Muscular Dystrophy Campaign raps NHS over equipment provision

The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign slammed the NHS today for failing to provide vital equipment to disabled children after revealing that families are having to pay significant sums or wait lengthy periods for basics such as wheelchairs.

The charity, which carried out a patient survey and sent Freedom of Information requests to primary care trusts in England and health boards in Scotland, said families were being driven into hardship as a result of a lack of NHS provision.

In a report today, the charity said that:-

  • Half of PCTs and health boards will not fully fund powered wheelchairs for disabled children.
  • A third of disabled children who need to use a wheelchair do not receive any NHS funding for it.
  • Disabled children in England have to wait on average almost five months to receive an NHS wheelchair.

The charity said families who did not receive NHS funding faced steep bills for equipment and often had to rely on charities.

The campaign’s chief executive, Philip Butcher, said: “Today’s figures are nothing short of a national scandal. It is a damning indictment of the NHS that so many families across the UK are forced to rely on charities or be driven into financial hardship just to receive vital, life-improving equipment for their disabled children.”

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