Published: 7th July 2015
Author: Acceleris

Why am I on the Wheelchair Leadership Alliance?

Why am I on the Wheelchair Leadership Alliance? The answer is a question……

So why is it so difficult to improve wheelchair services?
What I have experienced so far is complexity, messiness, unacceptable variations, all confounded by a lack of accurate useful data. But despite this I feel a shared passion by many that change must happen and maybe we need to change the way we try to change.

Over the last 15 years, there have been numerous reports, attempts to develop and mandate standards, best guidance and practice examples and case-studies all of variable descriptions and successes. There are many groups and passionate individuals who want to see change happen. So why is it so hard to spread and scale-up what works and learn from all our mistakes?

There are thousands of wheelchair users and families who have real experiences and learning to share whose lives are greatly influenced by timely provision of the right equipment. Have we really properly discovered and explored this amazing resource of understanding? Are we really listening hard enough to wheelchair users and truly co-creating services we all want to see?

Wheelchair service teams really do want to do the best they can for the user. They are constrained, working in systems with tight budgets, imposed criteria, limited choices of equipment and frequently faced with unacceptable ethical dilemmas of who is most in need above others! Data, when available, is used to point out what wheelchair managers already know, that waiting times are far too long. They feel unsupported by their organisations. How can we empower service teams to take ownership of improvement from the ‘bottom up’ lead by them, owned by them and driven by their own local data? They cannot do this alone.

There are some emerging potential examples and answers to these questions but there is much to do, many more questions to ask, and a journey to plan. The work of the Alliance feels like a fork into a different direction on this journey. We can’t do this journey alone, only together can we make a difference. Please make a start by joining us, sign up to the charter and share with others.

I hold with hope in my heart the quote: “Difficult paths can lead to wonderful destinations” – author unknown.

Angela Green
Improvement Manager, Y&H Improvement Academy (part of Y&H AHSN)
Member of the Wheelchair Leadership Alliance

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Categories: Alliance