Why Does A Wheelchair Need To Be Crash Tested?

Why Does A Wheelchair Need To Be Crash Tested

We have compiled this article with the sole purpose of sharing our knowledge and additional research we have undertaken regarding the provision of crash tested wheelchairs, after receiving lots of requests for help, advice and clarification from our customers.

pre-transportation-check-listThese questions arose from a change of tact from certain Community Transport providers, and their decision to decline to transport individuals for routine hospital appointments unless care homes/relatives could prove that their wheelchairs had been crash tested.

Our customers turned to us for advice, asking us:

What is a crash tested wheelchair?

Why do wheelchairs need to be crash tested?

We wanted to be able to comprehensively answer questions you have been asking us to help to expand your knowledge and confidently maximise safety and minimise risk levels to your residents/loved ones, when they need to be transported in wheelchairs as vehicle seats during road transport.

Also, many care homes now have their own transportation to take residents out and about, so this brief guide will be helpful for you, if this is you, to have a clear understanding of your responsibilities in relation to crash testing and safe transportation of your residents in wheelchairs.

The Importance Of Selecting A Fit For Purpose Wheelchair

Generally, when choosing and selecting a wheelchair for a loved one or resident, we look at their clinical needs and their requirements for comfort, postural support, tissue integrity, and general mobility.

But what about other considerations, such as their social and medical needs where they need to be transported safely in their wheelchairs while in a vehicle?

Safe transport then becomes a key element in a wheelchair occupant’s ability to access medical facilities, as well as in improving their quality of life by being able to enjoy day trips out and holidays and will alter the type of wheelchair that is suitable for them.

What Is A Crash Test And Why Do We Need Them?

Fundamentally we need wheelchair crash testing standards in place to ensure that fit for purpose equipment is used for the provision of safe transportation for people with disabilities, who are unable to transfer from their wheelchair when travelling in motor vehicles, and also for the safety of other vehicle occupants. To achieve this, wheelchairs used MUST have been successfully crash tested and also secured within the traveling vehicle in conjunction with proven and compatible wheelchair tie down and occupant restraint systems (WTORS).

Historically, wheelchairs have been transported for many years, however since the publication of the ISO 7176-19, ISO 10542 standards, and in particular the British Wheelchair Standards EN 12181:2009 and EN12184:2009 which came into force in 2010, a benchmark standard has been established to offer improved safety and protection for wheelchair users, vehicle drivers and other occupants in vehicles.

The wheelchair crash test standard ISO 7176-19 was derived from a crash test already in use in the motor industry, and wheelchairs containing a test dummy are crash tested at a speed of 48kph and at an impact deceleration of 20g. The test dummy is limited to a max weight of 75kg and only frontal impact has so far been simulated.

NB. Crash testing applies to wheelchairs restrained by straps and wheelchairs with docking systems.

What If A Wheelchair Has Not Been Crash Tested?

If a wheelchair is not crash tested it may not be used as a seat in a travelling vehicle. The wheelchair user must be transferred to a securely mounted vehicle seat and the wheelchair must be transported safely e.g. in the boot of the vehicle.

How Can HCS Help?

You can request a bespoke and Person-centred wheelchair assessment

We can provide you with a wheelchair assessment service to ensure your selection of wheelchair for your resident or loved one is fit for purpose for their specific needs and considers any transportation issues that may arise. Our assessments also include bespoke measurements and specification of any additional accessory options as may be required to ensure the safety and comfort of your residents or loved ones.

You can make informed decisions when purchasing wheelchairs. We offer a full range of crash tested wheelchairs available to purchase on our website – please click here.

These include manufacturer’s information for use guides.

You can take advantage of our planned and reactive maintenance of wheelchairs by our servicing team.

We can help provide you with an annual servicing and repairs service to ensure your wheelchairs are always in good working order.

You can access a wheelchair crash testing audit for your peace of mind.

We can assist you with auditing your wheelchairs to specify which have and have not been crash tested and provide a full detailed report for your peace of mind.

For more information on any of our services, or if you require any further help or assistance, then please call Rachel TODAY, on 01773 713713 or email rachel@hcsuk.co.uk

You can also download a copy of Your Essential Pre-Transportation Checklist For Crash Tested Wheelchairs here, giving you the golden rules of safe transportation of individuals in moving vehicles for your peace of mind.

pre-transportation-check-listImage source: Unsplash

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Customer Testimonials

“We’ve built a strong working relationship with Hcsuk over many years, having used them to source, install and service our medical training equipment. We have always found the team very professional, helpful, and well-organised. We’d like to give a particular shout out to Phil, the technician / engineer who has been the consistent friendly face visiting our business to inspect and test our mobility hoists every 6 months. Thank you for all your support and advice.”

P. B. (Care Manager), Blue Bird Care Ltd

You are part of a great company, if we can help you grow by contracting you out to our sites its good for you, but it’s great for us because your service is fantastic, very efficient, everyone within Hcsuk is super helpful in answering queries and every time we’ve had an issue, Hcsuk has always been there to solve the problem almost immediately, which is fantastic.

Leicestershire County Council

Truly exceptional levels of customer service, the best I have experienced for many years. Very helpful staff made follow up calls to ask how the equipment was performing and supplied extra user instructions to supplement the manufacturers manual. I would not hesitate to order from this company again.

Savills Estate Agents

We would just like to pass on our thanks for all of your help with our orders and would be pleased if you would also pass on our thanks to the manufacturers for being so accommodating in meeting our requirements. We have found everyone very helpful.

Lincs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Since I set up the account for Hcsuk over 18 months ago I have found them to be an excellent advocate of our products. They have been willing to learn about the technical and servicing elements to our hoists and the sales staff have really taken on board and proactively promoted our range where possible. I feel that as a company Hcsuk have got the desire and right people in place for growing in this competitive industry. They seem to push themselves to go that little bit further and offer that little bit more to stand out from the rest. May our relationship continue going from strength to strength.

Joerns Healthcare

As a care home manager I have used Hcsuk for my supplies for the last 20 years in two homes. I have always found them to be helpful and reliable. Their products are of the highest standards, they are able to source anything. The delivery service is prompt and regular so I do not have to keep large amounts of stock. They supply extra services such as servicing and repairs which are done efficiently, and training in COSHH. The reps are pleasant and helpful bringing new products to my attention but are never ”pushy”. Aftercare is good, any problems soon sorted. I would recommend them highly and would not think of using anyone else.

Littleover Nursing Home

HPC have supplied Hcsuk (Health Care Services Ltd) for well over a decade now and we would consider them to be a high quality and professional business run in an organised and progressive manor. We do not rank our customers or have a preferred customer status but if we were to introduce such a scheme I can confirm that Hcsuk would easily make such a grade.

HPC Healthline

As a manufacturer we look for key values in a distributor some of these include honesty, reliability, commitment and reputation. Hcsuk carry all of these and many more. With a twenty plus year working relationship we now place Jo and the team at the top of our distributor list. I have no hesitation in recommending Hcsuk to any prospective manufacturer or customer and wish Jo and the team all the best for the future.

Cleenol Group Ltd

It is brilliant that we are able to ring Health Care Services and that you will go the extra mile to get us the stock we need as soon as possible.

Rykneld View Nursing Home

Just to say a huge thankyou to you and your fantastic team, and I mean that from the Heart. I have never before experienced such a person centred company.

Hampton Grange Nursing Home

What I like about working with Health Care Services is the relationship we have built up and the personal service. The homes report that you always deliver on time, the quality is consistently good and the prices competitive. Your team members are always willing to go that extra mile for us and if ever we have an issue there is always someone there to save the day.

Eastgate Care

Thanks to Jo for going over and above to get us our items in time for our special event at Buddleia House – it was very much appreciated. A massive thankyou for your continued assistance as a supplier to ourselves.

Buddleia House

We have always received excellent services from everyone at HCS at our 2 care homes, especially Lee, Jo and Phil. Always professional with a quick response time. Nothing ever seems too much trouble. Recently I had to use them personally for equipment to enable my mothers discharge from hospital. I had a response within the hour for prices and delivery came straight from the manufacturer to speed up delivery. Phil arrived at the same time to put the equipment together for us! I can’t thank them enough for putting our minds at ease and for the continued support from a personal and professional perspective. I’d recommend them to anyone requiring care equipment and its nice to support local businesses. Especially when they do such a good job!!

Orla House

I contacted HCSUK trying to find a hoist that could be operated unaided by the client. I had become very disheartened, no-one was really helpful until I spoke to Donna at HCSUK.

Donna was incredibly understanding, her professionalism raised my spirits again. Everything Donna said she would do she did, including arranging for me to speak to Andrew the salesman who like Donna was incredibly helpful, happy to bring two machines to demonstrate.

I can’t recommend them highly enough. They are good people.

Penelope C

I spoke to Lee Atterbury 2 weeks ago, when I was despairing about the prospect of finding any equipment to help my husband in the bathroom. I had tried all the popular brands, but none were right for his needs.

When I spoke to Lee he understood what I was saying and set about trying to find what we need. He was so patient and understanding and gave me the confidence to explore outside the box.

I spoke to Lee today and was able to tell him that we, hopefully, have found the solution. I am sorry that it was not a product you sell, though you may in the future, but will certainly look first to HCS for other products.

Thank you so much to Lee for first class customer service.

Christine G, Sheffield

VAT Relief Information

Conditions for VAT relief for disabled people

Some of the products which can be purchased from the Hcsuk website are available for an eligible person to purchase without paying VAT on them. HM Revenue and Customs sets out the conditions when equipment for disabled people might be free of VAT and how to claim exemption from paying VAT on these products.

Products a can only be exempt from VAT when all the following conditions are met:

  1. The customer is eligible to purchase supplies at the zero rate
  2. The goods are for the personal or domestic use of the customer
  3. The goods and services are eligible to be supplied at the zero rate

A more detailed explanation of each of these conditions is given below, but you should visit the HM Revenue and Customs Website to fully understand the conditions

The product must be being purchased for someone who is chronically ill or disabled.

A person is ‘chronically sick or disabled’ if he/she is a person:

It does not include a frail elderly person who is otherwise able-bodied or any person who is only temporarily disabled or incapacitated, such as with a broken limb.

‘personal or domestic’ use means that the supply must be made available specifically for the use of an eligible individual.

You don’t have to physically buy the goods in person. If your parent, guardian or wife or husband buys the goods and services for you, then you won’t be charged VAT.

What counts as personal or domestic use?

Personal or domestic use means that the goods or services are supplied for your own private use, rather than for business purposes. Also, the goods or services must be just for your own use – not for use by anyone else, or chronically sick or disabled people in general. However, if you and your partner are both chronically sick or disabled and you buy goods or services for both of you to use, then you won’t have to pay VAT.

Products which are offered for sale on this website which qualify for VAT relief to be claimed for an eligible person.

The products which can be bought without paying VAT are:

Only the products on our site carrying the VAT exemption price (the smaller price marked ex VAT) are eligible to be purchased this way and you must tick the box on the basket page indicating that you wish to claim VAT exemption on the items in your basket that are eligible for VAT relief.

How to claim

On the my basket page of this website a link to the online declaration form is provided if the basket contains a product that qualifies for VAT relief. You must tick the box to state you wish to claim VAT relief on the eligible product and complete in full the reason by which you are ‘chronically sick or disabled’ and name and address of the claimant. If possible the person making the claim should complete this form, but a family member, carer or medical professional may complete the form on the claimants behalf. To submit the claim and receive the VAT relief, click the ‘Submit VAT Relief Claim’ button before proceeding to the checkout.

Please note that all orders submitted with a VAT relief claim form completed are checked before the order is processed.

It is necessary to complete a separate claim form each time a qualifying product is purchased from Hcsuk.


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