A DISABLED pensioner has been left struggling to access half of his home after receiving a new stairlift that he claims is not fit for purpose.

Tony Toulson, who lives in St Johns, says his new stairlift has left him suffering from bruises as his knees scrape along the bannister.

The stairlift was moved 10cm closer to the wall after Mr Toulson became trapped in the bannister spindles and needed help from his son to be freed. 

The problem has been blamed on a six-month delay between an assessment of his needs and the installation of the stairlift - during which time Mr Toulson, who has a damaged spine and osteoarthritis, put on weight.

However, TPG DisableAids, the company that fitted the stairlift, say they had to wait for a grant before they could do the work and have since tried hard to resolve the problem without success. 

Mr Toulson, who also received a ramp and rails and handles in his bathroom, said: "I am very humbled to have been given these improvements and they have improved my life tremendously.

"However the stairlift is not fit for purpose, I get bruises on my arms and knees every time I need to use it."

Mr Toulson added: "I will admit from October to the time the stairlift was fitted in March I did put some weight on due to my health problems. 

"But it was such a long time ago and they should have reassessed me prior to installing the stairlift.

"The stairlift should fit 30 stone and I am quite a lot under 30 stone.

"People of my age and disability should not be treated like second-class citizens."

The pensioner says he now needs to push his loose bannister away to be able to leave the lift at the top of the stairs.


Worcester News: Mr Toulson claims the stairlift is unfit for purposeMr Toulson claims the stairlift is unfit for purpose (Image: Newsquest)

The stairlift was fitted after an occupational therapist said Mr Toulson's previous stairlift was becoming out-of-date.

But the NHS have recommended that Mr Toulson does not use the new stairlift.

Millbrook Healthcare gave the task of installing the new stairlift to TPG DisableAids, who assessed Mr Toulson in October but were not able to install the lift until March, when a grant was approved.

Floorboards and a wall were also damaged during the installation, according to Mr Toulson.

Worcester News: Damaged wallDamaged wall (Image: Newsquest)

A spokesperson for TPG DisableAids said: "The whole team at TPG DisableAids is committed to providing not just high-quality products but also the highest level of service possible.

"Unfortunately, on this occasion, due to changing circumstances between the assessment of the client and the authorisation of the installation of the product, the stairlift no longer met with the client's change in conditions.

"We have looked at many alternatives however the changes in the client circumstances and the configuration of their stairs have meant we have been unable to find one that works safely for them. 

"We do acknowledge that whilst installing the product some small cosmetic damage was caused to an upstairs wall and that a floorboard was left creaking/loose, we have offered on multiple occasions to repair the damage but this offer has been refused each time.

"We again apologise for the damage caused and are committed to repairing the work when allowed to."

The firm added that the stairlift was not substandard and it had not refused to repair any damage.