Transport problems leaves Portsmouth woman waiting two years for wheelchair

A WOMAN has been left waiting two years for a wheelchair that would give her some independence back.

Monday, 20th November 2017, 6:39 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 8:38 am
Sarah Allen (37) who lives in Landport, Portsmouth, Hampshire is supported by her Fiance and carer Adam Ghent (39) Picture: Malcolm Wells (171027-7366)

Sarah Allen, from Landport in Portsmouth, needs an electric wheelchair so she can move about on her own.

But the 37-year-old, who has spina bifida, has missed numerous appointments with wheelchair services because of problems with the Patient Transport Service.

She said in the past two years, the service has either failed to turn up to take her to her appointments or they have got the wrong vehicle which her current wheelchair will not fit into.

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Sarah Allen in a non-motorised wheelchair Picture: Malcolm Wells (171027-7376)

Sarah has been left reliant on a wheelchair since being left bed-bound for two years.

It means she can not longer walk due to issues with her legs and feet.

She said: ‘The wheelchair I am using now I had to buy myself and it is too small. It doesn’t give me the support I need and it is uncomfortable.

‘I have been waiting two years for an electric wheelchair that would give me some independence back. It has been really frustrating.

Sarah Allen in a non-motorised wheelchair Picture: Malcolm Wells (171027-7376)

‘Because of my spina bifida and leg problems, I will need a specialised electric wheelchair so I need to be measured to make sure it will be right.

‘I can only be measured at the wheelchair services centre but I keep being let down by the Patient Transport Service.

‘I cannot go in a taxi or on a bus so I am relying on them.

‘Every time they fail to take me, I have to wait months for wheelchair services to find me a new appointment.’

Sarah relies on her partner Adam Ghent to take her out and move her around the house. Without him, Sarah would be housebound.

She added: ‘It makes me upset that I cannot do anything for myself.

‘Having this electric wheelchair means I can go to the shops, get on a bus and move rooms without having to call Adam.’ It is frustrating for Adam as well who said Sarah gets upset every time she misses an appointment.

He said: ‘I hate seeing her get upset when this happens.

‘Having an electric wheelchair would change her life.

‘We have to use the Patient Transport Service. It needs to sort this out.’

The Patient Transport Service is run by South Central Ambulance Service and is based at the Queen Alexandra Hospital.

A spokesman for Scas said: ‘We are sorry to hear about the alleged issues with our patient transport service that Sarah has experienced.

‘We would urge her to contact our Patient Experience Team on 0300 123 9280 or email [email protected] so we can fully investigate her concerns and respond directly to her.’