6 Dec 2006

THE Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Barney McNeany has welcomed moves by Government to improve the service to wheelchair users.

The Commissioner has been campaigning to see services for children needing wheelchairs improved, together with the charities Barnardo’s and Whizzkids.

“We have received complaints from children and their parents about the poor levels of service they have experienced, including lengthy waits and inappropriate wheelchairs,” he said.

“The £500,000 which Health Minister, Paul Goggins MP announced, is an important start in addressing these concerns.”

Mr McNeany said that he looked forward to a wide-ranging consultation on proposals such as a voucher scheme, or direct payment scheme that would allow users more control over buying wheelchairs.

This week wheelchair users are involved in a workshop facilitated by the Southern Health and Social Services Board on behalf of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

Notes for Editors

  • The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety press release can be found here
  • The NICCY press release calling for this action in June of this year can be found here
  • The Commissioner’s speech in June can be found here 
  • Further information on the work of the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People can be found here on the web site