Wheelchair Services have contacted me again to arrange another visit in roughly two weeks time, they are going to bring an Invacare TDX SP and a rep from Invacare with them, while this chair isn’t perfect it’s a big step up from the Spectra they had originally decided on. The lesson here is NEVER accept the first chair Wheelchair Services offer you, they will go with the cheapest chair they can offer, push and they will move.
I also asked Ms.Bush if there was any way I could get modifications to a private chair, I’m also pursuing over avenues in regard to this I just thought I may as well be polite and ask her too, I got a flat out no, Wheelchair Services do not do this and will not negotiate at all, she also said that the PCT/Commissioners would not even consider it (I don’t believe she has actually asked them), even though she did say that in the future this may well have to be implemented depending on the South West Wheelchair pilots findings. This is the typical attitude of most NHS departments I have encountered, they know change is coming but instead of embracing it or trying it to see if the change is beneficial, or will reduce costs, they will flatly refuse to take action until they are forced to, and then they will claim they need time (usually years) to implement it.
There was also a discussion regarding the voucher scheme for wheelchairs, she has not been keen on this option from the start and I actually had to find out about it myself as she never mentioned it, she inferred that I would not be given the option of a voucher as in her opinion my clinical needs may change within five years, this is a nice loophole as anyone’s clinical needs may change within this period and it is purely down to the assessing Wheelchair Therapists opinion.
I know the next point will probably just sound like me being picky and whining about anything Wheelchair Services says to me, but I believe if they are going to use policy against service users then they should also stick to that policy themselves. The last emai from Ms.Bush stated that
“The wheelchair service is commissioned to provide appropriate equipment to meet your clinical needs to facilitate independent indoor mobility initially, and outdoor mobility is an extension of use …. As we provide for a clinical need, if there are additional features over clinical needs (social/leisure choices), then these would generally need to be met from personal or charity funding.”
this sounds very official but in their own policy, sent to me by Ms.Bush herself it clearly states
“The Wheelchair Service provides a service for those clients who have a clinical need to use a wheelchair for essential mobility indoors, and to allow them to undertake their Activities of Daily Living.”
the thing is the Activities of Daily Living include social needs, such as taking dogs for a walk or having hobbies, I personally like going for ‘walks’ in woodland, this isn’t a clinical need so from Ms.Bush’s comment should be ignored.
That’s it for now, so goodbye until next time.