Why not to buy an Excel Elise
If you can get one FREE !
NHS Wheelchair Services
If a child has outgrown their standard pushchair but is unable to walk, or walk far enough or can walk...but not always. Then they may be eligible to receive help from the NHS.
When customers telephone us to order their pushchair we can ask questions about the circumstances and sometimes their answers make us wonder if their they should be contacting the NHS first.
The problem with an online ecommerce website is that we can't have that conversation, so we hope these notes are helpful.
We are not experts in this and the eligibility rules vary across the UK but we have spoken to many parents who had no idea that the NHS supply equipment, even though they have ongoing relationships with various health professionals ! Sometimes it seems (from the outside) that the NHS system is just so big that everyone assumes that someone else is responsible for telling you, the parent. Families can 'fall through the cracks' and not get the help they need and are entitled to.
We also speak regularly with many parents who have been issued with a pushchair for their child (eg. a Maclaren Major Elite, Excel Elise or DoBuggy) and now need to buy some accessories (the NHS just supply the basic pushchair, no accessories). So when we speak to a customer wanting to buy an Excel Elise and their situation mirrors that of people who have received a pushchair free...then we are not shy to say so, even if it means we lose a sale. We are delighted to hear from parents who now only need to buy the accessories.
If you are in doubt then please contact us first to discuss, we will give you the best impartial advice we can.
01363 881110 firstname.lastname@example.org
How to find out
Equipment is supplied by the NHS through your local Wheelchair Services department but it's much more than just wheelchairs they supply, car seats, beds...etc.
Some departments are keen for you to contact them direct, others like you to be referred by a Health Professional, either way it's worth giving them a call to explain your situation. They should be able to tell you if it is worth pursuing this and how to go about it.
If you 'hit a brick wall' and your child cannot walk say 150m due to a physical condition, then it would be unusual and you should get a second opinion.
Please note that few, if any, NHS authorities will provide equipment for a child whose need is only behavioural e.g. Autism. There needs to be a physical element.
We can also advise that the NHS in Wales do not provide the pushchair, they supply other equipment.
To find the contact details for your local Wheelchair Services visit a NHS Wheelchair Services Directory or for an Interactive Map
Charities are not there to subsidise the NHS but to help when the NHS either won't help or quite often has already supplied one piece of kit but now there are other needs to be met, either for the child or the family as a whole.
Some charities are 'means tested' others are not, some ask for a contribution, e.g. 80:20 they pay 80% you pay 20%.
We routinely supply the Excel Elise, and other special needs pushchairs, to charities.
We do not have a definite list of charities, as a starting point try the list at Links
If you are new to this and feel that you have been thrown in at the deep end with little support and advice then try Contact a Family. They may be able to put you in touch with someone local who can advise how the system works in your area (and how to make it work for you) or someone with a child with the same condition who is 5 years down the line and can advise what worked for them and what didn't. Either way you don't need to 're-invent the wheel'.
Whatever the situation there is lots of really good help and support out there.
Not the right product
The Excel Elise has small wheels which work well on a smooth surface. If you want to go on rough surfaces, e.g. off road then don't buy an Excel Elise buy a Special Needs All Terrain Pushchair
The Excel Elise has a weight limit of 50 kg but this is deceptive and most occupants will be physically too large (e.g. legs too long), way before they reach the weight limit. Check the dimensions and if you need a pushchair with larger seat and leg length capacity then consider the Ergo Lightweight Pushchair or Trotter Pushchair
The Excel Elise is designed for an occupant who is co-operative, it is not a restraint device. If the child can have challenging behaviour, e.g. violent 'melt downs' then you will need something more robust then consider the Trotter Pushchair
The Excel Elise is not 'Crash Tested' so if you need to use the pushchair as a seat in a vehicle then you will need something approved for that purpose, then consider the Trotter Pushchair