West Berkshire Wheelchair Service provides wheelchairs and specialist seating services to the population of West Berkshire.
We provide services for clients with long-term neurological conditions including Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Motor Neurone Disease (MND), Muscular Dystrophy (MD) and brain injury, who are unable to walk indoors.
We also provide specialist paediatric services for children with posture and seating needs including clients with Cerebral Palsy; learning disabilities and motor function deficits.
We have close links with the Neurological Rehabilitation Unit and the Dingley Child Development Centre.
Clients are seen in the most appropriate location for assessment whether it be the ward, Wheelchair Clinic, own home, community hospitals or special schools.
Therapists work closely with clients to assess their requirements for wheelchair provision, including children who require specialist seating and buggies. We provide advice and training for users with their equipment, including powered wheelchair training. We provide specialist seating for those with complex needs and run a monthly custom made seating clinics. We also provide specialist pressure relief care for wheelchairs issued from the clinic.
Wheelchairs are issued from the department for patients on the wards and in community hospitals who will be long term users require wheelchairs for prompt discharge.
The wheelchairs are provided on a loan agreement that should the chair no longer be required, it will be returned to the wheelchair clinic.
Manager and Occupational Therapist: Paul Gent
Paediatric Specialist Occupational Therapist: Louise Phillips
Occupational Therapy Technician: Nathan Laws
Rehabilitation Engineer: Mike Gibbard
Administrators: Sean Iremonger and Carolyn Mollett
Our staff are experienced in the assessment and provision of wheelchairs; keeping up to date on evidence based practice by attending regular product awareness training sessions and undertaking continual professional development.
The wheelchair service will only provide wheelchairs to users who are unable to mobilise and who require the wheelchair indoors.
We do not provide wheelchairs for outdoor use only or for portering in nursing/residential homes.
We only provide wheelchairs to temporary users in exceptional circumstances
Clients must have a GP in Berkshire West.
Electric wheelchairs may be provided to clients who are unable to walk or self propel indoors and can operate the electric wheelchair safely and independently themselves.
We are not commissioned to provide electric wheelchairs for outdoor use only which may be available via the Motability scheme (see 'useful links').
Referrals must be completed by a consultant, GP or registered healthcare professional. We do not accept self-referrals.
Upon referral, the therapists require an accurate height, weight and hip width measure. This is to ensure that the process from Application to Assessment to Equipment Provision is as timely as possible.
Referral forms must be completed and faxed to 0118 322 7972.
Please note: Our clients live over a wide geographical area. The guiding rule for referrals is if a client has a Berkshire West GP, they will come under the West Berkshire Wheelchair Service, irrespective of postcode.
If a client is referred to us and they do not have a Berkshire West GP, the referral will be forwarded to the appropriate Wheelchair Service.
Our therapists work between 0800 and 1600.
Appointments are made within these hours only.
We hold regular clinics in the West Berkshire Wheelchair Clinic at Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading; West Berkshire Community Hospital in Thatcham; the MS Centre in Reading; Beecher Hall Nursing Home in Reading.
We are able to arrange appointments at home or residential home if the client is unable to attend a clinic. In special circumstances we will review clients in nursing homes.
Vouchers for wheelchairs are available for people wishing to purchase chairs not available through the NHS. More information can be found in the leaflet entitled 'Wheelchair Independent Voucher Scheme'.
Contact: 0870 060 1471 or 0144 224 0541.