We have free disabled parking areas directly outside the service centres, away from the main road. If you will require assistance from your car into the service centre, please contact us before your appointment so we can arrange this for you.
When you arrive at reception, a member of our team will take your name and appointment details. We have waiting areas with water coolers, but please bring any snacks or drinks you are likely to need. Please also bring any medication with you if you are likely to need it.
We have accessible toilets with a hoist. Our clinic rooms also have hoists (please bring your sling with you) and medical plinths and are air-conditioned.
Most appointments start and finish on time, but please allow plenty of time for your appointment. If there is any delay, we will let you know and keep you updated.
What to bring to your appointment
Please bring with you:
- Any communication aids that you use.
- Contact details of any therapists or consultants that are involved in your care.
- Details of any current medication you are taking.
- Any medication that you may need to take while you are with us.
- Any transfer aids you use, i.e., a hoist sling or transfer board.
- Any splints or braces, as these may affect the size and specification of the equipment we provide.
- Completed WATCh form (if applicable to you this will be included with your appointment letter). Please click here for more information about WATCh.
- Please also ensure you are wearing comfortable and loose clothing, so it is easier to assess your posture.
We work closely with therapists within Social Care, Education and the Children Schools and Family (CSF) teams. Please inform your therapist of the appointment as we welcome their attendance.
What to expect at your appointment
The clinics are led by Wheelchair Therapists (these are Occupational Therapists or Physiotherapists) assisted by Rehabilitation Technicians (RET) and Rehabilitation Engineers (RE) as appropriate. Your assessment will be carried out by the most appropriate member of the team.
Your therapist will ask you questions about your medical history, they may need to assess your posture and how you sit in your wheelchair. They will assist you if needed to transfer onto the plinth.
You will be asked if you are having any issues with your current wheelchair if this is applicable to you. Your height and weight may also need to be checked.
We have some assessment equipment and stock available on site, and you may be able to trial a wheelchair during your appointment. For specialist equipment, we may need to bring you back for a further appointment, but the therapist will be able to show you the type of equipment we will arrange for you to try.
If you are bringing a child to their appointment
We aim to make the experience for all children attending our clinics as comfortable as possible. We have child friendly waiting areas and clinic rooms. If there is anything that may make the appointment easier for you or your child, please share this with us prior to the appointment. You may want to bring a familiar toy with you.
We want to know how you want to use your wheelchair
If you are attending your first appointment with the Wheelchair Service and we decide with you, that a wheelchair is to be provided, as part of your assessment we will ask you what you would like to achieve with your wheelchair. Part of this conversation includes the answers to the questions asked in the WATCh form. You will find this form with your appointment letter if this is applicable to you. Please read through the information and if possible, complete the form and bring to your appointment.
Please also write down any additional questions, that you would like to ask at your appointment.
How long will the appointment last?
The appointment will take approximately 45-75 minutes, but occasionally could be longer. Your appointment letter will include the approximate timing for you.
After your appointment
Your therapist will advise you if you need to be seen again or if there is any further action to be taken. This may include ordering any equipment for you, which may mean you need to return to the service centre so the wheelchair can be handed over.
We will ask you to complete the NHS Friends and Family survey. We are always pleased to hear about your experience or suggestions, as all feedback is used to continually improve the service.
If you share a ‘thank you’ compliment this will be shared with the appropriate members of our team. These messages let us know when things are working well and enables us to share best practices across the UK, helping to improve wheelchair services.
If you have completed a WATCh questionnaire, we will contact you again approximately 8 weeks after you have been provided with your wheelchair to follow up if it has met your expectations.
If you think of any additional questions after your appointment, our website has resources that may assist you or you can contact us at anytime.
Changing your appointment
We acknowledge that there are many reasons why appointments need to be rearranged, sometimes at short notice, but unfortunately this can cause delays for everyone.
Therefore, if you are unable to keep your appointment, please make every effort to cancel it well in advance, so that it can be offered to someone else.
If you no longer require an appointment, please contact us so we can amend our records and offer your appointment to someone else.
Non-attendance and cancellations at short notice, without a valid reason, deprive other service users of an appointment. If you do not attend your first appointment and have not contacted us, we will write to you to ask you to contact the service.