"Disabled loo alarm disabled in Moss Side"

About: Manchester PCT

(as a service user),

I recently attended a specialist clinic at Alexandra Park Health Centre in Moss Side, Manchester. After checking in at reception, I popped in to the disabled loo in the waiting area. I don't use a wheelchair but I am disabled and always take a keen interest in the quality of disabled toilets.

I was appalled at this one. It was clean and spacious - there was certainly enough room to manoeuvre a wheelchair for those using one. But the first thing I noticed was that the alarm cord had been tied up to one of the grab rails (legally, it is supposed to dangle on the floor). It was a good 4 feet off the floor and my attempts to undo the knots were in vain. This is a common problem - cleaners often tie up the alarm cord so it doesn't get in the way when they are cleaning. But they rarely restore the alarm cord to its correct position afterwards.

Had I been taken ill in the loo, I would have ended up on the floor, for certain. And I'd have been unable to call for help.

I did take up the issue with reception on leaving after my appointment. But if the NHS fails its disabled patients like this, it hardly instils confidence that good practice will be instituted elsewhere.

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