The Team at TPG are regularly asked about Personal Wheelchair Budgets.
- Do I qualify?
- How does the process work?
- Can TPG help me get the right wheelchair?
With those questions in mind, we hope this article can go someway to answering some questions for you.
What is the PWB?
If after an NHS medical assessment, you are deemed to require a specific wheelchair, the NHS Wheelchair Services will give you a voucher to the value of that chair which can then be put towards the cost of buying either privately or in partnership with the NHS. With the option to ‘top up’ the voucher value with personal or charitable contributions, this latest scheme aims to provide more product flexibility and choice whilst covering the ongoing cost of your postural and mobility needs. You can apply for a new PWB every 5 years.
Why is PWB better for you?
Before the scheme was introduced, you were restricted to a small range of ‘standard’ wheelchairs available through the NHS. This range was narrow and restrictive mostly due to the lean NHS budgets which meant in certain scenarios you could not access the ideal wheelchair for your needs or there wasn’t any funding flexibility to choose upgraded equipment from outside statutory services.
Now the PWB Scheme has changed that and you have more control and choice than ever before. You can of course still accept a ‘standard’ product that is completely funded by the NHS, ie. to the value of your voucher or contribute additional funds to afford a more advanced wheelchair – this could be more lightweight or configurable for example.
PWB ultimately means more flexibility; you don’t have to simply accept a wheelchair from the NHS which meets minimum requirements. You can choose other brands and models from external suppliers such as TPG.
Getting a PWB is your right within your care plan. It allows you to choose how to spend your NHS funding. Before PWB you had to prove that no ‘standard’ NHS wheelchair met your needs. Users say PWB is ‘more straightforward’ and ‘client-centred’ as you have choice in terms of who you decide to supply your wheelchair.
TPG working to help you with your PWB?
For the best outcome, we recommend contacting out trained team of assessors right from the start of the process who can offer advice and support.
- Stage 1.
- PWB voucher. This voucher can be used to fund, or part contribute towards the cost of a wheelchair, powerchair, wheelchair handbike or wheelchair power add-on. The TPG team of Assessors will discuss with you the type of equipment you need to stay independent and then make recommendation. They will also take into consideration the findings of your NHS assigned therapist. This assessment process is critical from a clinical and practical point of view and is only ever available from a qualified specialist that is why we have partnered with Silverfern Therapy a qualified independent Occupational Therapist who can further assist with your needs
- Stage 2.
- Once you are happy with your product, we will send the specifications to your NHS Wheelchair Services for approval. This makes sure our wheelchair recommendations will fulfil the mobility goals as set out by your NHS Occupational Therapist. You may find at this point the value of your PWB voucher increases as you will own the product and therefore be responsible for servicing and repairs. The advantage of this is that maintenance and adjustments will be quicker as you will be dealing with us and not having to wait for the NHS. We will do it all for you – one point of contact for everything.
Why should I get my PWB wheelchair insured?
Specialist wheelchair insurance will cover the cost of any accidental damage and provides public liability peace of mind. This means you are protected against any unforeseen costs associated with:
- Repairs to your wheelchair
- Damage to third-party property
- Injuring a third person.
To ensure you get the best specialist service, we partner with Fish Insurance to provide insurance and service that reflects TPG’s commitment to quality and family values.
Fish Insurance can also help you with an extended product warranty, so you do not have the worry of paying for replacement parts if a breakdown arises. Typically, a manufacturer will provide a 2-year warranty however this can be replaced with 5-year cover right up until you can apply for another PWB voucher and new product.