Previous Work

Wheelchair Services


In a nutshell: Over 2014-2015 the Improvement Academy worked collaboratively with the regional NHS wheelchair services to support improvement work which was then aligned to support the emerging national NHS England transformation programme.

The Challenge

There was a wide variation across the NHS regional wheelchair services in assessment, criteria, and provision of equipment complicated by different funding and commissioning structures and no data available to measure and inform improvement.  In February 2015 NHS England started to develop a national programme of improvement for wheelchair services and as plans emerged work was aligned and we shared our learning to inform this national work programme.

Wheelchair Services
Wheelchair Services

What did we do?

We worked in collaboration with the 15 Yorkshire and Humber NHS wheelchair service teams, wheelchair users, interested commissioners, and NHS England. We started this journey with an engagement event. Further information can be found here in our ‘Y&H Wheelchair Improvement Event‘ report.

We worked with services towards development of regional improvement measures of “time to provision” of wheelchairs, explained in ‘Y&H Wheelchair Measure development Workshop Report (10.06.14)‘.

This work then lead towards informing and supporting the development of the current NHS England national data collection set for collection in July 2015. The Y&H services provided important feedback and suggestions on the development of these measure definitions. We held a workshop. Further info in ‘Y&H Wheelchair Measure development Workshop Report (10.06.14)‘.

We undertook a wheelchair user and carer survey monkey to explore thoughts on “time to provision” of wheelchairs which we also shared with NHS England.  A summary of the report can be found in ‘Wheelchair User and Carer Survey Summary Report Nov 2014‘.

We offered support to services to work on key priority improvement areas. One of these teams, Sheffield wheelchair service, in collaboration with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Microsystem Coaching Academy, had weekly improvement coaching and support and achieved improvement in their first test of change. See their story at ‘Sheffield Wheelchair Service Improvement Case-study March 2015’.

A summary report (March 2015) of all the Wheelchair Service improvement work is available: ”Improving Wheelchair Services Report March 2015′.

In November 2014, 5 of the service managers and the programme manager attended the 2ndNational summit event in London actively participating and contributing to plans for the national work with NHSIQ and NHSE. Angela Green (Previous Programme Manager) has been appointed to the National Wheelchair Leadership Alliance to contribute to the development of a charter and campaign “Right Chair, Right Time, Right Now” for 2015. 

Wheelchair Services - Healthcare industry