Parents of disabled man frustrated as equipment is not replaced
A Trowbridge couple say their disabled son will have to miss spending time at a day centre because the authorities are refusing to replace broken equipment.
David and June Wick-ham’s son Glenn, 32, is in a wheelchair and has severe learning difficulties.
He lives at Peel House in Melksham, is a residential care home for adults with disabilities and learning difficulties, and has attended Ashton Street Centre in Trowbridge every weekday since the age of 10 for activities and social contact.
He needs an overhead hoist to leave his wheelchair for stretching and physiotherapy, but since Ashton Street’s hoist broke last year the Wickhams have been battling to get it replaced.
But both Wiltshire Council, which runs Ashton Street, and NHS Wiltshire, which funds Mr Wickham’s treatment, say it is unnecessary to meet his needs.
Mrs Wickham, of Wyke Road, said: “We have had excuse after excuse and meeting after meeting. They are saying Glenn can use the hoist at Peel House in Melksham daily. This will totally disrupt Glenn’s day. He will only be able to attend Ashton Street for half-a-day daily.
“They can spend how many millions refurbishing County Hall, but cannot look after the vulnerable people in our midst.
“We offered to pay for it. It shouldn’t be necessary, but if it helps Glenn and gives him back what he had then, that’s what we’re prepared to do. They said ‘no no, we can’t have that’. It’s just ridiculous.”
Mrs Wickham said any change to her son’s routine was likely to upset him.
She said: “He will take some time to get into a new routine, he does take a long time to become accustomed to change.
“He’s very much a social sort of person, he does enjoy everything there, the people, and meeting his friends.”
However, Wiltshire Council and NHS Wiltshire said that Mr Wickham can spend the same amount of time at Ashton Street and still receive physiotherapy in Melksham.
In a joint statement, the two bodies said: “We have received a request for another hoist to be installed so Mr Wickham can also receive physiotherapy at the centre and his parents have offered to pay for this. We cannot accept their kind offer as an assessment has shown that it is not safe for a mobile hoist to be used to transfer patients for physio and also the mobile room at Ashton Street does not have a ceiling track hoist fitted.
“NHS Wiltshire has put in place physiotherapy sessions for Mr Wickham at his care home to ensure he is receiving every care he needs and is still able to spend the same amount of time at Ashton Street.”
But Mr Wickham says that there is no time for his son to have physio in the evenings at Peel House between his personal care time and dinner before going to bed at 8pm. He said Glenn gets uncomfortable if he spends a prolonged amount of time in his chair, and needs his physio in the middle of the day to alleviate this, meaning he will have to do a half-day at Ashton Street.
He said: “We’re going backwards, things are getting worse for our son.”
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