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Childrens wheelchairs shortage within NHS Halifax

We read with interest over the past few weeks about the failure to supply enough of the right types of children's wheelchairs both manual and electric which is leading to problems across the NHS in some areas.

This started and is still focused in Halifax Yorkshire where concerns originally started with the waiting times for wheelchair assessments for children, meaning that children with severe disabilities or post operation were going without the consultation required. Children were forced to either go without or some were found using ill-fitting wheelchairs which were leading to discomfort and pressure sores in the worst cases. Factor in a child's growth and you can see the need for frequent assessments to ensure that a well fitted chair is used.

In Halifax, the supply of children's wheelchairs has been carried out by Opcare a private healthcare company which appears to have been selected on a cost basis alone. At the local general hospital Martin Pursey, head of procurement at Kirklees CCG, said: “When Opcare took over the contract there were 158 children awaiting assessment and provision of equipment including electric wheelchairs. An additional 165 referrals have been received for children since the service started and a total of 259 children have now been assessed.”

If you are fortunate enough to be able to find wheelchair assessment elsewhere, we can then supply you with options on the best suited wheelchair for your child here

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