Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Finally...a replacement for the stairlift that was faulty for TWO YEARS

I found this stairlift article on the Leeds Today website after it had appeared in the Yorkshire Evening Post.


A MULTIPLE sclerosis sufferer had to be carried up and down stairs at her council home by her husband for two years after her stairlift kept breaking down. But today Paula and Dave Whitaker were celebrating after Leeds City Council bosses promised to replace the faulty appliance after the YEP stepped in.

Mrs Whitaker, 55, who has suffered MS for two decades and uses a wheelchair, said: "The stairlift is downright dangerous. I am frightened when I am on it, just in case it goes. "It has been breaking down on average twice a week for two years, we have called the helpline endlessly and there has been a stream of repairman, continuously coming to mend it. "At one time there were sparks flying from under it. "It usually breaks once it reaches the top of the stairs, so my husband Dave has to carry me back down, once I have been to the bathroom. It is a real pain."

The grandmother from Wood Nook Drive, Tinshill, Cookridge, says she and Dave have lost track of how many times they have called the council repair helpline since they moved into the house in 2004. Dave, who is Paula's full-time carer, said: "Coping with MS is bad enough, we could do without this carry on a regular basis. "They keep saying that a part needs replacing, but the chair is ancient and like something from the 1970s."When the YEP visited Paula's home the stairlift broke down as the mum-of-three was trying to get upstairs.

A spokeswoman for Leeds North West Homes said: "The number of repairs required of this stair-lift over the past couple of years is certainly out of the ordinary, therefore we will be requesting a replacement stairlift be fitted." The spokesman could not say when the lift would be replaced. Mrs Whitaker added: "That is brilliant news. I can't say enough thankyous to the YEP. They simply have not been listening to me. Surely they must have realised that coming out twice a week to mend the lift does not make sense."

12 September 2006