Escort in a wheelchair - imagine that!

Although I am a wheelchair user I don’t really meet with overt discrimination so I was quite shocked by today’s experience.

My mum is 84 and not really on the ball mentally. She’s not got dementia but she soon gets confused and is very forgetful. Today she had an outpatients operation and the hospital booked us patent transport – with me as the escort.

When the driver came to pick us up he was incredulous that a wheelchair user should be an escort. So much so that he had to call in to the controller who was also quite dismissive. I explained the situation that I was giving mental support – obviously not physical.

It was as though someone in a wheelchair was incapable of helping an elderly lady get to the right place and listening to what the doctors had to say. In the ambulance coming back was a very doddery old lady with her husband (he was the patient) one wonders exactly why she made an acceptable escort but I did not.


Hello Jane, I’m not sure if this is an outrage or just plain hilarious. I think you are an absolute hero for being your mum’s escort and I hope you fired enough arrows of guilt and contrition at the driver and any other half-wit lacking the breadth of thought to see past your wheelchair. Various sections of the NHS have taken stick lately-and from what I’ve seen it’s totally justified. I hope your mum’s ok and didn’t find the experience too disconcerting. I feel inspired to get out on my own wheelchair and offer myself as escort to anyone doing an out patient visit. Best wishes, Steve. x

An interesting post. Recall at one of my medical assessments having to wait with a couple – young woman about 25 and a middle-aged man 50+. I assumed she was his ‘escort.’ It transpired she had seveere learning difficulties and he was her ‘escort’

Well, Jane, one of the good things you have done today is to educate someone a little bit. It all helps! Alison

It beggars belief!

Of course us wheelies are sometimes looked on as if just because our legs dont work, it is presumed that our brains dont either.

When my ma-in-law was with us, we used to go out together a lot. This was when I was a wheelie…she was deaf (and daft at times!), so she was the fetcher and I was the communicator! We had some great laffs and got into bother without even trying!

luv Pollx