Wheelchair ordeal for MS woman
A disabled woman is being forced to sleep in her wheelchair each night because the local health authority has banned staff from lifting her.
Lorraine Wolstenholme, of Monkston, Milton Keynes, has multiple sclerosis and is unable to get in and out of bed by herself.

Mrs Wolstenholme, who was diagnosed with MS in 1995, has involuntary spasms which the trust says are a danger to its staff.

She says she has been sleeping in wheelchair for eight months

She says it is increasing the pain of her condition and allows her no dignity.

Difficult to lift

In a statement, the Milton Keynes Primary Care Trust says Mrs Wolstenholme had been identified as a patient who would be difficult to lift manually due to her condition.

It says an independent expert supervised nursing staff carrying to lift with the assistance of a hoist.

Then the expert concluded there were still risks to both patient and staff and recommended that lifting cease pending further investigations.

Mrs Wolstenholme, who now relies on the help of her 27-year-old daughter, sought an injunction from the courts to force the trust to carry on providing the service.

On the basis of the expert's evidence, that injunction was not granted and proceedings have been adjourned.

Alternative unacceptable

Mrs Wolstenholme says the alternative being offered is unacceptable.

"It's a ludicrous and intolerable situation. What they try to do to you is give you 24-hour care which means you have to stay in bed all day.

"I have been in that position when they withdrew the morning care."

The trust says it remains anxious to find a solution, but it must be one that protects both patient and the carers.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2003/02/27 08:49:24