Local wheelchair providers are not recovering mobility equipment quickly enough from patients who no longer need it , some users have claimed.
In the wake of new analysis that shows wheelchair provision is still a postcode lottery, influencers have claimed that delays mean equipment can be forgotten about once it has been loaned out.
The data shows thousands of disabled children across the UK are still waiting months for a suitable wheelchair.
One in five children needing a wheelchair are waiting longer than the 18 week target set out by the NHS, with disparities across the country.
Speaking to a national newspaper, a charity fundraising consultant said the wheelchair service in Northamptonshire had ignored his offer to return the £300 wheelchair of a disabled girl who had allegedly had difficulty returning it.
Jimmy James told The Telegraph: “This is a really useful piece of kit which could be providing a hugely beneficial service to a child somewhere that is being wasted because no one can be bothered to pick it up.”
“To have it lying around when children are going without is dreadful.”
The equipment in this case had been issued by Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s predecessor.
Wheelchair services in the region are now tendered out to Millbrook, which told the newspaper that its contract stipulates that wheelchairs are collected within 10 days of patients calling to arrange collection.