Community equipment provider Millbrook Healthcare and NHS Thanet CCG have agreed more funding is needed to clear the backlog of people waiting for wheelchairs, assessments and repairs in Kent.
The company and CCG have jointly apologised to customers and acknowledged that some people have been waiting too long for their assessments, repairs or new wheelchairs and equipment.
It is not known how much additional funding will be granted to Millbrook but the decision was made following an independent audit commissioned by the CCG.
A spokesperson from NHS Thanet CCG and Millbrook Healthcare said: “Through working together, and following an independent audit commissioned by the CCGs, it has been agreed that additional funds are required to clear the backlog of those waiting.
“NHS Thanet CCG is committed to working with the CCGs across Kent and Medway to gain approval to release the necessary funds to do this.
“The additional funding will be linked to a plan with clear timelines for equipment and repairs for the service users who have been waiting the longest.”
The statement was made after a disability rights campaigner in Kent claimed the wheelchair service was falling short.
Professor Mike Oliver, who represents the Kent Wheelchair Users’ Group, called for the equipment contract to be removed from Milbrook, according to a local newspaper.
He claimed that users were told issues stemmed from the “previous provider not passing on adequate data and so on”.
He told Kent Online: “We don’t accept for one minute that all of the failure was due to the previous regimes. That is a tactic that quite often new contract holders use.”
It is understood that cost-pressures have impacted on the day-to-day running of equipment services in the area.