Wheelchair Service FAQs
What can I do if I need a powered wheelchair but only for outdoor use?
The Wheelchair Service is unable to provide a powered wheelchairs for people who only require them to move about outdoors. In this circumstance you have the following alternatives:
1. Motability Scheme
If you receive one of the following:
- Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Higher Rate Mobility Component of Child Disability Payment (Scotland)
- War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS)
- Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)
you are able to use it towards the lease a scooter or powerchair using the Motability Scheme.
More information can be found on the Motability website.
2. Private Purchase
If you wish to consider purchasing a powerchair or scooter privately, you can find useful guides and tips about what you will need to consider on the Research Institute for Disabled Customers (RIDC) website.
We strongly recommend purchasing any mobility products using businesses that are registered with the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA). The BHTA website has a list of registered mobility product suppliers. Visit Zeemaps for a map.
Do I need to insure my wheelchair equipment?
Whilst you have no legal obligation to be insured when you use your wheelchair, we strongly recommend insurance for the following reasons:
- Third Party Liability Cover - you may be liable for damages in the event of injury / damage to another person or property whilst using your wheelchair. The Wheelchair Service does not accept responsibility for any damage or injury caused whilst operating your wheelchair.
- Roadside recovery - we are unable to complete roadside repairs if you break down away from your home. In this case you may benefit from wheelchair insurance that includes roadside recovery, to help you get back home so that repairs can be completed by the Approved Repairer. (This is more important for powerchairs.)
- Loss / theft - we cannot guarantee that we will replace lost or stolen items, and in some cases you may be required to pay towards replacement equipment.
- Travelling - if you choose to travel in your wheelchair, especially by air, there is a risk of damage or loss of equipment during transit. Alternatively you may find you require repairs or maintenance when overseas which will be at your own cost as they cannot be completed by the Wheelchair Service.
You may be able to add your wheelchair to an existing home and contents insurance, or to your travel insurance policy when you travel overseas. Specialist wheelchair insurance policies are also available and may be required for third party liability and roadside recovery.
Does the Wheelchair Service provide powerpacks or power assisted wheels to help me push the wheelchair?
No, unfortunately these are not provided by the Wheelchair Service. However some people may choose to pursue this option by buying one privately. If you wish to do this, you are required to contact the Wheelchair Service for a risk assessment and written permission. Please note only certain models have been risk assessed as compatible with our wheelchairs, and we will not provide permission to use other models.
How long will it take for my wheelchair to be repaired?
We aim to complete an initial repair visit within 48 hours of the request being received. However the specific repair time may vary depending on the model of your wheelchair and the availability of replacement parts. If you have concerns regarding the amount of time being taken to repair your wheelchair, please contact the service to discuss this.
Can I complete my own repairs or modifications to my equipment?
No, however we offer a free repair and maintenance service that will visit you at your home or school to complete all repairs. You are encouraged to complete general care and upkeep of your wheelchair, e.g. keeping it clean and stored in a dry area, to ensure it remains in good working order.
What happens if my wheelchair breaks down when I am out in the community or away from my house?
In the local community
Unfortunately we do not provide a roadside recovery service. If you breakdown in the community, it is your responsibility to get yourself and your wheelchair home so that repairs can be carried out. We advise all clients to ensure they have a contingency plan to cover such a situation. This may include a clear plan to get you and your wheelchair home with support from transport services or family members. It may also mean having an emergency breakdown pack including warm clothing and a mobile with useful contact numbers.
If you are a powered wheelchair user, we strongly recommend acquiring private wheelchair insurance that includes a roadside recovery option. Modern powerchairs are extremely heavy and if they breakdown they cannot be pushed like a manual wheelchair.
Elsewhere in the UK
If your wheelchair breaks down whilst you are travelling in the UK for a holiday or extended stay, we can usually arrange with a local Wheelchair Service to carry out a repair.
If you are overseas, we are unable to provide any maintenance support, so it will be your responsibility to arrange a repair locally. For this reason we strongly advise people to take out adequate travel or wheelchair insurance that covers such a scenario.
What can I do if my wheelchair is difficult to use or has become uncomfortable?
You can contact the Service directly on 0207 683 4250 to discuss your situation. We can then either provide you with advice or support to resolve the issue directly, or recommend that you be reviewed in clinic by one of our staff.