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UK Wheelchairs Price Match Promise Free wheelchair delivery UK Wheelchairs VAT Exemption policy Wheelchair Hire & Rental

Welcome to UK Wheelchairs - the home of value and quality

Information

  • Posture and wheelchairs

    For those of you who spend time in a wheelchair it will come as no surprise that posture and comfort are closely linked and are all important. In essence, posture is all about the alignment of your body and is equally important for abled folk as it is for those who use a wheelchair regularly. And, whether it is a self propelled or a transit model the principal remains the same.

    So what is good posture ?

    Starting from the top of your body we begin with the head, which should ideally be kept balanced centrally over your shoulders. Tendency to tilt to one side for prolonged periods can cause problems. Moving further down the body, the shoulders should be tilted back a little behind the hips helping the spine to maintain its intended S shape. This is not so easy to achieve in all wheelchairs and often as not some support in the form of a well placed cushion is required to assist with this. The cushion will need to be re-positioned and reshaped if necessary throughout the day

    If you are not able to set your wheelchair up to attain good posture you can experience discomfort and aching and in some situations eve poor breathing. If you lean forward in the wheelchair it can lead to slight compression of the diaphragm which will affect the efficiency of your breathing. In turn, muscles that should be in use can become atrophied leading to the shortening of tendons and ligaments which will over time make the problem worse.

    Moving down to your legs, we all know how easy it is to get pins and needles and poor circulation if your legs are positioned badly, so keeping them parallel and setting the foot plates correctly so that your feet are flat is very important to avoid numbness in the feet. If you can achieve right angles between your spine and your legs, your upper legs and lower legs and lower legs and feet you  will feel the most comfortable and reduce the risk of muscle atrophy.

    So what do i need to look for in a wheelchair ?

    The more time you spend in your chair, the more important it is to address comfort and posture and to ensure you have suitable model. Ergonomic pressure systems like the ones in some of the Karma range of wheelchairs are ideal. This systems aims to reduce slumping or sliding in the wheelchair and give added back support. Some models have shaped seats which again help you to remain upright and prevent sliding down in the chair. Sitting as far back in the seat as possible will help you to achieve the upright position that you need. If you need a more comfy cushion please see our range here.

    We hope these tips are useful. If you have specific requirements then please seek advice from your OT and if you have any other questions please don't hesitate to call us and we will help in any way we can.

  • affiliated-mobility-sites

    For an in-depth listing of mobility suppliers of all types please visit the UK Mobility Directory

  • NuDrive breakthough

    NuDrive system for wheelchairs

    We were recently offered the chance to inspect the innovative new product from TGA that is attracting lots of attention from wheelchair users old and young. The NuDrive is a great new lever driven system that fits most self propelled wheelchairs enabling the user to propel themselves with the greatest of ease on level ground.

    Clearly a great deal of thought has gone in to the design of this wonderful new product. Designed by one of the UK's leading product design teams in association with the Aspire Centre for Disability Sciences at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, TGA seem to have got this completely right.

    NuDrive Wheelchair system a brilliant design from the UK

    A great deal of effort was made to listen to wheelchair users and their input was used from the initial design phase right thru to product testing and proto typing. The end result is very impressive and will definitely fulfil its goal of providing far more freedom to wheelchair users old and young alike.

    So how does the NuDrive system work ? Instead of gripping the wheel rims in the usual way to propel the chair, levers are used to propel the chair forwards and backwards as well as providing a very good braking
    system. Once a user becomes familiar with the NuDrive system they will find the level of maneuverability very impressive. Attention was paid during the development of the system to reducing the risk of harmful shoulder loading. As many self propelled wheelchair users are aware, shoulders pay a big part in their propulsion.

    Easy to install Fits most wheelchairs Wheelchair freedom

    The new lever driven system can help to reduce shoulder degradation and injury. NuDrive makes increased freedom available to almost all wheelchair users at an affordable price and its simple to fit by simply attaching the NuDrive to your existing wheelchair to start enjoying greater freedom !

    Suited to both indoor and outdoor use the NuDrive system was designed to help manual wheelchair users with a range of disabilities and medical issues. NuDrive can help you get you mobile – whether its trips to the shops, use at work in the house or as exercise outside. Users who we spoke with were very impressed and also commented on the thoughtful design of this user-lead product especially the design that allows unhindered removal of the wheels for transport. The other comment that we heard time and time again was the ease with which this system can be fitted without any need for change of the wheel configurations. Once assembled the unit can be left in place and is relatively lightweight.

    The overall opinion is that the NuDrive system is going to change the lives on many self propelled wheelchair users.

  • Power packs

    We frequently receive calls from people enquiring about electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Often people are looking for occasional use so we will often point them towards the wheelchair power packs.

    Although they do not match the performance of scooters or powered wheelchairs, power packs do suit many users. They are often used as an assistance to the user or their attendant to enable them to tackle hills or to go out for longer periods without getting tired.

    Wheelchair power packs come in two broad varieties - single wheeled and dual wheeled. Choosing which option to go for is based on two main criteria, firstly the need of the users. Is it for occasional use or more full time. The second question that we ask is the users weight. Some power packs are more powerful and will carry the weight of larger users up moderate hills without any loss of performance. The smaller units and single wheel power packs may struggle if the load is too heavy or the hill too steep.

    Finally the main benefit of the dual wheel power pack is traction. With two wheels doing the driving means that there is more surface area in touch with the road or floor. Where conditions are slippery the dual wheel version is more likely to find the traction needed.

    Twin wheel power packs

    All models offer a variety of control. The twin Wheel Wheelchair power pack made by Roma Medical provides more traction and variable speed settings allowing the attendant to control the speed, it also has a reverse gear giving greater maneuverability. This particular model is suitable for users up to 21 stone. This model is intended for the attendant to take control.

    Finally the Twin wheel wheelchair power pack by TGA is a very impressive unit that will provide up to 10 miles on a single charge. Made in the UK this model is proving to be one of our best selling wheelchair powerpacks.

    Single wheel power packs

    The TGA single wheel wheelchair power pack suits a maximum user weight of 18 stone, has simple handlebar controls and is very simple to fit allowing the attendant to vary speeds depending on conditions.

  • Powerchair choice and selection

    Things to look for in an electric wheelchair

    There is a widening range of electric wheelchairs being made available thanks to the rapid development of efficient batteries and electric motors. As the range widens, so does the choice of type electric wheelchair, so we thought it about time to classify them into the following types:

    Front Wheel Drive electric wheelchairs

    The least common type of electric wheelchairs are front wheel drive. They are a good all-rounder and work well in most types of moderate terrains, slopes and surfaces. They can be used for outdoor and indoor situations and for most provide adequate performance.

    Central Wheel Drive electric wheelchairs / 6 wheelers

    The big advantage of these electric wheelchairs is their tight turning circle and ease of maneuverability.
    These electric wheelchairs are well suited for new users or short term users and are best suited to indoor use where easy maneuverability is essential. Their clever design means not only do you get tight turning but also increased stability thanks to the front and rear castors that prevent tipping in all directions.

    Rear Wheel Drive electric wheelchairs

    Most electric wheelchairs one sees today are rear wheel driven. This is simply because its easier to manufacture an electric wheelchair when the motor is near to the drive wheels to remove the need for drive shafts. Suitable for use both indoor and outside the rear wheel drive electric wheelchairs are likely to
    remain the most common due to lower costs of parts and manufacture. The turning circle is larger than for front or centre driven models. If you encounter inclines in your daily rounds to consider rear anti tipper wheels to prevent the chance of tipping backwards.

    Heavy Duty electric wheelchairs

    Its a fact that as a society average weights are increasing and obesity is more common. For this reason, manufacturers continue to develop heavy duty or bariatric electric wheelchairs to cater to this market sector. These tend to have increased strength of construction, larger batteries and more powerful electric
    motors to deal with the increased payload.

    Features to look for

    Comfort is key for most electric wheelchair users. If you are due to spend many hours per day in your electric wheelchair then getting suitable seat height, backrest height, seat width and armrest features are paramount.

    Types of chair vary. Some will swivel to allow ease of sitting and raising. Some seat also tilt up to 45 degrees again making sitting and raising more simple. Armrests that fold up or flip away must also be considered to allow ease of transfer on to and off the electric wheelchair.

    Another important part of the electric wheelchair is the type of control system used to propel and direct.
    Most are based on joystick control and are increasingly simple to use as the components become more reliable and configurable to suit your needs. If you are unable to control the electric wheelchair using your arms or hands then there are other control systems that rely on cues from your head or upper body.

    See our range of electric wheelchairs and powerchairs here

    We suggest that you consult a qualified physiotherapist and or mobility advisor if you have specific requirements or are unsure of which type of electric wheelchair is best for you. Good luck with all the freedom these mobility aids provide !

  • Nationwide wheechair accessible car hire

    We were pleased to hear recently that you can now hire a wheelchair accessible car from anywhere in the country. Allied Mobility, the UK's biggest supplier of wheelchair accessible vehicles can now hire you a choice of cars and MPVs regardless of where you are in the country.

    This is great news as so many wheelchair users find their holidaying options restricted. If you are not fortunate enough to have your own car then a hire car is an option. Their great range of wheelchair accessible vehicles includes small models like the Peugeot Partner Presto which is ideal for a couple as well as midsized family cars including the Peugeot Partner Horizon. With both manual and automatic versions available there is lots to choose from. If you hire one of the bigger vehicles you'll be glad to know that parking sensors come as standard !

    When the vehicle is collected, advice is given on how to operate the wheelchair ramps and restraints and are generally pleasantly surprised at how a wheelchair accessibility car still manages to look as stylish as the standard vehicle.

    SO whether it’s a hospital trip or a week’s holiday you too can rent a vehicle to suit you and your wheelchair needs. Everything you might need is supplied and their experienced mobility advisors are available to help you choose the right vehicle for the wheelchair and wheelchair passenger concerned.

    TO make things really easy, you can also arrange to have the vehicle delivered to your door anywhere in the UK. On delivery you will receive a brief but thorough lesson on how to get the most from the vehicle and how to ensure that you use it safely. If you plan to become a regular hirer or wish to hire the vehicle for a long period then special discounted rates are available.

    We also provide wheelchair hire!

    Remember at UK-Wheelchairs we hire wheelchairs so if you have a short term need following an injury or operation then please contact us for wheelchair hire and associated mobility products. Or for more information on vehicle hire please call Allied on 0800 916 0015.

  • Essential wheel chair maintenance

    As the weather improves I will be taking to the streets more often and so have decided its time to give my wheelchair a good service. My wheelchair is a manual wheelchair or self propelled as some call them, but all of these tips are relevant whichever type of wheelchair you have.

    You may have an instruction book for your wheelchair which will point out any special maintenance that is required but failing that these are my top tips for a comfy and reliable wheelchair:

    Daily wheelchair checks:
    • Check the tyre pressure. The recommended tyre pressure is generally on the tyre but 100 PSI is about right for most wheelchairs.
    • Check the wheel nuts are nice and tight

    Weekly wheelchair checks:
    • Inspect the wheels. Make sure that spokes are all present and correct and not missing or bent
    • Inspect castors. Replace castors that are wobbling, have excessive play or are badly aligned.
    • Clean the axle housings and remove any debris using a clean cloth. Add a couple of drops of oil to each side.

    Monthly wheelchair checks:
    • Check the wheel alignment is correct. This prevents the wheelchair from veering to one side.
    • Check the wheelchair and all critical components for cracks. These can occur due to bad luck or occasionally flaws in the metal or weld joints.
    • Check tyre wear and sign of any cracks in the rubber. Replace the tyres if the rubber has excessive cracking.

    Annual wheelchair checks:
    • Using some 3 in 1 or silicone oil, lubricate all pivot points and hinges. This helps to keep folding wheelchairs in good order and prevents irritating squeaks.
    • Lubricate all ball bearings.
    • Check castors for cracks in the spokes that can cause collapse
    • Check all straps for wear and tear and replace where necessary.

    In addition to the above wheelchair checks I like to check the upholstery for wear and tear. I wash the seat cushion cover regularly and finally check that all visible nuts and bolts are nice and tight.

    If you stick to this easy plan you will get the most out of your trusty wheelchair !

  • Rules for users of powerchairs and mobility scooters

    There seems to be a bit of confusion regarding the use of electric powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters and their use on roads and pavements.

    We are often asked by callers or customers in the shop what the guidelines are so we thought it would be helpful to present the official rules from the government.

    Rules for users of powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

    Pavements are safer than roads and should be used when available. You should give pedestrians priority and show consideration for other pavement users, particularly those with a hearing or visual impairment who may not be aware that you are there.

    Powered wheelchairs and scooters MUST NOT travel faster than 4 mph (6 km/h) on pavements or in pedestrian areas. You may need to reduce your speed to adjust to other pavement users who may not be able to move out of your way quickly enough or where the pavement is too narrow.
    Law UICHR 1988 reg 4

    When moving off the pavement onto the road, you should take special care. Before moving off, always look round and make sure it’s safe to join the traffic. Always try to use dropped kerbs when moving off the pavement, even if this means traveling further to locate one. If you have to climb or descend a kerb, always approach it at right angles and don’t try to negotiate a kerb higher than the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations.

    For more information on this subject please refer to the government website:

  • Sunrise Medical Unix offer

    Every once in a while we come across a new mobility product that strikes us as being a little special. This time its a new range of wheelchairs that we took delivery of this week. Why so special i hear you ask ? This range of wheelchairs excels in many ways including build quality and craftsmanship, usability and ergonomics and exceptional value for money.

    The Unix model self propelled wheelchair from Sunrise Medical is one of the best deals of the year so far and we are very happy to offer it with immediate effect. Describes as a fleet wheelchair, it is designed for full time use and is therefore built to endure the everyday knocks and scrapes it will encounter. This durable and reliable wheelchair has all the features you would expect and is fully adjustable to suit most users. The level of comfort is unusually high for a wheelchair of this price with a comfy foam seat and vinyl armrests.

    A great value wheelchair for full time use

    As a wheelchair designed for full time use, the Unix self propelled is equally suited to indoor and outside use. The large rear wheels feature maintenance free solid tyres and quick release axles, making it quick and simple to collapse the wheelchair to put it in the car boot, on the bus or train. The side guards flip up and also allow you to adjust the arm pad from long to short depending on what you are doing and the amount of support you need. The half folding backrest makes storage and transportation a simple task. In addition to these features you will also find elevating leg rests, height adjustable armrests and anti-tippers to add stability going up steep inclines or wheelchair ramps of up to 10 degrees. This wheelchair is crash tested to ISO 7176 Part 19 to provide real peace of mind about its build quality and safety for users up to 125 kg or 19 stone.
    If you are interested in this remarkable self propelled wheelchair please call us or place your order online soon as we cannot guarantee how long the stocks of this fantastic wheelchair will last.

  • Wheelchairs on Beaches

    It's great to hear at last that the Government recognises that access to beaches for wheelchair users is less easy than it could be.

    Minister for disabled people Esther McVey has spoken out and announced that councils risk missing out on an estimated £80 billion market if wheelchairs are restricted from coastal areas. It seems a huge figure so let's hope it s not ignored.

    Westcountry councils have defended themselves stating clearly that they do make an effort to make beaches accessible by wheelchair users and disabled people in general.

    The Devon based Countryside Mobility scheme run by the Living Options Devon charity, which operates across the South West already provides wheelchairs and all terrain chairs for disabled users as well as 'wheelyboats' that allow wheelchair users to get out in a boat for fishing and sightseeing.

    This scheme is proving successful and is operated now in Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset.

    As we continue to have a reasonable summer this year and some relatively hot weather it has been a good year for wheelchair users to rediscover both beaches and the countryside, so we hope that further plans to make these areas more accessible are successful. Perhaps wheelchair rental is also a service that would be useful to those visiting our coast and countryside.

    We recognise that not all coastal areas are going to be best suited to wheelchair users but do think that more can be done to make the more accessible beaches wheelchair friendly with more dropped kerbs, ramps and adapted areas to make wheelchair use easier.

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