NEW HI-TECH wheelchairs have gone down wheely well with staff and patients at Dorset County Hospital.

The Dorchester hospital is the first in Europe to take a delivery of the new state-of-the-art Prime TC Transfer Chairs from medical equipment company Stryker.

It says the new chairs are proving extremely popular with patients, visitors and staff as they are far easier to manoeuvre and more comfortable than traditional hospital wheelchairs.

Medical devices manager Frank Williams sourced the chairs after experiencing the traditional wheelchairs as a patient himself.

He said: “We had been looking at getting some more modern wheelchairs and using one of the traditional chairs myself was a great way of seeing what features could be improved.

“The Stryker chairs have larger wheels which make steering and cornering easy and the armrests fold back easily for better patient access.

“The push handles accommodate virtually any height of person and the flip-up footrests have a swing away function so they get out of the patient’s way easily.

“There’s also a one-touch central foot brake.”

Mr Williams added: “Most importantly these chairs are also very comfortable and safe for the patient.”

The hospital currently has ten of the new chairs and plans to purchase more as part of its rolling replacement programme.