Personal Wheelchair Budgets

What are Personal Wheelchair Budgets? (PWB)

A Personal wheelchair Budget is a scheme offered to provide a wider choice for wheelchair users. During your assessment you will work in partnership with a clinician to identify your needs and the outcomes that you want to achieve from your wheelchair. You will then be prescribed an NHS wheelchair and be told the cost of this provision. This is your Personal Wheelchair Budget (PWB). At this stage, you can accept the Wheelchair prescribed free from the NHS.

There are then 3 other options available to you but with a cost to you.

  • Notional PWB for an Alternative Wheelchair - You can choose to upgrade your wheelchair within the Wheelchair Service range. In this scheme the NHS will contribute an amount which is the same value as your prescribed wheelchair. We will send you an invoice for the amount that you need to pay.
  • Notional PWB with Top up features – you may decide you would like additional features added to the wheelchair prescribed by the Wheelchair Service. We would send you an invoice for the amount you need to pay. In both alternative and Top up options, the NHS would still own the wheelchair and would be responsible for repairs and maintenance. However, we would be unable to repair or replace any additional features you have upgraded to such as hub brakes or seat risers. All of the normal conditions of loan will apply.
  • Third Party PWB - In this scheme you will be given an amount which is the same value as your prescribed wheelchair together with a one off payment to cover repair and maintenance costs. It will then be your responsibility to order your own chair via an approved supplier and organise repairs for it. The wheelchair you choose will have to meet your mobility and postural needs and be in the same category as the chair prescribed for you e.g. manual, powered indoor, powered indoor/outdoor etc. This wheelchair becomes your property and your responsibility.

How long does the scheme last and what if I want to change my wheelchair?

Equipment is typically provided for a period of 5 years, but under certain circumstances a change to the length may be considered.
Changes or additions to the equipment provided are not permitted for the duration of the scheme, unless there has been a significant change in your clinical condition. This will be discussed with your Wheelchair Therapist at your assessment.

Can everyone access their PWB?

During assessment you will be advised if you are eligible for the scheme. If you are under 18 or have a deteriorating medical condition and are likely to have frequent changes to your wheelchair requirements, it may not be appropriate. With NHS provision we can support your needs as your condition changes.

How do I access PWB?

Your assessor will talk to you at your assessment about the PWB and together a personal wheelchair support plan can be completed.

How do I get my wheelchair repaired or maintained?

If your wheelchair is NHS provision or was issued with a Notional PWB you can contact Millbrook Healthcare repairs (excluding top up features).

If you used the Third Party PWB you are responsible for arranging and paying for all repairs and maintenance. An amount for this is included in the PWB value.

How do I choose a wheelchair with the third party PWB option?

You will need to contact an approved supplier who accepts the PWB scheme and give them your wheelchair specification. Any wheelchair you choose must meet this specification.

Can I just go ahead and buy the wheelchair?

The Wheelchair Service needs to approve your choice before purchase. A PWB cannot be issued retrospectively i.e. you cannot buy a wheelchair and then ask for your PWB.

What if my wheelchair costs less than the Third party PWB offered to me?

In this case the NHS would keep a fund for repair and maintenance of your wheelchair. You can present receipts for repairs and this will be paid to you out of the fund until it is used up.

Can I buy pressure relieving cushions?

Pressure relieving cushions, postural seating and special seating are provided by the NHS. Your chosen wheelchair must be compatible with the accessories to be provided.

What is not included in the scheme?

Second-hand wheelchairs, scooters and trikes cannot be bought with the either the third party or notional Budget.

The wheelchair you choose must be crash worthy; exceptions apply in some categories of wheelchairs. Your clinician can discuss this with you as required.

How long do I have to access my PWB?

Following your assessment and agreement to access your PWB you have 6 months to redeem the budget against your chosen wheelchair. Any request after this time would require reassessment.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Bedfordshire & Luton Wheelchair Service
01525 631349 01525 631349
Bedfordshire & Luton Wheelchair Service
Scan to visit this website

Where to go

Bedfordshire & Luton Wheelchair Service
Steppingley Hospital
Ampthill Road
MK45 1AB
View MK45 1AB on a map


Age Ranges
3 - 99
Referral required


Save to Shortlist
Is this information correct?

Last Updated

Last updated: 20/12/2022