Audiology services / patient transport

Does anyone know if there is a way of accessing an NHS hearing test without having to use the specialised rooms please? It seems like all the hearing tests Dad has been to (two different locations) are in a special soundproof cell built into a normal room but this means that there is a large step to get in. Last time I tried to get the wheelchair as close as possible so that he could put his feet on the raised area rather than on the floor outside (if that makes sense) but it was too high for him to get enough momentum to stand. Now he wouldn’t be able to manage the step up at all, if we could even get him in the car, which at the moment we can’t. They didn’t seem to have another option for someone who couldn’t manage the step.

When he left hospital, I asked about his mobility and how I get him to appointments now that his mobility is so restricted (and we don’t know if this is a permanent issue or not). They told me that all appointments would have to come to him from now on - as if! I can appreciate that some departments can visit someone who is housebound but I’d guess it’s very limited and in the case of specialist equipment like here, I just don’t see how this is possible anyway. He was ‘delivered’ back to the care home via patient transport as he was on a stretcher but he can go in a wheelchair, he just can’t bend enough to get into a car & swing his legs round. Patient transport has to come from the person organising the appointment (i.e. GP / consultant etc) but it was me who fought so hard to get the appointment in the first place so who do I ask? I can’t see it happening in time for this Thursday anyway but I seem to remember that the timings are very loose, it’s not a taxi after all. He can’t be left unattended so how do I arrange to be there when he is dropped off when it could be well before his appointment? It’s such a small thing on the grand scale of caring but it’s frying my brain!

No appointments are a small thing. The NHS should make the adjustments for you and make alternative arrangements. Assisted transport has become very difficult since Covid. I have mother in law the transport will take but not father in law even though he is her carer. So I found a local charity who will take them both for a small donations for petrol.

You could speaks to the hospital PAL’S dept and see what they say.

Check back with the Audiology Department to see if they can offer a sound proofed room rather than a “cell” within in a room. When I had an audiology test (I have tinnitus) a while back it was done in a sound proofed room within our local hospital, no problems with accessibility.

My husband is in a hospital and has regular appointments at other hospitals. The person who arranges the transport requests that as I am his carer I need to go with him and have been allowed to go as an escort. Hope this helps

Thanks everyone.

It seems that the NHS does indeed have places that are not wheelchair accessible. The community hospital he was booked into only has sound proof cells so they suggested I tip the wheelchair back and then lift him up level once the front wheels are on the step… They THINK there is a non soundproofed room available at the main hospital so we now have to wait for yet another appointment to come available to go there. I asked them about patient transport and they said it has to go through the GP the first time. I’ve got even less chance of talking to the GP now that the care home arranges everything so I sent them an update and they said not to worry about transport as they can help with that. Would have been lovely if they could have told me… So now we wait again and in the meantime he has developed another ear infection because it’s been too long between appointments! Again!

I would contact the CEO of the hospital, and say that you are highlighting a serious failing that needs urgent attention.
It is failing some of their most vulnerable patients, placing them at risk and causing great inconvenience.

  1. Heavy carees can be pushed by small carers.
  2. Wheelchairs are designed to be very safe on four wheels, but are an accident waiting to happen on two wheels, could cause harm to carer or caree.
  3. The hospital audiology staff are clearly aware of this risk.
    Should an accident happen they would be liable to prosecution, because they have a duty to “make reasonable adjustments”. It is DISAPPOINTING that they have failed to already take steps to resolve the issue. Shouild have flagged it up as a potential risk.
  4. Sending someone to a different hospital, causing extra expense etc. to the caree and carer is not acceptable.
  5. What plans do the hospital already have for a PERMANENT solution to resolve the potential risk, by altering the doorway.
  6. In the mean time, I would suggest a SIMPLE TEMPORARY solution.
    The hospital provide the staff with a lightweight portable ramp which the staff have suitable training to place into position AND the hospital staff are then responsible for helping the wheelchair bound patient to negotiate safely - not leaving it up to the caree!

I suspect the CEO currently knows nothing of this situation and will take urgent steps to resolve the issue.

Let me know how you get on. I’ve resolved many things by doing similar things, and you will be helping not only yourself and caree, but all the other patients who have the same issue.

I do wonder if we had just turned up what they would have done. I can’t believe nobody has arrived at audiology in a wheelchair before and I’m wondering if there is actually some moveable ramp somewhere in these places. I have no idea where to start with the CEO because I have so many complaints I want to raise. I always intend to write to the hospital when whatever latest chaos has settled but then something else happens and so it continues!

On this subject, it’s straightforward. Ring the hospital, ask for the CEO’s office, and speak to the PA. If you are asked why by the operator, say it’s a serious confidential matter. This has worked for me, when the hospital were going to send my mum home without any arrangements. She relied heavily on a Summer frame and no one considered how she would manage this with an arm in a sling?!?!?!