Published: 20th July 2015
Author: Acceleris

RIGHT CHAIR, RIGHT TIME, RIGHT NOW campaign and Wheelchair Charter launch today

Hello everybody,

I’m excited to announce that today marks the official launch of the RIGHT CHAIR, RIGHT TIME, RIGHT NOW campaign.

This morning, I joined Fiona Carey and Dr Jean Waters, also members of the Wheelchair Leadership Alliance, in Parliament Square, to call for an improvement to wheelchair services in England before more users are adversely affected by the poor levels of service present across the country. You’ll have seen pictures from this morning of the three of us in wheelbarrows, to show how receiving the wrong chair for your needs is just as much use as being handed a wheelbarrow.

Alliance members Dr Jean Waters, Fiona Carey and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

Alliance members Dr Jean Waters, Fiona Carey and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

This afternoon, we brought together MPs and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), as well as other healthcare professionals and senior figures who are vital in bringing about success, at Speaker’s House in Parliament. The event highlighted the issues facing wheelchair users in getting the right chair at the right time and was our platform for launching the wheelchair charter and national improvement campaign.

For too long wheelchair services have been inadequate and it is time that wheelchair users are listened to and provided a proper service, rather than being marginalised. The huge variation in quality of services across the UK is astounding, and means a huge proportion of wheelchair users are left immobilised, frustrated and ignored.

Now we want to get this issue on the radar of people who can influence change and also get them behind the campaign by urging them to pledge their support to the Charter.

The campaign also highlights the effect the wrong wheelchair can have on users’ ability to leave the house and be physically active. Having an unsuitable chair can hinder wheelchair users’ ability to take part in physical activity and therefore impact overall physical wellbeing.

My career in athletics relied on having the right wheelchair, so to think that problems with wheelchair services could be affecting the lives of many who want to keep fit and active is unacceptable.

You too can help our cause, even if you’re not a healthcare professional, MP or from a CCG. Members of the public can pledge their support to the Wheelchair Charter and campaign. The Alliance hopes support from people in positions of influence as well as the general public will help bring about change faster.

Thanks in advance for your support. This week will be an exciting and important one for us to achieve our goals.

Tanni

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