Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost for an appointment?
There is no charge for an appointment at the Independent Living Centre. If you need our Occupational Therapist to write a report, e.g. to aid with a charity funding request, then there would be a charge for this. The cost would be discussed before the report was written, and can often be claimed back from the organisation requesting it.
Why do I need to make an appointment?

An appointment is necessary to ensure that our Occupational Therapist is available to do the assessment, and to make sure we have suitable equipment here for your needs. Appointments last 45 minutes, and are very thorough, so unfortunately it is not possible to see clients who have not booked in advance.

What can I expect from an assessment?

All assessments are tailored to your own specific requirements, so every appointment is different. Please click here for some examples of equipment you could see/try, and the type of advice you could receive.

If I don’t want to see your Occupational Therapist, can I just look around?

Our appointments are all private and confidential, so unfortunately we cannot allow members of the public to look around the centre while assessments are taking place. If the Occupational Therapist is not here, then the doors to the assessment rooms are kept locked, to prevent any accidents/injuries which could be caused by people trying items which are unsuitable for their needs. We do hold an Open Day every summer however, so keep an eye out for details on our website/social media.

Why do I need to tell you my medical condition?

Having this information allows our Occupational Therapist to prepare for the assessment beforehand, and give the most accurate advice during the appointment. If you do not feel comfortable telling reception then please just say, and we will arrange for our OT to phone you to discuss it privately.

For further information about our privacy policy, click here.

What do I need to bring to my appointment?

It is useful to bring any portable mobility aids you currently use, especially walking aids. It is also helpful to bring any relevant paperwork, e.g. hospital letters.

Can I make an appointment to look around without my friend/relative who needs the assessment?

It is always best if the person who will be using the equipment comes for the assessment, as it is much harder to give accurate advice in their absence. We understand however that this is not always possible, so we are happy to make appointments for relatives/carers on their own in these circumstances.

Can you visit me or my friend/relative at home?

Unfortunately this is not something we can offer. Due to the travel involved, home visits take more time than an appointment at the centre, which means we would not be able to see as many people in a day.

It is also not possible to transport all of the equipment here into somebody’s home for assessment, so the full range of options could not be demonstrated. If a home assessment is needed then Adult Social Care should be able to arrange this for you. Wiltshire – 0300 456 0111, BaNES – 01225 396000.

I don’t have a car, how can I get to the centre?

There are over 40 Wiltshire Link schemes in Wiltshire, connecting volunteer drivers with people who have limited access to transport. They ask for a small donation to help with the running of the service. Please visit click here or phone 01380 722 475 to find out more.

BaNES Council website provides a Community Transport page here. Community transport schemes provide safe, accessible transport for people who cannot use public transport due to disability, age or lack of access to services. You can use them to attend essential appointments, go shopping or to help you play an active part in community life.  Another option in BaNES is SWAN Transport on 01761 439548. Click here to visit their website.

For a list of wheelchair accessible taxis please click here.

I’m hoping to try out a very specific item, do you have it there?

We have a very large range of equipment here at the ILC, so chances are that we do have what you’re looking for. If not, then with enough notice, we can often get hold of the product in time for the appointment.

Can I be assessed in more than one area?

Each appointment generally covers one area, e.g. bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms. This is to ensure there is enough time to complete the assessment fully. If there are a lot of areas you need advice on, or you’re travelling a long way and won’t be able to book a return visit, we can sometimes offer a double length appointment if we know this in advance.

Do you advise on anything to help with hearing/vision problems?

Our focus is more on the mobility side of things, so information on hearing/vision aids is much more limited. You can speak to the Hearing & Vision team in Devizes on 01380 725201, or in Bristol on 01225 395331.

I live in Somerset/BaNES, can I make an appointment?

We would love to help if you live in Somerset, but unfortunately we only get funding to advise people living in Wiltshire. You can click to see a list of other Independent Living Centres here.

If you live in BaNES we are pleased to have received some funding from the Quartet Community Foundation to allow us to temporarily help people in this area again. Please email ILCSemington@gmail.com for more information.

What if I don’t live in Wiltshire but my friend/relative does?

If the person who needs the assessment lives in our catchment area, then we are happy to liaise with relatives/carers who live elsewhere in the country.

If someone living in Wiltshire makes an enquiry on behalf of someone living outside of the catchment area, then we may be limited in the information we can give, depending on the exact nature of the advice needed.

Will you provide us with the equipment we need?

We are unable to provide any equipment, and only have a limited selection of items in our shop. After your appointment we will give you all the information needed to purchase the equipment yourself, including specific measurements and a list of stockists. If you are eligible to have equipment provided for you, please contact Adult Social Care. Wiltshire – 0300 456 0111, BaNES – 01225 396000.

Do I need to pay VAT on my purchases?

If you have a disability or long-term medical condition then you may not need to pay VAT on items specifically designed to assist with daily living, such as wheelchairs, adjustable beds, stair lifts, riser recliner chairs, hoists, commodes, and more.

Medical conditions which are considered to be long-term illnesses include:

  • Arthritis
  • Blindness
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Deafness
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Kidney Disease
  • Motor Neuron Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Physical Disabilities
  • Terminal Illness

You will not be eligible for VAT relief if you have a temporary physical disability such as a broken leg.

If you qualify for VAT relief, and are buying the product for yourself, or on behalf of someone who is eligible, then you will usually be asked to complete a short form with your name and address, details of the medical condition, and your signature. These forms will be provided in the mobility retail shop, or at the checkout page of an online shop, you do not need to contact HMRC. Unfortunately it is not possible for VAT to be refunded once paid, so you will need to ensure it has been deducted before the purchase is complete.

Do you offer benefits advice?

Unfortunately this is no longer a service we are able to offer. Please click here to see a list of other local organisations who may be able to help. If you phone the number on your paperwork you may be granted an extension of the due date, which may allow you more time to arrange an appointment with one of the other organisations.

Where can I find your policies?

Please visit https://ilc.org.uk/policies/ to find out about our privacy policy, equality and diversity policy, and complaints procedure.