Home adaptions, equipment and services

Equipment to help you at home

You may need special equipment or aids to help you manage at home. For example, you may need a raised toilet seat or hand rails. If your doctor or nurse agree that you need equipment, they can arrange for this to be provided. Or they can refer you to a social worker. You can also contact your local social services or social work department directly. They can arrange for a social worker or occupational therapist to assess your needs. They may be able to supply what you need for free.

You can also get general advice and information about all types of equipment from the Disabled Living Foundation.

VAT-exempt goods and services

If you have a long-term illness or are registered disabled, you do not have to pay VAT on certain products. These are products that are designed or adapted for your own personal or domestic use. For example, you may not have to pay VAT on items to help your mobility.

VAT-exempt goods and services include:

  • cars
  • adjustable beds
  • stair lifts
  • wheelchairs
  • medical appliances to help with severe injuries
  • alarms
  • Braille paper or low-vision aids (but not glasses or contact lenses)
  • building work such as widening doors or installing ramps, lifts or toilets.

For more information, visit gov.uk or call 0300 200 3700.

Nursing home charges

People who pay for their own nursing home charges should check whether they are entitled to financial help. Speak to your healthcare professional or call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00.

Back to Help with health costs


You may be eligible for free prescriptions if you have cancer. There are also other ways to get help with the cost of medications.

Eye treatment

Some people may be able to get free eye tests. You will qualify if you meet certain criteria.

NHS Low Income Scheme

The NHS Low Income Scheme helps people who have a low income to pay for their healthcare costs.