Millbrook Assessment Wheelchair Services

Millbrook Healthcare has confirmed it is planning to introduce Personal Wheelchair Budget options to Kent and Medway service users in early 2020 as new legislation is set to expand the rollout of the scheme to over 100,000 more people.

Designed to give people with long-term conditions more control over their health and wellbeing, the Personal Health budgets are planned and agreed between individuals and clinicians, allowing those in receipt of their budgets to spend the money to meet their specific needs, such as purchasing a specially adapted wheelchair.

With currently 70,000 people benefitting from the scheme, a change in the law which will come into force at the beginning of December will open up the Personal Health Budget scheme wider, enabling everyone eligible for an NHS wheelchair to choose to have a Personal Health Budget.

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Following the announcement of the new legislation, Ruth Owen OBE, Chief Executive of Whizz-Kidz, called on wheelchair service providers to “adopt a truly holistic approach to the needs of disabled people, and give wheelchair users the control that they deserve.”

Preparing to meet the demand from service users to take control of their own health budgets, Millbrook Healthcare says it is intending to work with service users to spread awareness and information about the new option.

The organisation has said it “would welcome the opportunity to meet with service users to share details of the scheme and gain your input into the development of information (such as leaflets, posters, questions and answers etc) for service users.”

Service users interested in supporting Millbrook’s work are advised to contact Tamsin Flint and Sarah Forster in the Wheelchair Service Commissioning Team via tccg.wheelchairs@nhs.net or by phoning 03000 424 611.

An outsourced provider of community equipment and assessment services, Southampton-headquartered Millbrook Healthcare operates 29 service centres across the UK and provides wheelchair services to a number of local councils and the NHS, including the Kent and Medway wheelchair service on behalf of NHS Thanet CCG.

Hertfordshire Wheelchair Service Millbrook wheelchairs lined up

The organisation was awarded the Kent and Medway wheelchair service of the contract in April 2017, however, during the early months of delivering the service, Millbrook Healthcare raised concerns about a larger and more complex inherited caseload than expected which was impacting its ability to deliver the contract.

The CCG commissioned an independent audit into reported backlog by Millbrook Healthcare which confirmed a significant number of service users had been waiting for more than 18 weeks at the commencement of the contract.

Additionally, it found a high number of complex cases had been inherited, requiring high cost and specialist equipment, as well as a large backlog of repair jobs, with service users experiencing unacceptably long waits for repairs.

Since September 2018, Millbrook has been focused on clearing the inherited waiting list, with the CCG approving additional contract funding to help tackle the problem. Responding to criticism that the service was not stable by Kent County Councillor for Ramsgate Karen Constantine in July 2019, Millbrook Healthcare insisted it has managed to reduce waiting times in the last 12 months by 7 weeks for adults from 31 weeks to 23 weeks.

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