Published: 13th July 2015
Author: Acceleris

Wheelchair Users should expect a service which will maximise their potential

For 20 years I have been equally proud and frustrated to be a part of a skilled, committed and enthusiastic group of professionals around the country working hard to provide NHS Wheelchair Services. The provision of timely, appropriate equipment is key to the process of rehabilitation, independence, self-esteem and ultimately less dependency on the state in all its forms – this is true ‘invest to save’ potential which needs to be acknowledged and acted upon by the wider health and social care arena.

Too often, the provision of suitable wheelchairs and postural management is not included in Care Pathway work, or is given lip service at the finalisation of any project. There is little recognition of the work and skills involved to manage posture in a wheelchair to maximise the user’s potential, and reduce further, unwelcome, medical or social intervention.

I would like to see a greater understanding by clinical commissioners and NHS senior managers of these services and the impact that good, informed commissioning of wheelchair services can have on the whole, health economy.

The 2012 London Paralympics raised a positive profile of disability with the general public and we need to continue to demonstrate the positive outcomes of good, timely wheelchair provision. All previous attempts to bring about far-reaching transformation have had little effect; however the Wheelchair Leadership Alliance has high profile support from NHS England which along with enthusiastic key stakeholders will move these services forward.

So please take the time to read through the Alliance’s Charter, pledge your support for its principles and join me in taking action to help improve wheelchair services.

Your support is truly vital and will help me personally, as well as thousands of wheelchair users, in improving and supporting this often forgotten service. Thank you.

 

Krystyn Jarvis Dip COT, MBAOT
Chair National Wheelchair Managers Forum
Member of the Wheelchair Leadership Alliance

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Categories: Service Provision