Renfrew Group develops modular wheelchair for NHS

Product design consultancy Renfrew Group International has designed a modular Chair 4 Life wheelchair for the NHS, which ‘grows’ with the user and promotes independence.

Chair 4 Life by Renfew Group International

The chair has been developed with the Department of Health as part of its Innovation Health and Wealth programme.

Wheelchair services is one of six high impact areas of reform which the Department of Health is investing in.

Renfrew won a government tender in October 2012  and has sought to design a chair which aims to maximise the mobility and independence of disabled children as they grow into adulthood.

Its design ‘addresses the physical and social demands of 80 per cent of pediatric, powered wheelchair users aged 4 to 18 years old,’ according to Renfrew.

A universal modular platform can be updated and modified with a variety of standard attachments and bespoke ones.

Chair 4 Life by Renfew Group International

The seat grows via the implementation of ISO Mount – ‘a universal modular docking system that attaches the seat to the chassis lift mechanism allowing swift replacement of successive seating modules’, Renfrew says.

It can be modified quickly to accommodate monitoring and care equipment, extra storage and accessories.

The system also gives third party manufacturers the ability to provide upgrade features within the fixed base platform.

‘This means more patient choice, improved quality of products and new components to drive innovation within the industry,’ says Renfrew.

Other features include vertical lift as standard – a feature demanded by young users, to allow eye level interaction with peers, which the consultancy says will facilitate social and educational development and improve feelings of dignity and independence.

An adjustable wheelbase ensures adaptability for indoor and outdoor conditions as well as the option for compactness giving greater maneuverability in small spaces.

Chair 4 Life by Renfew Group International

The Chair 4 Life has been developed into a working prototype and the Department of Health is now addressing a manufacturing tender ahead of a national roll-out.

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  • Fiona Razzell November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Having just returned from a visit to the Design Museum,and seeing the amazing wheelchair that you have produced ,I could only write to you to find out more. I work with a girl who has cerebral palsy and is confined to her power chair, ex cept when she has to change to an up and down chair which of course is not powered and therefore she becomes reliant on me to push her. She is about to go on a trip to a PGL weekend with the school and attempt to access many different height tables etc. She has recently taken delivery of a walker which on Sport Relief Day she attempted to walk around the playground surrounded by a large proportion of the school who were there to shout and encourage her. Not only did she complete this but she managed an enormous smile at the end, along with having a large number of very proud staff in tears!!!
    She is due to leave our school and is going to her mainstream secondary school in September. from starting at our school and not being very independent at all she is now very independent except for the ability to move her powered chair up and down. this wheelchair would change her life and give her as much independence as she is capable of. Her amazing amount of courage, enthusiasm, will to win and succeed in everything she tries is hampered by her inabiility to access independently, anything that is of a different height both withoin the education system and her life outside school. If she could access these things without having to be manually lifted from one chair to another she would be able to continue on the road to her vision of becoming a teacher. Your chair could make that difference to an amazing little girl who deserves a chance to fulfill her dreams and have as independent life as possible.
    I await your reply ……can you help?
    Fiona Razzell

  • Jen Gill November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Hello Fiona,

    Many thanks for your kind comments – It’s always great to get such positive feedback.

    Unfortunately the Chair 4 Life is not yet in production and is in the protoype stage. We are looking forward to further discussions RE commercialisation.

    It may be worth contacting Sunrise Medical / Invacare to ask if they are able to offer a wheelchair with similar specifications. They may be able to help you.

    Please however visit our website from time to time, company developments are uploaded to the News section regularly.


    All the best,

    The Renfrew Group Team

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