NHS England is responsible for planning and buying specialised services for people who need complex disability equipment. This includes all major upper and lower limb amputees and people with congenital limb deficiencies who have a potential to use prosthesis to help them mobilise or improve upper limb function.
They are currently reviewing a broad range of specialised services including prosthetics and working with patient groups and other key stakeholders over the next few months so that they can better understand how patients currently experience services, and where they feel care could be improved. As part of this process we had representatives from NHS England join us at our August meeting for a very useful discussion on this topic.
To ensure you receive regular updates about the prosthetics review directly, please sign up as a registered stakeholder for the Rehabilitation & Disability CRG (Clinical Reference Group).
You can do this directly at the NHS England website.
In partnership with Sport England, LimbPower have produced a useful series of toolkit videos that focus on five main areas:
Introduction to Exercise & Warm Up
Circuit Training & Stretching
Agility, Balance & Coordination
Strength & Conditioning
The videos are available via the LimbPower website or their YouTube channel.
If you would like the opportunity to share your experiences as a patient and help to identify priorities for the prosthetic service review, please feel free to attend this meeting at 2pm on Tuesday 8th August 2017.
The meeting is being held in the Governance Meeting Room at Brighton General Hospital.
Darren Geal, one of our Centre users, has written an excellent article for us on the physical and mental side of life as an amputee.
Speaking with a degree of experience on the subject, recovery from losing a limb is about far more than getting over the obvious physical trauma. Amputees in my experience, fall into two categories. On the one hand, there are those that suffer disablement through an accident or the aggressive onset of a condition. These people have little if any choice about the course of action to be taken. On the other there are those that lose their limbs as a result of a slow building condition, meaning that the decision to amputate has been arrived at through consensus whilst considering medical fact. Over many years I have considered which is ultimately the better route with ultimate ‘recovery’ in mind but have no firm conclusion.
Regardless of how an individual has arrived at the point where they wake up minus a limb, the journey to recovery will prove hard both physically and mentally.
Hospitals and medical professionals are tremendously well equipped nowadays to deal with the physical aspects. The physical healing has a different timeline for every individual but the medical methods are varied and well researched and treatment can be tailored to the specific patient need. Limb fitting centres, now countrywide, offer new technologies and stop at nothing to ensure that patients are comfortable and have confidence using their artificial limbs. This is also often against the backdrop of constricting budgets.
The talents of the Prosthetists are broad and cover the medical / physical and mechanical. Dealing with an infected scar and recognizing stump complications to adjusting the alignment of a knee or ankle joint to ensure comfort or appropriate posture are second nature. Having appreciated their skill for over 30 years across a variety of centres, but primarily Roehampton in the early days and Brighton for the last 15 years I feel qualified to say that when a patient is in the centre having the focus, everything feels more positive, from the feel of the limb to the prospect of potentially trialing a new knee, to the help with a specific stump issue that may have flared. The challenge is when you leave and just getting on with life.
I question whether an amputee can ever truly be classified as ‘recovered’ and further, whether the sole focus on physical ‘recovery’ is entirely appropriate. Continue reading
Albion In The Community have organised football sessions for junior amputee players aged between 5 and 16 years old.
Sessions are open to all players with a congenital limb deficiency
or amputation (upper or lower limb).
The next sessions are on 29 July and 19 August and they are being held at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre, 60 Mash Barn Lane, Lancing, West Sussex BN15 9FP.
You can download a copy of the information poster here
Prosthetic, Orthotic and Technical Services at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust
Blatchford is pleased to announce that it has been awarded the contract for provision of prosthetic, orthotic and technical services on behalf of Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust. Awarded for five years, the contract starts in April 2017.
The Trust provides a wide range of medical, nursing and therapeutic care to over 9,000 people a day, helping them to plan and manage their health, preventing avoidable admissions and minimising hospital stays.
The out-patient prosthetic service is based at Sussex Rehabilitation Centre, Brighton General Hospital, and provides a limb service to people suffering with congenital losss or loss from disease or accidents. It additionally offers pain management, wound healing and health screening services to help prevent further limb loss, while also offering maintenance and repair of artificial limbs. The clinic provides an orthotic service for patients suffering from neurological impairment, or those with other joint or limb conditions.
In providing the service Blatchford will complement the trust’s aims of giving people choice about their care and a high quality, safe, effective and compassionate service.
Mags Miller, Clinical Director for Blatchford commented, ‘The Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust contract is an exciting opportunity to work with a new NHS provider trust and support an extremely experienced and established team in delivering their prosthetic and orthotic services. We are focussed on continuing to develop the service by the introduction of innovative designs and techniques, promoting choice and working closely with patients to deliver the service best suited to meeting their needs.’