Blogs on everything from social justice to toilets!

No further on - Wheelchair part 8

Getting an NHS wheelchair - part 8

Previous blogs

Here we are, nearly in November. I've been back to the NHS clinic once more since part 7 of this story on 13th September. When we made the appointment we joked that the date might be an omen.

I was right.

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Research into toilet facilites in Kent, UK

Research into toilet facilites in Kent, UK


This research looks at the number of public toilet facilities in Kent, UK and compares the level of equality of toilet provision for wheelchair users needing a changing places toilet.

Key findings were:

* Kent has 221 public toilets but only 24 changing places toilets

* Only 4 out of 12 councils in Kent publicised their changing places toilet on the public toilet provision pages of their .gov website.

* No NHS hospitals, GP surgeries or NHS clinics provided information as to whether they had a changing places toilet. *and personally I was told my two local, large hospitals do not have such facilities.

* No tourist attractions in Kent have a changing places toilet.

* Many key public buildings such as libraries do not have changing places facilities.

* Only Eurotunnel has a changing places toilet (no facilities at any service station, port, airport or railway.

*Only one cinema in Kent has a changing places toilet (Bluewater).
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Not so sweet dreams.

This is a story about the two years of pain, discomfort and deterioration of my physical and mental well being, which I had to endure whilst waiting for a bed on the NHS.

The effects of sleepless nights (and resulting bad days) was also detrimental to my husbands health and well being (being my sole 'carer' to assist me over night).

When you have a progressive condition like Muscular Dystrophy, time is something you don't have - you need prompt and effective support to manage your health including the provision of appropriate equipment.

We thought that when the time came, such equipment would only take a few weeks to organise. Obese patients were getting specialist beds in just a few days in some areas - even with a custom designed bed people were only waiting a few months.

What I didn't know was that the NHS provision in my area was so wholly inadequate, that it would result in a two year 'battle' (and I hate using that word) involving a complaint procedure, letters to my MP and support from an advocacy agency and care advisor before I would get my bed.
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Blogging for Equality

Blogging on life as a wife and wheelchair user. Please do share my posts but don't cut and paste to insert into your own articles, thank you.


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