Millbrook Healthcare, which was commissioned to run a wheelchair service in Kent nearly two years ago, has taken more steps to improve the service, which was accused last year of underperforming.
It has launched a new dedicated website for the Kent and Medway wheelchair service which is designed to give information to end-users about things like referral into the service and reporting repairs.
The move is the latest step in Millbrook’s campaign to improve wheelchair services in the area after it was claimed in September that more than 2,000 patients had been waiting more than 18 weeks for equipment.
There had been calls from Kent Wheelchair Users’ Group for the contract to be terminated but the CCG handling the tender said that it was not that simple and that it was determined to work with Millbrook to “resolve contract challenges” to secure the best outcome for patients.
Millbrook and the CCG formed the Kent and Medway Service User Improvement Group, which works with commissioners and the wheelchair service provider to ensure their concerns are listened to and the waiting list is reduced.
One result of this has been to appoint a part-time ‘Lived Experience Advisor’ to help Millbrook develop its wheelchair services.
Part of Millbrook’s improvement plan includes an extra £2m of funding and more than 12 new staff members.
At the end of 2018, Millbrook claimed that the service was “showing signs of improvement” following the measures, with the number of people waiting for wheelchair repairs reducing by half between July and September.