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Active user wheelchairs

This section includes wheelchairs that are designed for active users and have multiple axle positions, and a number of frame adjustments and frame sizes. Some can be made-to-measure. They are suitable for adults, children or both.

Active user wheelchairs are available with a folding or rigid frame.

Also included are sports wheelchairs which are intended primarily for sports use and are often fitted with high pressure tyres and small front castors. They can either be adapted to suit individual requirements, or made to order. They may not be appropriate for general purpose use. Some active user wheelchairs may be adapted for sports use, for example, by changing the castors or adjusting the wheel camber.

Action 5 Folding Wheelchair
Active user wheelchair with fixed front frame. Comprises: self-locking folding mechanism, backrest can fold on top of the seat to reduce the size; adj...
Action 5 Rigid Wheelchair
Rigid wheelchair. Comprises: adjustable seat depth, angle and height; backrest can be adjusted while the user remains in the chair; designed to be com...
Action 5 Wheelchair
Active user wheelchair with swing away footrests. Comprises: self-locking folding mechanism, backrest can fold on top of the seat to reduce the size; ...
AllStar Multi-Sport Wheelchair
Made to measure active user wheelchair designed for sports use. Comprises: tapered, rigid aluminium frame; low friction front castors; spoked user pro...
Avantgarde 4ds Wheelchair
Wheelchair. Comprises: integrated foot supports; push handles; foldable.
Avantgarde 4dv Wheelchair
Wheelchair. Comprises: swing away and removable foot supports; foldable.
Avantgarde CLT Wheelchair
Wheelchair for self-propelling users. Comprises: designed to have a reduced product weight; foldable aluminium tubular frame; push handles; carbon sid...
Avantgarde CS Wheelchair
Active user folding wheelchair. Comprises: foldable aluminium frame in modular construction; hollow rims; push handles; closed anterior frame; integra...
Avantgarde CV Wheelchair
Active user folding wheelchair. Comprises: vertical anterior aluminium frame; foldable; can be custom made; hollow rims; ergonomic push handles; swing...
Bravo Racer Wheelchair
Rigid frame active user wheelchair. Comprises: folding anti-tipper device; one-piece adjustable height footrest; air-filled tyres in a range of colour...
Bromakin Custom Aero Racer
Three-wheeled aluminium racing wheelchair, available in kneeling or sitting version and made-to-measure. Comprises: rear wheels with screw-in hubs; ad...
Bromakin Custom Basketball Wheelchair
Sports wheelchair designed for basketball. Comprises: custom sized frame; fixed backrest; fixed sideguards; dual anti tips castors at front and rear; ...
Bromakin Custom Tennis Wheelchair
Tennis sports wheelchair. Comprises: alloy frame; single front castor; custom wheels; high flange hubs; alloy handrims and adjustable footrest. Option...
Chrome Moly Wheelchair
Chrome wheelchair. Comprises: made to measure; steel frame; ergonomic seating; adjustable centre of gravity. Options: open or closed frame design; fou...
Club Sport Wheelchair
Sport wheelchair. Comprises: Kenda tyres; aluminium hand rims; integrated camber bar, offensive wing and anti-tip; integrated footrest and foot strap;...
Danza Dance Wheelchair
Made to measure active user wheelchair designed for dancing. Comprises: rigid titanium frame; front castors; spoked, rear user propelling wheels; anti...
Elite Basketball Wheelchair
Range of made-to-measure wheelchairs designed for basketball players. Comprises: rigid aluminium triangular frame, with tapered front; front castors w...
G6 High Active Afn Self Propel Wheelchair
Self propelled folding wheelchair. Comprises: folding brace to keep the chair rigid with press button under the seat to allow the chair to fold; heigh...
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Buying equipment

There are several factors to consider when purchasing equipment.

Making complaints and reporting unsafe products

In most instances a complaint should initially be made to the supplier who provided you with the item. CAB has a range of guidelines on their website on making a complaint about poor service or faulty goods. These include complaining by phone, complaining in writing and template letters. CAB advice about making a complaint.
If you are not satisfied with the supplier's response then you may choose to complain to:

  • an ombudsman scheme
  • a regulator
  • an independent mediator
  • a trade association (if the supplier is a member of one)

 

Safety incidents involving medical devices can be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on the GOV UK website www.mhra.gov.uk or their Adverse incident centre hotline 020 3080 7080. The MHRA is the government agency responsible for ensuring that medical devices and medicines work and are acceptably safe. Their definition of 'Medical devices' includes devices used for assisting patients and users, thus many daily living aids such as bath lifts, commodes and walking sticks are medical devices. Any incident involving the safety of a medical device (including safety issues with its instructions for use) should be reported to the MHRA, especially if the incident contributed to, or could have caused injury, life-threatening illness or death.

Buying from a private person

Buying from a private person gives you fewer rights. You will only be able to claim against the seller if the product doesn't match its description or if the seller did not own it. Consequently, some firms occasionally pretend to be private sellers to avoid their legal responsibilities towards customers. If you suspect this has happened to you find out about your rights and what action to take on the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) website https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/ or call 0345 404 0506 to speak to the Citizen Advice consumer helpline.

Guarantee

The length of the manufacturer's guarantee does not limit any claim you may make to the seller as if a product develops a fault outside the guarantee period you can still claim against the seller if you can show that the fault was unreasonable at that period in the products life.

 

You may be asked whether you would like to purchase an extended warranty. Remember that your statutory rights exist, under the Sale of Goods Act, whether or not you choose to buy their warranty and whether or not the goods came with any guarantee. Manufacturers' guarantees are separate from the automatic rights you have against the seller, and may be more limited. For more information read the Citizens Advice Bureau guide to guarantees and warranties.

Maintenance and insurance

For large complex items, such as a stairlift, check what kind of maintenance contract the supplier offers.

Membership of trade associations

Some suppliers are members of a trade association. Many of these trade associations have a code of practice that governs their members' customer service, and thus may help to project you from unscrupulous selling practices. For example, some trade associations prohibit their members from contacting people uninvited to try and sell their products. They may also prohibit their members from using high pressure selling tactics such as offering a discount if you order that day, or phoning their manager while demonstrating the equipment to you to agree a 'special discount/deal'. Thus if you have a choice of suppliers for the product you wish to purchase we recommend you consider the suppliers who are members of trade association.

We record suppliers' membership of several trade associations (see a list of these trade associations) and our ratings give greater weighting to trade associations with codes of practice which are approved by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) (e.g. the British Healthcare Trade Association) or governed by an audit scheme which meets the requirements of the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

We also record whether suppliers meet the ISO 9000 series of standards. These standards define a Quality System which certifies that formalised business processes are being applied, and thus may be another indicator to look for if you have a choice of suppliers.

VAT

You may be able to purchase equipment designed for use by disabled people without paying the VAT if you are 'chronically sick or disabled', and you are buying the item/s for your own personal or domestic use. For VAT purposes, a person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they:

  • Have a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out everyday activities.
  • Have a condition that the medical profession treats as a chronic sickness (e.g. diabetes).
  • Are terminally ill.

 

So, you won't qualify if you're only temporarily disabled or incapacitated (e.g. if you have a broken leg).

Examples of products which are likely to qualify for VAT relief (if intended for the personal or domestic use of a chronically sick or disabled person) include:

 

  • wheelchairs
  • stairlifts
  • computer software or hardware designed specifically for disabled individuals
  • kettle tippers, tap turners, button hooks and similar gadgets or devices that are designed solely to make everyday tasks easier for disabled individuals
  • artificial limbs
  • vehicles that have been adapted for use by a wheelchair or stretcher user

Price

Price is important but, if we list more than one supplier, it is important to look for more than just the cheapest price. Check when the prices were last updated (this should be stated under each price). Consider whether:

  • Postage/delivery is included (if shopping by mail order or online)
  • Is the supplier a member of a trade association? (see below)
  • Is one supplier listing the price with VAT and another without VAT?
  • Check the suppliers' returns policies and any guarantees / warranties (see below).
  • For complex equipment that requires maintenance and/or servicing check what's included in the price and what the ongoing costs will be.

Get advice and an assessment

Experienced therapists or trusted assessors know a lot about products and will help you make sure the product is right for you now and will continue to be suitable in the future. 

 

You may be able to get an assessment and advice from social services. GOV.UK website
Alternatively you may choose to pay for a private occupational therapist. If you wish to request a private appointment with an occupational therapist then you can obtain details of local private occupational therapists from the 'College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section - Independent Practice' (COTSS-IP) website. www.cotss-ip.org.uk or phone their enquiry Line: 0845 129 7699.
You can check whether a therapist is state registered with the Health Care professions Council (HCPC) at www.hcpc-uk.org/audiences/

Try before you buy

You can find out about products and try them out, with independent advice at an Independent Living Centre (ILC). There are about 30 ILCs in the UK. Most do not sell products but they will be able to tell you where to buy them. We recommend you make an appointment before you visit

You could view equipment at an exhibition. They are a good opportunity to see what's available and meet the competing suppliers. The main exhibition of equipment is NAIDEX, held annually at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, and Glasgow. www.naidex.co.uk


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