What we do
The Orthotic Department provides a wide range of orthoses for all parts of the body. An orthosis is an external device that is used to correct, accommodate or maintain good positioning of bones and joints by helping to rest, protect or support you. This may help your mobility and function or in some cases will be used to stop movement if this is required as part of your treatment.
There are orthoses for all parts of the body such as:
- Prescribed footwear
- Foot supports and moulded insoles
- Callipers and leg braces
- Head, neck, and spinal orthoses.
- Wigs for temporary or permanent hair loss from chemotherapy or alopecia
If you would like to know more about Orthotics or are interested in a career as an Orthotist you can visit the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists for more information.
The majority of people will be seen in the orthotic clinics where you are allocated an appointment time and will see the orthotist who will assess what kind of orthosis would be the appropriate treatment, measure and order the orthosis. Once it has been made you may be required to attend a fitting appointment.
Your Treatment at the Orthotic Department
Types of appointments
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Orthotics department is working differently to provide the best service that we can. We have several new ways of consulting with our patients and confirm that regardless of the type of appointment you have you will be treated with dignity and respect. Your clinician will decide which of the following is most appropriate for you.
Face to face
For this we ask that you come alone where possible. Only one other person will be allowed to accompany the patient, this would usually be a parent or carer.
You will be asked to wash your hands when you enter the department and have to wear a face covering. Your Clinician will also be wearing a face covering and will have on an apron and gloves. They will, where possible keep their distance. This is all inline with the Government and Trust guidelines.
We are now able to provide video consultation where appropriate. A link will be sent to you via text message. It is vital that you keep us updated with any changes of mobile numbers. Our Clinician will call you at or around the time of your appointment. If you are worried about this then the admin team will happily talk you through this process and help with any checks you may need to do. All our calls are private and not recorded. We do ask that you are in a private quiet place with no/minimum interruptions for the consultation.
An appointment will be booked by the admin team for one of our clinicians to call you on the number you have provided us with. Please can you let us know of any changes to your home or mobile numbers before the appointment? If you wish to cancel your appointment or rebook it is vital you call the department as a failed appointment cost the NHS up to £160. If you have any questions or need further information or leaflets please contact the department and our dedicated staff will be happy to help.
After the orthotist has examined you, they will discuss your treatment options with you. You may need to part undress for the assessment and measurement, or plaster moulds may need to be taken, please wear loose trousers and avoid wearing tights. If you wish, you may bring a relative or friend into the appointment with you.
Small stocks of orthoses are kept at the hospital. We may give you one of these at your first appointment if it is appropriate. Most orthoses have to be made specifically for you, one or more further appointments will be arranged to make sure that it fits properly once it arrives.
Students in the orthotics departments
Royal Blackburn and Burnley General are both teaching hospitals.
Within the orthotic department we train student orthotists from the University of Salford.
If you do not wish the student to be present during your appointment please inform a member of admin staff or your orthotist prior to your appointment.
Where a made to measure orthosis is needed this will be ordered. This can take up to 6-8 weeks. As the item is bespoke and specific to you it may need to go back to the manufacturer for adjustments. This would mean you may have to make a few visits to the department before the item is ready to be supplied.
When the orthosis is ready to be supplied, the Orthotist will show you how to use it and look after it.
You may need a second orthosis for wash and wear/repair purposes, these will be ordered for you once you are sure that the first orthoses fit you ok, these are ordered from the same measurements as the first.
Northwest Ambulance service manages the Patient Transport Service in Lancashire. You can ask to use the Patient Transport Service (PTS) if you have a medical or clinical condition which may stop you getting to your appointment by any other means. The service provides transportation for appointments between 08:00 hrs and 18:00 hrs, Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays). Patients living in the Lancashire area telephone: 01772 904 919
Further information can be found on their website: https://www.nwas.nhs.uk/services/patient-transport-service-pts
Our Cancel/Rebook and DNA policy
If you are discharged and still wish to be seen then you will need to contact the referrer to refer you back to our care.
Failure to attend, cancelling without reasonable notice or cancelling more than once may result in you being referred back to the care of your GP.
Please note that a failure to attend or cancelling at short notice results in a cost to the NHS of £160.
Click on the headings below to learn more about our clinics:
Outpatient clinics are run at:
Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital - Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4pm
Burnley General Teaching Hospital - Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4pm
Accrington Victoria Hospital - Wednesday 8.30am to 4pm
Clitheroe Community Hospital – Wednesday twice monthly 8.30am to 4pm
Specialist Hair Clinics run at both Burnley General and Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospitals once a month.
We also run daily ward clinics across both main sites at 13:00-14:00 at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital and 16:00-16:30 at Burnley General Teaching Hospital.
We run a number of MDT clinics across the East Lancashire Teaching Hospitals. These are with Paediatric Consultants, Orthopaedic Consultants, Physiotherapists, and Podiatrists.
These clinics are run for both adults and children.
Due to the current COVID- 19 pandemic we are unable to hold clinics within our hospital sites. We are still processing wig referrals. Patients will be contacted by the department and sent information explaining the wig process. You will also receive a list of salons you can visit.
Specialist Hair clinics are held at both Burnley General Teaching Hospital and Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital monthly, however you can choose to attend a selection of specialist salons which is recommended as you can have longer appointment times and a wider selection of wigs, a list of these will be in the correspondence from us.
When a referral comes in to our department from your consultant you will receive a letter stipulating the next clinic held at the above hospitals by an external salon. Included in this will be an exemption form and information leaflet. If you have proof of exemption, this will need to be shown to NHS Staff.
East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has an allowance on all devices; the following is for wig patients which further information can be found online on the NHS Choices Website
Dermatology patients: 2 x Acrylic
A voucher will be given to patients entitled to an NHS wig to be taken to the salon. Salons have been informed that they are not process any wig orders without a valid ELHT Orthotics voucher.
Dermatology patients will be to be reviewed by their Consultant or GP every 2 years. Long term hair loss under Consultant care may have a longer review period.
Wigs and fabric support are not free in England. Charges are as set down by the NHS Business Authority with guidance from the Government and are currently as follows:
Prescription Charges 2021 - 2022
- Hosiery - Each = £9.15
- Hosiery - Pair = £18.30
- Abdominal Support = £46.30
- Stock Modacrylic Wig = £75.70
- Partial Human Hair Wig = £200.50
- Full Bespoke Human Hair Wig = £293.20
You are automatically entitled to free NHS wigs and fabric supports if you’re included in/award for:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Under 19 and in full time education
For up to date information on eligibility, claim forms or refunds please visit the NHS Business Service Authority website;
Accessing Our Service
Access into Orthotics is by referral only or if you have been seen by the Orthotics department before you can contact us direct to be reviewed.
Meet the Team
Our team consists of 6 Orthotists, 1 Orthotic Assistant, 7 Administration Staff and the Administration Team Leader.
Click on the headings below to learn more about our team:
Mr. Graham Nuttall
Ms. Natalie Hall - Clinical Team Lead Orthotist
Graduated in 2010 after four years study at UoS.
Started career at Sheffield teaching hospitals as graduate orthotist, moved to ELHT in 2013
Completed and awarded MSc by research focusing on outcomes of orthotic practice at UoS
Research paper publication 2020 in conjunction with UoS
Specialist interests: Diabetes care, neurological management, MDT working, Research with a particular focus on outcomes of orthotic practice.
Mrs Emma Loader
Emma graduated from the University of Salford in 2013 and joined the Orthotics Department in 2014. Emma enjoys the variation of her clinics.
Specialist interests include: Paediatrics and the training of Orthotic Students.
Mrs Avril Bateson
Avril graduated from the University of Salford in 2012 and joined the ELHT Orthotics team in 2014 after starting her career in Prosthetics working in Oxford and Newcastle.
Specialist Interests: MDT working in Diabetes and Paediatric working in local Schools.
Miss Victoria Levitt
Vicki joined the orthotics team in 2017 after completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Salford. Vicki’s special interest include: insole design, foot and ankle biomechanics, paediatrics, and student training.
Mr. Kieran Cunningham
Kieran works as an Orthotist and joined the Orthotics team in March 2019. Prior to joining the team, Kieran worked as an Orthotist at Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital. Specialist interests include: foot and ankle biomechanics, MSK assessment and paediatrics.
Kieran is proud to work within a passionate forward thinking team that are committed to providing outstanding care for the patients they see. He enjoys furthering his knowledge by attending training courses and staying up to date with new products. He is also a dad to two young daughters and loves spending time with his family.
Mrs Katharine Linley
Mrs Kathryn Roberts
I started with the Trust in 2004 as Secretary to the Domestic Services Manager and team
In my last post I was Admin Team Lead for the Centralised Administration Team within Estates and Facilities
I came into Orthotics in April 2019 I am finding the role has a different challenge every day, I work with a good admin team and we are all patient focus
Mrs Emma Walne
Emma has worked for the trust since 2010. She spent some time working as admin support in maintenance before joining the Orthotic team 4 years ago.
Mrs Margaret White
I joined the Trust in the Orthotic department in 2018 having previously worked in retail for 33 years.
Mrs Fatima Vika
Mrs Julie Addison
Miss Somayya Lunat
Accrington PALS Primary Health Care Centre
1 Paradise Street
Items for repair can be dropped in Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm at the Orthotics department at Accrington PALS Primary Health Care Centre.
The Department of Orthotics, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust cannot accept responsibility for orthotic devices that have not been maintained or serviced. It is your responsibility to ensure all orthotic devices are brought into the department to be checked or repaired regularly to keep them in safe working order. You must ensure any orthosis dropped off for repair is clean and free of contamination as the supplier may refuse to accept and repair.
Once issued with a device or footwear, it is important that this is brought in every 6 months minimum for regular repairs and maintenance requirements.
When your device has been repaired you will receive a letter telling you that it can be picked up. You can pick up your device at the drop off site between 8.30am and 4pm Monday to Friday.
If you do not contact the department within 4 weeks of your original collection letter notification, we will assume that you no longer wish to receive the item and it may be donated to charity. Or where possible the item we have ordered will be returned to the manufacturer for refund or destroyed and you will not receive further appointments and may be discharged from our service. Your GP/referrer will also be informed of this.
Patient Information Leaflets
Within the department we have been working hard to produce helpful and informative leaflets for all our patients to utilise.
Please see our list of leaflets below of which you can download as a PDF file and keep safe if you wish to do so.
The relevant leaflet should be issued to you when you attend the appointment for fitting or supply of your device.
We are also running an audit currently of our patient information leaflets to determine how and where we can improve on the content and the format of our leaflets.
Please ask at reception on attendance for a patient leaflet questionnaire to take part in our audit and shape our department into a more patient informative one.