No doubt you’ll have seen the recent news articles of Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson in the press highlighting how few disabled people are being provided with the right wheelchairs to meet their needs by the NHS. But have you pledged your support yet for the new Charter?
The Wheelchair Leadership Alliance (WLA) has recently launched the new Wheelchair Charter. The Charter asks everyone from service-users, wheelchair-providers, charities, NHS commissioners, healthcare professionals, and members of the public, to pledge their support for the 10 key principles that the WLA believes could transform the service for the 1.2 million wheelchair-users in England.
Said Tanni, “We are asking people to write to their MPs and to their CCGs. If we could get half the CCGs to be discussing wheelchair services at board level, that would an improvement in services. We can’t force NHS England to take up recommendations. We need enough evidence and support to get wheelchair services into the NHS mandate. At the moment, every area can operate their wheelchair services differently.”
Those who sign up to the Charter pledge their commitment to principles including:
- regular reviews with the wheelchair-user
- prescriptions which take into account current and future needs
- the time from referral to wheelchair delivery to be within 18 weeks, with further substantial improvements by 2016-17
- equality of access and provision for all, irrespective of age or postcode and including essential user skills training as standard.
You can find out more about the campaign here: http://www.rightwheelchair.org.uk/. Just click on ‘Pledge Support’ in the top right hand corner to pledge your support. You’ll also be able to view and download the Charter in detail.