Last month Muscular Dystrophy Trailblazers launched their report following an investigation into the need for hoists in UK hotels.
Over 100 Trailblazers responded to the survey, sharing both positive and negative experiences.
This is an important issue that affects the lives of so many disabled people, myself included. Without the essential facility of a ceiling hoist, we are denied the opportunity to travel, whether for work or leisure purposes.
With only 18 UK hotels having installed ceiling hoists for disabled guests, this is clearly an overlooked and ill-considered feature. Who is designing these ‘accessible’ hotel rooms, anyway?!
I was one of the respondents to the Trailblazers survey. Here is my view:
“I am an infrequent traveller, not because I lack the desire but because it is so difficult to find appropriately adapted and affordable hotels. Even getting away for a single night is an almost impossible challenge, since hotel rooms are, disappointingly, not equipped with ceiling track hoists as standard.
Although some people get around this problem by hiring (at an extra cost) or taking with them a portable hoist, this is not practical for all. Portable hoists are cumbersome, difficult to store, transport and manoeuvre. Furthermore, many people simply don’t have access to a vehicle large enough to carry such large-scale equipment.
I have Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy and am completely non-ambulant. I can’t safely transfer and so I either have to be hoisted or manually lifted. Understandably most people, excluding family, are reluctant to do the latter. So, if I want or need to get away from home, my only current option is to ask family members if they are willing to lend their time and support (far from ideal).
With less than 20 hotels in the UK equipped with ceiling track hoists, our options are severely limited. For those of us who need this facility, a premium cost is incurred, and then we are restricted to specific locations. Sadly we are not free as others are, to occupy any hotel room in a hotel of our choice, anywhere in the country.”
Click here to find out more information and from other contributors.