The Value of a Wheelchair

The Value of a Wheelchair

Frontier Economics and Revealing Reality worked with the Wheelchair Alliance to identify the value of providing the right wheelchair that truly meets the needs of the user to enable them to live the life they choose.

Our in-depth mixed-methods research shows that provision of high-quality wheelchairs can have a significant positive impact on people’s lives and also lead to meaningful financial benefits for the NHS and society. Our central estimates suggest that the annual benefits of appropriate wheelchair provision for young wheelchair users, relative to poor or uneven provision, are approximately £10,700 per user, per year. The equivalent figures for working age adults is £15,200 and for retired adults is £13,400.

The cost of increasing equipment spending to the average level amongst Integrated Care Boards who currently report below average levels of per patient spending is approximately £22 million per year. Even if these patients collectively realised only an additional 1% of total annual benefits of high-quality wheelchair provision the societal return would be over £60 million.

Our work includes a number of policy recommendations including (1) simplifying NHS provision for users and families (2) ensuring all NHS services are adequately funded and (3) exploring options for pooling of budgets.

Funding for this work was provided by the Motability Foundation as part of their efforts to improve accessible travel, amplify disabled peoples’ voices and better understand the ways access to all kinds of transport needs to change.

To find out more about the research you can download the full report here

For further information please contact or call +44 (0) 20 7031 7000.