THE parents of a seven-year-old boy who suffers spina bifida are still waiting for him to be assessed for a wheelchair – despite applying for one more than a year ago.
Shaun and Collette Millington, of Vale View Cottages, Pentre Broughton, applied to North East Wales Health Trust for a wheelchair for their son Cameron in about April 2008, but since then they’ve only received one letter, last August, to tell them he will be assessed once he gets to the top of the queue.
Cameron has spina bifida and hydrocephalus, a condition similar to water on the brain, and has had three operations on his spine in the last three years.
Collette said: “Cameron can walk, but only for short distances, so it’s difficult to take him out without a wheelchair.
“He has a pushchair, but he’s outgrown it now and he’s getting too big for me to carry him.
“Now it’s the summer holidays and he shouldn’t have to stay in the house, but we’re just not able to take him out.”
She added: “Having a wheelchair would help him so much.
“I do all my shopping online now because Cameron can’t walk for long enough and things that other families take for granted we’re just not able to do.”
North Wales Conservative AM Mark Isherwood brought up the issue in a National Assembly for Wales debate when he voiced support for the Disabled Children Matter Wales campaign.
He said: “The campaign wants greater funding for services, including wheelchair services, yet some children in Wales are still being forced to wait more than two years for a wheelchair.”
A spokesman for North East Wales Health Trust said: “Cameron is quite close to the top of the waiting list, but we are not able to say how long he will have to wait as it depends on how long other cases take to assess.
“There are 83 cases on the waiting list, the longest has been waiting since January 2008.
“We apologise for the delay, but the demand is at a greater level than we can cope with.”