Care home resident in fight to keep chair
Date published: 09 October 2013
A CAMPAIGN to save Sheila’s wheels is under way to stop an elderly resident’s wheelchair being taken from her.
The family of Sheila Walsh (85), who suffers from advanced dementia and has limited mobility, fear a row over who pays for her chair will result in it being taken away.
The NHS is conducting a wheelchair audit and has updated its criteria to ensure private nursing homes pay for wheelchairs for their residents.
But Charles Jones, manager of the Anbridge House care home in Watersheddings, doesn’t believe the home should pay for wheelchairs residents are already using. Mrs Walsh has been using the chair for three years - Mr Jones says it is wrong to enforce new criteria retrospectively.
Sheila’s daughter Janet Kent-Brown said: “She would have no life at all if she didn’t have a chair. I can’t see why they’re taking it away. They can’t use it for anybody else.”
Mr Jones said: “It’s unacceptable and disgusting. Somebody’s not thinking this through. We want to raise awareness and say to people this is going too far.”
Section 4.15 of its new eligibility criteria says the service doesn’t supply standard wheelchairs in residential care or nursing homes since it is the home’s contractual obligation to provide wheelchairs and hoists.
Mrs Walsh received her wheelchair shortly before the criteria changed in May 2010, so will receive an assessment to see if she needs a specialist NHS chair, or if the nursing home needs to purchase a standard type.
The trust stresses that everyone in a nursing home who needs a wheelchair will have one.
It said: “This is not about reducing the number of wheelchairs or taking a wheelchair from anyone, it is only about who pays for the wheelchair.”
Have Your Say