The battle of securing my new wheelchair seating

A year ago I was assessed for a new wheelchair. The assessment was done by Milbrook wheelchair services who are based in Chandlers Ford and cover Hampshire and  surrounding areas . It was concluded that my base, motor and electrics were fine to be used but I would need new seating. So the ocupational therapist measured me up and put the order in. Simple as that – or was it?

A few months later, by coincidence, my Dad got a job at Milbrook as an engineer. While in the workshop, he discovered a box with new seating inside which happened to have my name on it. It looked like it had been stored there for several weeks or even months. Apparently, the OT who did my assessment had left the company for personal reasons and my case wasn’t handed over.

I eventually got an appointment to have the new seating fitted. But was it that easy to put together? – Of course not.  When they began trying to fit it, they discovered that my frame was too small for the seating. Therefore after a wasted three hour appointment, they had to put my chair back together with its original seating and ordered me a new frame.

Eight weeks later, they managed to fit the new frame with my new seat. But, again, there were also further issues. We discovered that the new seating was not compatible with my recliner. Therefore they had to order me a new backrest that would be  compatible with the recliner. So for about three months, I had to sit in the seat with no recline which made my back very uncomfortable.  Plus there were other adjustments needed to make my posture better.

Finally, this week, the new backrest with the recliner, plus the other adjustments, were fitted. I’m now sitting a lot more comfortable and with a lot better posture than I’ve had in years.

It does frustrate me that this has taken nearly 12 months to complete when I should’ve just got myself a new chair rather than going through the hassle of having to change parts on my current chair. However I do appreciate the engineers time and effort to complete what was a very complex and long-winded task. I understand that the NHS is stretched and have limited resources and staff available to meet demand. It is a shame that we can’t get the best quality chairs through this service and instead many people are having to rely on crowdfunding to get the best possible equipment for their needs. I feel there may become a time that I might have to pursue this in the future in order to get all the  correct features on my chair.

For now at least I can use my chair, have good posture and can finally recline again!

Emma in new wheelchair

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