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Wheelchair & Seating Service  

 
Medical Physics  Raigmore Hospital  Old Perth Road  Inverness   
IV2 3UJ 
01463 704167 
 
 

 

The Highland Wheelchair and Seating Service (HWSS) covers the Highlands, Western Isles and Grampian area providing wheelchairs and seating services to patients with long term disabilities which impairs their ability to walk.

The service is based at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness with a depot in the Longman Industrial Estate. The service currently has over 3800 patients and maintains over 4000 wheelchairs.

 

Accessing the Service

The Service is available to anybody who has a long term disability that affects their ability to walk. The equipment will be provided by NHS at no cost to the patient.

To be considered for a wheelchair a patient must be referred to the service by a qualified healthcare professional. For example:

  • GP
  • District Nurse
  • Physiotherapist
  • Occupational Therapist

When the service has received a completed referral form it will be assessed by a clinician who will review the information and decide whether you require an assessment or whether a chair can be issued from the information that has been provided. If an assessment is required you will be added to waiting list for a clinic appointment. 

Short term loans

The Service can provide wheelchairs for a short term loan. However there is a waiting list for wheelchairs so it may be more beneficial for you to contact the Red Cross or Shopmobility who would be in a position to supply you with a chair.

Red Cross:       01463 231620

Shopmobility:   01463 717624 


Types of Wheelchair

Manual chairs – These chairs can either be pushed by an attendant or self propelled by an occupant. Buggies are also available for disabled children who are unable to use a wheelchair.

Powered Chairs – These chairs are for patients who are unable to propel a manual chair and fulfil the criteria for eligibility. The chairs can be for indoor only or indoor and outdoor use. Chairs can be attendant controlled, occupant controlled, or both.

 


Services Provided

  The services that are provided by the Highland Wheelchair Service are:

  • Clinical assessments at a clinic, in the patients home or at school
  • Supply of wheelchairs tailored to patients’ individual needs.
  • Supply of specialist seating systems for patient with complex needs
  • Information and training on the supplied equipment
  • Repair and maintenance service

 


Assessments

If your needs are clear from the information that is received on your completed referral form a chair can be issued directly to you without the need of an assessment. However if your needs are more complex you will be required to attend an assessment that will include a clinician, an occupational therapist and a rehabilitation engineer. The assessment will ensure that the equipment you receive is tailored to your specific individual needs.

To help accommodate wheelchair users who cannot attend Raigmore for a clinic appointment, we hold clinics in a number of different locations throughout this area. However, in some areas clinics may only be held two or three times a year, so please be advised that if you are unable to make a clinic appointment you may have to wait several months for the next one.

Assessments are carried out by teams of Occupational Therapist and Rehabilitation Engineers and may be supported by the Consultant in Rehabilitation for more complex problems. Assessments take place at Hospital Clinics, Schools, Residential Homes or at home.

 


Power Chair Assessment

You may be asked to attend a clinic to be assessed for a power chair. The purpose of the assessment is to find out whether a patient is suitable for a power chair. It is important to note, having a power chair assessment does not necessarily mean you will be issued with one. If you are found to be unsuitable for a power chair the reasons will be explained to you and the Service will happy to review the decision if your circumstances were to change

First, the clinician will discuss any health problems with you. This may be followed by a simple examination. Your eyesight will be tested, so please remember to bring glasses, should you wear them. Finally, you will be asked a few questions about your house to check that it is suitable for the type of chair you may require.

 

If the clinician decides that you are eligible for a power chair, you will be given an opportunity to see and drive the most appropriate type of wheelchair. If you hope to be assessed for a power chair that can be used outdoors, please remember to bring suitable outdoor clothing.


Once the use of the chair has been explained, you will be given some training and the chance to practice before being asked to take a driving test to show that you can control the chair safely.

A home visit will be required prior to the issue of the powerchair to ensure its suitability.


Contact information

 

Highland Wheelchair Service is based at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. This is where the clinical technical and clerical staffs are based and can be contacted from Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm.

There is also a wheelchair depot situated at Walker Place in Inverness. This is where the Services equipment store, repair facility and technicians are located.  

NHS Highland Wheelchair and Seating Service

Medical Physics Department

Raigmore Hospital

Inverness

IV2 3UJ

 

NHS Highland Wheelchair Depot

Walker Place

Inverness

IV1 1TY

Tel: 01463 704167    Mon – Fri, 9am – 5pm

Fax: 01463 705717

 


Transport to clinics

Transport to and from clinics can be provided by the Scottish Ambulance Service. Please contact the ambulance service as early as possible to arrange your transport.

Scottish Ambulance Service:

Tel: 01463 732450

The Hospital Travel Cost Scheme If you are on income support, income based job seekers allowance, working tax credit or child credit(in some cases) or the guarantee credit of pension credit, you can claim back some petrol, parking or taxi charges. Ask the Hospital how to make a claim from the Hospital Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS)

 

 


Repairs and Maintenance 

Highland Wheelchair and Seating Service has an in house storage, repair and maintenance facility based in Inverness. Repairs and maintenance are carried out free of charge on all equipment that is loaned by the Service. As well as carrying out repairs, the service also endeavours to carry out l planned preventative maintenance on all its equipment ensuring it is kept in good running order.

However, if your chair is in need of repair you should contact the Service immediately. If the repair is deemed to be urgent the Service will endeavour to get repair the chair by the next day. Repairs of a less urgent nature will be carried out within 3 – 5 days.

If convenient, appointments can also be made to bring the equipment directly to our repair facility at Walker Place, Inverness. 

ILM Highland (Shifting the Balance)

 

In April, as part of NHS Highland “shifting the balance” strategy the Wheelchair and Seating Service began a pilot scheme working with a local “not for profit” organisation called ILM Highland. ILM is a social enterprise with charitable status that delivers domestic support services across the Highlands to the elderly and more vulnerable people living in the community. These services include a handyperson, care and repair and insulation service.

 

Over the last seven months ILM’s handy person service have been working with Highland Wheelchair and Seating Service offering a repair, delivery and collection service to patients across Ross & Cromarty, Sutherland and Caithness.

This service is provided by the handyperson team, all of which have undergone training from the WSS staff. This training covers areas such as repair, delivery and adjustment of the basic fleet chairs and instructing WSS patients in the safe and correct use of their chair. ILM operatives are also trained to being able to identify patients that have postural and pressure issues that may require a follow up visit by one or our occupation therapist and rehabilitation engineer teams.

Since the beginning of the pilot ILM have carried out nearly 300 work instructions for the WSS and is proving to be a valuable part of the Services structure, providing an improved quality of care to our patients.

 


Service Staff

The service is made up of a multi disciplined team consisting of:

 

  • Consultant in Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Rehabilitation Engineers
  • Assistant Occupational Therapist
  • Clinical Technology Support Technicians
  • Administrative Staff


 Professional