PCT under fire over surgeries’ disabled access

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Doctor’s surgeries have come under fire over their disability access.

Mike Wells – whose elderly mother Felicity is a patient at The Ivel Medical Centre in Biggleswade – says the practice is unsuitable for disabled users.

He has also criticised Biggleswade Health Centre for not providing access for disabled patients while it undergoes its forthcoming renovation work.

Mike – whose late father Oliver was also a patient at the Ivel Medical Centre – said: “Bedfordshire PCT needs to realise that Victorian buildings like the surgery located in The Baulk are just not suitable for patients who have special access requirements.

“My mother is 84 and she needs a wheelchair to travel any significant distance – the design of the building and its entrance make access very difficult for her.”

He added: “Inside there is only one consultation room on the ground floor.

“The rest of the rooms are upstairs, as is the dispensary.”

Mike did consider registering his mother with Biggleswade Medical Centre instead but they were unsure about disabled access there.

He said: “They said that during the renovation work which is coming up they will be based in a portable building in the middle of the site which may not have a ramp, so that wasn’t really an option.

“We certainly don’t want to criticise either of the surgeries themselves as well as the PCT as the care and service have always been excellent.”

An NHS Bedfordshire spokesman said: “The PCT takes very seriously access to health facilities by all patients with any type of disability.

“Practices have a responsibility to make adaptations to enable disabled access, where this is possible.

“Where it is not, the practice should make other arrangements with their patients.”