Wheelchairs and Seating

Should I have been given a cushion?
Cushions are usually supplied with self-propelling wheelchairs but generally not with attendant-propelled wheelchairs – if you are uncomfortable in your wheelchair and feel a cushion may help, please phone the SMART centre 0131 537 9177.

Special ‘pressure-relieving’ cushions can be supplied where there is a specific need. Often it is useful to discuss this with your district nurse, GP, occupational therapist or Physiotherapist in the first instance. Pressure relieving cushions can only give you a little longer safe sitting time; the only way to prevent pressure sores is to have frequent changes of position throughout the day.

Do I need a seat belt?
Most people don’t require to use a seat belt although some wheelchairs have them fitted as standard. They can help if you find that you are sliding forward in the chair or if you feel nervous when being pushed. Belts fitted to a wheelchair are not sufficient to protect you whilst travelling in a van or bus.

Can I have a tray?
Trays can be provided for most wheelchairs. If you propel the wheelchair yourself, a tray will let you carry objects. It can also provide a useful surface at mealtimes and for other activities.

What if my wheelchair does not suit me?
Contact the SMART centre and tell us what you feel the problem is. A doctor or therapist will review your file and decide on an appropriate course of action. If it is best that you are assessed, you will be contacted by telephone or letter.

What do I need to do to look after my wheelchair?
It is important to clean and maintain your wheelchair in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. What you should do will be specific to each wheelchair and details on what you can do will be in the manufacturer’s user manual provided with your wheelchair. It is part of the Conditions of Supply that you wheelchair including all accessories ‘must be kept clean and in good running order’.