Virtual Wheelchair Consultations – COVID-19
People in Hull can now receive a wheelchair consultation virtually with the introduction of ‘Attend Anywhere’. Attend Anywhere is a secure video calling platform for pre-arranged appointments which is used and approved widely by the NHS and other organisations and provides a COVID-secure way to assess a patient’s wheelchair needs.
Where appropriate, wheelchair consultations will now be delivered using this technology, which brings with it many benefits. It reduces the need for people, and those supporting them, to travel to appointments, as well as prevents the need for clinicians to go into care settings.
Some people will still require an in-person face to face appointment, and in these circumstances visits will still be undertaken.
What is Attend Anywhere?
- Attend Anywhere is a secure video calling platform for pre-arranged appointments. It is used and approved widely by the NHS and other organisations
- It’s a secure system that does not require clients to download any apps or sign up to any services/accounts
- Service users will need to put in their name and date of birth and contact number but this information is only stored for the duration of the call
- Anyone can be sent a text or email request to join the consultation (for example a member of the MDT or a carer).
Why video consultations?
- Reduce the need for Service Users and cares to travel to wheelchair clinics; saving Service Users and carers time and money
- Provides Service Users and care home staff with the flexibility to have consultations in a place that is convenient to them and improving service user experience
- Reduces disruption to the day, reducing the amount of time they need to be out of work to attend an assessment
- Reduces carbon emissions associated with travel
- Reduces the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19, by avoiding unnecessary physical attendances
- Enabling clinicians to see service users who are unable to travel to a clinic appointment, this includes patients who are in at-risk groups or who need to self-isolate.
Deciding if a virtual consultation is right for you
- Video consultations provide more visual information than a telephone call and can be more convenient than a physical appointment
- Will you need support of a carer for either consultation? This will potentially involve support to set up the virtual assessment and holding the devise in varying positions and angles as directed by the clinician
- You have the right to decline a virtual assessment, you may be offered an appointment to attend a clinic however the assessment may be delayed if no other alternatives are available.
Requirements for Attend Anywhere are as follows:
- A reliable connection to the internet
- Google Chrome or Apple Safari web browser on a phone, tablet or laptop
- Web-camera, speakers or a handset and microphone
- A private, well-lit area where you will not be disturbed
Click here to access a virtual assessment user guide.
Personal Wheelchair Budgets
Personal Wheelchair Budgets were introduced to Hull in April 2018 and aim to increase choice and control for people who access wheelchair services through:
- Providing holistic assessments that take into account people’s wider needs
- Considering how wheelchair provision can increase independence and improve people’s health and wellbeing outcomes
- Supporting people to identify their own health and wellbeing goals
- Integrating services around individuals by bringing together care and support agencies
- Increasing the availability of information about the choices available to people locally.
How do I know if I’m eligible?
All wheelchair users who have long term postural and mobility needs will be eligible for an assessment for a Personal Wheelchair Budget by the wheelchair service. Exclusions for a Personal Wheelchair Budget are:
- Short term loan wheelchairs
- Rapidly deteriorating or changing need (however these will be considered on a case by case basis)
How are Personal Wheelchair Budgets provided?
Wheelchair users will have three options for the provision of their chair through a Personal Wheelchair Budget:
- Notional Personal Wheelchair Budget (standard NHS provision)
This means the provision of the wheelchair that would have routinely been provided by the NHS to meet your identified needs. There may be an opportunity to choose an alternative chair that is within the catalogue of chairs provided, if this better meets your needs at no additional cost e.g. a different colour.
- Notional Personal Wheelchair Budget with contribution
This option allows a person or another agency (for example social care, access to work or voluntary or charitable organisation) to contribute their personal budget towards a higher specification NHS wheelchair or add additional features in order to meet wider health and wellbeing needs.
- Third Party Personal Wheelchair Budget
This allows a person to use their personal budget as a contribution to buying a wheelchair from an independent retailer outside of the NHS. This is only available if the wheelchair is deemed clinically appropriate following a discussion with a wheelchair therapist.
More information on Personal Wheelchair Budgets can be found at www.england.nhs.uk/personal-health-budgets/personal-wheelchair-budgets/
How can I be assesed for a Personal Wheelchair Budget?
If you currently have a wheelchair provided by Hull Wheelchair Service, you can make a re-referral directly to the Wheelchair Service on 03448 936 375.
If you do not currently have a wheelchair and would like to be assessed, a referral will need to be made to the Wheelchair Service, this can be done by either your GP or other professionals who may be involved in your care e.g. Occupational Therapist.