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Thread: Doctor refuses wheelchair referral

  1. #1

    Doctor refuses wheelchair referral

    Hey, I could use some advice about wheelchair-getting in the UK.

    I have really severe fibro and some other skeletal and pain disorders, and I can most days only just get around the house (some days I can't even get to the bathroom). I can get out of the house about one day a week, and I have to be very brief in my walking. I live alone and have no-one in a position to do things for me.

    So I've been badgering the doctors to give me a referral to the wheelchair people - at first they said they would if I took some tests to check for easily-curable illnesses, which I did. Now they are saying they won't ever recommend me for a wheelchair because if I "gave up walking" I would become more disabled. I already can hardly walk, but I don't know why the doctors won't do anything. It gets me down so much, I can't do anything, even get to the doctors. I've had to give up walking with a stick because my hands are very badly affected.

    Do I have any other options? Is there any way I can get some advocacy for the doctors to convince them of how bad this is? Should I just not use a wheelchair? Should I get one privately and if so, can I expect to get grief from my GP over it?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated. xx

  2. #2
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    Have you tried self-referring to Adult Social Care/OT?

    They would come to your home and have a chat about your conditions, how they affect you and what equipment you might need and what they can provide you with.

    I referred myself a few years ago and they were brilliant. I had several pieces of equipment from them including a wheelchair.

    As you have fibro and other conditions, you would probably not be able to use a self propelled wheelchair. This would mean having an attendant pushed type, meaning you would need someone to push you around when you wanted to go out.

    I have an attendant pushed type as I am unable to self propel, but it means relying on someone to help.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

  3. #3
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    Hmm i kind of see wot the GP's getting at but I would echo babyblu. Stress the need for a visit from Adult social care and the OT, tell em you aren't giving up walking but need help to access the outside, which is good for your MENTAL WELL BEING. they are very keen on that but whether they stump the ££'s is another matter.
    I was in a similar situation. My MS got worse and the distance I could walk got less & less. Eventually got a GP referral and now I use the chair outside the home.
    I would see if social services will let you have a carer to push you in a manual chair say once a week? is there a local Shopmobility scheme?

  4. #4
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    Forgot to ask bathsheba.
    Do you get the enhanced rate of PIP mobility or high rate DLA mobility?
    If so, maybe you could look at using that to get a scooter or electric wheelchair. That would enable you to get out and about, be independent and not have to get someone to push a wheelchair.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

  5. #5
    Hey guys, thanks for the responses.

    I've spent the entire day on the phone and got to this point: my doctor was refusing to give me a home visit because I am "too young" and she told me to get a taxi (too ill for the journey) or travel with someone (no friends or family with cars) or walk (can't walk, that's the problem in the first place). I then told her that I was calling PALS if she refused me a home visit. She got nervous and said she had never refused me a home visit, she was *merely saying* blah blah blah... So the upshot is, I have to ring her back on Monday and insist on a home visit then, because she is trying to save face by pretending my circumstances might change over the weekend. If I am not granted a home visit then, I will make a complaint. I am tempted to complain anyway about my age being used against me...? (I am 23, and I think the assumption is that people of my age have available parents, which I don't, or are not badly enough disabled, which I am).

    I have got myself on to a waiting list for my local advocacy services, but they don't know how long it will take for me to be assigned an advocate.

    I have spoken to a private wheelchair provider company, but that will be a last resort as it's a lot of money. I've also asked a friend to write to my doctor and confirm that she lived with me for over a month, and I am as ill as I say.

  6. #6
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    Hi, as others have suggested do a self referral to you local OT service. You can usually do this via phone or the web, although I've found the web referral can get lost.

    You don't require any permission from your GP.


    They may also be helpful in other areas, not just wheelchairs
    No single thing can define me; not my work, not my politics, not my hobbies, not my vices and not my disability. I'm way more complex than that!

  7. #7
    Senior Member AmyS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babyblu64 View Post
    Forgot to ask bathsheba.
    Do you get the enhanced rate of PIP mobility or high rate DLA mobility?
    If so, maybe you could look at using that to get a scooter or electric wheelchair. That would enable you to get out and about, be independent and not have to get someone to push a wheelchair.
    Brilliant idea.
    @ bathsheba - are you in receipt of PIP?

  8. #8
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    The scooter idea is grand but depends on how her illness affects her and i have no idea. i only realised thru doing a scooter training course with the local Shopmobility that most scooters require you to make a fist and squeeze with the right hand. Something I'd have trouble sustaining as I have neural parathesia in the right hand.
    My wheelie however is steered by by LEFT hand (I am a leftie) and the joystick needs a very light touch. That kind of control may be needed, but thats the kind of thing wheelchair services shoudl sort.
    Again i would stress, phone social services, they should be involved..

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by AmyS View Post
    Brilliant idea.
    @ bathsheba - are you in receipt of PIP?
    Unfortunately not, I have applied to apply, but I'm still on DLA right now, and I only have lower-rate mobility because I was assessed many years ago.

  10. #10
    Senior Member AmyS's Avatar
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    bathsheba

    Ok just another idea, Red Cross and similar charitable organisations do loan wheelchairs - you could try them and 'borrow' with a donation. Just a thought.

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