Wheelchair provision - short-term loans: guidance

Statutory guidance on the provision of wheelchairs on short term loan to support rehabilitation and independence.

Appendix B

Wheelchair For Provision


  • Attendant propelled folding wheelchair
  • Seat Width: 19"
  • Weight: 14.9kg
  • Maximum user limit - 125kg/19st
  • Half folding back
  • Removable armrests for side transfers and access swing in/out leg rest hangers
  • Flip up adjustable height footplates.
  • Anti-tippers for extra stability on slopes or uneven ground
  • Foot operated attendant controlled brakes
  • Lap strap

Weight restrictions

Safe Weight Limits 125kg/19st

*Check Safe Weight Limits for usage as these can change.


  • Specialised wheelchair for those with complex seating requirements and who spend significant time in their wheelchair – Assessment and provision requires appropriate referral to Westmarc wheelchair service

When should this equipment be issued?

It is good practice to encourage service users to walk whenever it is practical and safe to do so however:-

A wheelchair can be used when the service user has been assessed as having limited exercise tolerance, is prohibitively slow or in pain when walking, the environment could be dangerous to them or walking is contra-indicated for medical reasons.

Considerations Prior to use

  • The wheelchair is suitable for the environment - there is access for transfers or space to manoeuvre. Can the wheels cope with very uneven ground if this is encountered?
  • The chair fits the service user's dimensions and they are within the safe weight limit for the wheelchair.
  • How much assistance does the user need to get into the chair, and can the attendant cope with this?
  • The service user has adequate sitting balance to sit in the chair without risk of falling out.
  • The foot rests are adequate to support the user's legs and feet without risk of them falling off and being dragged under the chair.
  • Will the user be able to cope with the vibration when ground is uneven [pain; maintaining position etc]
  • Service users with unpredictable behaviour can be at risk in a wheelchair so ensure that:-
    • The service user will keep their feet on the footplates when the chair is in motion
    • The service will not try to get out of the chair while it is in motion.
  • In the case of attendant propelled chairs, the attendant must have the capacity to push the chair
    • n.b. a gentle slope can be difficult to negotiate even with a light passenger
  • Can the user or attendant use the chair safely and appropriately – operate the brakes, reach the footplates to apply them, tip the chair to cope with steps and uneven surfaces?
  • Can the attendant fold up the chair and lift into vehicles if required?

Using the wheelchair

Before seating the user:

  • Check the chair is fit for use. Brakes in working order, foot rests in place and at a comfortable height for the user.

Getting the user into the chair

  • Place the wheelchair as near the user as required.
  • Apply the brakes and fold the foot rests back
  • Ask the user to get into the chair or assist then to do so as required.
  • Ensure the user is right back in the chair then ask them to apply the lap straps or assist them to do so.
  • Position the foot plates and ensure the users feet are correctly positioned on them

Pushing the chair

  • Make sure clothing/rugs are tucked away from the wheels
  • Don't hang heavy bags on the wheelchair handles as this could tip the wheelchair backwards
  • Ensure the user knows not to stand on the footplates as this could tip the chair
  • Attendants should use their whole body weight to push the chair not just their arms
  • Assume an upright position to push the chair with arms bent – if attendants are significantly bent over the chair or pushing from too far back to move it, it is probably too heavy for them.
  • Always look for a ramp rather than negotiate a kerb to ascend onto pavements.
  • Do not try to negotiate more than 1 shallow step with a wheelchair.

Getting the user out of the chair

  • Apply the brakes and fold foot plates back
  • Ask the user to remove the lap straps or assist as required
  • Hold the handles keeping the chair stationery
  • Ask the user to move forward in the chair and push up to a standing position using the wheelchair arms for support
  • If they need assistance to get up and balance, move to their side offering an arm to steady them.
  • If significant assistance is required to get someone out of the chair more than 1 attendant may be required.


  • Equipment should be cleaned in accordance with manufacturer recommendations.
  • Wheelchairs will be regularly serviced and maintained by the EQUIPU store


Email: HSCIntegration@gov.scot

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