EXCLUSIVE: New specialist wheelchair service offers free assessments and significantly reduces waiting times
Healthcare Pro has launched its new Specialist Wheelchair Service, which offers extensive, free in-home consultations to self-funders and Personal Wheelchair Budget (PWB) clients that are looking for a bespoke manual or powered wheelchair.
The new offering comprises an extensive range of over 140 manual and powered specialist wheelchairs. As part of the service, clients get a free in-home wheelchair assessment, which is designed to guide the client to the right specialist wheelchair for their individual needs, environment and budget.
As well as supporting users directly, Healthcare Pro’s wheelchair specialists also work with occupational therapists (OTs) and clinicians on referral, joint assessment, or as part of a fully tailored service.
Rob Davies, Head of Wheelchair Operations at Healthcare Pro, told AT Today that the new service means clients can access bespoke wheelchairs quicker than if they were to go through the NHS.
He explained: “Our specialist wheelchair service is a free, bespoke service for customers who are either self-funding or using a personal wheelchair budget (PWB). Offering this route for customers gives them a wider choice of products, specialist features and services to get the chair and independence they need.
“On average our full funding or partial funding customers are waiting just six weeks from initial assessment to delivery with NHS standard waiting times from referral being 18 weeks with many services operating waiting list far beyond this due to the impact of COVID and supply difficulties.”
As many of the wheelchairs in the range are made to order and customised to the user’s individual clinical needs and requirements, the home assessment begins with a telephone consultation to determine which manual or powerchair is most appropriate. For a powerchair, an in-home visit is arranged with an experienced Healthcare Pro wheelchair specialist.
While in-house OT video assessments might be viable for an initial consultation in some instances, Rob shared with AT Today, specialist wheelchair assessments will need to be completed in the wheelchair user’s main environment to ensure product recommendations and any specialist features are both suitable and practical.
“The home assessment is an essential part of the purchasing process as it not only provides us with the opportunity to take the precise wheelchair measurements, it also gives our experienced team an insight into the customer’s environment and lifestyle so that they can guide the customer to the right solution for their needs, first time,” added Rob.
After the client has been assessed, there is no obligation to buy a wheelchair. The individual is left with a quote for them to decide in their own time if they wish to purchase it.
“We understand that choosing the right wheelchair is a deeply personal experience and that many people feel unsure of where to find the right product for their own circumstances,” Rob continued. “Selecting the right wheelchair can make all the difference to a customer’s quality of life and by launching our Specialist Wheelchair Services, Healthcare Pro aims to make the process as easy and stress free as possible.”
Healthcare Pro Specialist Wheelchair Service clients may also get access to additional support packages, such as maintenance, repair and servicing, the firm underlines.
Rob concluded: “Healthcare Pro’s new specialist wheelchair offering will provide our customers with a professional, trusted solution that gives peace of mind and can help to make all the difference to their mobility and daily life.”
Healthcare Pro is a trading name of a major outsourced assistive technology services provider to the NHS and local authorities, NRS Healthcare.
Healthcare Pro recently launched a new online assistive technology store, which offers a wide range of products complete with a home living consultation service, performed by a qualified OT, to advise clients on appropriate independent living solutions. The website helps users find and purchase essential assistive technologies faster and more easily, with the option to access clinical advice if required.