Amputee in ‘constant pain’ after wheelchair service paid for by NHS fails to take care of patient

Amputee Keith Goldring from Leigh Park Picture: Malcolm Wells (170714-5205)
Amputee Keith Goldring from Leigh Park Picture: Malcolm Wells (170714-5205)

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AN AMPUTEE has been left in agony for almost two months after the company paid to provide him with a wheelchair maintenance service, has failed to do so.

The NHS pays Millbrook Healthcare to assist patients across Hampshire, including 63-year-old Keith Goldring, who has been wheelchair-bound for 10 years.

Keith suffers with a progressive form of multiple sclerosis, ulcers and type 2 diabetes, and had his left leg amputated early in June.

He required adjustments to his wheelchair after the operation, but said he is in ‘constant pain’ after being messed around by Millbrook, and not receiving all of them.

Keith’s troubles come as the NHS’ West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which pays for the majority of the services provided by the company, found it was: ‘not assured patients are receiving a timely service from Millbrook, which is impacting on their quality of life’.

Keith, from Leigh Park, said: ‘While I was in hospital, a technician from Millbrook Healthcare was supposed to fit my wheelchair with a stump rest.

‘Nobody turned up, so I had to try and clip it on myself, but my thigh was left pointing upwards.

‘The company said it had no record of my arrangement with them and after I complained, visited my home a few days later to fix it.

‘I also need a special cushion to sit on which will take the pressure off the sores on my backside, and pads to stop my knee rubbing against the metal on my wheelchair.

‘To date I still don’t have these, and I’m in agony because my sores are causing me so much pain.

‘The unnecessary pressure being put on them means they’re at risk of re-opening.’

Keith was visited by a technician and an occupational therapist from Millbrook, who confirmed he needed both items.

Keith said he was told staff would need to check if they were in stock, and that someone would be in touch with him that same day.

But one week passed, and Millbrook hadn’t made contact.

Keith added: ‘I phoned the company and was again told there was no record of my contact with them.

‘By this point I just felt let down and frustrated.

‘Another week passed before someone contacted me to say they knew what needed to be ordered, but that the manager who needed to authorise the purchase was on holiday, so I’d have to wait.

‘If this is how they’re treating me, I dread to think how many others, who live on their own and have no help, are treated by them.

‘Everyday is a struggle for me.’

Keith’s doctor has had to prescribe him with a cream to stop his sores from opening up, something he wouldn’t need to use with the adjustments made.

A spokesman for the South Eastern Hampshire CCG said: ‘We are awaiting the results of a review of the wheelchair services provided by Millbrook across the county.

‘We’re extremely sorry to hear about anyone facing disappointment with the service they receive.

‘Providing no complaint has been made to the service provider, a patient can contact our complaints department.’

Millbrook Healthcare said it does not comment on individual cases like Keith’s, but refused to respond to the information found about their untimely services. Since The News approached the company, it has made steps to rectify Keith’s situation.