Following on from my last blog post, I’m happy to report that Friday’s appointment with wheelchair services (Wychbold, Droitwich) was surprisingly beneficial.
Admittedly, I had low expectations based on previous experiences. But the occupational therapist (OT) I met with was extremely helpful and conscientious.
I now have a long list of information and various options to consider.
I went prepared with some notes, outlining my needs.
Thus far, I have looked at various wheelchairs online and test drove the Quickie Salsa M2 Mini and the Quickie Jive M (both by Sunrise Medical). Sadly, neither of these chairs met my requirements.
Whilst at the appointment, I was shown the Invacare TDX. Before it was even measured, I could see it is far too big, more so than my current chair, and wouldn’t fit around my home.
So that’s one more crossed off the list!
Voucher vs NHS wheelchair?
The last time I approached wheelchair services was 10+ years ago. That appointment was brief and frankly a waste of time!
I was offered a voucher with a value of no more than a few hundred pounds. A lot of money you may think. But when you consider powered wheelchairs cost from £5000 upwards, (between £10-20k is more accurate), a few hundred quid doesn’t go far.
The only alternative to this was one, very basic, very inadequate NHS wheelchair – I suspect unsuitable for most people.
Thankfully since then, things seem to have improved greatly (around here, anyway).
My current options are:
– A voucher with a prescriptive value of approx £2000
– Accept one of the approved NHS chairs (none of which feature the rise function that I need)
– Accept a more compact mid-wheel drive (MWD) NHS chair for indoor use, and privately purchase a second wheelchair specifically for outdoor use (worth considering as I live rurally)
Right now I think my best bet is to take the voucher and choose my own wheelchair. Mainly because I do require both the rise and tilt functions. The NHS will only approve the latter.
– Attend NAIDEX (April 25-26th). I will be able to see many different wheelchairs and discuss my options with specialists. Trust me you need to see and try them before committing to anything. You can’t base a decision on images and information on a computer screen.
– Investigate options I had not previously heard of, including: Ottobock and the YOU-Q Luca by Sunrise Medical.
– Contact Sunrise Medical directly and ask them to visit my home with demo wheelchairs to view and test-drive.
– Ask Sunrise Medical for a list of reputable dealers.
Once again, I will keep you updated of any developments.
Thanks for reading!