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How important are hoists in hotels?

Trailblazers have launched a new investigation into the provision of hoist facilities in hotels.

Thee summer holiday season is upon us and many will be looking at last minute trips away. Perhaps you’re thinking somewhere hot and exotic, or perhaps you’re planning on staying closer to home. But for disabled people, booking an accessible holiday is rarely as straightforward as picking a location you want to visit.

The problems usually come when hunting for accessible accommodation. The problems increase dramatically if you require a hoist for transferring. You’re left with limited options:

  1. Only stay in accommodation that has a hoist
  2. Take your own portable hoist
  3. Rent a hoist at your destination
  4. Just not go away

Let’s talk through the options.

Option 1 seems okay. However, there are only 20 hotels and B & Bs in the UK with a ceiling hoist, and 8 of those are in London! So as you can probably guess this option is rather limiting.

Option 2 could also be okay. However, if you take your own portable hoist you will probably need to drive your own vehicle as taking a portable hoist on public transport is difficult. If you don’t drive, then this isn’t really feasible.

Option 3 allows for the most flexibility but it would dramatically increase costs. Most equipment companies have a minimum rental duration (usually 7 or 10 days). So even if you only want the hoist for one night, you have to pay for 7. Sometimes, there can also be delivery fees too.

Option 4 is one which I suspect is the most popular. Sometimes it can just be too much hassle finding accommodation and then sorting out your equipment needs. Disabled people may decide to travel back late at night or just miss an opportunity altogether. It is sad this is a reality for disabled people in 2017.

Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Trailblazers want to find out just how bad the situation is and we then want to work to fix it. We need your help to do this.

Firstly, if you use a hoist to transfer, then please fill in our very short survey here. Secondly, if you’ve decided not to go away or had to cut an opportunity short, we’d love to hear your story. You can share your story with us by emailing Trailblazers.

Trailblazers is a national network of 700 young disabled people and their supporters, and is part of Muscular Dystrophy UK.

We campaign for change, provide guidance, and are experts in what life is like for young disabled people. We are passionately committed to challenging the barriers in society that stop us from living full and independent lives.