SHORT-term wheelchairs could be provided to people with a temporary need for one, under proposed new legislation put forward by Helensburgh's MSP.

Jackie Baillie has launched a public consultation on the move in a bid to help those with a need to adapt to potentially life-changing circumstances.

There is no duty on the NHS, or any other public body, to provide short-term wheelchairs to anyone with a mobility problem that is expected to last for less than six months.

The current criteria to access NHS wheelchair services states that the mobility need must be permanent.

Ms Baillie said: “Our mobility is something that we often take for granted. Being mobile enables us to enjoy our freedom and autonomy, to go out to work, to get about our local community and to visit friends. Not being able to get about is very restrictive, it can be isolating and often leaves a person with impaired mobility wholly dependent on others.

“Not being able to access a wheelchair when you have a clear short-term mobility need can lead to a delay in discharge from hospital; prolong your rehabilitation; slow down your reablement and have a negative impact on your emotional wellbeing, your social connections and your financial situation.

“Creating a statutory duty to provide access to short term wheelchairs, where it is appropriate to do so, is a relatively small change, but it is one that can make a significant difference to people’s lives.”