‘NHS nearly ruined Christmas’ claims furious Orby couple

Maureen and Roger say their Christmas was almost ruined by a lack of NHS cover over the festive period. Photo by John Crossland.
Maureen and Roger say their Christmas was almost ruined by a lack of NHS cover over the festive period. Photo by John Crossland.

A DIASBLED Orby couple have slammed the NHS after a lack of festive cover almost ruined their Christmas.

Roger and Maureen Hadley had been planning on enjoying a busy festive period visiting loved ones, and welcoming people to their home.

But when Roger’s motorised wheelchair broke down on Christmas Eve their well-laid plans almost fell apart - after it emerged that the NHS had no repair staff on call over the Christmas weekend.

It meant that Roger was left virtually housebound.

And the situation threatened to ‘completely ruin’ Christmas for a furious Roger and Maureen - who also requires a wheelchair.

She said: “My husband’s wheelchair had broken down so badly that he couldn’t use it.

“It’s a motorised chair and there was something wrong with one of the motors. It just went round and round in circles.

“We rang the NHS but only got a recorded message saying that they’d get back to us on December 28.

“They left no Christmas break-down cover whatsoever for anybody.

“The problem was worse because they insist that we can’t use other people to come out to repair the chairs because “they belong to the NHS” - yet they won’t give us the cover needed.

“We are both very disabled and it was going to ruin our Christmas.

“We were going to go to our daughter’s but it didn’t look like we’d be able to go. and that everything would be cancelled.”

But just when things looked their bleakest, the kindness of a local mobility firm ensured that, despite the lack of NHS cover, the family were still able to enjoy the festive season.

Although NHS rules forbade them from repairing the chair, Seacroft Mobility came to the rescue by lending the family another wheelchair for use over Christmas.

And their kindness “saved Christmas” for the couple.

Roger’s wheelchair was only repaired by the NHS yesterday (Tuesday), and Maureen is convinced that without Seacroft’s help, their festive plans would have been impossible. She has thanked the firm for their help.

A spokesperson for the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Unfortunately, we cannot comment on individual patient details. We do endeavour to provide a prompt and effective service for our service users but if people are not happy with the service they have received we encourage them to call Margaret Swaby, Wheelchair Services Manager on 01522 572610.”

“The Lincolnshire wheelchair service provides a comprehensive countywide wheelchair and special seating service from sites in both Lincoln and Grantham.

“We would encourage anyone who has had problems with their wheelchair to contact the wheelchair service at the appropriate site.”