Wheelchair Service Commissioners & Providers

The Wheelchair Alliance was established in 2015 to become the voice of wheelchair users and transform the experience for wheelchair users in England through improved access, quality and effectiveness. We work collaboratively with all organisations including NHS England, , commissioners and service providers to make positive changes to wheelchair services and provision.

Important Statistics

Approximate number of Wheelchair users in the UK

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Wheelchair users using NHS Wheelchair Services

K

People represented by our Wheelchair User Engagement Group

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The average funding allocation per person for a wheelchair

Wheelchair Alliance Providers

USEFUL INFORMATION FOR COMMISSIONERS AND PROVIDERS

Best Practice

Access to the right wheelchair at the right time isn’t just the right thing to do but it also has huge benefit to the wheelchair user and society.

The Wheelchair Alliance report – The Value of a Wheelchair -  highlights that the right wheelchair will increase independence, autonomy and integration in to the community for an individual. This results in a better quality of life, benefits to mental health and physical health, not to mention the improvement to employment and education opportunities and the wider economy. This is all achievable by sharing best practice and reducing the variation seen across England by focusing on quality and service improvement and investment into wheelchair services.

In our work, we will identify funding opportunities to conduct research to demonstrate the human and societal benefits such as shared funding mechanisms. Our research will be supported  by wheelchair users, their families and carers. We will continue to monitor the provision of wheelchairs, and, should there continue to be inequity of provision and choice across England, have high level discussions exploring the benefits of a national wheelchair service provision funded through health, social care and education contribution.

We recognise that there is a need to ensure that current budgets are used in the most effective way possible. Through the sharing of best practice between local wheelchair services and commissioners, we can realise the advantages of joined up working and pooled budgets by statutory bodies for the benefit of wheelchair users, their families and carers.

Wheelchair Alliance Commissioners and Service Providers The Wheelchair Charter

The Wheelchair Charter

The Wheelchair Charter was launched in 2015 by our President Tanni-Grey Thompson. It outlines a set of six principles that apply to NHS provided and commissioned wheelchair services and private and independent suppliers of wheelchair services.

The principles look at key stages of wheelchair service provision and commissioning, including referrals, assessment, equipment, funding and staffing, and seeks to ensure that everyone who needs a wheelchair gets one, regardless of where they live.

If you are a commissioner or provider, we urge you to have a read.

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Quality Framework

In 2023, we were appointed by NHS England to work with them on creating a Quality Framework for Wheelchair Provision. This is a huge move forward and means that we can ensure the voices and experiences of wheelchair users are represented in a Framework that could potentially be adopted by all Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) when commissioning wheelchair services at a local level.

This would help to minimise inequality across the different services in different locations and ensure consistent delivery of a good quality service and provision.

This work is ongoing and will see the Wheelchair Alliance act as a co-producer of the Quality Framework, with direct contribution and approval of the content coming from  both the Alliance Board and its Wheelchair User Engagement Group members.

Commissioners and Providers may also be interested in reading the WHO Guidelines on Wheelchair Provision which underpinned the WHO Guidelines.

FAQs
We have captured and answered some of the most frequently asked questions by wheelchair providers and commissioners. Contact us if you have ideas for additional information that will support other wheelchair commissioners and wheelchair service providers.

Membership to The Wheelchair Alliance for Wheelchair Users is Free

The Wheelchair Alliance was created to represent the rights of wheelchair users. It's mission is to ensure everybody who needs a wheelchair to live their lives to the full, have access to one, and importantly the correct type to suit their needs.

If you are a wheelchair user, membership to the Wheelchair Alliance is free. So, join the Alliance and help us to support our mission. As a member you will also have access to the following benefits:

  • Access to online resources
  • The opportunity to take part in research
  • The opportunity to co-produce innovation
  • Receive a quarterly newsletter
  • You can support with developing information
  • You can support in lobbying for change

Are you a commissioner or provider of wheelchair services and want to keep updated with the work we are doing with NHS England, government and other health and disability organisations?