The postcode lottery behind getting an NHS wheelchair exposed

© BuzzFeed

As part of its week-long special focus on disability rights, BuzzFeed News have uncovered how where you live affects your chances of getting an NHS wheelchair.

According to the site’s investigation, tens of thousand of disabled children and adults are missing out on the right wheelchair for their needs because of the postcode lottery that dictates services.

There’s a huge variation in access to NHS-funded wheelchairs across England, in part due to a lack of national eligibility criteria for mobility equipment. Almost a quarter of those referred by their GP to wheelchair services did not receive any equipment at all.

This has led to a rise in the number of people turning to crowdfunding to get the chairs that they need, turning to charities or using their savings.

Time is also an issue when it comes to mobility equipment – 96% of areas are not meeting their targets in terms of time frames for supplying wheelchairs. This should be happening within 18 weeks.

You can read the full story at BuzzFeed here, and check out their disability rights coverage so far at www.buzzfeed.com/disabilityrights.

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