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How do you get a wheelchair in Kent? Contract has been won by private firm Millbrook Healthcare and it starts on April 1

PUBLISHED: 09:23 27 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:23 27 March 2017

Wheelchair

Wheelchair

Tomasz WyszoBmirski

Contract was previously held by the Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust

How to contact Millbrook

Millbrook’s assessment centres, from April 1 2017, will be at:

Inca House, Wooton Road, Ashford TN23 6LL

and

Unit 1, Ambley Green, Gillingham, ME8 0NJ

or contact:

T; 03301 244 485

E: kentandmedwaywcs@millbrookhealthcare.co.uk

Those provided with an NHS wheelchair will receive them from a new, private, provider as of next month.

Previously provided by the Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust, as of April 1 it will be handed over to Millbrook Healthcare.

Tha company, headquartered in Hampshire but with two fixed assessment centre in Ashford and Gillingham, specialises in providing community equipment to local authorities and the NHS.

The contract covers the whole of Kent and Medway, where there are 23,000 people who use NHS-funded wheelchairs. The service assists people with a long-term need for a wheelchair - six months or more.

Manual and powered wheelchairs can be provided to children, young people and adults, following referral by a healthcare professional such as a GP or physiotherapist and an eligibility check.

Features of the new service include a comprehensive stock of wheelchairs to be held to meet the needs of the majority of patients that have been referred. It is expected that a large proportion of clients with straightforward requirements will leave their initial assessment with a wheelchair

The service takes a ‘one-stop shop’ approach which means that all clinical assessments, repairs, maintenance and adaptations are carried out from the same site

If a bespoke wheelchair is required, in most cases the patient will not usually have to wait more than six weeks to receive it

The company says that should sufficient demand exist, additional clinics could be provided at other locations, for example, hospitals or GP surgeries, to increase choice and reduce the need for patients to travel.

Clinics will continue to be held at schools and in patients’ homes as required

Millbrook Healthcare already provides wheelchair services for a number of other areas in the UK, including East Sussex. The service does not provide wheelchairs for short-term use (less than six months). These are loaned by organisations such as the Red Cross.

Dr Sarah Phillips, clinical chair at NHS Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Patients that already have a wheelchair provided by the NHS do not need to do any more than just note the new contact details, they should all have received a letter with these already.

“All the people that use this service will see improvements that will include a reduction in the time taken for a wheelchair to be delivered, ease of arranging repairs and the range of chairs available.”

The NHS Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group plans and buys healthcare for the people of Canterbury, Whitstable, Herne Bay, Faversham, Sandwich, Ash and surrounding areas.

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