Newlife can either fund the fixed-term loan of equipment or purchase and grant equipment for a child’s long-term use. The vast majority of the services we provide are free. If we grant equipment, you may need to contribute 20% of the equipment value up to a ceiling value of £2,000 depending on whether you receive certain benefits.
The majority of complete applications result in the provision of equipment, and if we offer the loan of equipment we will – where there is a clear health and/or social care responsibility - use this time to secure a statutory assessment of long-term needs and support access to services/funding that meets these needs. We will also help explore options for charitable support that meets long-term needs, when there isn’t a statutory responsibility to provide equipment – ensuring your needs are at the heart of our actions at all times.
Who can access Newlife’s Equipment Services?
If your child meets all of the following criteria for support, and needs an item of equipment listed below to address risks to their safety, health and wellbeing e.g independence and quality of life, Newlife can consider an application for equipment:
- Under the age of 19 years;
- Resides in the United Kingdom
- Has a significant disability, life-threatening/limiting condition or terminal illness
We do not grant equipment to ‘looked-after’ children (LAC) because of a specific legal entitlement to equipment from the local authority. However, we can fund the fixed term loan of equipment that is owned by Newlife. This option is normally only available to children who have a permanent residency in the UK – but we can make individual decisions in the best interests of a child.
What Equipment can be funded?
We can fund an Equipment Grant for most types of essential community equipment which we assess as appropriate to meet the specialist needs of the child using it. It does not have to be specialist, but it does need to be designed to meet the child’s needs.
Most of this equipment can also be funded by the NHS and/or Local Authority so we will ask why they are not funding this equipment in the application form. Please find below a list of different types of equipment that we can consider providing:
- Wheelchairs: Newlife can fund any type of wheelchair for use in any environment, irrespective of whether it is powered or manual and for one type of terrain or all terrains. We can fund lightweight specifications of manual wheelchair (often referred to as sports wheelchairs because of its active use) but we currently don’t fund wheelchair specifications adapted for sport participation. If the wheelchair is actively involved in sports for lengthy periods regularly, and as such the sports wheelchair is essential to the child/young person’s health and wellbeing – then an application can be accepted and reviewed.
- Pushchair/Buggy/Reins: Newlife can fund any specification of pushchair/buggy/reins, including double buggies. We can fund all-terrain buggies, but the intended frequency of use will impact on the assessed outcome.
- Other Mobility Equipment: We can fund walking frames irrespective of whether the child can independently walk using supportive equipment or not. We are aspirational for children and as such as long as the child can weight bear then we will consider an application.
We can also fund equipment that supports the ability to integrate within any social setting, eg. acheevas
- Cot/Bed: Newlife can fund any type of cot/bed, as long as the specification will specifically meet the child’s needs. We do not fund double beds to support parents to have the option of co-sleeping, but would consider an application for a double bed if the specification is determined by the child’s exceptional height or weight.
Transportable cot/beds can be considered but information regarding frequency of use will be needed to determine the extent to which they are essential.
Safespaces are provided for overnight use, and can be used as part of a behavioural support plan during the day. If intended only for overnight use, then we only fund single bed sized Safespaces, but larger ones can be considered if there are behavioural strategies and support in place.
Mattresses should have integral incontinence protection if the child is incontinent. Newlife can fund sleep systems to meet a child’s health needs through postural management.
- Car Seats: Newlife can fund any type of car seat or travel harness, including emergency cutters.
- Seating: Newlife can fund any type of static functional and/or comfort seating. It is important to understand the extent to which a dynamic seat is needed to correct body shape and postural deterioration or whether comfort is the primary impact of seating. We believe that both are important.
- Communication Aids: Newlife can fund hardware and/or software that support’s a child’s ability to communicate their needs. The child must be non-verbal (whether this is because of a physical or cognitive/behavioural disability) and the equipment must be designed to help communicate in all environments. Radio aids and communication aids can be considered, but this should have been trialled to demonstrate the benefit before provision. Newlife can fund video/movement sensors to support families to respond to a child’s health and/or safety needs.
- Mobile Hoist/Handling Aids: We can fund mobile hoists and aids to support transfer between positions (eg. standing frames, temporary ramps and stairclimbers) and equipment to promote independence when completing activities of daily living (eg. neater eater arm supports) but don’t fund manual handling equipment that is fixed to a property or vehicle.
- Toileting/Bath Aid: We don’t fund fixed toileting/bathing facilities or aids, but can fund mobile supportive aids that make it possible to meet a child’s daily care needs.
- Accessories: Accessories are items that cannot be used on their own, ie. they attach to other items of equipment. They are not adaptations – they result in a temporary change in specification to meet individual circumstances - but they do play an important role in maximising the ability to use equipment to the point where it can be essential to have it in order to use equipment.
Wheelchair Accessories cannot change the integral structure of the wheelchair.
Pushchair/Buggy Accessories, Mobile Hoist/Handling Accessories and Cot/Bed Accessories must be provided to meet the child’s health or safety needs.
Car Seat Accessories must be provided to meet the child’s health needs.
Seating and Mobility Accessories can be funded irrespective of the child’s needs.
We do not fund any of the following:
- therapies, including Second Skins/Splints/Orthotics.
- weighted blankets/sensory seats or accessories that solely meet sensory needs.
- scooters, trikes and adapted bicycles.
- specialist bedding or clothing.
- permanent adaptations to any equipment that was funded by a Statutory Service. We can consider an application to adapt equipment if it was originally funded by Newlife, in whole or part.
- adaptations to vehicles.
- permanent home adaptations.
- sheds for storage of equipment/medical supplies.
- holidays/days out.
- white goods, furniture (that doesn’t fall into one of the other categories) or accessories that would solely improve the home environment.
- medical monitors that require training to interpret readings.
- financial grants, in full or part, or reimbursements for items privately purchased.
- animals to support assisted living or animal therapies.
- residential placements and/or private community care in the home.
What happens after this application form has been received?
Newlife’s Child and Family Support Team will check whether we have received all the necessary information or not. We will also identify if the need is urgent. Any missing information will be sought at the point of acknowledging the receipt of your application – so please provide an email address. We will then send a website link to the named local supporting professional so that a form can be confidentially and securely shared with us that confirms the details in your form alongside the specification of equipment and it’s appropriateness for your child. This will need to be completed and submitted to us within three weeks to make it possible for the application form outcome to be determined. Please retain a copy of the application form and provide a copy to the named local supporting professional for their reference.