Long wait for vital ramp

Zak is pictured here with fed-up mum and dad Trudi and Ronnie plus his sisters Jenni (14) and Kim (12) who believe that the delay with the ramp cannot continue for much longer.
Zak is pictured here with fed-up mum and dad Trudi and Ronnie plus his sisters Jenni (14) and Kim (12) who believe that the delay with the ramp cannot continue for much longer.

A Carbrain teenager is one of many local people waiting desperately for vital alterations to make their home wheelchair accessible.

Zac Borland, who is 16 and attends St Maurice’s High School, is one of just 2000 people worldwide diagnosed with the genetic disorder nephropathic cystenosis. He has developed arthritis and he requires a wheelchair.

The Borlands live in Stonylee Road as tenants of Sanctuary Scotland. Their house needs a ramp installed as Zac now has a motorized wheelchair which is far too heavy to lift into the house.

Despite a Social Work referral confirming the need for the alteration, the family have now been waiting three months.

Zac’s mum Trudi said: “This is a big problem for us. Zac is nearly 17 and wants more independence.

“We thought the motorized wheelchair would help, but the lack of a ramp means there’s no way he can get in or out of the house unaided.

“We can’t even keep his wheelchair at home because it is far too heavy to carry.

“I have been hearing so many other accounts of people in the area waiting ten months and more for wheelchair access to their homes.

“It seems that disabled residents are being neglected. I looked up the Equality Act of 2010 which states access applies to your home and not just public places.

“One mother was expected to pay 60 per cent of the cost for her son’s ramp! In the time this is taking we have been able to arrange changing over a Motability car from a standard one to one being adapted to a wheelchair accessible one for him.”

Local MSP Jamie Hepburn has been assisting the Borlands with their case. He commented: “I have been helping Mrs Borland pursue her concerns about the installation of a wheelchair ramp at her home, which she needs for her son.

“It has been accepted by both the Council and Sanctuary that the ramp is required, so it’s now essential that this is taken forward as quickly as possible.”

Ian Williams, contracts surveyor at Sanctuary Maintenance, said: “Our 2016/2017 medical adaptations budget had been allocated by the time we received the referral from the occupational therapist on February 22.

“The wheelchair ramp will be installed next month when our 2017/2018 budget is available.”