

Rehabilitation Engineering Services: Functions, Competencies and Resources

This document has been produced by the Rehabilitation Engineering Services Management Group (RESMaG) to identify guidelines that can be used as a benchmark for rehabilitation engineering services in the prescription, provision, maintenance, and modification of wheelchairs and special seating. It is to be used in conjunction with Rehabilitation Engineering Services: Functions, Competencies, and Resources [1].

Many NHS providers and purchasers are unclear of the service that can be provided by Rehabilitation Engineers and the framework in which they work. This is, in part, due to the relatively small numbers of Healthcare Science Associates, Rehabilitation Engineers and Clinical Engineers working in the NHS. It is vitally important that budget resources are employed in the most economical manner in order to provide the most effective solution to a client’s mobility and postural management needs. Rehabilitation Engineers have an important contribution to make in their field and it is anticipated that these standards will act as a foundation for the provision and development of this discipline.