What does the Wheelchair service do?
Our aim is to provide a high quality specialist assessment and provision for wheelchairs, postural mobility seating and pressure care to children and young people with mobility difficulties across the Halton and St Helens areas.
This service is delivered by a specialist team of staff with skills in a wide range of clinical areas.
Staff work closely with the entire children’s workforce in private and voluntary sector, preschool, mainstream and specialist education provision and health to enhance children’s mobility needs.
The Wheelchair service will offer:
- Specialist assessment
- Advice and Intervention on the basis of assessment of clinical need
- An individual management plan developed and agreed with the young person, parents and carers as appropriate
- Evaluation of outcomes and future plans.
Positive impact of the service
The service has a positive impact on a child’s access to their home environment, education and the wider community.
As a team we adhere to the organisational values of Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust.
We provide a patient centred service by focusing on the child / young person and the team around the family looking to make a positive difference to their lives.
We constantly strive to evaluate our service and look for new, more effective and innovative ways of working.
We value all forms of communication and aim to communicate in an open and honest way that enables an atmosphere of trust and respect throughout.
We offer a professional quality service, following local and national professional guidelines with a comprehensive management structure, support and training packages that ensure best evidence-based practice at all times.
We are locally-led and flexible about the settings of our intervention to best meet the needs of the child and family.
We are efficient and use our resources wisely to ensure quality care and value for money.
Where is the service located and what areas does it cover?
The team is based at Independent Living Centre in Runcorn but the service also runs clinics at Lowe house clinic in St Helens.
Services are offered in clinics at the Independent Living Centre and Lowe house clinic, child’s home and education settings when appropriate to ensure children are assessed in an environment best suited to individual needs.
What service does the Wheelchair Service provide?
What families can expect:
- Expert assessment of their child’s mobility and postural clinical needs
- To be fully involved in the assessment process, plan of equipment needs and treatment plan.
- That the plan will contain clear measurable goals and expected outcomes
- That the goals will link to mobility needs.
- That wheelchair staff will contribute to Education, Health and Care plans and reviews for children and young people with additional needs where required
- Families can expect signposting to other agencies and services where appropriate and when families consent to this beneficial support
- That wheelchair service advice and provide support for wheelchair equipment where relevant and clinically appropriate
- That where relevant, goals and management plans are provided jointly in order to work in a holistic and meaningful way with families.
Working with other professionals involved with the child
Evidence shows that the best results are achieved when we work with those involved in the care of the child and young person.
This enables those around him / her to promote mobility skills to their full potential in a variety of meaningful environments. For us this means working within a variety of settings and with a variety of other people including parents and professionals.
We aim to form a partnership with families and professionals to meet the child’s clinical mobility needs.
We work with others, including parents, partners from the Local Authority and private and voluntary sector as they, as well as families, are ideally placed to support and encourage the child to use their mobility equipment effectively.
We have close working relationships with our partners in health and work in an integrated way with joint goals and management, including:
How can I start using this service?
Making a referral:
Referrals are received and processed at:
Independent Living Centre
Initial referrals are made by professionals who gain parental consent and complete the referral form.
Parents can request a re-assessment of their child’s mobility needs following initial referral to the service by phoning 01928 582939.
We aim to make contact with families in a timely manner and all children are entitled to be seen within 18 weeks.
How are decisions made about who can use the service?
Moving on – transitions and discharge:
When the service is involved at times of transition such as at school entry or moving from primary to secondary school, links are made with other services to ensure the transition is as seamless as possible.
When appropriate assessment and provision has been completed, the service will discharge the child. This is likely to be at the point where:
- Assessment of need has been completed
- Appropriate provision has been agreed and supplied.
How does the team communicate with families and involve them in decision making and planning?
Families can expect clear communication from the Wheelchair service both face to face and in writing in the form of appointments and service information leaflets.
Families will be fully involved and contribute to all decision making and planning for the child’s wheelchair provision based in eligibility criteria and clinical need.
- The Wheelchair Service fully respects the family’s detailed knowledge of their child.
- There is multidisciplinary collation of information about the child’s skills and areas of need in order to plan the appropriate assessment and provision.
- Families are fully involved and participate in the assessment and development of a management plan for their child.
- The child’s management plan contains clear, measurable and meaningful goals and expected outcomes for the child and that these are fully discussed and explained.
- Staff will contribute to Education, Health and Care Plans where appropriate.
- Families can expect signposting to other agencies and services where appropriate and when they consent to this support.
- Appropriate support and explanation is provided to families for equipment where required.
- A joined up approach is taken in working in a holistic manner with families.
Methods of seeking views from families
The wheelchair service are always keen to seek the views of service users and value their feedback.
This includes the use of verbal feedback, “Talk to Us” feedback forms and other questionnaires:
This helps the team to help shape and improve services further and while the impact and outcomes of these projects are shared openly with families, individual contributions are treated confidentially.
The wheelchair service has a wheelchair user group which patients and carers can become a member of. If you require further details of how to join this group please contact the wheelchair service.
The service is also involving patients and carers in the product reviews completed by the service. If you would like to be involved in this please contact the wheelchair service.
Is the Wheelchair service fully accessible?
All buildings used by the team are fully accessible and contain appropriate facilities for families and children with additional needs.
What training do the team members have?
All the staff working within the Wheelchair service are DBS checked and have the appropriate professional qualifications.
The team have specialist clinical staff who ensure the quality of therapy management and all staff are compliant with a range of mandatory training as well as participating in required continual professional development work in the form of ongoing reflective clinical practice, training and research as appropriate.
Who can I contact for further information?
In the first instance families who have concerns about their child’s development can contact their family health visitor or GP or discuss their concerns with their consultant paediatrician if they have one.
Families of children attending educational settings can also seek advice and support from these staff.
This may then generate a referral to the Wheelchair Service for further assessment, support, advice and appropriate management.
Our Patient Services is a point of contact for families seeking advice or information about services or to raise issues or concerns. You can contact the team on 0800 587 0562.