A personal wheelchair budget is a resource available to support people’s choice of wheelchair, either within NHS commissioned services or outside NHS commissioned services. Personal wheelchair budgets enable postural and mobility needs to be included in wider care planning and can support people to access a wider choice of wheelchair.
With a personal wheelchair budget, wheelchair users should expect to have:
- a personalised assessment where they are supported to identify the health and wellbeing outcomes they wish to achieve
- a care plan which captures the health and wellbeing outcomes identified, which may be part of any wider care plans the person requires for their care, for example an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan
- care that is better integrated, meaning that different agencies work together to support their postural and mobility needs and achieve their health and wellbeing outcomes
- information provided upfront about the amount of money available in their personal wheelchair budget and the options available to them locally to use it
- information about the repair and maintenance of wheelchairs, if the option to purchase a wheelchair outside of the NHS commissioned service is taken.
Since 2 December 2019, people who access wheelchair services, whose posture and mobility needs impact their wider health and social care needs, have a legal right to a personal wheelchair budget.
The legal right covers people who are referred or already registered and meet the eligibility criteria of their local wheelchair service, when they require a new wheelchair either through a change in clinical needs or in the condition of the current chair.
Further guidance is available for health and social care professionals on implementing the legal rights to personal health budgets, including personal wheelchair budgets.
More detailed information about personal wheelchair budgets is available in the frequently asked questions section.
Personal wheelchair budgets in action
Enabling independent living at Uni for Dylan
Dylan’s personal wheelchair budget has allowed him to live independently for the first time and attend university, as well as providing efficiencies to the wider system.
Setting the wheels in motion – personal wheelchair budgets in Leeds
Leeds Health and Care Partnership and Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust produced a video describing how personal wheelchair budgets are helping people in Leeds maintain their independence by enabling them to choose a wheelchair that fits their lifestyle. Watch the video here.
Increasing choice and control for wheelchair users in Gloucestershire
Staff and patients from Gloucestershire, one of the first areas to make personal wheelchair budgets available, have put together this film about the difference being made to people and services locally.
- Sally Smith, Commissioner at East Riding Integrated Care Board, shares their journey towards offering personal wheelchair budgets.
- Ruth Owen of Whizz-Kidz explains how the right to a personal wheelchair budget brings choice and independence to wheelchair users.
- Patience Young from Hull Integrated Care Board explains more about how she helped enable this budget together for Dylan.
Implementing personal wheelchair budgets and need more information?
NHS England is committed to supporting integrated care boards to implement personal wheelchair budget. If you work within the NHS, a local authority or a voluntary sector partner, you can join the Personalised Care Collaborative Network to access a range of resources, share learning and discuss issues with colleagues across the country. To discuss access, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, please see the support and resources for professionals page, or contact the national Personal Health Budgets team by emailing email@example.com. Wheelchair commissioners and services may also be interested in the Improving Wheelchair Services webpages.