Groups slam wheelchair 'lottery'

Children's charity Barnardo's has forged a link with mobility group Whizz-Kidz in a bid to persuade ministers to give more funding to wheelchair services.

Children’s charity Barnardo’s has forged a link with mobility group Whizz-Kidz in a bid to persuade ministers to give more funding to wheelchair services.

The charities presented the ‘Don’t push me around’ report to Downing Street last week, highlighting what they  say is a ‘chronic lack of money and an NHS postcode lottery’ for children who need wheelchairs.

Barnardo’s principal policy officer Neera Sharma said 60 per cent of children and their carers interviewed for the report claimed their wheelchairs were unsuitable, with waiting times for referrals stretching from a few months to more than a year.

‘Last year, the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit produced the “Improving Life Chances for Disabled People” report, and we are keen to highlight that many of the recommendations it contained have not yet been implemented,’ said Sharma.

Last week’s Downing Street photocall generated national and regional coverage, and the next phase of the campaign is lobbying ministers and MPs.

The charities are pressing for an Early Day Motion, and are holding an event at the Royal College of Nursing on 28 June.

The campaign has already been rolled out in England and Scotland, while Barnardo’s regional offices are taking it to Wales on 13 June and to Northern Ireland on 21 June.

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