Driving Mobility’s DrivAbility and RDAC successfully showcased services at The Big Event
‘The Big Event’ is Motability’s flagship event and the teams had a busy two days on the Driving Mobility stand.
‘The Big Event’ is Motability’s flagship event and the teams had a busy two days on the Driving Mobility stand.
Henna Zaman, Derby DrivAbility and Steve Dent, RDAC (above) were ready and waiting to say hello to visitors on day one. They answered any questions visitors had about assessment centre services, driving assessments, modifications, adaptations, driving safety and vehicle loading. They also demonstrated the Ford C Max to visitors.
In addition to the stand activity Steve Dent, Assessment Manager, and Barbara Hutton, Occupational Therapist delivered talks on ‘advice and support available at driving assessment centres’ in the busy main Speaker Area.
The One Big Day programme of events will now take place in four locations across the country, offering disabled motorists and their families the chance to discover worry-free motoring. The regional One Big Days are free to attend and offer visitors the chance to see a large display of vehicles for disabled people.
The event will showcase:
- Over 50 cars from 25 different manufacturers
- Over 20 adapted cars and Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV)
- Over 35 scooters and powered wheelchairs
- Specialist advice from our Scheme partners
At One Big Day Exeter specialist advice will be available from:
- Motability Scheme advisors
- Adaptation and WAV specialists
- Disabled Motoring UK
- Driving Mobility
- Kwikfit, RAC and RSA Motability
The One Big Day event dates and venues are:
- One Big Day at Westpoint, Exeter, Saturday 27 July 2019
- One Big Day at Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate, Saturday 10 August 2019
- One Big Day at East of England Arena, Peterborough, Saturday 7 September 2019
- One Big Day at Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh, Saturday 21 September 2019
Please check the Motability website for more information: https://www.motability.co.uk/news-views-and-events/one-big-day/
Wessex DriveAbility gives Basingstoke horrific accident survivor renewed independence
Steve North experienced life-changing injuries and reduced mobility during a horrific accident read how Wessex DriveAbility helped him obtain his licence and regain independence.
Steve North, 39, experienced life-changing injuries and reduced mobility during a horrific accident in 2016. Having previously never taken a driving test, in early 2018 Steve contacted Wessex DriveAbility, a Driving Mobility centre, for a driving assessment with a view to obtaining his licence and regaining independence.
The charity Driving Mobility directs a network of sixteen independent organisations, many with satellite centres, nationwide, which offer professional information, advice and driving assessments to people seeking independent mobility. Centres are staffed by Occupational Therapists as well as Approved Driving Instructors so that a full service, including advice on all aspects of driving and transfer in and out of vehicles, can be provided for drivers with injuries, disabilities or restricted mobility. Wessex Drivability is based at Portswood, Southampton, and also operates outreach centres to reduce travel times for service users. Wessex DriveAbility offers both driving and transfer assessments which include a full consultation, professional advice and a written report.
On the day of the accident, Steve, from Basingstoke, was walking with his wife when two vehicles collided on the bridge they were crossing. Steve was hit by one car and the impact propelled him over the side of the bridge. He landed feet first on the carriageway below. Steve comments: “My wife and I were going out for breakfast, as it was my birthday. I heard a bang and felt the impact of the car – but I don’t remember much after that. I fell fifty feet on to the road below. I guess I was lucky that that road was unusually free of vehicles!”
Steve was initially flown by air ambulance to Southampton Hospital where he was placed in a coma for ten days. He was then kept flat with limited movement for three weeks due to the risk of paralysis from severe injuries. With over twenty fractures, Steve had sustained an L1 spine fracture, a fractured pelvis, badly broken bones in his legs and knees and his left ankle was completely shattered. He was transferred to Salisbury Hospital where doctors fought successfully to save his twisted left leg, only to later have his right leg amputated at the knee.
Steve comments: “I left hospital in February 2017 and used a wheelchair initially but now have a prosthetic leg. I have ongoing physiotherapy and I’m due to have further surgery later this year to fuse my left ankle and relieve pain. Unfortunately, I have been warned there is a chance I could lose my left leg during the operation. Having had a few driving lessons many years ago, I have decided that now would be a great time to obtain my driving licence as I would like to retain independence long-term. “
Mr North visited Wessex Mobility for an initial assessment of his abilities, which included a discussion regarding his health and current medication, before trialling various adaptations and then being accompanied for a drive in a dual-controlled vehicle with a brake/accelerator lever hand control and steering aid.
Steve comments: “Laura from the centre came with me in the car and was absolutely brilliant. I was very nervous but she calmed me down and made me feel so confident. After the drive, I received detailed advice and a list of Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs) to contact. I am now taking lessons in an adapted vehicle and I go out driving three to four times each week. I am determined to pass my test and ensure that I keep as mobile as possible in the future.”
Motability’s One Big Day in Peterborough
East Anglian DriveAbility and Hertfordshire Action on Disability Mobility Care are delighted to be attending Motability’s One Big Day on Saturday 8th September in Peterborough
East Anglian DriveAbility and Hertfordshire Action on Disability Mobility Care are delighted to be attending Motability’s One Big Day at the East of England Arena in Peterborough on Saturday 8th September 2018, 9am – 4pm.
This is a fantastic opportunity to discover to talk to the friendly Driving Mobility centres and find out what each of the driving assessment centres do and the different services they have to offer. The teams will be able to supply professional, high quality information, advice and assessment to people who need to gain or retain independence through mobility.
One Big Day at the East of England Arena provides the perfect opportunity to discover everything you need to know about worry-free motoring with Motability. There is a huge range of cars, adaptations, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, scooters and powered wheelchairs on display and what’s more, admission is free!
A fun, fact-finding day out for all the family!
Wessex DriveAbility at Southampton General Hospital Open Day
Wessex DriveAbility are delighted to be presenting their services at Southampton General Hospital’s Open Day on Saturday 8 September 2018.
Wessex DriveAbility are delighted to be presenting their driving assessment services at Southampton General Hospital’s Open Day on Saturday 8 September 2018.
The 2018 Hospital Open Day will be taking place on Saturday, 8 September 2018 from 10.30am to 3.30pm at Southampton General Hospital with hundreds of activities and stalls on offer throughout the day.
The Open Day is a fantastic day for all the family to find out more about the hospital and UHS, the services we provide, the amazing opportunities available and ground-breaking work taking place.
The theme this year will be Health Hero Academy through the years and give visitors the chance to not only pick up new skills and have fun, but find out more about the history of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, as well as our plans for the future.
There will be numerous activities on offer and more information will be shared shortly.
There’s no need to book, just turn up on the day and have fun.
For further details please visit the hospital’s Facebook page
Please note: some activities are subject to availability.
To find out more about your local Driving Mobility driving assessment centre please visit: https://www.drivingmobility.org.uk/find-a-centre/
Stroke-surviving Dr Stevenson joins Board of Welsh driving assessment service that changed her life
Dr Stevenson becomes a Trustee of The Wales Mobility and Driving Assessment Service
Dr Mary Stevenson, 54 from Anglesey, has become a Trustee of The Wales Mobility and Driving Assessment Service after its team ensured her driving freedom following a stroke.
The Wales Mobility and Driving Assessment Service is a registered charity whose main office is based at Rookwood Hospital in Cardiff. The North Wales Centre is based at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Denbighshire The overall service is managed by the Director based in South Wales supported by Centre Managers in the north and south Mobility Centres. The charity is an accredited member of Driving Mobility which is an umbrella organisation made up of twenty member centres, many with satellite centres nationwide, which offer professional information, advice and driving assessments to people seeking independent mobility. All centres are staffed by Occupational Therapists as well as Approved Driving Instructors so that safety for drivers with injuries, disabilities or restricted mobility is maximised. As well as conducting assessments on behalf of the DVLA, Motability and health professionals such as Doctors, Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists, Driving Mobility also accept self-referrals.
During her rehabilitation, Mary employed the services of one of these centres so that she could learn to drive again and crucially, regain confidence on the road. Without the help and support of The Wales Mobility and Driving Assessment Service, Mary’s driving freedom would have been lost forever.
Mary, who originates from Glasgow, was 37 and working as a hospital consultant specialising in Genitourinary Medicine and AIDS in Birmingham, when she was diagnosed with a giant brain aneurysm. As the aneurysm was acting like a tumour, there were recognised symptoms which allowed an operation to be scheduled. However, Mary was informed the surgery would be extremely difficult and inherent risks meant a low survival prognosis. Mary defied the odds to survive the operation but experienced a stroke in the process. She spent the next few weeks on ventilation before being moved to Hillcrest Hospital in Birmingham for three months of rehabilitation.
During this time Mary notified the DVLA of her change in circumstances, her driving ability was assessed by the hospital’s mobility centre and she had to return her license. Four years ago, Mary and her husband moved to Anglesey and she made a New Year’s Eve resolution to learn to drive again. An online search highlighted Driving Mobility and Mary contacted her nearest centre – The Wales Mobility and Driving Assessment Service.
Mary explains: “I had no idea what to expect but from the moment I arrived, the staff were very friendly and made everything so straightforward for me. They really held my hand throughout the whole process – from start to finish. I was assessed by an Occupational Therapist to ascertain my abilities and driving requirements and then Gary Jones, the Centre Manager, accompanied me for a drive in an automatic car. As I can only use one hand, the car had a steering knob fitted with secondary controls so I could use all controls safely and independently. After a few hours, I left with a full plan of action advised by the centre.”
Mary comments: “Driving Mobility recommended an external driving instructor, who was a specialist in teaching people with disabilities, who helped me initially. Then Chris Jones became my new instructor, driving to my home to collect me for lessons. Around this time, my husband had a cardiac pacemaker fitted and couldn’t drive for a few months. I thought – what if neither of us were able to drive permanently and yet lived in a rural area? This really spurred me on and with Chris’ encouragement and support, I completed my final driving assessment in June 2017, allowing me to begin driving independently again.”
Mary now drives a Seat Ibiza with a steering knob and Lodgesons secondary controls. She is delighted to be behind the wheel once again and is continuing to gain confidence with ongoing support from Chris. She is also thrilled to have recently been invited to join the centre’s Board of Trustees and hopes her driving and medical experience can be helpful to other people in similar situations.
Mary concludes: “It can be very difficult to hear the news that you shouldn’t be driving. Knowing that facilities such as the Driving Mobility centres are available to assess people and to advise on matters such as driving adaptations and specialist tuition can be extremely helpful – to both doctors and members of the public. I am extremely thankful for the experience I have had with Driving Mobility. They have been absolutely brilliant. I hope through being on the Board of Trustees of The Wales Mobility and Driving Assessment Service that I can support other people, in the way that Driving Mobility has supported me.”