Press Release

MP on Child Mobility Fact-Finding mission

4th April 2008

Dr Hywel Francis MP for Aberavon has added his support to a campaign by national children's mobility charity Whizz-Kidz to improve the wheelchair services for disabled children and young people.

So far almost 100 cross-party MPs have signed EDM 176 which highlights the importance of providing independent mobility equipment such as lightweight and powered wheelchairs. The move would enable disabled children and young people to participate fully in school and in social services – in the same way as their non-disabled friends.

Dr Hywel Francis MP is also writing to Neath-Port Talbot Local Health Board to find out about the wheelchair services they provide to disabled children and young people, and their plans for improvement as outlined in the Government's recent review 'Aiming High for Disabled Children'

Dr Hywel Francis MP commented:

"This is an important campaign and it is critical that we find out what steps local services are taking to provide the right wheelchair and ongoing support that growing disabled children and their parents rely on to enjoy a normal, family life"


i) There are 70,000 children across the UK who need a wheelchair to satisfy their basic right to a full and active childhood, and to develop the skills and confidence they need for the future, such as when they enter employment.

ii) Whizz-Kidz is campaigning to ensure that the forthcoming reform of the NHS wheelchair service will meet the needs of young wheelchair users. It is calling on the Government and Primary Care Trust's to allocate additional targeted funding to improve the quality of wheelchairs that are provided to children and young people and reduce the lengthy waiting times for essential mobility equipment.

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