Scheme replacing wheelchair voucher system explained to industry

Chief Executive Of NHS England Simon Stevens. Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

In May 2016, chief executive of NHS England Simon Stevens announced that the body would be developing a personal health budgets model for the provision of wheelchairs.

Personal wheelchair budgets are a new approach to wheelchair commissioning and will replace the old voucher scheme.

Wheelchair users have found a number of challenges with the existing scheme, now 20 years old, including a lack of information and guidance around maintenance, repair and replacement as well as a limited number of providers where a voucher can be redeemed.

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The new personal health budget scheme will offer more choice of where wheelchairs can be bought as well as a detailed care plan that will help users make informed decisions about their wheelchair.

The care plans will also go beyond purchasing the chair to include guidance on future maintenance, repair and replacement needs.

Since April 2017, all Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in England have been expected to start developing local personal wheelchair budget offers to replace the old wheelchair voucher system.

During 2017/18, all CCGs have been told they should publish the details of their personal wheelchair budget offer as part of their personal health budget local offer, which is usually available on CCG websites. During the transitional period, wheelchair vouchers should still be made available.

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