Charities say more funding is needed to get waiting times down for wheelchair users in North Wales

Two leading charities, Contact a Family Wales and the MS Society Cymru have given a joint response into the Health and Social Care Committee's report into wheelchair services in Wales. The committee also held a one day inquiry in March.

The committee's one day inquiry and report has provided a useful review of progress so far on wheelchair services in Wales. Contact a Family Wales welcomes the considerable improvements to paediatric services which reflects the positive impact of targeted funding and the hard work of professionals on the ground.

For this momentum to be maintained, however, it will be essential that the Committee's recommendations on the need to improve strategic planning and communication are addressed at the earliest opportunity.

– Keith Bowen, Manager Contact a Family Wales

Although there have been improvements, waiting times for adult wheelchair users in North Wales mean some people have had to wait up to a year for assessment which the Multiple Sclerosis Society Cymru has branded as unacceptable.

We welcome the short inquiry into wheelchair waiting lists in Wales and think that the investigations undertaken by the Health and Social Care Committee have shone a light onto the wheelchair service and led to improvements. Prior to the inquiry there had been little communication with service users and the voluntary sector, so we would accept that this has improved.

However, MS Society Cymru remains concerned at the length of waiting lists in North Wales and that additional funding is still needed to get these down. Fifty two weeks for a wheelchair is unacceptable.

– Joseph Carter, MS Society Cymru

The committee's report confirms that there has been improvements in wheelchair services since a previous inquiry two years ago but better communication and strategic planning is needed.