Monday, May 24, 2010

What to do when the wheel comes off

We were just starting to calm down after the depressing hospital appointment when we got a phone call. The wheel's come off the wheelchair! So back in the car, mad dash with old chassis (which we had carefully hung onto in case of just this sort of eventuality instead of letting wheelchair services skip it) Try to mend wheel but find they've fitted different wheels from the ones in the manual and these aren't fixable. Ring the 24 hour call out number - which turns out to be an answerphone to which message we get no response until this morning.

The nurses and carers had in fact acted 'above and beyond'. It happened while he was out for a country walk and they organised to get his van out to him, jury rigged the wheel and got him home into his easy chair. They tried to fix it but they weren't able to either.

Wheelchair services didn't act 'up to or at' let alone 'above and beyond'. We've been asking them to talk to us about fitting kerb climbers as we have to drive in the road much of the time. The chair is too heavy to get up a normal kerb with its small castor front wheels. We've been ringing for some weeks now but no one returns the call. Until of course, someone hits a one inch partially lowered kerb at a slight angle and the front wheel falls off. The sequence seems to be - don't return calls, don't have a real emergency call out, only react when something drastic happens that could be legally actionable and then give an appointment some weeks ahead.

I don't really know how to refer to these people nowadays, Wheelchair service seems to be the wrong word. I know what I'd like to do to them sometimes.

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