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Censorship and inaccesible toilets.

Posted Mar 30 2013 6:25am

Earlier in my stay in APH I tweeted about poor – as in zero – communication between medical staff and patients; about plain, old-fashioned cock-ups; about the absurdly high noise level from the overnight staff (think half a dozen students, fresh from the pub and let loose in a kitchen).
A few days later I had a warning from my consultant to be careful what I tweeted as it was upsetting the staff.

So let me be absolutely clear about two things – what I tweeted was the truth, and confidentiality was protected (i.e. no-one was named).

Since then things have been much better which, frankly, is far the best way not to attract critical tweets. And obviously, while giving in to any degree of threat pisses me off, I can’t afford to alienate people from whom I need help.

I have to say, though, that APH is in serious breach of the Equality Act.

On my ward is a large and very heavy door labelled “Accessible WC”. No, it bloody isn’t! Admittedly it’s very well fitted out with grab bars and a small, low-level basin. Massive snag though – access for wheelies is virtually impossible.

To get in or out one has to enlist the help of a member of the nursing staff whom, of course, are frequently engaged on more important tasks. This need to have help means that the “accessible” description  a had joke, and I’m told such toilets are common throughout the hospital.

Now in my third week I have devised a mehod of getting in and out that is only possible because my strength has improved, and because I use a rigid-framed chair. It would be impossible in a folder. The point is, though, I shouldn’t have to – any wheelie, or other disabled person should be able to tet in and out without help or special techniques. That’s what accessible means.


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