Wheelchair services campaign

Campaigners from the East Midlands will meet with MPs and NHS leaders in London today, demanding improved wheelchair services.

MD sufferers meet with NHS representatives

Muscular Dystrophy sufferers from Leicester and Coventry are meeting with NHS and Government representatives in London to campaign for better wheelchair services.

The meeting room in Westminster Credit: ITV News Central

Vivek Gohil has been given the correct wheelchair thanks to charity funding, but Amritpal Kaur still has a chair which does not fit her needs entirely.

They are with a group from the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, who are today part of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Muscular Dystrophy.

Amritpal Kaur, from Coventry Credit: ITV News Central
Vivek Gohil, from Leicester Credit: ITV News Central

MD sufferers need correct wheelchair for independence

A sufferer of Muscular Dystrophy from Coventry says she has not got the right wheelchair, and needs the correct one to be an independent person.

Amritpal Kaur is backing a campaign by an MD charity today that is demanding better wheelchair services on the NHS.

The campaign comes after a report by the Muscular Dystrophy Charity, called 'Get Moving', which says the waiting list is too long for people to get the correct wheelchair, and the costs are too high.

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‘Get Moving’ report says wheelchair waiting time is too long

The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s ‘Get Moving’ report has revealed that many people with sever muscle-wasting conditions are waiting too long for their wheelchairs.

The key points from the report are:

  • 70% of patients wait more than three months, 30% wait six months, and 15% wait more than a year for a specialist type of wheelchair.
  • Half of NHS patients do not receive full funding for specialised chairs, with families struggling to cover the costs which can amount to thousands.
  • There is a long waiting list for repairs, and more than 30% have to self-fund upkeep of wheelchairs.
  • Patients given unsuitable wheelchairs due to lack of understanding in NHS. Around 30% forced to use unsuitable wheelchairs.
  • ‘Get Moving’ concerned Occupational Therapists do not consider changing needs of individuals.

What is Muscular Dystrophy?

Muscular Dystrophies (MD) are a group of inherited genetic conditions that gradually cause muscles to weaken, according to the NHS.

MD is a progressive condition, meaning it worsens over time.

There is no cure for MD. However, treatment can help manage many of the symptoms.

More than 70,000 children and adults in the UK have MD or a related condition.

For more information on Muscular Dystrophy, visit the NHS website.

Wheelchair user: "They are a necessity, not a luxury"

A powered wheelchair user from Leicester is backing a national campaign to improve wheelchair services.

A new report by a muscular dystrophy charity said waiting times for specialist wheelchairs are too long, and more financial help for those needing chairs was needed.

23-year-old Vivek Gohil shared his experience as part of the new report, 'Get Moving'.

When I was ten I was bedbound for eight months owing to delays in receiving an appropriate chair. Thirteen years on I'm still hearing of people who are having the same problems. I have a muscle-wasting condition and need proper support for my spine. It is just not possible to get a specialised wheelchair that is suitable for me on the NHS - the basic wheelchairs leave you feeling uncomfortable and in constant pain.

Last year I was lucky enough to receive a specialised chair which cost £19,500 - fully funded by charity money. There is no way I would be able to afford this out of my own pocket - the chair is four times more expensive than my sister's first car. The NHS cannot continue to keep quiet on the topic of funding these wheelchairs. They are a necessity, not a luxury.

– Vivek Gohil

The report, launched by the charity Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, collated the experience of 600 people affected by muscular dystrophy and related conditions.

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Campaigners demand improved wheelchair services

Campaigners from the East Midlands will meet with MPs and NHS leaders in London today, demanding improved wheelchair services.

It comes after a new report by the charity Muscular Dystrophy Campaign said waiting times for specialist wheelchairs are too long, and more financial help for those needing chairs was needed.

A campaign is taking place today about wheelchair awareness Credit: Julian Stratenschulte/DPA/Press Association Images

23-year-old Vivek Gohil from Leicester is one of hundreds of disabled people who shared their experience of wheelchair services for the report.

The 'Get Moving' report, which collated the experiences of 600 people, revealed that many people with severe, muscle-wasting conditions are facing waiting times of six months for their first powered wheelchair or replacement chairs, with 15% of people waiting more than a year.