Our Strategy

Wheelchair Alliance Strategic Direction 2021 -2024

Our vision:

To transform the experience for wheelchair users in England through improved access, quality and effectiveness of services

Our mission:

We will work in partnership with all relevant organisations and influence at the highest level to ensure that wheelchair users can lead qualitative, independent lives. This will be done by making sure wheelchair users are listened to and have confidence that every wheelchair service provides the choice and capability to fully deliver the outcomes of each individual person.

Strategies

1.     To champion national accountability for wheelchair users

We will publicly support and champion services and processes that demonstrate best practice for wheelchair users and, where appropriate, their primary carers/families.

We will challenge services and processes that do not provide equitable care in an acceptable timeframe.

2.     To communicate with wheelchair users 

We will be the ‘go to’ website for information relating to wheelchairs, with a commitment to the use of simple, jargon free and easily navigated forms of communication

3.     To innovate for the benefit of wheelchair users

We will work in partnership with wheelchair users, manufacturers, policy makers, NHS England, local commissioners and service providers to improve services and equipment that best support independent living.

To ensure we can move forward with these strategies we will build internal capacity to ensure sustainability by enhancing: 

  • Member Intelligence: Deepen the relationship with and knowledge of Members to maximise the skills and experience they bring
  • Increased Resources: Develop our financial resources to become an independent organisation and build sustainability into the future.  
  • Communications: Focus on disseminating information in a concise manner that is free from jargon. 

Wheelchair Alliance Operations Plan 2021-2024

To deliver the strategic aims, the Alliance will form dedicated working groups. Over the next three years our plan is to:

Champion

  • Refresh and relaunch the Wheelchair Charter and use it to hold relevant stakeholders to account
  • Lobby at the highest level using relevant data and information provided by wheelchair users, NHS England, wheelchair providers, wheelchair commissioners and other relevant stakeholders
  • Collaborate with commissioners ensuring the needs of wheelchair users are recognised, particularly through the use of model contracts and Personal Wheelchair Budgets

Communicate

  • Build a community of wheelchair users to support development of information for people needing a wheelchair, reaching those who do not access wheelchair services 
  • Develop a person-friendly website dedicated to wheelchair users, acting as a gateway to external policies, procedures and practice 
  • Work in collaboration with Bangor University and NHS England following research into ‘New ways of working in response to Covid 19’ published in May 2021, hosting the resulting best practice on the website and challenging services to maintain, replicate or build on positive changes
  • Publish the refreshed Wheelchair Charter and a review, indicating achievements since the wheelchair summits. Host webinars to promote best practice
  • Know who our stakeholders are through a mapping exercise with relevant partners.

Innovate

  • Raise awareness of Personal Wheelchair Budgets and the benefits of integrated budgets
  •  Host a forum with manufacturers and wheelchair users to encourage innovation based on lived experience. 

Sustainability

  • Build financial resilience to support the ability to become an independent body, support members attendance at Alliance meetings and fund project management capacity
  • Build capacity through the recruitment of new members, and co-opting of expertise to working groups that deliver the agreed priorities 

Wheelchair Alliance Operations plan for 2021 – 2022

The Alliance priorities for 2021-2022 are:

  1. Publicise the Wheelchair Charter through the website and our partners’ websites
  2. Hold quarterly meetings with NHS England (NHSE) using data and evidence to enable targeted communication and lobbying
  3. Work with the National Wheelchair Advisory Group (NWAG) to ensure equitable access to and provision of PWB’s across England
  4. Secure funding to drive a project identifying positive changes to service delivery that benefit all stakeholders
  5. Develop a focal point for the sharing of information with wheelchair users, informed through the User Group

Actions underpinning the priorities are as follows

  1. Publicise the Wheelchair Charter through the website and our partners’ websites
    • Secure funding to design the Charter including our logo, and possible copyright costs 
    • Place the Charter as the central piece of information on our website
    • Share the Charter with key stakeholders: NHSE/Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)/Education/Access to work/National Wheelchair Managers Forum (NWMF) etc
    • Develop a ‘Partners agreement’ to ensure the Charter is communicated broadly
    • Produce the wheelchair users version of the Charter and publish on the website
    • Identify a method of proving where the Charter is being used for positive change/influence
  1. Hold quarterly meetings with NHSE using data and evidence to enable targeted communication and lobbying
    • Consider the national minimum dataset and identify gaps and opportunities for improvement 
    • Ensure analysed data is circulated to the Alliance ahead of quarterly meetings to support positive dialogue
    • Use quarterly meetings to influence change: improved data set/ support for challenged services/identify changes (positive or negative) to services with integrated equipment & wheelchair provision
  1. Work with the NWAG to ensure equitable access to and provision of Personal Wheelchair Budget’s (PWBs) across England
    • Canvas the user group for information on use of PWBs
    • Ask a Freedom of Information (FOI) question/s regarding PWB provision and value
    • Publicise useful information on PWBs on the website 
  1. Secure funding to drive a project identifying positive changes to service delivery that benefit all stakeholders
    • Utilise funding to report on current service/supply/procurement practices against potential provision across these areas that could; improve speed of provision/improve choice and therefore patient reported outcomes/improve utilisation of current funding/identify unmet need and possibly funding gaps. Gaps may include environmental challeng