Staff, supporters and friends of St Martin’s Hospital in Odd Down no longer need to fundraise for new wheelchairs, following a decision by management to purchase a new selection.
The Sulis Unit, which offers stroke, rehabilitation and palliative care to adults living in Bath and North East Somerset, is run by Sirona Care and Health.
Up until recently, fundraising events had been organised to ensure funds could always be met to pay for the continual need for new wheelchairs.
Over the summer, Sirona staff and patients contacted Peasedown St John councillor Nathan Hartley to ask if any help could be provided.
Nathan said: “I was surprised to be told that wheelchairs weren’t replaced when they go missing, and staff were having to fundraise in their free time just to ensure there were adequate resources on the ward.
“During July and August I spent a lot of time at the Sulis Unit visiting a Peasedown resident who was recovering from a stroke. To discover that there weren’t often enough wheelchairs to go around was quite unbelievable.”
Nathan wrote to Sirona Care and Health’s Chief Executive Officer Janet Rowse to raise concerns.
As a result, the organisation have agreed to:
- Advise the manager of the service to order new wheelchairs to replace those that have gone missing;
- Look to see if they can make the wheelchairs more obviously recognisable as belonging to Sirona;
- Ask the staff on the ward to put some processes in place so they know when the wheelchair is being used away from the Sulis Unit and can check that it is returned when expected.
Nathan added: “When the replacement wheelchairs arrive, Sirona have agreed to do some communications on this and request a ‘wheelchair amnesty’ asking anyone who does have one of their chairs to return it.
“Ensuring local people have only the best access to health care and support is a necessity. All our local hospitals, GP surgeries and health centres should always have the equipment they need.
“I’m grateful to the staff and patients who raised this with me.”