Guildford-born gold medallist Rachel Morris MBE turned out to lend her support to officially launch a new Surrey and North East Hampshire-wide NHS wheelchair service, which has comes into effect this month.
Ms Morris, who has won multiple gold medals at the Paralympic Games in both rowing and cycling, marked the launch of the new service which will support wheelchair users across Surrey, North East Hants and Farnham to continue to live independent lives. She was joined by Surrey Downs ICP Deputy Managing Director Lorna Hart, and Millbrook Healthcare’s CEO Phil Campling.
Following a competitive tender process in 2019, Millbrook Healthcare Group, specialist providers of wheelchair services and mobility equipment across the UK were appointed as the new provider. The appointment was made jointly by three Clinical Commissioning Groups; NHS Surrey Heartlands*, NHS North East Hampshire and Farnham and NHS Surrey Heath CCGs, the NHS organisations in charge of planning and buying wheelchair services for people across Surrey.
Key to this appointment, was a broad range of wheelchair service users and carers from across Surrey and NE Hampshire who were involved in designing the new provision of service to ensure their needs were central at every stage. The new single provider will bring a fully integrated care model and personalised service ensuring that clinical assessments, repairs and maintenance, delivery and collection, specialist seating and ongoing support are all provided through one organisation and single point of access for clients. New, purpose-built facilities are now based in Sheerwater, Woking and Salfords, Redhill.
Ms Morris, a passionate advocate for improving wheelchair services for users across the county and attended one of the engagement events designing the new service, said “As an advocate for wheelchair users and working with schools to help give children the skills they need to live more independent lives, I was pleased to be at the launch of the new wheelchair service today. I was excited to hear about the holistic approach Millbrook Healthcare has to wheelchair services, with clinicians trying to maximise the quality of life of wheelchair users through the service and help them to reach their goals.”
Lorna Hart, Deputy MD of Surrey Downs ICP said “I’m delighted that the new service is now up and running, and we can offer local wheelchair users a brand new, bespoke service, designed by service users, for service users. This changeover would not have been possible without a combined and dedicated effort between CCG colleagues, service providers and each and every person who took part in the engagement events which provided invaluable views on what the new service should look like. As commissioners of the new service, we are committed to maintaining a high standard of care, and will continue to work with our Wheelchair Steering Group as the new service progresses”.
Phil Campling, CEO of Millbrook Healthcare, said “It’s an honour to deliver this new, exciting and innovative wheelchair service across Surrey, North East Hants and Farnham, building on the partnership with our colleagues in health and social care and most importantly our service users, their families and carers”.
For more information on the new wheelchair service, visit the Surrey Heartlands CCG website.
Due to social distancing measures, the event was held digitally via online platform Zoom for the majority of participants.