Child wheelchair waiting times reduced

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©Joanna C Dobson

Child’s wheelchair © Joanna C Dobson/Flickr

Disabled children will have the opportunity to receive wheelchairs on the same day of their assessment under a new initiative taking place in Liverpool to reduce current waiting times for chairs.

The ‘Wheelchair in a day’ scheme is being run by the Liverpool Wheelchair Service and is being funded by a £15,000 bursary from the NHS Regional Innovation Fund.

In the past, lengthy waiting times between a child’s needs being assessed and a wheelchair being delivered has meant some children have outgrown the chair before they receive it.

It is hoped that the scheme will be launched in April this year and will lead to 70% of children who need wheelchairs to benefit from the scheme and receive them the same day. However, those with more complex needs may still have to wait longer.

Christine McGhee, Service Manager for Liverpool Wheelchair Service, said: “I am absolutely delighted that our application for this bursary was successful and that all the hard work and vision of our team has been recognised and rewarded by the NHS Regional Innovation Fund.”

Liverpool Community Health, which funds the service along with Liverpool City Council, has been invited to showcase the new initiative in London next month at the Healthcare Innovation Expo. The event spreads the news of innovative health care and treatments across medical organisations.

Helen Lockett, Director of Operations and Executive Nurse at Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust, said: “At Liverpool Community Health we are currently working with a range of partners to explore ways to take this new initiative forward, which will transform the way wheelchairs are provided to children and their families.

“As a Trust, we are committed to developing new and innovative ways to deliver services and improve patient experiences, and this scheme is a great example of that.”

To find out more about this service or to join a Wheelchair User Group ring 0151 296 7733.

About Rachael Bentham, JMU Journalism