WDHB issues wheelchair amnesty

26 April 2017



If you have a wheelchair owned by the Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) which was not officially loaned to you, can you please return it to Whanganui Hospital.

Whanganui DHB business manager Kath Fraser-Chapple says Friends of the Hospital volunteers and in some cases, WDHB staff, are spending many hours searching the hospital for wheelchairs which are currently in very short supply.

Mrs Fraser-Chapple says not being able to find a wheelchair at the front doors of the hospital and Emergency Department to transport a patient around the hospital is adding stress to already difficult situations for patients who find it challenging to get to their outpatient appointment or up to a ward without assistance.

“It might be that hospital visitors are wheeling their family members back to their car and taking the wheel chair home with them, not realising they need our consent to do so,” Mrs Fraser-Chapple says.

“The WDHB would be grateful if people would return our wheelchairs by leaving them in the hospital’s Main Entrance.

“We are not talking about the wheelchairs loaned to patients by Whanganui Hospital’s Loans Equipment Department when patients needing one are discharged from hospital. We are talking about the wheelchairs that are being taken without consent.

“If anyone genuinely feels they require a wheelchair to improve their mobility and independence, we ask you to discuss this need with your GP who can arrange for you have one on loan.”