Richard Shakespeare, 36, spent two hours lying on a hotel floor in Reading due to a broken assistance cord preventing him from easily seeking help.

Richard, who lives with cerebral palsy, fell in the bathroom of the Ibis hotel on Friar Street after losing his balance. When he pulled the red cord to get help, no-one came. Unable to reach the hotel telephone, he managed to call a colleague on his mobile phone, who called the reception.

More than an hour later, a single employee appeared to help him, and Shakespeare said he received “a blank look” when he asked the employee about the delay and procedures which are in place at the hotel.

Speaking to UNITE, Paul Ralph, the access and inclusion director at Euan’s Guide, said: “Red cords are not a ‘nice to have’ addition to accessible toilets; they’re a requirement. The news that there are places not responding to alarms being triggered is scary for visitors and negligence on the part of the venues. Yet again it’s the lack of sufficient staff training that is letting people down and putting people’s lives at risk. This should not be happening in 2019.”

A spokesperson for Ibis told the BBC: “Regrettably, the correct procedures for attending to the guest, and subsequently for how to assist them once the room was accessed, were not followed.

“We acknowledge that on this occasion we have fallen short of the standards we expect and wholeheartedly apologise to Mr Shakespeare for his experience.”

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Source: PR/BBC
Image: Flickr/David McKelvey

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