05:14AM, Thursday 04 April 2013
The quality of support for disabled people has come under fire from a wheelchair user in Maidenhead who feels she is being let down by the NHS, social services and Government cuts.
Collette Hedouin, who has cerebral palsy, says she is not getting the service she needs to help her live an independent life, after the 24-year-old was told she would have to wait a week for someone to come out and collect her broken electric wheelchair.
Collette relies on the chair, provided by mobility services at St Mark's Hospital, to perform everyday tasks but says it regularly breaks and it can take days for simple repairs to be carried out.
She has suffered painful swelling in her feet due to the lack of proper support from her normal chair and says staff are often unsympathetic about her situation.
The keen photographer, who lives at Lady Elizabeth House in Boyn Hill Avenue in Maidenhead, said Royal Borough social services are not doing enough to help resolve the situation and it took four hours for someone to contact her about help with showering following the incident.
It comes at a time when the former East Berkshire College student has had her hours with a carer slashed from two 45-minute slots a day to three sessions a week and is set to feel the squeeze from the Government introduction of a standardised disability benefit and the 'bedroom tax' changes to housing benefit.
An NHS spokesman said: "If users have concerns about the service they should contact their local care manager so issues can be resolved with them."
A spokesman for the Royal Borough said it cannot comment on wheelchair services provided by the NHS, but it would expect care managers and provider staff to assist where possible to enable access to other services.
He added residents at Lady Elizabeth House occassionally have their care packages reduced to ensure they exercise their independence.