It’s nice to be able to report a happy ending in the case of James Shepherd, the little lad who was in desperate need of a new wheelchair.
After featuring his story in The News, Solent NHS Trust has assured his mum Emma that he will get a new wheelchair and what’s more, he’ll have it by the end of the month.
That’s great news because James and his family have been waiting seven months for this vital piece of equipment and that’s simply not good enough.
Such a long wait is clearly not acceptable when you’re talking about something so important.
The syndrome that James has means that he suffers from unsteady and jerky movements. His current chair is no longer suitable as it is falling apart and the straps are coming off.
From a health and safety point of view, it’s clear that James had a strong case for a new wheelchair, so we’re not surprised that his family felt let down when it took so long for their case to be dealt with.
While the trust feels that it would be inappropriate to explain what happened, it’s clear that lessons must be learned.
Sometimes, things do go wrong. We accept that mistakes are made and that even the best-laid plans can take a wrong turn.
But it’s vital that the trust understands what happened here and not only so it can provide an adequate explanation to the Shepherds.
How else will it be able to assure others that they won’t also have to wait seven months if it doesn’t know what went wrong in the first place?
We’re pleased that an investigation is now being carried out and we hope that prevents other patients from experiencing similar delays.
As always, News readers were quick to show that they care and we know that your many offers of help mean a great deal to James and his family.
We hope that the trust lives up to its promise now and delivers the new chair as soon as possible.
That’s what James deserves – and it’s the only thing that will bring this frustrating situation to a fitting end.