For many patients and visitors to the hospital, one of the first things they might need as they enter is a wheelchair. The old wheelchairs received a number of criticisms. Either they were not where they were needed, left abandoned around the Trust or were too heavy and unmanageable for people to steer. As a result, there was often an emergency broadcast from the Pals Team for wheelchairs to be returned to the entrances, or Volunteer Guides setting out to search for them.
When Paul Freeman, head of Portering Services at the time, was approached with a new easy steer lightweight returnable (like today’s shopping trolleys) wheelchair, he was keen to see them used in our hospital. A successful bid was made to the League of Friends and twenty ‘Staxi’ wheelchairs were purchased. Twelve are positioned in the Main Entrance with eight to be placed at the entrance adjacent to Springs Restaurant as soon as possible.
Patients and visitors have given the Pals Team a very positive feedback. They find the chairs easy to use and there are always chairs available.
We are grateful to the League for substantially improving the ease of transference of patients with mobility problems – as the chairs have proved to be so popular we could be back to request funding for more!
Maggie Cherry, Head of PALS