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Date published

12 December 2018

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How it all started

I need a wheelchair as arthritis makes walking a pain. The Hospital provided an enormously heavy chair which did not easily take apart. I would not be issued with an electric chair because I would not be using it inside my house. My house is too small. My daughter funded a chair from a private company who told me that the hospital one was not even set up properly. The man who picked up the hospital chair informed me that this one was given to people who were smaller then me. Is the hospital cynically providing inappropriate chairs as a way of keeping their funding? Strike 1. My new chair is too big to go through the door or the ramp (purchased second hand) without being collapsed. I can not mange it without pain. Telling this to my GP he tentatively referred me to the OT. A junior OT visited was sympathetic but needed to talk to a senior member. I then had a letter informed me that as I could not use a chair inside they could not help with more suitable access but would help with putting a charging point in the garage. Strike 2. The Hospital was consulted but still held firm to no electric chair as I could not use it in my house. Remember that I could not get it in to the house. I can not leave my house on my own. I have earned some money working as an artist but as I am not longer able to get out to develop work and talk to patrons that income is drying up. I have working tax credits but for how long when Universal Credit arrives? I have heard the arguments about funding etc but this insidious belief has trapped me at home and has further impoverished me.

What I did to try to overcome it

I have told this story to friends who I rarely see now as I cannot get to the pub. My GP listened to the tale and did the best he could. I have not made an complaint to the Hospital accept when writing why I returned their chair to point out that they were practising constructive discrimination.

How it made me feel

I have felt that I was not worth while supporting when at my lowest.

The outcome

Nothing has changed and I have no idea on how to improve my situation.

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sue 3 January 2019

I too have osteoarthritis, and a few months ago i was diagnosed with fibro myalgia, it's painful for me to move around, I also have breathing difficulties, acute asthma, possible copd. I asked my doctor for a wheelchair, he wrote to the hospital services to request a wheelchair, but it was refused!! I am unable to go outside but a prisoner in my own home.

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