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Funding boost for Medway Wheelchair Service will slash waiting times

Date: 01/08/2008           Category: Medway PCT

Wheelchair services in Medway have been awarded a funding boost which will see waiting times dramatically reduced. The money has been allocated to Kent and Medway Partnership Trust, which runs the service, by Medway Primary Care Trust. The £100,000 investment will be used across Medway to reduce the current waits that people experience when needing basic or specialist wheelchairs. It has been recognised that waiting times had reached an unacceptable level and with no national target for this service the local commissioners have recognised the need to take action and reduce waits. Wheelchairs are provided to people who have a long-term disability, requiring an NHS wheelchair for longer than 6 months and who meet the Wheelchair Service Eligibility guidelines supported by the Kent Wide Wheelchair User Group. Over the coming weeks the Trust will work closely with the PCT to agree how this money can be most effectively used to enable chairs to be purchased, supplied and fitted with the appropriate clinical input. The PCT's Assistant Director for Integrated Commissioning Errol Cordle said: "We recognise that this service needs more funding and this money will allow for more equipment to be purchased more quickly. Over the coming weeks we will also work closely with the Partnership Trust to ensure the service can be run as effectively as possible." Speaking about the funding allocation, Justine Leonard, Kent and Medway Partnership Trust's Director of Specialist Services, said: "This is excellent news for people who need wheelchairs in Medway. We know that these vital pieces of equipment make a real difference to people's lives and we want to reduce waits for their supply to the absolute minimum. We really welcome this money and will be looking to ensure it has an impact as quickly as possible." Alan Jones, Kent Wide Wheelchair User Group Chair, said: