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What is the Wheelchair Alliance and how can BHTA members get involved?

Wheelchair Alliance presentation from Andrew Stevenson
Andrew Stevenson, BHTA President and Wheelchair Alliance Committee Member

Andrew Stevenson, British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) President and Wheelchair Alliance Committee Member, recently gave an update on the Wheelchair Alliance at the BHTA’s inaugural joint meeting for the Children’s Equipment, Independent Living, and Mobility sections.

The event took place on 5 July 2023 at the Walton Hall Hotel and Spa in Warwickshire, which provided informative and engaging presentations for attendees and demonstrated the value of being a BHTA member.

One of the highlights from the day was Andrew’s presentation about the Wheelchair Alliance.

The Wheelchair Alliance is a community interest company that has been set up by NHS England with a goal of improving wheelchair provision in England. Its vision is to transform the experience of wheelchair users in England through improved access, quality, and effectiveness of services.

See below some slides about the Wheelchair Alliance’s vision, mission, and operational plan for 2023-2027.

Wheelchair Alliance vision and mission slide
Wheelchair Alliance strategy and plan slide

Importantly, BHTA has a seat on the Wheelchair Alliance board to ensure that the voices of product suppliers, commissioned service providers, retailers, and associated businesses are represented at all times.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when most in-house wheelchair services closed, the BHTA set up a wheelchair working group. This group saw some of the UK’s major wheelchair service providers come together to ensure that, while the NHS was under extreme pressure, the needs of wheelchair users were fully supported and that services continued operating.

Now, the BHTA is looking to develop this wheelchair working group further via the Wheelchair Alliance. The alliance’s wheelchair working group wants more BHTA members involved, including not just wheelchair suppliers but members involved in specialist seating and posture and mobility.

It means BHTA members will have a chance to have direct input at board meetings with the Wheelchair Alliance where relevant.

For BHTA members looking to get involved with the Wheelchair Alliance, they should get in touch with their membership engagement management for further details.