05/10/2018 | Press releases

Wheelchair Services engagement events

Wheelchair services team

People who use Wheelchair Services in north Essex have given their views about the service temporarily moving.

The service and its staff, which are based at Essex County Hospital at the moment, will move to Clacton Hospital at the end of October ahead of the Lexden Road site being handed over to developers.

The Transfer of Essex County Hospital Services Project team organised two engagement events in Colchester and Clacton so those who use the service, as well as family members and carers, could ask questions and share their views about the move.

Durban Ward at Clacton will house the service for the next two years while a suitable, permanent location is found.

Paul Fenton, ESNEFT’s Director of Estates and Facilities, said:

We need time to make sure we get the right premise, it will be much better to design the service around the people who use it and make sure it works.

We are setting up a user group because we need engagement from the service users to make sure the building is right. We will work with them to find a permanent location that meets their requirements.

Many of the questions raised at both sessions were around parking and whether there are enough spaces designated for Blue Badge holders at Clacton Hospital, which has 11 disabled parking bays.

Some people were also concerned about whether those bays will be regularly monitored to make sure they are used correctly, but because ESNEFT does not own the site, this will be raised with NHS Properties as landlord.

With some people travelling from further afield than Colchester for their appointments, there was a call for reassurance about patient transport which was given by clinical lead for equipment and wheelchair service Tracy Freeman.

She said the whole team are looking at the way they work and how the service will be maintained while it is in Clacton, which may include some home visits.

Paul said:

We accept the fact that travel will be an issue and we will try to mitigate that.

Around 2,200 people use the service and they have all been written to by the project team with feedback from the engagement events, including the frequently asked questions and new contact details for the team.

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