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How to buy the best stairlift

Stairlifts from the council

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Stairlifts from the council

Looking to get your stairlift funded by your local council or housing association? We explain what you'll need to do to get the ball rolling. 

If you're looking to get your stairlift funded or provided by your local council or housing association, you will need to contact them to arrange an assessment. This will usually be done by an occupational therapist. 

They will make recommendations about whether a stairlift, or other equipment or adaptations will best meet your or your relative's needs. The best place to start the process is through your local council's social services department.

Find out the best stairlift brands, according to our independent customer survey.

Stairlifts from your local council

You'll need to ask about the arrangements for funding and providing stairlifts in your local area, as they do vary. In some areas, the council makes arrangements to lease reconditioned stairlifts, while others hold their own second-hand stock. Some councils may advise you to get a disabled facilities grant if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland or, if you're in Scotland, a scheme of assistance. 

Depending on your income, you might have to pay towards the cost of the stairlift. It also varies as to whether the council will assist with ongoing maintenance and installation. Be sure to check this, as it can be a costly extra.

When we surveyed people in 2016 who'd got a new stairlift for themselves or a relative, 20% had not bought their stairlift but had got it through the council, or their housing association or occupational therapist, for example.

This was true of 24% of Stannah stairlift customers who did not buy their stairlift, 3% of Acorn stairlift customers and 13% of Handicare stairlift customers.

Waiting times for council stairlifts

In our 2014 survey, 15% of people said that they didn't want or couldn't afford to wait for a council stairlift, while 37% weren't eligible.

Those who did get their stairlift from the council waited significantly longer between assessment and installation than those buying privately. The average wait was 49 days on average, compared with 26 days when buying from Stannah, 14 days from Acorn and 11 days from independent retailers.

Waiting times for private stairlifts

In terms of someone coming out for an initial assessment, Acorn says it can offer a same-day appointment in most cases, and Stannah said the wait would typically be one to two days.

To ensure you keep your stairlift in tip-top condition once you've got it, read our guide on using and maintaining your stairlift.

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