28 November 2002
Wheelchair initiative aims to improve services
An initiative aiming to improve wheelchair services has been launched in partnership between the Department of Health and the NHS Modernisation Agency.
The Wheelchair Services Collaborative brings together 45 services representing more than 375,000 registered users across the country. They will work together to bring about sustainable improvements in services and develop networks which will keep the work going once the programme has finished.
The aim is to reduce delays, maximise efficiency and provide the right service at the right time. Users and carers will contribute both to the programme design and to the local improvements which will follow. There is a commitment by those working in the project to share learning across regional and other networks.
David Fillingham, NHS Modernisation Agency Director, said "We know that there is a real enthusiasm, energy and commitment here to making changes in services that will be of real benefit. We look forward to working with colleagues who commission services, local service teams, the voluntary sector and users and carers to do just that."
Peter Kemp, Chairman of the National Forum of Wheelchair User Groups, said, "I really believe that this is a unique opportunity for us to work together to get things right.
"I have been very impressed by the interest and enthusiasm of those involved. The partnerships between users and carers, the services themselves and those who commission them are already being strengthened."
The programme is chaired by Dr Andrew Frank, President of the British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine.