Millions of patients denied use of a wheelchair

Full story in The Guardian, 27 July 2018.

More than 4 million people a year have been denied the use of a wheelchair despite needing one after breaking a leg or having surgery, the British Red Cross has claimed.

While those who needed a wheelchair for at least six months were generally given one, people needing it for less time often went without, the charity said.

UK-wide shortages of wheelchairs are leading to people becoming housebound and isolated, according to the charity, which claimed that dying people were among those affected.

“It’s unacceptable that people with injuries, social care needs or even those with terminal illness find themselves scrabbling around to get something so basic,” said Mike Adamson, the chief executive of the British Red Cross.