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Wolverhampton Information Network

The Orthotics Service

Orthotics is a service that provides devices called orthoses (also called braces and splints). These are given to help to prevent, correct or accommodate a deformity and/or improve function. This can be as a result of an injury, disorder or due to the way our bodies alter as we get older.

Orthoses fall into one of the following groups:

  • Shoes and insoles
  • Calipers and splints
  • Knee braces
  • Back supports
  • Wrist braces
  • Support hosiery
  • Collars
  • Hip supports
  • Shoulder supports
  • Ankle supports

Orthotists are autonomous registered Allied Health Practitioners who provide static and gait analysis to utilise engineering solutions for patients with problems of the neuro, muscular and skeletal systems. They are extensively trained at undergraduate level in mechanics, bio-mechanics, and material science along with anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology.

Their degree qualifications make them competent to design and provide orthoses that modify the structural or functional characteristics of the patient’s neuro-muscular and skeletal systems enabling patients to mobilise, eliminate gait deviations, reduce falls, reduce pain, prevent and facilitate healing of ulcers. Whilst they often work as autonomous practitioners they increasingly often form part of multidisciplinary teams such as within the diabetic foot team or neuro-rehabilitation team.

For further information please contact the service Manager, visit our website below and refer to the attched files under the downloads section of this page.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Ms N Eddison
Contact Position
Orthotics Service Manager
Telephone
01902 694082
E-mail
N.Eddison@nhs.net
Website
The Orthotics Service Webpage

Where to go

Name
New Cross Hospital
Address
Orthotics Department Location A28
Wednesfield Road
Wolverhampton
West Midlands
Postcode
WV10 0QP
Notes

The Department of Orthotics is based at New Cross Hospital and Cannock Chase hospital but operates clinics at The Gem centre for children, West Park hospital and several specialist schools.

The RWHT Orthotic service provides both in-patient and out-patient services across New Cross, Cannock Chase and West Park hospitals.   The Team also has links with community based Therapists including special schools, the Gem Centre, early stroke discharge, intermediate care, Hospice, and falls prevention.  Multi-disciplinary and integrated working within Acute and Community clinical settings ensures patients are cared for by the same team for all aspects of their Orthotic care.   We are an ‘in house’ service directly employing our own NHS HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council) registered Orthotists.  The Orthotists employed are dual qualified with a Bachelor of science Honours degree in Prosthetics & Orthotics.  The clinicians consider all treatment options that offer best value care with the needs of the patient at the heart of the treatment.  The patient and family can request to see a male or female Orthotist if they have a preference. 

The current team consists of:

  • Principal orthotist and service manager
  • 3 x Senior orthotists
  • 2 x Orthotists
  • 4.6 WTE Orthotic clerks

Possible interventions are discussed with patients, parents and carers so that a joint decision is made.  The input could be one or a combination of options including; advice, insoles, Ankle Foot Orthoses, knee braces, back supports, dynamic sensory orthoses, wrist braces and footwear.  The team can assist with a multitude of musculoskeletal, physiological, neurological or congenital conditions to increase mobility, reduce pain or manage chronic disease.

 

Time / Date Details

When is it on
8:30am to 16:30pm
Time of day
Morning
Afternoon
Session Information
Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays

Other Details

Availability

Referral required
Yes
Referral Details

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust orthotics service currently accepts direct G.P referrals. The Cannock Chase service also currently accepts referrals from South Staffordshire and Stoke partnership community physiotherapists. We accept referrals from RWHT consultants and therapists.  We don’t accept referrals from consultants/staff from other Trusts.

Referrals received from Primary Care, Secondary and Tertiary sources will remain valid for as long as orthotic treatment is required for the presenting condition the referrer has requested.  This prevents the need for long term users to repeatedly have to access their referrer for a repeat referral.  All referrers will receive an orthotic outcome letter once the episode of care is completed, the letter will stipulate whether the patient will continue to be reviewed by the orthotics service and what the outcome of the assessment is.

When the product has worn out, no longer gives adequate support, or the patient’s condition has developed and the item is no longer suitable, then the patient will be re-measured and the orthosis replaced.  Products will be replaced one for one, within the allowances set out on this website.

If the patient’s condition has changed significantly (advanced or improved) and the orthosis originally prescribed no longer fulfils the patient’s requirements, then the Orthotist is obliged to re-assess and prescribe an alternative Orthosis within their scope of practice.  This does not require a new referral for the same clinical presentation or condition.

Elapsed Referrals

If an established patient presents with a new condition or disease, then the Orthotist is obliged to contact the patient’s General Practitione and/or referrer to request a new referral for an orthotic assessment, onward referral, or medical review.

Patients who no longer require an Orthosis for a functional, clinical or biomechanical reason, the Orthotist will request the patient to cease use and will discharge the patient.

Patients cannot request a repeat orthosis without a review appointment if they have not been reviewed by our service within the last 12 months.

Self Referrals

New patients who have not accessed the service cannot request assessment without a referral from a suitable clinical source.  We therefore do not accept self-referrals by patients wishing to access the service for the first time.

We do accept established patients self-referring for the same condition they have originally been referred for.

Orthotic Treatment not provided by Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust orthotic Services

  • Functional Electrical Stimulation
  • Walking aids, buggies, wheelchairs and assistive devices
  • New emerging products that do not have sufficient clinical trial data or evidence
  • Lycra garments Assessments

Discharge form the service

Exceptions:Patients under 18 years of age will only be discharged after failing to attend two consecutive appointments. On failing to attend the first appointment a letter will be sent to the parents/guardian advising of a failed attendance and asking the parents/guardian to contact orthotics to arrange another appointment. On failing to attend two consecutive appointments the patient will be discharged and a letter will be sent to the parents/guardian, their referrer and their G.P advising of the discharge status.

  • All patients who fail to attend an appointment for fitting of non-returnable goods will be offered one more appointment. A letter will be sent to the patient and their referrer advising of a failed attendance and asking the patient to contact the department to arrange another appointment
  • The department operates a discharge policy. Patients who fail to attend their appointment and fail to inform the department beforehand will be discharged from the service. A letter will be sent to the patient, their referrer and their G.P informing them of the discharge status.

To access the orthotics service again the patient will require a new referral.

Record Last Updated on: 27/04/2018

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