The Gloucestershire Wheelchair Assessment Service (GWAS) has launched a brand new website –

The new website provides an online source of information about how referrals can be made to the service via a GP or healthcare professional, as well as guidance on the wheelchair assessment process, personal wheelchair budget, and support plan. The site is also BrowseAloud enabled, which provides speech and reading support tools, whether you are using a smartphone, computer tablet, PC or Mac.

Dan McAleavy, a local wheelchair user who helped co-produce the new website, said: “For people with complex, long term conditions, being able to access the right wheelchair, with appropriate support is of paramount importance. The new website is easy to navigate and will help educate local people on what services are available, how you choose a suitable wheelchair, as well as giving useful links to local community organisations.”

Head of Speech and Language Therapy, Gloucestershire Wheelchair Services, Integrated Community Equipment Services and Telecare Services, Jane Stroud said: “There are currently around 10,000 wheelchair users in Gloucestershire. Two thirds of them are regular users. Wheelchairs provide a significant gateway to independence, well-being and quality of life for thousands of adults and children. They play a substantial role in facilitating social inclusion and improving life chances through work, education and activities that many people who do not need wheelchairs take for granted.”

GWAS is part of Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, and provides wheelchairs and wheelchair accessories to those with medium to high specialist needs and to those who will need the equipment for long term use of more than six months. If you have not visited the service before, an initial referral needs to be made via a healthcare professional. After the initial referral GWAS accepts self-referrals from individuals registered with the service.

The team based at the GWAS comprise of specialist clinicians (occupational therapists and physiotherapists) and technical instructors. They are supported by rehabilitation engineers and a rehabilitation technician. The whole team can provide specialist advice about posture and wheeled mobility.