A LAW student recovering from a skiing accident is unhappy with the after-care she received from the NHS – including being told she had to hire a wheelchair.
Nina Thompson, 25, suffered a fractured pelvis in the French Alps when another skier crashed into her then left her in agony on the mountainside from which she had to be rescued by helicopter.
Nina later visited the A&E department at the Countess of Chester Hospital where she received “superb” treatment but on returning home, a Rapid Response Team, which provides rehabilitation treatment and care at home, failed to make contact.
Nina, of Tarvin Road, Boughton, who should be walking again within six weeks, rang the team herself but the only advice she received was “move within your pain threshold”.
What particularly annoyed the Chester Law College student was that she was informed she would have to hire her own wheelchair from a private company at a cost of £20 per week.
Nina, who was able to borrow a wheelchair from a family friend, said: “The NHS has done nothing. I was surprised to find they wouldn’t loan out a wheelchair. If it wasn’t for my mother and boyfriend I would have been stuck.”
Nina, who has studied the law on the rights of the disabled, feels being asked to pay for a wheelchair is wrong.
“Although I am not classed as disabled for the purposes of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005, this has got to be discriminatory treatment,” she said.
“On contacting the Chester Mobility Centre, I was informed that they do not deliver – the irony! I thought I would voice these concerns as I feel that this is a very serious matter that something should be done about.”
Nina spent last week in bed and had hoped the Rapid Response Team could have helped with every day tasks like washing and dressing.
Anne-Marie Storey, a spokeswoman for the Western Cheshire Primary Care Trust, which runs the Rapid Response Team, said: “We are investigating what the patient has to say to find out whether her treatment and care was appropriate to her needs and we will contact the individual to discuss her case.”
She said that in line with national policy, the local NHS does not provide free wheelchairs to people with short-term needs.