What is the issue?

In early March 2017 we received information from patients in Calderdale and Kirklees, who had used the posture and mobility service, that they were concerned over long waiting lists and equipment which was unfit for purpose.


Healthwatch welcomes over £1m to clear backlog in demand for wheelchairs in Calderdale and Kirklees. Kirklees and Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Groups have committed to invest over £1,086,409 by September 2018 to clear a backlog in demand for wheelchairs.

Social Care

Why are we covering this issue?

Healthwatch felt that we could help improve the experiences of posture and mobility services for young people and people with complex wheelchair needs.

What is the impact?

Posture and mobility services in Calderdale and Kirklees provide support to approximately 10,000 patients.

UPDATE: March/April 2017

Healthwatch Kirklees staff met with two parent groups to listen to their concerns around wheelchair services.

An online survey was created to gather additional feedback from everyone across Calderdale and Kirklees.

REPORT: Healthwatch findings

Click the link on the right to view the report outlining the findings of the work completed by Healthwatch
regarding Posture and Mobility Services (Opcare), the organisation commissioned by the NHS to provide wheelchair services.

Case Study 1

Ellie’s Story

Case Study 2

Olivia’s story

Case Study 3

Lucy’s story

Case Study 4

Katie’s story

Case Study 5


UPDATE: May 2017

In May Healthwatch met with the Quality Manager for both Greater Huddersfield and Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group’s to discuss the issues people were experiencing.

The Healthwatch report and case studies were presented to the Clinical Commissioning Group’s.

UPDATE: September 2017

Healthwatch Calderdale and Kirklees met with Opcare to discuss our report findings.

Issues with wheelchair services have been selected by Scrutiny panels in
Calderdale and Kirklees.

A scrutiny committee is responsible for examining all functions and responsibilities of the Council.

The Committee is made up of councilliors from the local area and they help to ensure that the Council delivers its key aims and objectives, by creating an open, transparent mechanism for Councillors to shape, question, evaluate and challenge the Council policies, decisions and performance.

UPDATE: October 2017

During October 2017, further engagement with Opcare’s stakeholders was completed via an online survey; this was to ensure that everyone who had used wheelchair services had the opportunity to have their say, including carers for adults and staff who refer people to posture and mobility services.

MEDIA: Opcare apology


Opcare issued an apology to family members of deceased patients who received postal versions of the survey.


UPDATE: March 2018

We understand that Clinical Commissioning Groups’s in Calderdale and Kirklees have agreed to invest significant additional resources to reduce the current waiting lists for wheelchairs in Calderdale and Kirklees.

We are due to meet with the Clinical Commissioning Group’s and Opcare in April 2018 to understand better what this means for people in both area’s, and will provide a more detailed piece of feedback after that meeting.” Helen Wright Director Healthwatch Calderdale



Engagement report Download File (pdf 4.39 MB)
Joint statement from Clinical Commissioning Groups Download File (pdf 171.71 KB)
Scrutiny committee January 2018 Download File (msword 70.50 KB)