Better communication and strategic planning needed to improve wheelchair access in Wales
Better planning and communication is needed if wheelchair access in Wales is to improve, according to a report by Assembly Members.
The National Assembly’s Health and Social Care Committee has made the call for more effective strategic planning and communication after an inquiry.
On March 8 2012, the Health and Social Care Committee held a one-day inquiry into wheelchair services to consider the extent to which recommendations made in a report published by its predecessor, the Health, Wellbeing and Local Government Committee had been implemented.
The previous Committee’s report, published in May 2010, highlighted unacceptably long waiting times for individuals in need of wheelchair services and a lack of access to high quality and timely services.
Following the one-day inquiry, the Health and Social Care Committee found improvements had been made since the previous report. Clear improvements were noted in relation to waiting times for assessments, particularly in relation to children.
However, the Committee believes that while substantial progress has been made on the ground, further progress is needed at a strategic level.
The Health and Social Care Committee also found that the improvements to wheelchair services had not been communicated well enough to service users, their representatives or practitioners. It recommends that improvements to the way information is communicated is urgently addressed.
“A great amount of good work has been achieved since our predecessor Committee reported two years ago,” said the Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, Mark Drakeford AM.
“Unfortunately, this progress has not always been as clearly communicated to the outside world as it deserved, and improvements need to be made.
“We hope that both the inquiry itself – and this report – will have contributed to highlighting the many achievements of those who have worked hard to create a better service, and to chart an agenda for the future.”Follow @CaerphillyObsvr