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Disability Centres in Wales Pose Risks for People Who Visit Them

adult woman on wheelchair entering the building

Disabled people are risking their safety when attending Wales’ health assessment centres due to their poor locations, BBC reports.

Amy Watkins, 31, from Cwmbran, Torfaen, uses a wheelchair and said the sites of some centres were “hard to believe”. Campaigners said some disabled people have missed out on thousands of pounds worth of benefits due to the issue.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said people can request a home visit or recover transport costs. A campaign group, the Disability Advice Project, criticised the location of centres in Pontypridd, Bridgend, Cardiff and Swansea, and also has concerns across the rest of Wales.

It said some disabled people may have missed out on benefits as it is “virtually impossible” for some people to access centres. At the Pontypridd centre, the group said the closest car park to the health assessment centre had no pedestrian access and routes in and out of the building were too steep for wheelchair users or people with mobility disabilities.

Ms Watkins said: “I wouldn’t put myself at risk, I would request another location or home visit because I don’t think it would be fair to put myself through the stress and anxiety of having to get to a building which I don’t know is accessible.” Some of the routes to assessment centres also open out on to main roads with no protective barriers, as well as having poor signage, uncontrolled road crossings and a lack of dropped kerbs.

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