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Terminally ill patients could lose free NHS wheelchairs in bid to save healthcare costs

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Terminally ill patients in some parts of Greater Manchester may no longer be entitled to a free NHS wheelchair.

The move, which was approved at a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in Rochdale, will involve patients being assessed case-by-case to see whether or not they can be given a wheelchair.

The Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale CCG said the £37,371 saved would be available for “re-investment.”

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A spokesman said: “To be clear, this proposal is to withdraw the pool of chairs in current circulation at selected homes, and it would not affect the assessment and provision of a chair to someone in a care home who required it on a personal basis.”

However, members of the Rochdale Integrated Commissioning Board sub-committee have asked for reassurances about the criteria which will be used to assess the needs of people before wheelchairs are withdrawn.

The CCG has also approved a recommendation to end wheelchair entitlement for children and adults with “mobility problems that are not permanent”.

A spokesman said: “Presently the service provides chairs for these patients for use on an infrequent basis, for trips and specific occasions. This equates to 9% of the provision that the service makes for children’s wheelchairs as a whole.

“Other service providers would be accessed if this proposal is agreed.”

The Rochdale Integrated Commissioning Board has asked for a review of the changes in a year’s time.

Tags : hospital equipmentNHSpatientWheelchair
Carly Hacon

The author Carly Hacon

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