Last Modified: 8:14am 08/09/2021
The Orthotics department at Milton Keynes University Hospital supports patients of all ages, from our newborn babies through to our elderly population.
The core brief of the department is to choose, design and prescribe orthotic devices to support, control and improve the way the patient’s body or body segment works and to stop the symptoms that are being experienced. Patients are provided with their orthotic prescriptions after being visually assessed and measured by either a simple tape measure, negative plaster casting or 3D image scanning.
Our team work with patients with a wide variety of diagnosis, from heel pain to head protection for patients on the Autistic spectrum. Our experts see patients with pre or post-surgery concerns, Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, Stroke, Motor Neurone Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid and Osteo Arthritis and spinal concerns.
Aims of the service:
- To provide a cost effective, accessible specialist orthotics service which includes the diagnosis, treatment, fitting and maintenance of orthoses for children and adults, responding to changing medical and social needs of the orthotics user
- To provide appropriate orthotics, inclusive of elastic/fabric and custom-made splints
- To provide advice to maximise children’s’ motor skills, minimise development of contracture and deformity in the growing child and prevent injury in a caseload of children with neurological and physical health needs.
- To facilitate the treatment and rehabilitation of the patient. This is achieved through the assessment of need and the provision of an orthoses that will either remedy or relieve a medical condition or disability and may prevent the development of more disabling conditions
- To provide access to high quality, safe care that gives timely advice, appropriate support, assessment, diagnosis and treatment for patients according to their individual need
- To ensure the service is delivered in line with current policy, learning and best evidence and provide appropriate governance and management for the service
Expected outcomes for patients and their families:
- Enhanced patient and carer experience, satisfaction and quality of life
- Delivery of a service that enable patients and their carers to obtain information, knowledge and skills to facilitate self-care, wellbeing and to promote independence
- Responsive and timely access to a service that supports patients to proactively access the service in a location of their choice
- To provide a service that is equitable for all patients
- Improved mobility and independence for patients
- Reduced pain
- Increased choice and capacity locally for patients requiring services
- Improved management of foot care for diabetic patients, to reduce diabetes-related complications
- Prevention of ulceration
- Improved communication between provider specialist clinicians and GP’s
What has changed as a result of COVID?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the service quickly adapted and continued to offer face-to-face appointments for those patients who required urgent care.
Since the UK lockdown restrictions were eased, the service has been able to get back to more ‘normal’ ways of operating and has seen a rise in demand from patients needing new orthotics, or repairs to their existing ones.
The team have further been welcoming new referrals from GPs across Milton Keynes, including Orthopaedics, Rheumatology, Physiotherapy, Podiatry and more. With the demand in our region growing all the time, the service is constantly looking for ways in which they can meet the increasing health needs of local people.
Quick fact: In 2019-2020, over 4,000 patients were seen by the Orthotics department (4,045).
Meet the team:
Stewart Alvis – Senior Orthotist
Stewart is a Senior Orthotist at MKUH, assessing and treating referred patients with an Orthosis, the international name for a device, brace or splint used to support, stabilise, protect and correct parts of the body and improve Musculo-skeletal alignment.
Stewart is the only Orthotist at MKUH and has worked alongside the Trust since 1996.
Rachel Bonsell – Orthotics patient pathway co-ordinator
Rachel is an Orthotics Patient Pathway Co-ordinator at MKUH and her job role includes booking and rescheduling appointments for patients, ordering stock, processing orders and ensuring that the rest of the team has the right information to support our patients.