§ Mr. Churchill
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the weight of the current national health service-issue wheelchair for the disabled; when was the last significant change in the design and weight; and what plans he has for introducing and making available through the national health service a new, significantly lighter weight design of wheelchair.
§ Mr. Dorrell
The target weight for an adult self-propelled wheelchair, including leg rests, foot rests and arms, detailed in the current NHS performance specification is 361b. The NHS purchases wheelchairs to performance specifications which in 1990 replaced the previous Disablement Services Authority design specifications. Lighter weight wheelchairs from a number of suppliers are also available through the NHS.