‘My GP agreed I should get a wheelchair and this would help me. It should have been the hardest part, but actually, it got worse.’ The story of junior doctor Hannah Barham-Brown’s struggles with the NHS wheelchair service in England which produced an unusable wheelchair after a six-month wait will resonate with many who have had similar experiences at the hands of the country’s largest provider of wheelchairs.
Dr Barham-Brown’s speech to the British Medical Association’s recent conference paved the way for a unanimous vote for the association to adopt ensuring patients have timely access to suitable wheelchairs as a priority in its work with NHS England and other bodies.
Continue reading “Comment from Clive: How to bring NHS England’s wheelchair service up to speed”
Of all the social problems confronting Britain today, the housing shortage is one of the most vexing. Estimates suggest that the gap between the number of new homes needed in England and those available is 100,000 per year.
While outdated planning laws and political controversy conspire to slow construction to a trickle, a generational divide continues to widen between younger people who can barely afford to rent and the swelling ranks of older home owners living in oversized properties which are not suited to the practicalities of daily life as an older person.
Continue reading “Comment from Clive: Smarter neighbourhoods of the future will require more than technological wizardry”
Older people have many advantages over the young. The accumulation of years brings experience, wisdom and contentment. Older age can also be a time of discovery, when the commitments of family and working life recede and give way to personal interests and pursuits.
While older people have far more opportunities for self fulfilment in later life than ever before, they are still less likely to be able to enjoy the benefits of the digital age. The latest figures show that people aged 65 and over are less likely to have access to the internet or own a smartphone and tend to value the postal system as a means of regular communication more than others.
Continue reading “Comment from Clive: The digital divide between older and young people represents a wasted opportunity for the technology industry”
Research tells us that most assistive technology equipment is abandoned, often within the first year. Products frequently fail to match consumer expectations for effectiveness, durability, comfort and ease of use.
Continue reading “Comment from Clive: We need more transparency about the pros and cons of technologies”
Since the dawn of mainstream personal computing in the 1980s, the mouse and keyboard have become such an integral part of our daily routines that it might seem hard to imagine how or why we would consider life without them. And yet, technologists are always seeking breakthroughs that will herald the next big thing to revolutionise our increasingly digitised world.
Continue reading “Comment from Clive: Voice recognition comes of age”
Hanna McFadden, Children’s Physiotherapist, works for Honeylands, a Specialist Children’s Centre based in Devon. She has also been working with us at Designability to help develop Dynamic Seating for young children with dystonic cerebral palsy.
Hanna is currently on sabbatical over in St Lucia and has just shared her first account of how different medical treatment is there, along with some of the stories of the fascinating people she has met.
Continue reading “Life without the NHS: working as a therapist in St Lucia”
Last year, Bath Golf Club chose Designability as their charity of the year. In that time, they managed to raise enough to fund two more Wizzybugs for the loan scheme. Here, Alison Rushgrove, former Ladies Captain and member of Bath Golf Club, tells their story and reveals how her own personal experiences led them to us.
Continue reading “Community spirit: fundraising to power young children’s independent mobility”