Help to Buy
You may be eligible for financial help to buy an Ergo Lightweight Pushchair, either from the NHS or a Charity.
NHS Wheelchair Services
If a child has outgrown their standard pushchair but is unable to walk, or walk far enough or can walk...but not always. Then they may be eligible to receive help from the NHS.
Please note that few, if any, NHS authorities will provide equipment for a child whose need is only behavioural e.g. Autism. There needs to be a physical element.
We are not experts in this and the eligibility rules vary across the UK but we have spoken to many parents who had no idea that the NHS supply equipment, even though they have ongoing relationships with various health professionals ! Sometimes it seems (from the outside) that the NHS system is just so big that everyone assumes that someone else is responsible for telling you, the parent. Families can 'fall through the cracks' and not get the help they need and are entitled to.
If you are in doubt then please contact us first to discuss, we will give you the best impartial advice we can.
01363 881110 firstname.lastname@example.org
How to find out
Equipment is supplied by the NHS through your local Wheelchair Services department but it's much more than just wheelchairs they supply, car seats, beds...etc.
Some departments are keen for you to contact them direct, others like you to be referred by a Health Professional, either way it's worth giving them a call to explain your situation. They should be able to tell you if it is worth pursuing this and how to go about it.
If you 'hit a brick wall' and your child cannot walk say 150m due to a physical condition, then it would be unusual and you should get a second opinion.
To find the contact details for your local Wheelchair Services visit a NHS Wheelchair Services Directory or for an Interactive Map
BUT the NHS may offer a piece of equipment which is unsuitable for your lifestyle, e.g. a large, clunky and heavy wheelchair that isnt compact enough to suit your everyday needs.
NHS England Independent Wheechair Vouchers & Personal Wheelchair Budgets
In England you can ask the NHS to help pay for the piece of equipment you want to buy. In some areas this system is called The Independent Wheelchair Voucher Scheme, but others are moving over to new Personal Wheelchair Budgets. Either way you can think of it as being like a Prescription, but unlike a prescription for aspirin which you take to a chemist it is a prescription for at least part payment of a pushchair or wheelchair which you bring to a retailer like us.
The NHS calculate the value of the voucher according to the child's needs, the value of the piece of kit they would have given you free and other factors ...including how well funded they are.
We have to check that what we are supplying is deemed suitable by the NHS for the child's needs.
Assuming this all checks out then we invoice the NHS for the value of the voucher and ask you to make up any extra cost with a payment on a Credit Card.
We have received vouchers from £150 to £1000, but the average is probably about £350.
NHS Wales & NHS Scotland do not provide Personal Wheelchair Budgets.
Charities are not there to subsidise the NHS but to help when the NHS either won't help or quite often has already supplied one piece of kit but now there are other needs to be met, either for the child or the family as a whole.
Some charities are 'means tested' others are not, some ask for a contribution, e.g. 80:20 they pay 80% you pay 20%.
We have supplied the Ergo Lightweight Pushchair, and other special needs pushchairs, to charities.
We do not have a definitive list of charities, as a starting point try the list at Special Needs Links
If you are new to this and feel that you have been thrown in at the deep end with little support and advice then try Contact a Family. They may be able to put you in touch with someone local who can advise how the system works in your area (and how to make it work for you) or someone with a child with the same condition who is 5 years down the line and can advise what worked for them and what didn't. Either way you don't need to 're-invent the wheel'.
Whatever the situation there is lots of really good help and support out there.
If you need a quote from us for a Charity Grant Application then please email us what pushchair and accessories you would like, the applicants name (usually the parents name), the childs name and the delivery address of the pushchair to email@example.com.