Disabled children waiting too long for NHS wheelchairs

The NHS standard is for children to receive a wheelchair within 18 weeks from the time of referral, but in 2017-18 it was missed for more than 5,100 children, according to an analysis published on Tuesday in the Health Service Journal (HSJ).

That equates to 82% of eligible children receiving their wheelchairs on time, compared with the target of 92%. NHS England has set a more ambitious target of 100% by the end of 2018-19, although the latest figures suggest commissioners will struggle to hit it.

About 20 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) missed the target for more than half of eligible children, compared with 10 in the previous year. But there was also an increase in the number of CCGs achieving 100% – 12 compared with five in 2016-17.

In 2016-17, the first year NHS England began collecting performance data against the 18-week target, it was met in 81% of cases. More

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