"Unacceptable lack of wheelchairs at Selly Oak"

About: Selly Oak Hospital (Acute)

(as the patient),

It seems to be the same story at most hospitals, but yesterday I spent nearly half an hour at Selly Oak trying to track down a wheelchair for my Father who is nearly 80 and, some days, is unable to walk more than a few steps due to intermittent pain. I went to the department where he was being admitted, they had none and sent me to A&E. There were none in A&E, I was then sent to the actual ward he was to be admitted to and (as instructed) requested a porter but I was told they didn't have any wheelchairs either. I pointed out that my father was unable to get onto the ward without a wheelchair and eventually one was found in a cupboard and I had to take it down in the lift, along corridors, collect him and take him to the ward. Whatever would have happened if I had not managed to get a day off work to take him, my mother could not have done all that. We had already had a journey of over 40 miles, to be left sitting in the cold (and that was only because I found a chair outside A&E and borrowed it, otherwise he would have been standing) for this length of time is a disgrace. I do not blame the staff (although I'm sure the porters could have been more helpful) but I honestly can't see why hospitals can't have an adequate supply of wheelchairs. Yesterday made my Dad feel that he was a 'nuisance' and a 'burden' (to use his actual words) - he IS NOT and I strongly object to him being made to feel like that through lack of basic hospital equipment. Who can I lobby to try to get more wheelchairs for hospital admissions? Can others add weight to this?

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