People with temporary mobility problems could be provided with a wheelchair for short-term use under proposed new legislation.

The NHS does not currently have a duty to provide short-term wheelchairs to anyone with a mobility problem expected to last for less than six months.

Criteria to access NHS wheelchair services states the mobility need must be permanent.

A freedom of information request by Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton’s Labour MSP, found only one NHS wheelchair provider in Scotland was prepared to provide one on a short-term basis - and only in specific circumstances.

There is no set criteria for how wheelchairs are provided in the short-term, but Ms Baillie, who is launching a private members Bill for new legislation, added: “Mobility is often taken 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.”

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Fiona MacLeod, of the British Red Cross, said: “Through our services, we see every day the significant difference that accessing a wheelchair can have.

“Not only can it help people get out and about and maintain some sense of their life but it can help them to get to work, reduce their dependency on their family and friends, and sometimes speed up their recovery time.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We will soon be developing guidance on the short-term loan of wheelchairs as part of a wider review of the national guidance on equipment and adaptations, due to take place this year.”