Couple’s long wait for wheelchair ramp

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A DONAGHCLONEY pensioner has been made to feel like a prisoner in his own home while he waits on the installation of a wheelchair ramp.

William Green (71) has been in a wheelchair since January after getting his leg amputated.

His wife Ellen (63) said it’s been an unacceptable wait to get a proper ramp fitted at their Winona Crescent home.

William requires kidney dialysis three times a week and had to have part of his leg amputated in January because of problems with circulation.

After taking ill, William is back in Daisy Hill Hospital this week and his wife hopes when he returns home the ramp will have been fitted.

She said: “When William put in a grant application for a shower and a ramp they came out and measured every room in the house. I said, ‘Why are you doing that? All we want is a shower and a ramp’. The man said they needed to have all the measurements for their records.

“I haven’t heard a thing from them since. We’re still waiting. All we have is a temporary ramp which they expected me to hire for £35 a week. I told them I’m a pensioner, I haven’t won the lottery or anything.”

Upper Bann DUP MLA Stephen Moutray has called for a swift resolution to the long wait by the couple.

Speaking after visiting Mr and Mrs Green Mr Moutray said: “Mr and Mrs Green need this ramp to be installed.

“The fact that they are making do with a temporary arrangement is having an impact upon Mr Green’s mobility. He requires kidney dialysis three times per week and apart from that is really unable to leave his home.

“It really is not acceptable that a man in his condition has been made to wait for such a long time.”

Mr Moutray concluded: “We need a speedy resolution to this situation. I have taken up the case and will be pressing hard for this work to be carried out with no further delay.”

A spokesperson for the Housing Executive said: “Disabled Facilities Grants are intended to help to improve the home of a person with a disability, and are normally based on the recommendation of the Occupational Therapy (OT) Service.

“With regards to Mr and Mrs Greene’s home, the Housing Executive received an initial recommendation from the OT Service on February 21. Further amendments to these recommendations were then made by the OT Service, most recently on March 26.

“Our local Newry Grants Office arranged for the property to be inspected on March 27 and have been liaising with the relevant Occupational Therapist regarding the proposed works. The Grants Office are now in a position to issue a proposed schedule of works to Mr and Mrs Greene this week.

“All applicants for Disability Facilities Grant aid are subject to a test of resources to determine if they are able to make a financial contribution towards the approved cost of the proposed works. We will of course seek to complete this assessment at the earliest opportunity and progress this case as quickly as possible.”