CCG recruits two extra wheelchair providers as Millbrook ‘struggles to tackle backlog’

Portsmouth CCG has taken on two additional mobility providers with the aim of clearing the backlog of people waiting for wheelchairs after its current supplier, Millbrook Healthcare, reportedly struggled to cut the accumulation since securing its contract in 2015.

The CCG also wants the new providers to help cut the wheelchair waiting time down to 18 weeks by June.

The current wheelchair waiting time in Portsmouth stands at 31.7 weeks, which is down from the 18 months waiting time which existed when Millbrook first took on the contract from Solent NHS Trust in April 2015.

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Millbrook has cut waiting times over the course of its contract but has reportedly failed to clear the backlog of people waiting for a wheelchair despite a £1.4m cash injection in 2015.

Chief of health and care in Portsmouth, Innes Richens, said that wheelchairs in Hampshire have had a “large waiting list for quite some time”, according to a report in a local newspaper.

He told The News: “We have now procured two providers to help clear the waiting list and there is an ambition to help those stuck on the waiting list.”

Richens indicated that Portsmouth CCG may swap its wheelchair provider when Millbrook’s current contract expires next year.

“We have started discussions about our options – but there are not a whole lot of different providers for those kinds of services.

“We have also had previous providers who have struggled. At the end of the day we want to provide a brilliant wheelchair service to people in Portsmouth, but that seems to be a bit difficult at the moment.”

A decision on the future of Millbrook’s contract is expected to be made later this year.

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