Why we’re talking about prescriptions for wheelchairs
We were interested to see the recent report published in Ireland detailing challenges wheelchair users face whilst waiting for their chairs to be delivered. What many don’t realise is that wheelchairs have 101 variations and need to be tailored for the end user. However, the delays many wheelchair services suffer mean that by the time many patients get their chairs, they no longer fit them or their needs.
For instance, children continue to grow; they don’t stop growing whilst waiting for their wheelchair to be delivered and so, if they suffer too long a wait, they may well have outgrown their chairs before they even get them…
This appears to be a universal problem and pressure needs to be put on the health service to raise this up the list of priorities and make the changes and improvements required.
Delivery processes need drastic improvement – and service commissioners must never forget who they’re there for: the end user. Whilst an end user is in pain, waiting for their chair, which is then not eased when their chair arrives because their condition has deteriorated or they have already outgrown their chair, the end user is not the priority. They should be.
Services can’t continue this way. There are a number of private companies who are changing the mould, offering same-day wheelchair production for clients who are able to collect their chairs from an outlet. If one company can do it, others can. Surely this is the way forward?
If you’re an OT or healthcare professional and think your community equipment service could be improved, give us a call and we’ll improve it.