An NHS manager and wheelchair user has told HSJ of his dismay at being unable to access the stage to give a talk on equal rights for disabled people.

Five Boroughs Partnership trust assistant director of inclusion Dave Thompson was booked to speak at a conference on delivering the equality and diversity agenda within the NHS this month.

He said he had informed organisers Healthcare Events and had been reassured that there would be no access problems.

But when he arrived at the event he was told he would not be able to use the stage as there was no ramp. 'This is not the first time this has happened, but I was extremely disappointed given the subject of my talk,' he said.

Mr Thompson said he could barely see the back row of the audience and had been bypassed for questions from delegates.

'If it wasn't for my wife having driven me for five hours I would have gone straight back,' he said.

A spokesperson for the organisers responded: 'Healthcare Events always endeavour to ensure the needs of speakers, delegates and exhibitors are met, and have apologised unreservedly to all parties involved. In respect the company made a donation to Action for Kids.'