Restricted Mobility Archives - Driving Mobility

Post-op farmer’s wife regains driving confidence thanks to Driving Mobility

Lisa Hall, 57 from Bedfordshire, has retained her priceless ability to drive following a life-changing amputation, thanks to the support of a Driving Mobility centre.

Lisa Hall, 57 from Bedfordshire, has retained her priceless ability to drive following a life-changing amputation, thanks to the support of a Driving Mobility centre.

The charity Driving Mobility accredits a network of 20 independent driving assessment centres with over 70 outreach facilities, which provide guidance to drivers with restricted mobility. Service users either self-refer or are signposted for assessment from the DVLA, Motability, the Police or NHS – so the most appropriate means of driving can be recommended.

Lisa was referred to a Driving Mobility centre early in 2020 after undergoing a fore quarter shoulder and arm amputation due to bone cancer. At this time one of Lisa’s main concerns was the possibility she would never drive again. However, her consultant at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Stanmore assured Lisa she would be able to drive again. This led to a referral to a Driving Mobility centre (Herts Ability) via Lisa’s assigned Occupational Therapist (OT). The friendly and knowledgeable team at this independent charity would provide full assessment and recommendations regarding vehicle adaptations so Lisa could potentially drive comfortably with one arm.

Being able to drive again was a major focus for Lisa after her operation as she explains: “I needed to get behind the wheel as fast as I could after being in hospital. It was my main focus and a goal to aim for. I have always been a confident driver as I live on a farm and always running short notice errands for the business. Managing our busy 700-acre arable farm with my husband means I need to be driving for lots of jobs, from banking to collecting machinery parts. Not being able to drive would be a disaster.”

Lisa continues: “When you undergo an amputation you can be in a state of shock, you can lose yourself. My op could have had a massive impact on my life and business, especially as driving was vital for both. Even during time away from the farm, I was always the regular driver for my group of friends. I’ve always loved driving. This could have all been taken away from me. Thank goodness my consultant had confidence in me that I would be able to drive again one day. He said I’d find it second nature again with new controls. He was right and the Driving Mobility centre made it happen.”

Lisa’s assessment was booked for February 2020. She spoke to the Driving Mobility team beforehand and completed an online form, so a suitable vehicle was ready for her visit. The team explained what to expect during the assessment and offered calming reassurance. Lisa felt fine on the way to the centre as she says: “Despite a lot riding on being able to drive again and some anxiety, my apprehension was manageable thanks to the support I received from the centre. My husband drove me there, so I was even more relaxed on arrival. I hadn’t driven for several months so it really helped I felt no pressure from the staff, especially as they kept asking me if I was ok.”

“Once the initial welcome and meeting was completed, I was accompanied by a driving instructor and two therapists to a car adapted with a ‘lollipop’ steering knob. The instructor drove first and then it was my turn. I was given plenty of time to get used to the car on a quiet industrial estate before starting my 45-minute driving assessment. I feel comfortable and not stressed throughout the experience.”

When the driving assessment was complete, Lisa was given an appraisal of her performance and a written report. The ADI (Approved Driving Instructor) and OT (Occupational Therapist) explained their findings and recommendations regarding suitable vehicle adaptations. They felt with appropriate equipment Lisa could continue to drive safely and independently. A steering knob or ‘lollipop’ with ancillary controls including indicators, lights, horn and wipers was deemed ideal for Lisa’s disability. The necessary paperwork was processed that day and sent to the DVLA so Lisa’s licence could be updated, and her insurance company informed.

The adaptation to Lisa’s Land Rover Discovery then needed to be arranged. The Driving Mobility team were able to suggest several local vehicle adaptation specialists, so Lisa wasted no time in contacting them seeking assistance. She selected PB Conversions based in Leighton Buzzard who completed the work within a week – with the actual installation taking a few hours. As Lisa’s new steering ‘lollipop’ operates wirelessly, it can be easily clipped on and off the steering wheel so the car can be used with either standard or adapted controls.

Lisa concludes: “I was so lucky to complete my assessment and have my car adapted just before lockdown. Now I can definitely say being able to drive has given me my life back. I felt comfortable and supported throughout the whole process by the Driving Mobility centre and the steering controls they recommended are perfect. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was thrilled to pass my assessment! Using a car is now second nature to me again and we have flexibility with the controls so my husband can drive without the ‘lollipop’ attached, it’s so easy. Driving has always been a big part of my life and I am delighted to say this will now continue. I would encourage anyone in a similar position to do the same and give it a go, I thoroughly recommend Driving Mobility.”

#MyDrivingMobility

Driving Mobility’s New Brochure is Now Available for Download

All the information you need to know about the Driving Mobility Centres in a new downloadable pdf brochure

Driving Mobility is delighted to announce that it has revamped and updated its information brochure.

This new and fresh design includes all the information you need to know about the Driving Mobility Centres, including:

  • Driving Services
  • How the centres can help you
  • How you can access the services
  • The costs (if any)
  • What happens when you visit a centre
  • Who is available to help you
  • Who the services are for
  • How you can be helped if you don’t have a car
  • Services for car passengers
  • How to find a centre
  • Contact details of all the Driving Mobility Centres

To download your free copy please click this here

REAL Accessibility Event – Tower Hamlets

This charity-led event brought together a range of displays that demonstrated how locals living with restricted mobility can benefit from greater independence.

This charity-led event brought together a range of displays that demonstrated how locals living with restricted mobility can benefit from greater independence. Visitors received one-to-one advice from qualified representatives, including healthcare professionals on:

  • Accessible public transport choices
  • Travelling with a disability
  • Adapted cars
  • Mobility scooters and wheelchairs

Our staff were seeking feedback from attendees, led by Christine Parr (pictured above busy filling in a questionnaire), so that we can help influence future transport services in the area. This is part of our ongoing ‘London Project’ research initiative which aims to understand more fully the needs of elderly and disabled people in terms of private car, taxi, bus, train and tube accessibility. With this information Driving Mobility can more effectively put forward proposals to reduce the risk of isolation and loneliness in the area.

Simon Edwards (Hertfordshire) and Anu Varshney (South East) supported Christine on the day, and Hertfordshire also provided a vehicle.

Further info from christine@drivingmobility.org.uk

#MyDrivingMobility

Driving Mobility and REAL charities to host accessible travel event to help NE London elderly and disabled

REAL ACCESSIBILITY EVENT. Thursday 3rd October, 10am – 4pm. Mile End Art Pavilion, Clinton Road, E3 4QY

Supported by The Department for Transport, Driving Mobility, the nationwide charity which accredits driving assessment centres across the UK, is partnering with the Tower Hamlets’ REAL charity to provide an accessible travel event in East London.

REAL ACCESSIBILITY EVENT. Thursday 3rd October, 10am – 4pm. Mile End Art Pavilion, Clinton Road, E3 4QY

Free to attend, this charity-led event will bring together a range of displays that demonstrate how locals living with restricted mobility can benefit from greater independence. Visitors will receive one-to-one advice from qualified representatives, including healthcare professionals on:

  • Accessible public transport choices
  • Travelling with a disability
  • Adapted cars
  • Mobility scooters and wheelchairs

Members from Driving Mobility will also be seeking feedback from attendees so the charity can help influence future transport services in the area. This is part of the charity’s ongoing ‘London Project’ research initiative which aims to understand more fully the needs of elderly and disabled people in terms of private car, taxi, bus, train and tube accessibility. With this information Driving Mobility can more effectively put forward proposals to reduce the risk of isolation and loneliness in the area.

For more information regarding the REAL Accessibility Event, email: robert.morton@towerhamlets.gov.uk

The ‘London Project’ online survey can be located here: https://www.drivingmobility.org.uk/london-project/

Please feel free to download the pdf and share: 2046DM_REALeventSept19v2