The British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists (BAPO) has called for children’s prosthetic and orthotic services to be protected throughout the pandemic and ensuing winter pressures.
In a statement published on its website, the organisation said access to prosthetic and orthotic services in the UK is “vital” in supporting children’s physical health, mental and health and development.
It follows a letter from NHS England in April 2020, which recommended that work deemed medium and lower priority relating to ‘wheelchairs, orthotics and prosthetics and equipment’ services for children and young people should be stopped.
BAPO said it is important that children have access to prosthetic treatment to ensure that the prosthetic devices they use for daily activities are revised appropriately to prevent mobility issues and potential physical damage due to ill-fitting devices.
The organisation continued: “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we need to protect families, children and young people who rely on prosthetic and orthotic treatment as an adjunct to surgery, medical intervention, serial casting or therapy treatment, to be able to function at their best. Children are growing, conditions changing constantly and with targeted input from our services when they are required, long term disability and harm can be avoided.
“We therefore ask that services remain open and an appropriate number of Prosthetists and Orthotists are protected from redeployment, to ensure that families with children and young people, have access to the support they sorely need.”