No wheelchair left man housebound
On visiting sheltered accommodation the Healthwatch Sunderland (HWS) Team spoke to George who was having a long wait to get a new wheelchair from Equipment Services. They had been out to visit him regarding the condition of his wheelchair and told him that the wheelchair needed replacing. George said that he was left without a wheelchair and could not get out and about, even to the local shop. George added that he was frustrated and unhappy at not being able to get out and about in the community and that he was in fact housebound! George also requested information on mobility scooters
A member of our Engagement Team did advise that HWS do not endorse or recommend suppliers, but we would send out contact details of several suppliers as requested.
With George’s permission, we contacted Equipment Services on his behalf. They advised that Rehabilitation Engineering and Aids for Living (based at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle), were dealing with the order for a new electric wheelchair.
We then contacted RREMS and after explaining the situation to them they made the order a priority. Equipment Services then mended the old wheelchair so he could get around until the new one was ready. Result!
George requested that a team member write to him with details of any findings (rather than a phonecall) as he would prefer to receive a letter which he could refer back to at a later date.
This was accommodated and George then rang the office to thank Healthwatch, saying; “I am over the moon with the support I have received, thank you very much.”
To say he was pleased was an understatement!
The Healthwatch Engagement Team member advised George that should he ever need the support of HWS in the future, just to get in touch with us and that we are always happy to help.
A couple of months later, George rang HWS and explained that he needed support around the benefits he was receiving, HWS contacted Age UK Advocacy Service on George's behalf, they duly contacted George regarding his needs.