Supporting Proposals For Free Wheelchairs On NHS

Monica has given her support to a proposal by MSP Jackie Baillie to introduce new legislation, which would see wheelchairs supplied to people who have a temporary need for one.

There is no duty on the NHS, or any other public body, to provide short-term wheelchairs to anyone with a mobility problem that is expected to last for less than six months at present.

Currently people who cannot afford to privately buy a wheelchair have to rely on services provided by charities such as the British Red Cross.

The proposals have been supported by the family of Cole Thomson, who has been supported by the East Kilbride News in his fight to secure medicinal cannabis to treat his epilepsy. Cole has experienced a deterioration in his mobility in recent months and requires the use of a wheelchair. He received a wheelchair from the Red Cross after being informed the initial assessment could take up to 6 weeks.

Monica said: “No one should have to rely on charity to get the help that they need to stay mobile in 2019.

“Sadly though, that is the case for many, like Cole, who temporarily lose their mobility.

“Not being able to get about is very restrictive. I’m proud to support the consultation on this Member’s Bill which will change the law and ensure everyone who needs short-term use of a wheelchair for 6 months or less will get one free of charge.

“Creating a statutory duty to provide access to short term wheelchairs, where it is appropriate to do so, is a relatively small change, but it is one that can make a significant difference to people’s lives.”