Jan 182018

Heather Angilley  writes:

I’m a children’s physio and I support various overseas  centres for disabled children and volunteer with a charity that send redundant NHS equipment all over the world ( www.physionet.org.uk)

I was in Sri Lanka in April following up a consignment of the equipment and providing training,  when I came across 39 attendant push wheelchairs and one self propelling that do not have brakes. Clearly these are therefore unable to be used. I have tried since April to find someone to help but without success.

I then thought of you and wondered if you could help?

I attach a couple of photos that I took at the time.

There are brake handles mounted on the push handles and a cable but nowhere on the wheel hub to connect it.

A rim brake would seem most sensible. Attempts to find a local solution have also failed!

Are you able to help?

Many thanks





  5 Responses to “Advice for wheelchair brakes in Sri lanka”

  1. Remap have a relationship with Jaguar Landrover’s apprentices in the UK. Could this be extended to the JLR vehicle mechanics in Sri Lanka who would have the skills to source standardish components, modify if necessary and fit.

    • Certainly a thought Robert – esp. if these are at the Cerebral Palsy foundation at Kolonnawa as that looks like a suburb of the capital Columbo where there will probably be a JLR dealership.

      • Another off the wall thought – for a manual lever brake on the large wheeled chairs, 3D printing a set of parts locally might be an option – though I’m just not clear whether there is enough strength in the plastic without making it too bulky. Anyone with a 3D printer like to comment on that?

  2. Have you tried contacting Ultimate Healthcare?
    From the photo the push chair is obviously intended to have brakes and it looks as if there is a hole in the frame adjacent to the rear wheels which could be for the attachment bolt for a brake assembly.
    The photo of the self propelled chair does not show an attachment hole but it may take an assembly clamped to the frame.
    Most wheeelchair brake assemblies could be adapted to fit if the actual assemblies cannot be obtained from Ultimate Healthcare.
    If brake assemblies can be obtained a local fitter could fit them.

    • I’d tend to agree with your suggestion Harry on talking to Ultimate in the first instance.

      On the conventional manual wheelchairs with large wheels, it is possible to get replacement manual lever brakes which would probably be the cheapest and most expedient solution if the precise model can be identified AND there is a brake lever guaranteed to fit as you say.

      I’ve bought from this supplier once before when I needed a replacement item I couldn’t get easily http://www.nithsdale-wheelchairs.com/manual-wheelchair-brakes.html

      On the one with smaller wheels and the cables dangling down, you do get hub brakes for chairs, but as those wheels look correct, it is more likely the cable went onto a combined manual/cable pull lever brake acting on the tyre.

      One potential option with both types of chair is a kit described as a “Wheelchair Easy Brake” which reckons to fit most. Trouble is, there is no guarantee it would be suitable for the types of chair + the cost is heading up towards a budget new wheelchair.


      Remap isn’t geared towards replicating in large numbers, components that will have taken a fair bit of tooling to achieve by the manufacturer – so its just a question of economics in this case I think.

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