On 11 January 2011 I ran Pathways [the intake service] to put BooBoo on the OT wait list as she is out-growing her power chair.
Today (9 June 2011) I rang Pathways again to find out where we are at, and if there is any chance we can progress this issue. After nearly 6 months now, the chair is now on its maximum settings and unfortunately BooBoo is just not responding to my requests to stop growing.
I was told by Maria from Pathways that she could see our application on her computer (thank heavens!), and she will forward it to the committee again to see where BooBoo is at. She told me that she could give me no further information. She could not tell me when this committee meets or if they could progress our request in any way.
I know exactly which power chair I want for BooBoo (the next size up from her current one, simple really). Writing an application to Enable [the government agency that provides disability equipment] should be a fairly straightforward issue – but in reality, I know we need to trial some other chairs to satisfy Enable’s bureaucratic paper-hunger. From experience, that will take some months of careful coordination between BooBoo, her school, her OT and the one and only supplier of her chosen brand of chair (Permobil). Accounting for some forgotten paperwork and intricate details that no doubt will need to be produced, we will be nearing Christmas by the time the application reaches Enable. Once there it will sit on a desk for some more months before it is even looked at, and then filed in the “expensive items” pile, which moves at half the normal speed – and that is impressively slowly as you probably know. At this rate, I fear she will get her P plates before her new powerchair.
I understand you cannot control Enable (such superhuman feat would possibly earn you a Nobel Prize from a number of mothers I know). But surely it is not too much to ask to be able to make an appointment to put a wheelchair application in for a five year old child within a 6 months timeframe!? I’m not even asking for therapy sessions, just one meeting to get the process going.
What am I to do when she outgrows her chair in a few months time? Take away her mobility? Or come and clean your offices to earn enough money to buy one myself?
We have been your clients for nearly ten years now, and I am still as frustrated as ever with the system and the endless waiting to get appointments.
Please Rob, I know you are a busy man with much on your plate.
But can you for once and for all sort out Pathways and the referral/waiting list system please.