Paralympian to open Wheelchair service at Melksham

Posted: December 6, 2012

Five times medallist Stephanie Millward lends her support

Stephanie Millward, five times medallist at this year's Paralympics and three times Commonwealth Champion will be making her way to Wiltshire on December 13th to officially open the recently re-launched Wheelchair Service based at Melksham Community Hospital.

Wiltshire's Wheelchair Services, based at the hospital provide support to 4,500 adults and children from across the county.  The service has recently undergone a series of improvements, including a major refurbishment programme of its clinic rooms and offices, and a reworking of the team which has helped to ensure patients receive a more seamless service.

The refurbishment has involved the development of a number of rooms and outbuildings at Melksham Community Hospital, including the old hospital mortuary, kitchen, garage and even a former apple loft, dating back to the 1930s. This work, which began in February 2012 and was completed on in April, has seen the creation of a new waiting room, an additional clinic room, clinicians' office, decontamination area, workshop and staff rest room.

Karen Grant, Business Manager of the Wheelchair Service said: "This year has seen dramatic changes to the Wiltshire Wheelchair Service.  The refurbishment has seen our service quality grow massively, we now aim to see all new patients within a week of their referral and our additional clinic room helps us to do this.  We now provide a repair clinic where patients can bring chairs into our workshop to be repaired or one of our mobile technicians can visit people at home to repair their chairs if they prefer."

The wheelchair service, which serviced wheelchairs for the Paralympic Games this year, also offers specialised wheelchairs with head controls for patients with complex needs.

Karen continues: "It is great to see patients getting the service they need, and these improvements are a culmination of a lot of hard work by the whole team.  2012 has been a year of celebrations and achievements with the Olympics and Paralympics and we are delighted that Stephanie is able to join us to help commemorate our achievements by officially opening the service."

Swimmer, Stephanie Millward, who won four silver medals and a bronze at the Paralympics said: "I am really pleased and excited to have been asked to re-launch the Wheelchair Service in Wiltshire, I am really looking forward to meeting the people who use the service and hearing their experiences.  I know that the event will be a great success."

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