The regional prosthetics service based at Mayflower Community Hospital in Billericay, Essex provides assessment, prescriptions, manufacture, rehabilitation, care and maintenance of upper and lower limb prostheses (artificial limbs). The multidisciplinary team includes a consultant, specialist nurse, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, rehabilitation assistant, prosthetist, psychological therapist and technicians. All services are provided within one clinical setting. Care and maintenance of the prostheses is also supplied.
A charity that works closely with the prosthetic service, The Limbless Association (LA) are also based at the hospital. They offer both practical and emotional support for amputees throughout their pre and post-amputation journey.
Tracey Ralph is a patient at the hospital, a NELFT Patient Representative and works for The Limbless Association. Here’s what she had to say about the service and her many roles:
Tina is a parent who travels with her daughter Isobel from Harlow to use the service.
"Isobel has been coming to Mayflower for the last two years to assist with adaptations in helping with everyday living. They are currently working on making prosthetics to help her ride her bike. Marg and the team have been excellent and go above and beyond to help Isobel participate in activities and provide tools to help with everyday life, such as cutting food etc."
NELFT Prosthetics Service support patients of any age with upper, lower, or multiple amputation or congenital limb deficiency (including war veterans). The service supports patients through the whole of their life and provides them with full access to a multi-disciplinary team which includes a consultant and specialist physiotherapists, occupational therapists, prosthetists and psychological therapists. It is a whole team approach working with the patient to find out what their goals are and whether receiving an artificial limb would help them achieve them.
All the limbs are made on the site, as well as while-you-wait adaptions and alterations. These are carried out by a team of dedicated, talented technicians from the Steeper Group.
Denise Bateson has been a patient for 18 months after losing her leg. In the video below she talks about her journey and how brilliant the service is.
Sue Patterson, LTCC Lead, NELFT said:
“The prosthetics team is made up of dedicated team of specialists who all work together to change the lives of those affected by limb loss. The team work to meet the needs of those referred to the service and it is always a pleasure to receive so many amazing compliments and comments about the hard work and the results for our users.
The team ensure that not only those visiting the centre receive support, but also work outside of their own team to support others in NELFT including, regionally based inpatient, outpatients and community based teams. They are always ready to support amputees, their families, carers and health professionals, and work as the experts for this specialist clinical area. I am so proud to work with this team, as they make a huge difference to all those who require support.”
Anyone that has upper or lower limb loss can be referred to the service which covers the following areas:
Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Brentwood, Redbridge, Southend, Waltham Forest, City and Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Newham, Haringey, Enfield, Camden and Islington, East and North Herts and Essex.
To find out more about this service, visit their webpage here: Prosthetics Service.