Saturday, 15 January 2011

Stanmore Hospital Visit Part3 - GHU

The Graham Hill Unit is looking a bit sadly worse for wear, it could do with a lick of paint on the outside no doubt being neglected because of the planned demolition for the new hospital. Bit surprised that there was not an associated disabled parking bay outside, but suppose most visitors come from the acute/rehab part of the hospital and do not have their adapted cars at this point in their stay. This adapted home does not purport to display the latest technology available in door opening for the disabled either as it opens with an inaccessible standard Yale door lock. The door opens on to a hallway with laminated floor, off which to the left is first a large open kitchen, 2nd the square shaped living room, first on the right the fully accessible bathroom suite, then a spare bedroom, and straight down the end of the hallway the main bedroom. Through out there are light switches at the right height for the wheelchair user, but still convenient for two legged carer. I did notice though that because of the electrical fittings laws, I think, all of the sockets were at the usual heights just above skirting board level and therefore inaccessible to a proportion of wheelchair users without trunk strength. If you are that disabled I guess the assumption is that you would have help. The Kitchen had counter tops where a wheelchair could fit under, the built in oven at an appropriate height etc. Kitchen design it seems to me has to be an individual design dependant on how much the disabled person cooks as opposed to the associated carer / family. The bathroom had a walk in shower, bath with automated seat, raised toilet etc. The wash basin I did not think worked well as the levers to make turning on the taps easier got in the way once the basin was filled. The levers should have been reversed so that off was horizontal with the back of the basin leaving room to wash in the sink as required, instead they could poke someone’s eye out when using the sink. The living room displayed the problems of buying furniture as two items had blocks fitted to make accessible, one of which the dining room table. Accessible tables the vein of my life, you want to eat out at a restaurant, and end up choosing on the basis of the table design rather than the quality or type of food. I refer to table feet design to allow a wheelchair user to stay in chair whilst eating allowing foot rests to glide over the top of rather than bang into. We were also disappointed that the TV only had the 5 terrestrial channels, If I had the spare money I would have bought them a £20 set top box. The bedroom had a gantry hoist over a hospital bed and an attendant put-me-up bed for me to sleep in. So much like our set up at home. Reassuring that we have not done something very peculiar at home. This was to be our accommodation for the next five nights.


  1. Actually the sockets might just be poor thinking, the age of the property or some such. My (housing association, rented) flat was built in 2005 and they planned to put a wheelchair user in it - all of the plug sockets are half way up the wall so I can reach them. And I have a lowered fuse box.

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