Page last updated at 09:47 GMT, Saturday, 21 February 2009

Disabled girl denied wheelchair

Amy Rowlatt
Amy mostly moves around with the help of her family

The family of a five-year-old girl Rutland who has cerebral palsy have said they are angry she has been denied an electric wheelchair on the NHS.

Amy Rowlatt from Oakham cannot walk unaided but is capable of pushing her standard chair more than 15ft (5m).

The University of Leicester NHS Hospitals Trust said this meant she did not qualify for extra help.

But her mother, Rachel, said the decision means Amy is being denied important independence.

"It would be amazing for her to have a powered chair, it would make such a difference," Mrs Rowlatt said.

Fundraising effort

"It is so disappointing for her. Where is the freedom for a little girl who wants to enjoy her playtime with friends and family?"

A spokesman for the trust said they regretted any problems the family was facing.

"The Wheelchair Service at Leicester's Hospitals is strictly governed by the funding we receive from local primary care trusts and to allocate this funding fairly we must assess each applicant for their eligibility.

"Unfortunately, Amy doesn't fulfil the criteria for a powered chair because she has some ability to self propel. However, we have provided the family with suggestions of alternative funding they could apply for."

The Rowlatts said they were now looking at fundraising options so they could buy one of the 3,500 wheelchairs privately.

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Amy Rowlatt has cerebral palsy



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