Invacare Spectra Plus Review

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Invacare Spectra Plus Review

Postby Burgerman » 28 Feb 2010, 13:55

http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/invacar ... e-plus.htm

Invacare make some good chairs. This isnt one of them... :D
I did this review because I wanted to show how bad all these cheap, small motor/battery powerchairs really are. Its not just about the invacare version but ALL budget low end nasty powerchairs as supplied by the NHS etc.

If you have any comments or want to add anything (even just to say I am wrong) feel free!

Burgerman.
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Re: Invacare Spectra Plus Review

Postby benmk21600 » 18 Jun 2010, 17:16

Yep! I have a Invacare Spectra Plus from the NHS as my every day chair and a hate it! :!:
Its slow, has no power, put it under any real load and CLICK :? off go the main circuit breakers :o (under the seat! where i can`t get :o ) and it eats batterys! (could be the cheap things the NHS keep fitting!) not sure what they put on? never taken much notice!
I would like to think i am a ok driver (used to drive a car and playstation generation and all that) but i still managed to mount a wall after getting it! :lol:
So much controller delay dialed in :x even after them supposedly changing the settings its no better :x It still supprize`s me with overstearing :x
Thinking of investing in my own lifestand anyway. ;)
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Re: Invacare Spectra Plus Review

Postby Burgerman » 18 Jun 2010, 18:22

Why not INSIST that they supply you a suitable powerchair?

I did. I insisted rather a lot! It took months of letters, faxes, meetings, etc. And then I told them I was assessing myself in writing, which I did. And then told them I was getting one anyway and would be publicly taking them to court for the money.

Remember that they have to supply you with a chair that suits your clinical requirements. That includes style, enough speed to cross a road without being killed, enough power and control for ramps, curbs etc. Just be a bit insistant! They paid for my F55s originally. Now they dont like me and have an attitude! Like I care. :lol:
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Re: Invacare Spectra Plus Review

Postby benmk21600 » 18 Jun 2010, 18:44

Ha ha ha :lol:
The web site review says it all! Love it! :lol:

"hopelessly incapable device of torture. "

"less controllable indoors and totally useless outdoors with its small hard wheels and slow speed while being uglier and more old fashioned at the same time!"

"Built by a committee of specialist OT's and Physios and Bean Counters. And obviously not one of them understands even the very basics of powerchairs." (yep i have a hard plastic molded seat with a little gel pad! It relay is a long, front heavy, unmanoeuvrable, bone shaker)

"small batteried 4mph motorised deck chairs"

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Invacare Spectra Plus Review

Postby Burgerman » 18 Jun 2010, 19:11

Could be worse. They could have given you a "harrier" powerchair!

I aim to please and tell it how it is. Wheelchair services hate me. I have a meeting on monday with the people that hire and fire the wheelchair services staff and oversee the department. I want to know why they are so incompetant. And have several questions for them... They dont currently give me anything but cushions as they *cant* supply a suitable chair! The F55s was originally supplied under great protest and much stress which included a nervous breakdown, someone getting moved to an easier job, and lots of trouble! Now I am going to do it again.

See the questions here: http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/pdf-files/questions.doc in word document. Should be fun.
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Re: Invacare Spectra Plus Review

Postby benmk21600 » 18 Jun 2010, 21:45

Bah I bet they realy hate you :lol:
Nice one!!
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Re: Invacare Spectra Plus Review

Postby Burgerman » 19 Jun 2010, 16:24

Thing is I am not trying to make them hate me. They do simply because they are incompetant and so cant answer the legitimate questions. So they think that makes me a problem. I disturb all their meetings and coffees and stop them idling the days away. So they dont like it.
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Re: Invacare Spectra Plus Review

Postby funkykeyboard » 29 Jul 2010, 18:36

benmk21600 wrote:Yep! I have a Invacare Spectra Plus from the NHS as my every day chair and a hate it! :!:
Its slow, has no power, put it under any real load and CLICK :? off go the main circuit breakers :o (under the seat! where i can`t get :o ) and it eats batterys! (could be the cheap things the NHS keep fitting!) not sure what they put on? never taken much notice!
I would like to think i am a ok driver (used to drive a car and playstation generation and all that) but i still managed to mount a wall after getting it! :lol:
So much controller delay dialed in :x even after them supposedly changing the settings its no better :x It still supprize`s me with overstearing :x
Thinking of investing in my own lifestand anyway. ;)

Besides this problem viewtopic.php?f=2&t=193&p=1358#p1358 I do enjoy the lifestand wheelchair

did the ;) mean you are taking the piss?
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Re: Invacare Spectra Plus Review

Postby Burgerman » 29 Jul 2010, 21:14

Not sure what or which bit you are refering too?
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Re: Invacare Spectra Plus Review

Postby TwoTeasChris » 29 Nov 2010, 15:09

Burgerman wrote:...See the questions here: http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/pdf-files/questions.doc in word document. Should be fun.

Did they reply to each specific point in writing?

I had to write a similar letter to Benefits (okay, not quite as 'bad') when they stopped most of our income and refused to deal with it. A month with no Income Support coming in. "Someone is obliged to phone you back within 24", repeatedly. Wouldn't let me speak to anyone senior. I had to lodge an official complaint to the head of dept. before they restarted the payments.
She did reply to each point in writing. "We're very overworked" etc. :evil:

Okay, I'm calm now.
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Re: Invacare Spectra Plus Review

Postby Burgerman » 02 Dec 2010, 16:08

Did they reply to each specific point in writing?



Yes. And arranged a meeting with me at the hospital with head of clinical sciences and w/c services from a nearby town. My own wheelchair services wouldnt and couldnt do it... This resulted in a new "assessement" in my home by the big wigs from said other town where I explained to them that I couldnt be assessed by them since I had forgotten more about powerchairs, physics, and my own needs than they could ever be "trained" to understand, and that even if they had the option to give me any powerchair - of MY CHOICE - the best one would still be my own...

So they are currently loooking to give me the money to build/maintain/ my own chairs my way... So a result! After ten years. X pounds paid directly to me. Actual amount will be whatever they would have paid for a hi end powerchair every 5 years plus maintainance.
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Re: Invacare Spectra Plus Review

Postby baker99 » 01 Apr 2011, 09:25

Hi,

My local wheelchair service has told me they are bringing round a Spectra for me to try as a "like for like" replacement for my current Storm XS which they deem unusable, it just needs a new controller and batteries according to their own engineer, but they insist I can't use it and took the batteries to make sure, I made them agree to return the chair after it's service check, unfortunately I didn't specify I wanted the batteries too (they do say they are a fire risk).

I haven't used the Storm properly for over a year due to lack of medical support and illness, I have regularly charged it as told to and also let my mother drive it every so often to keep it working, oh they said the controller broke due to lack of use and inferred I had neglected the chair (it's kept safe in an inside cupboard).

I had to fight and threaten to get the "like for like" offer from them, they wanted to leave me with no wheelchair at all, now I expected them to try and pull something sly, obviously the Spectra doesn't hold up to the storm at all.

Now to the point, what are the specs for the Spectra, in particular its maximum tilt and recline angles and turning circle?

Also is there any legislation saying I should have a back-up manual chair?

I need to make a good case as the OT is very unfriendly and unhelpful, any useful facts I can throw at her would be very welcome.
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Re: Invacare Spectra Plus Review

Postby woodygb » 01 Apr 2011, 10:21

Sounds like they're scamming you on the faults and fire hazard.

The controller has many failsafes built in that it would be EXTREMELY unlikely that it could catch fire.

What is the arrangement with your chair and the service centre?

Spectra specs

http://www.hsc-mobility.co.uk/PDFs/Inva ... a_Plus.pdf
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Re: Invacare Spectra Plus Review

Postby Burgerman » 01 Apr 2011, 10:41

Lack of use does no harm. There is the same fire hazard as there is with the hateful useless chair they want to give you. Turning circle is totally useless as a metric and actually means very little in practice.

If batteries are kept charged they too ate good for many years. They are supposed to provide you with a manual back up. The spectra plus is awful. Completely unsuitable for anything other than sitting in indoors, and only if you own a barn. They have no right to take your batteries. I really hate these people.

On the plus side if you hate them enough and fight them A LOT you CAN get what you want. I am waiting for a cheque for around 6+k to build my own chairs as we speak. No it wasnt easy. I am the first. This will spread to allow others to do the same if it works out. Not just for powerchair building but buying what you want, doing with the money what you need to be mobile. Importing chairs, hoists for vehicles etc.
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Re: Invacare Spectra Plus Review

Postby baker99 » 01 Apr 2011, 10:55

Thanks for the info, I suspect they are scamming me too, first I'm told the control only goes forward and won't turn (this could be because it was on carpet at a low speed setting, I've always had that problem), then later I'm told by someone else it doesn't move forward, obviously I can't check as they have the batteries, also it moved fine about a month earlier when my Mother tested it.

The NHS funded the chair and the service is done through the NHS wheelchair centre, it's mandatory every year, and as it belongs to them there's not a lot I can do.

I have looked at a few chairs that I think may be decent for me instead of their choice, I'd have to convince them first though (maybe using a sledgehammer), the chairs I like the look of are -

Pride Mobility Products Ltd Athena

Pride Mobility Products Ltd quantum 600 sport with tru comfort seating

Invacare Spectra Plus/Comfort wheelchair with tilt and recline

Permobil C350 Corpus

Basically I'm limited because I need tilt and recline to get the chair nearly flat so I can have emergency medication if necessary from my Nurse.
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Re: Invacare Spectra Plus Review

Postby woodygb » 01 Apr 2011, 11:07

NHS Wheelchair Services are run by local health authorities. They are responsible for allocating funds to the Wheelchair Service and Primary Care Trusts who are responsible for providing the service itself. This sometimes includes contracting the running of the service to an outside company


Is this an "outside company"? ...then I'd suspect that they're screwing the NHS by replacing your "faulty" chair and "scrapping" it....then buying it from the NHS and polishing /refurbishing it to be sold on.
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Re: Invacare Spectra Plus Review

Postby baker99 » 01 Apr 2011, 11:16

Thanks BM, at least there is hope and I'm getting used to fighting NHS departments, it's stressful but there is some fun putting them in their place, they seem to think all wheelchair users are stupid, if they looked at my notes they would see I have a degree in applied physics, have helped out NASA and other government agencies on projects, I'm also helping a different NHS department prepare a paper on personal health budgets for care needs, I do feel sorry for the people who can't fight though, maybe one day we will be able to help them.
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Re: Invacare Spectra Plus Review

Postby baker99 » 01 Apr 2011, 11:31

woodygb wrote:
NHS Wheelchair Services are run by local health authorities. They are responsible for allocating funds to the Wheelchair Service and Primary Care Trusts who are responsible for providing the service itself. This sometimes includes contracting the running of the service to an outside company


Is this an "outside company"? ...then I'd suspect that they're screwing the NHS by replacing your "faulty" chair and "scrapping" it....then buying it from the NHS and polishing /refurbishing it to be sold on.


I'm pretty sure it's the wheelchair services OT that is the problem, although it wouldn't surprise me if she wanted it refurbished to use elsewhere, she was trying to put up blocks to everything I said during the re-assesment meeting, and also discussing things outside of my bedroom where I couldn't even hear, very arrogant attitude. After I had complained politely she also sent a pretty unpleasant email saying she wasn't going to do anything, my next email was less polite and more official (I mentioned laws and codes of contacts), she seemed to back down somewhat after that. I have contacted PALS already so they are on standby should things escalate.

The stupid thing is replacing the batteries, and possibly a new control, would be a lot cheaper than buying a new chair, but now she has offered a new chair she has backed herself into a corner.
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Re: Invacare Spectra Plus Review

Postby baker99 » 01 Apr 2011, 12:03

Another question, the spectra is classed as indoor/outdoor on the invacare site but the storm is outdoor/indoor are these usable terms or just invacare marketing speak? If these are specific power chair terms I can knock her straight out of the water as they most definitely are not "alike"
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Re: Invacare Spectra Plus Review

Postby Burgerman » 01 Apr 2011, 12:23

I am going to do a post on personal care budgets soon, stay tuned!!!

>>> Thanks for the info, I suspect they are scamming me too, first I'm told the control only goes forward and won't turn (this could be because it was on carpet at a low speed setting, I've always had that problem),

Thats because a) the storm is HUGELY nose heavy...
And B) PROGRAMMING. See http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/powerch ... amming.htm fgor the fix...

The controller if it operates at all without any warning lights is highly unlikely to be at fault... I would estimate 1 in 1000 possibility.

And for what its worth both those chairs are useless indoors, but the storm is ok outdoors in straight lines.
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