The standard manual wheelchair is an effective, but inefficient means of transport particularly for people who have experienced a stroke and have a resultant hemiplegia. Moreover, the Fully Equipped report (2002), identifies that the provision of equipment and, in particular, wheelchairs, to older or disabled people by the NHS or social services in England and Wales, is limited, and that wrist, hand and shoulder injuries are widely reported. The National Service Framework for Older People (NSF) promotes independence, autonomy and quality of life for both users and carers, while the National Stroke Strategy (2010) endorses the need for rehabilitation to embrace evidence based technologies in rehabilitation.
The Neater Uni-wheelchair was designed as an alternative to powered wheelchairs, lever drive and dual handrim wheelchairs for hemiplegic users. It is a standard Action 3 chair to which a kit has been attached which enables users to self-propel and steer independently of attendants. This research study was funded by a Department of Health, Health Technology Award.