Access to my house from car

This is a short video we took yesterday (21/04/2011) on our way home, which illustrates why I remain housebound at home, after over a year of being a wheelchair user.

As you can see, the access up the pedestrianized street to our front gate is very difficult to navigate, and can be accomplished by my partner only with difficulty. There are not many people prepared to push me in a wheelchair up the street, especially with the baby strapped to them. In fact, the alternative travel service have risk assessed this journey as requiring 2 drivers.

Since the new tax year, the staff running this service has reduced from 10 drivers to 4, and so you can imagine how difficult it is for them to allocate 2 of those 4 drivers to a job such as this.

I’m sharing this with you so that you can see how even as a health professional, I have been unable to successfully navigate my pathway of care through Leeds Adult Social Care, or through the Council re-housing system.

Our initial visit from the Housing Officer to apply for re-housing on medical grounds was in September 2010. Despite this, and several other visits, trips to the housing office, and paperwork sent by recorded delivery, we have never received a visit from an OT to assess us for aids and adaptations to remain in the property. We have never been visited by the medical re-housing team, a necessary step in being allocated priority which would enable us to successfully bid for housing that is suitable for our needs.

Despite being in contact with Social Workers since being identified as having Social Care needs in hospital last August (2010), I have been unable to get either the Children’s Social Care or Adult Social Care to send an OT to produce an environmental assessment of our needs to support our need for re-housing. My Adult Social Care initial assessment remains incomplete, as I write this.

This means I have never been able to take or collect my daughter from school with any regularity. I cannot go to the bank, or take my children to the doctors when they need vaccinations or become unwell. I cannot see how I will be able to manage this access problem and remain in full-time employment.

I’m an articulate and confident person- if I can’t get the system to work for me, what hope the most vulnerable in our society?

Sorry no jokes this time.

Leave a comment


  1. sue

     /  April 22, 2011

    I empathise with you as I have a simlar problem

    • I’m so sorry to hear that, Sue. It really sucks, doesn’t it? What solutions have you come up with, or are you still just frustrated by the situation? Here’s hoping we both find some acceptable solution soon. Meanwhile, thanks for reading, and for being brave enough to comment! I appreciate it. Warm wishes.

  2. Sandy

     /  April 24, 2011

    Hi Claire, sorry to hear of all your trouble, your video as well as description of it all. You have to deal with so many different organisations it gets complicated. I work in social care and some problems become very difficult. If I could help let me know. Sandy

    • Thank you so much, Sandy, it feels fantastic to have shared this with everyone and had such fantastic support. Thank you.


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