After 10 years in the role, Krys Jarvis is standing down as chair of the National Wheelchair Managers’ Forum (NWMF). We wish to pass on our immense appreciation to Krys for her tireless work during her tenure as chair - they were particularly turbulent years for the wheelchair services in England!
Krys’s successor is Lara Littler from the Specialised Ability Centre in Manchester which provides wheelchair, prosthetic and orthotic services for Manchester & Trafford and surrounding areas. We look forward very much to working closely with Lara in the coming years.
Here, Krys details NWMF’s operations, and encourages all wheelchair services to become involved.
Structure of the Forum
The forum is open to a representative from any NHS commissioned wheelchair service. Representatives may also attend in a regional capacity and feedback to other local wheelchair managers. The forum provides networking opportunities, mentorship, and is a great way to share good practices and gain new ideas for service development. It also acts as a focal point for the collection and dissemination of information from other organisations.
NWMF provides a representative body for wheelchair services at national level through membership of NHS England’s Wheelchair Advisory Group and the Wheelchair Alliance.
A NWMF member is someone who has the day-to-day operational management of an NHS commissioned wheelchair service, and has paid their membership subscriptions. Generally, NWMF meetings are held quarterly, now via Microsoft Teams, plus an annual networking meeting (Covid permitting).
Membership of NWMF
The forum seeks to promote best practice within NHS provided wheelchair services. To facilitate this the NWMF offers 2 types of membership: Partners and Forum.
Partners or companies that work with the forum
We would encourage all those working for an NHS provided wheelchair service to register as a partner member. Partnership membership is free of charge. It will give access to areas that are not in the public domain, including information on an NHS provided wheelchair services.
Forum membership is for NHS provided wheelchair service managers or their nominated clinical lead
NWMF would welcome representation and engagement from every NHS provided wheelchair service. Membership will give access to specific documents and guidance that have been produced by the forum to help and assist new and established wheelchair services, for example competency profiles, benchmarking material, and minutes of meetings, with the added benefit of being part of a message board or email discussions.
A number of guidance documents have been produced to improve service delivery, clinical competencies and user experience, most recently:
- 18-week referral to treatment guidance to offer an interpretation of the clock pauses and stops which influence the accuracy of the NHSE data collection
- Operating model for NHS wheelchair services, renamed from the original standards document
- Right To Travel - a cross-service agreement for repairs whilst users are away from their home area
- Competencies for Foundation, Intermediate & Advanced therapists; assistants; admin staff. These are working documents for wheelchair clinicians and support staff, and are due for review in 2022.
“During my 10 years as chair of NWMF there has been a great deal of activity, mainly for the wheelchair services in England, starting with a rebranding and then consultations around Any Qualified Provider and tariffs/reference costs; CECOPS Code of Practice; Wheelchair Summit; model service specification resulting in the Wheelchair Alliance, the NHSE Wheelchair Advisory Group and Personal Health Budgets. All this while producing the guidance documentation etc.
Being chair of this Forum has been a joy and an education, and an experience I will never forget. I have had the pleasure of working with a group of committed, passionate people with a shared aim, shared disappointments, and shared frustrations, as we continue to promote improvements to wheelchair services for our users.
As the new chair of NWMF, Lara brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to the role, and I’m excited to see NWMF’s influence develop further to the benefit of the services and, ultimately, wheelchair users.”
If you wish to join NWMF, or have a general enquiry about its work, please email firstname.lastname@example.org