kent and medway, wheelchair service

Frequently asked questions

How do I get a wheelchair??

If you think you need a wheelchair, please visit your GP or local healthcare professional. If your requirements match the NHS eligibility criteria, they will refer you to the Kent and Medway Wheelchair Service.

What happens after I've been referred??

Once we’ve received your referral, our clinical team will make sure your requirements fit the NHS’ eligibility criteria. If they do, we will add you to the waiting list for an assessment with our clinical team. One of our occupational therapists or therapy assistants will carry out the assessments. They will look at your mobility needs and any associated pressure care requirements.

Where will my assessment take place??

Most assessments are carried out in our purpose-built clinical facilities. Depending on your circumstances, an assessment may be be carried out at your home.

Will my home be suitable for a wheelchair??

You may require an environmental assessment of your home, which looks at the space you have to safely manoeuvre a wheelchair. If you require an environmental assessment, a member of our clinical team will let you know.

What happens after I've been assessed??

Once you’ve been assessed for an NHS wheelchair, you will be added to a waiting list to be loaned one, along with any associated accessories.

Are all surfaces suitable for my wheelchair??

No. Some surfaces, such as loose gravel and grass, can be difficult to manoeuvre over and you may lose traction. Extra care and consideration should be taken before you decide to use your wheelchair over these surfaces.

We do ask that you do not attempt to go over sand, as you will lose traction and you could damage the wheelchair bearings and motor.

For more information, please read the wheelchair manufacturer’s instructions.

What do I do if my wheelchair needs repairing??

Please contact your local service centre to arrange an appointment with one of our wheelchair engineers. They will visit you at home, at work or at a day centre to access the repair.

Can I have my wheelchair repaired at the service centre??

If it is more convenient to visit your local service centre, please let us know and we will make an appointment for you.

What happens if my wheelchair needs repairing when you are closed??

If you have an urgent repair outside of our opening hours, please call the usual number, which will divert to our out-of-hours team.

How do I arrange for my wheelchair to be serviced??

Depending on the type of equipment you have been supplied with, we will be in contact with you annually to carry out a multi-point safety check on the wheelchair.

What do I do if I no longer need my wheelchair??

If you have equipment you no longer require, you can arrange to drop it off at one of our service centres or have it picked up.

What do I do if my needs change??

If you feel that your needs have changed, please contact us so we can put you on the waiting list to be reassessed by our clinical team.

What can I do if my wheelchair is uncomfortable??

If your wheelchair is uncomfortable, please contact us so we can put you on the waiting list to be reassessed by our clinical team.

Do I need to insure my wheelchair??

We strongly advise that you take out third party insurance, as the wheelchair service is not responsible for third party accidental damage sustained by the normal use of an electric powered indoor outdoor wheelchair.

You may find your household, car or personal insurance already covers you – we would advise you to check this with your insurance company before taking out another policy.

Can I sell my wheelchair and equipment if I no longer need it??

No.  If you no longer need your wheelchair and any associated accessories that have been prescribed to you, these will need to be dropped off or collected by us. All wheelchairs and associated equipment are owned by the NHS and are on loan to you.

Can I make modifications to my wheelchair??

You can’t make or carry out any modifications to the wheelchair. If you feel your wheelchair needs any adjustments, please contact us.

Can I give my wheelchair to somebody else??

No.  Your equipment may not be suitable for their needs and any old or unused equipment needs to be returned to us.

Do I need an appointment to pop into my local service centre??

In order for us to offer you the best possible service, we recommend that you call our customer service team in advance of your visit so we can make sure that the most appropriate member of the team is available to help you.

Should you drop into one of our service centres without making, or being offered, an appointment, the most appropriate member of the team may not be available to assist you.

Please note that all clinical assessments are by prior appointment.