If you are experiencing difficulties getting about independently then there may be other options available to you before you need to think about acquiring a wheelchair - take a look at our Equipment In Your Home and Regaining Your Independence pages for some suggestions.
However sometimes people find that they need a wheelchair to get around at all. And others may need one at least some of the time, perhaps when they go outside, or when they are feeling particularly tired or unwell.
This page provides advice on how you can acquire a wheelchair when necessary.
The Wheelchair Service is run by AJM Healthcare on behalf of the local NHS and provides assessments, provision of wheelchairs, specialist seating and repairs and maintenance.
You can contact the service yourself or be referred by a doctor, social worker or nurse:-
Specialist Wheelchair Services
Unit 3, Abbey Road Industrial Park
London NW 10 7XF
Phone: 0808 164 2040
Fax: 0808 133 0138
If you are not eligible for a wheelchair from the Wheelchair Service, or don't want to wait to be assessed by them, then you can considered privately hiring or buying a wheelchair yourself.
The Wheelchair Service has provided a list of reputable companies and charities who hire out wheelchairs.
The Disability Living Foundation (DLF) website provides a number of factsheets which help you to choose the right wheelchair and other equipment, and give details of companies in the London area who hire out wheelchairs.
You can also use the DLF's Ask Sara feature to assess your walking needs and, if appropriate, buy a suitable wheelchair for yourself.
There are many websites which sell wheelchairs online. People First cannot recommend individual websites but has provided links below to some of the websites out there. We try to check all these sites for content, but cannot guarantee the content or links in any way. No items have been tested by People First and all information is provided without legal responsibility:-
The Red Cross can offer short-term loans of some kinds of wheelchair.