As part of national NHS plans for the wider expansion of personal health budgets, NHS Mid Essex / Thurrock and Basildon and Brentwood CCGs have developed a local personal wheelchair budget (PWB) agreement to replace the current wheelchair voucher system. A personal wheelchair budget is a resource available to increase people’s choice and control of wheelchair provision, either within NHS commissioned services or outside of NHS commissioned services. You will be able to use this when your wheelchair is due to be changed, either every 5 years or less if your medical need has changed.
Personal Wheelchair Budgets can be managed in one of three ways:
Option 1: Notional Personal Wheelchair Budget (standard NHS Provision which means you know what the budget is but the NHS spends it for you). This enables the wheelchair user to have a basic wheelchair which will meet their identified needs.
Option 2: A Notional Personal Wheelchair Budget with Contribution. This allows you to use option 1 plus an extra contribution from yourself to upgrade the chair or add extra features. The cost to you is the difference between the NHS prescribed chair and the cost of the chair/parts you have chosen. The chair remains the property of the NHS as in option 1.
Option 3: A Third Party Personal Wheelchair Budget. This option is used when your wheelchair team agree this is the most suitable option available to you, it is clinically appropriate, and it meets your health needs. You will be responsible for all repairs and maintenance for the duration of the wheelchair ownership. The amount of your budget is how much it would cost the NHS to provide a chair that meets your needs plus a contribution towards the repair and maintenance of your chosen chair. If the chair is more expensive than the amount of your PWB you will have to meet the cost of this yourself. Other organisations or charities may be able to help you with this.
PWB payments will last for 5 years for adults and 3 years for children other than in exceptional circumstances.
What are the benefits of a Personal Wheelchair Budget?
The aim of personal wheelchair budgets is to provide:
- A better framework to build in person-centred care and support planning;
- More control given to people, their carers and families over the wheelchair provided;
- Easier for wheelchair users to understand the choices available including funding and what that should include;
- An opportunity to explore how the provision of wheelchairs can be joined with other care and support agencies, as part of a holistic person-centred care and support plan. For example integrated personal budgets that combine health and social care funding.
Who might be able to have a Personal Wheelchair Budget?
Anyone who is registered with a GP in the areas of Mid-Essex, Basildon and Brentwood, Thurrock CCGs and is eligible for an assessment for a wheelchair on a permanent loan (with the exception of individuals who have a rapidly changing or deteriorating condition), will be eligible for a Personal Wheelchair Budget. All new referrals must be from a healthcare professional or re-referrals will be accepted from existing wheelchair users.
Find out more in our Personal Wheelchair Budgets (PWB) leaflet