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Family Voice Update
Steering Group minutes
The Steering Group met on 19th January – click here to read the minutes of the meeting.
8th December 2016
Posture and Mobility Service Focus Group – held 1st Dec 2016
This focus group was about the Posture and Mobility service (previously known as Wheelchair Services). This service has been identified as one which families have some ongoing issues with, so we invited Karen Huntley from Healthwatch Calderdale to come and listen to the views and concerns of parents and carers. Karen started by explaining what Healthwatch do (offer a place to share views and experiences of health services, a way of registering complaints, and an advocacy service)
Four parents/carers contributed to the group – here are some of the issues raised:-
What is working well
Parents found this hard to answer as they felt nothing was working well, but did state that at least they had a wheelchair, even though it was not fit for purpose. One carer said that the only good point about the wheelchair provided was that it could be safely clamped into a vehicle to transport the child to and from school.
What is not working well
Poor telephone manner of staff taking phone calls. No timeframe given for getting an appointment
Very long waiting times for appointments (18 months in one case)
Long waiting time for new wheelchairs and adjustments to current ones. Children growing so much between assessment and action that wheelchair then doesn’t fit them properly
Wheelchairs being repaired/upgraded when they need replacing – unsafe and uncomfortable
Being told things are on order when they are not. Parent would rather be told the truth about things, even if the waiting time is going to be long.
People not being made aware of other options e.g. voucher scheme
Unsafe chairs due to repairs not being done or being done incorrectly e.g. handle grips falling off when going downhill. Parents were told this was ‘a known issue’ but were never informed about it – potentially a very dangerous situation.
Therapists not visiting schools any more
Service operating as a business and seem to be more interested in making a profit than providing a good service
Top 5 gaps in provision
Working together with other services
Karen informed the group that she will be meeting with the CCG on the 15th December, and will pass on all their views then. She will also look into having other focus groups at different places and times to try and gather more evidence. She took parents’ contact details and will inform them of the outcome of the meeting, as well as any other developments.
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