"Wheelchair falling to pieces - when will someone help?"

About: Raigmore Hospital

(as a friend),

A friend who needs to use an electric wheelchair has had problems with her wheelchair all this year. It is in a very poor state of repair and is causing her to injure herself on a daily basis. She was advised by Wheelchair Services at Raigmore Hospital to use her secondary backup wheelchair but due to her condition, she cannot use it. She has no one who can push her in it so she must continue to use her electric wheelchair despite the fact that the wheels are damaged and about to collapse. She was told months ago that a new wheelchair would be ordered for her. She asked for an Occupational Therapy assessment and was invited to Wheelchair Services but no one assessed her needs or seemed to listen when she tried to point out things that were unsuitable for her in the wheelchair she tried. Her condition has deteriorated badly over the last few years. A wheelchair which does not suit her needs has been ordered (tho she still hasn't received it) but still no one has listened to her or assessed her needs. Her current wheelchair looks as though it will break within days and it is getting more difficult for her to control it. This is dangerous and could injure her. If it breaks as she is crossing a busy road, she could be killed. Why is no one assessing her need and why is no one repairing her current wheelchair? How can you possibly expect a disabled wheelchair user to manage without a wheelchair? She reported the problem with the collapsing wheels over a week ago. Does anyone actually care? I'm getting the impression they don't.

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Responses

Response from katherine sutton, Deputy Director of Operations, NHS Highland

Dear K2,

I am really concerned to hear of your friends experience of our wheel chair service. This is not the service that we would aim to provide for any of our patients.

If your friend is agreeable could you contact me with her details and I will look into what can be done for her.

I can be contacted on 01463 705087.

Many thanks for sharing your concerns.

Katherine

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Update posted by K2 (a friend)

Dear Katherine

Thank you for your response. I will give my friend your contact details. I know she had problems chasing up about her wheelchair again yesterday and Wheelchair Services claimed not to have any report from the Handyperson who eventually came and looked at the problem last Thursday but couldn't do anything at that time to fix it. (Apparently he had told her that he would report back to Wheelchair services and she said that she asked him to report back that she wanted Wheelchair Services to speak to her to let her know what would be happening.) She says that yesterday she askeded to speak to a manager at Wheelchair Services about it but the Manager is on leave, apparently, and the person couldn't get hold of the Assistant Manager. In my opinion, this shouldn't be happening. There should be a better service especially given her distance from Raigmore Hospital. Still no repair 12 days on.

K2