Helping wheelchair users take control

Introduction for service users

We are managing an NHS champion site which introduced Personal Wheelchair Budgets (PWBs) over a year ago, so we’ve had invaluable experience in developing and delivering PWBs with our local commissioner.

Our first-hand experience has enabled us to work very closely with a local CCG to ensure the new process fits seamlessly into the main wheelchair work flow.

Key to success was our co-production of a local PWB offering with service users, carers and healthcare professionals.

The three PWB options

PWB Case Study

Read more about how NRS helped Mrs X after a traumatic brain injury left her in pain and with difficulties moving around her home.

Find out more


What are Personal Wheelchair Budget options?

The Personal Wheelchair Budget has been designed to provide wheelchair users with greater choice regarding their wheelchair provision. This enhanced scheme has replaced the previous Wheelchair Voucher Scheme.

Will I need to be assessed if I would like a PWB?

Yes. You will be invited to attend a clinic appointment where your wheelchair therapist will assess your wheelchair needs. Any questions you may have can be answered during this appointment.

What options will I have?

There are 3 options:

  1. National Personal Wheelchair Budget (Standard NHS Provision). This enables you to have a basic wheelchair which will meet your needs.
  2. National Personal Wheelchair Budget with contribution. This option allows you or another agency such as a voluntary/charitable organisation to contribute to your PWB to either have a higher specification NHS wheelchair to add additional features. An administration fee of £20.00 may be applied to each funding stream if prompt payment is not received.
  3. Third Party Personal Wheelchair Budget. In discussion with your wheelchair therapist, if it is clinically appropriate, you can choose to use your PWB as a contribution to buying a wheelchair from an independent retailer outside of the NHS.

Option 2 and 3 PWB payments last for 5 years for adults and 3 years for children other than in exceptional circumstances.

What about maintenace and insurance?

It is important to regularly maintain and repair your wheelchair. A typical adult wheelchair lasts 5 years but only 3 years for children as their needs have to be reassessed more regularly because of growth. Public Liability Insurance is strongly recommended if you are using your wheelchair in a public place, particularly a powered wheelchair. The Third Party PWB includes a contribution towards repairs and maintenance as the chair will be owned by you and will not qualify for NHS repairs, but it does not include a contribution towards public liability insurance.

What is the Personal Wheelchair Budget Support Plan?

Before your assessment you will be asked to think about the things that are important to you. You will also be asked to complete a short Personal Wheelchair Support Plan which will help you and the therapist to find the most appropriate wheelchair for your needs.

How do I arrange to be assessed?

If you are known to the Wheelchair Service, you can call and request a reassessment. If you do not currently have a wheelchair issued by the Wheelchair Service, your GP or healthcare professional can refer you for an assessment.

How is the Third Party Payment made?

If a Third Party PWB is authorised we will make a direct payment to the manufacturer or supplier that you are purchasing your wheelchair or buggy from. If the value of your PWB is greater than the cost of your equipment of choice then the supplier will only received the amount covering the cost of the equipment. If you choose Option 2, National PWB with contribution, then the wheelchair service will invoice you for the additional value and the goods will only be supplied once payment has been received.

Will I be expected to return the NHS chair I have now?

Yes, your NHS wheelchair will have to be returned to your local wheelchair service for the period of the wheelchair budget.

Will you still supply a pressure relief cushion if I need one?

We will still provide a pressure relief cushion if clinically required. This will not affect the type or amount of budget.

Useful downloads

Personal Wheelchair Budget Leaflet


Personal Wheelchair Budget FAQ Factsheet