Health Worker Confiscated Four-Year-Old Disabled Boy's Walking Frame

Oliver McConnell (centre) with mum Danielle and brother Josh. Pic:

A four-year-old disabled boy's walking frame was taken away from him by the NHS because he was moving house.

A health worker visited cerebral palsy sufferer Oliver McConnell's home and confiscated the frame when they learned the family were moving out of the area.

Oliver is learning to walk after a pioneering operation in the US, paid for by community fundraisers.

But the walking frame was taken by an Oxford Health Trust worker after hearing the family planned to move from Ambrosden, Oxfordshire, to County Durham.

Oliver's mum, Danielle, said: "He had just started getting on his feet and the NHS just came and took his walking frame because we're moving.

"It (the frame) was something so minor - how many crutches go missing? But for days I was thinking how is he going to get about or get to school."

However, after the news of the confiscation was reported by local media, the Trust apologised and returned Oliver's frame.

An Oxford health spokesman said: "This should not have happened and we sincerely apologise to this family.

"A suitable frame has been delivered and they can retain it for as long as they need it. We will issue fresh guidance to staff to try to prevent this happening again.

"Staff have contacted the family to apologise in person and we wish them well with their move."

The family launched an appeal, Help Oliver Walk, in April 2012, to raise money for the life-changing operation. Friends organised events including auctions, cake sales, sponsored runs and walks and a skydive.

Since his operation he has gone from strength to strength and the frame helps him walk around. His mother had feared Oliver's progress and confidence would have been knocked if he didn't have a frame.