Health and Wellbeing Progress – Recommendation 11

Wheelchairs for amputees

NHS(S) should adapt current arrangements to ensure an appropriate level of funding is available to guarantee that wheelchairs provided by the MOD for veterans with severe amputations can be serviced, maintained and replaced with the best possible equipment commensurate with that individual’s needs.

2019 SVC evaluation of status:

Partially implemented


2019 update provided by the Scottish Government:

Specialist wheelchairs are provided based on clinical need, in line with nationally agreed criteria. A mobility needs assessment takes account of the each individual’s wider circumstances and goals to ensure that the most appropriate solution is provided for the individual. We are engaging with stakeholders to enhance our understanding of veterans’ experiences and continuing work to address any potential issues around provision of wheelchairs.

2020 SVC evaluation of status:

Partially implemented


2020 update provided by the Scottish Government:

This is a priority of the SOG and has been progressed by the IG. Similar to action taken on Hearing Aids, a National Clinical Director letter will go to all all territorial boards to ask them for Assistive Technology services to provide a like-for-like service and to establish autonomy for them to maintain MOD-issued wheelchairs. On the broader issue of inequities in wheelchair provision, the Scottish Government team with policy responsibility for wheelchairs will engage with stakeholders to discuss potential resolution.

2021 SVC evaluation of status:

Implemented, but work should continue

2021 update provided by the Scottish Government:

A letter from Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director, was sent in December 2020 to NHS specialist services across Scotland. The letter requests that Wheelchair and Seating Services (whether within a health board or as part of a regional consortium) maintain and replace Ministry of Defence issued wheelchairs used by veterans to at least a level commensurate with that issued to them at the time of their discharge, provided it is safe to do so and continues to meet their clinical and wheeled mobility needs.  It is expected that there may occasionally be additional costs when servicing, maintaining and replacing these specific wheelchairs, but it is estimated that the numbers of people likely to present to the NHS is very small and boards are expected to meet these costs. At the appropriate time, work will be undertaken to assess the impact of this letter.

2022 SVC evaluation of status:

Implemented, but work should continue

2022 update provided by the Scottish Government:

The letter that was sent by National Clinical Director in their role as chair of the Implementation Group to all NHS Board chairs and regional leads in December 2020 requested that the Wheelchair and Seating Service (whether within their own health board or as part of a regional consortium) maintain and replace wheelchairs used by veterans to at least a level commensurate with that issued to them at the time of their discharge, provided it is safe and continues to meet their clinical and wheeled mobility needs.  It is also expected ongoing advances in wheelchair technology will mean that veterans will have their needs met with equipment available via the National Procurement Framework in line with the existing eligibility criteria for Wheelchair and Seating Services. The purpose of this letter was to achieve the same level of service that is provided to individuals who use prosthetics through the specialist care at the Special Prosthetics Service.  Where the Chair of the IG writes to Boards, unless it is specifically stated in the letter, there is not an expectation of a response to confirm what action the Board has taken to implement any request. 


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