UK Prosthetic and Orthotic Workforce Survey: We need your help!

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Why are we conducting this survey?

We are undertaking research to gather information on the prosthetic and orthotic workforce in the UK. The study aims to capture a wide variety of demographic and work-related information about the UK prosthetic and orthotic workforce. Currently, workforce data for people working within the prosthetics and orthotics profession is incomplete resulting in an unknown national workforce picture, which prevents accurate service planning and projection requirements. The project has been funded by Health Education England through the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists (BAPO). The findings of the study have the potential to influence future service planning.

Who do we want to complete the survey?

We want to gather information on all individuals working within the prosthetic and orthotic profession which includes:

•            Prosthetists/Orthotists

•            Prosthetic/Orthotic technician

•            Prosthetic/Orthotic support worker

•            Prosthetic/Orthotic student/apprentice

Survey update

  • The survey has now been running for 4 weeks but we need your help to get more responses, from all professions across the UK. We know that there are 1,124 registered Prosthetists/Orthotists in the UK today and so far, we have only had responses from 30% of this population.
  • We have a low response from technicians, support workers, students, and apprentices.
  • We have a low response from Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland.

To complete the survey, click here or scan the QR code:

There is a chance to win a £100 retail voucher, the survey closes 18/11/22.

Staffordshire University Professor is set to deliver a keynote lecture at the next ISPO world congress in Mexico.

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International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) organises biennial World Congresses. This is ISPO’s flagship conference and is a unique forum where the global community of professionals involved in the care of persons in need of prosthetic, orthotic, mobility and assistive devices comes together to learn about the latest scientific and clinical advances, products, innovative technologies, designs and materials in P&O care provision with the global health services.

The next world congress in 2023 is titled “Art and the Science” and will be held in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Four renowned international professionals Rosielena Jované, Sophie de Oliveira Barata, Professor Stefania Fatone and Professor Nachiappan Chockalingam will present keynote lectures around the congress theme The Art and the Science.

For more information on the congress please visit: www.ispo-congress.com/en/news/inspiring-keynote-speakers-expected-at-the-ispo-19th-world-congress

Here’s the preview from our own Nachi Chockalingam.

A practical tool for Footwear Assessment in clincs

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Footwear advice created from footwear assessment is often anecdotal based on individual clinical experience and interest. There is often no structured way to evaluate the shoe worn to clinic and a generalised opinion on footwear choice is given.

Isolated assessment of footwear can provide a number of challenges for clinicians as wider footwear choices made by patients often do not reflect the shoes worn to appointments. This creates an unrealistic view for the clinician and inaccurate assumptions are often made when issuing advice.

To assist clinicians in assessing shoes we have developed a simple valid clinical footwear tool.

This tool has been designed to help clinicians quantify and measure a full range of footwear in one appointment. The footwear tool also provides a systematic view to assess the quality of fit and design of the shoe whilst channelling the clinician towards developing individual footwear advice for the patient. The tool is multifaceted and addresses a number of parameters associated with good fit and footwear choice.

Our validation of the tool shows that it is reliable to use in the clinic and can be applied to a number of styles of shoes. There is minimal equipment required to use the tool and completion of the assessment takes a short period of time.

For further details read our publication in JFAR:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s13047-022-00519-6https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s13047-022-00519-6

Please contact Dr Branthwaite or Professor Chockalingam to download the tool and the instructions for use

Postcode Lottery for NHS Orthotics Patients

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Our latest paper published in the BMJ Open highlight large variances in appointment times, waiting times, product entitlements for patients, and product lead times across various NHS trusts.

Although some geographical areas provide shorter waiting times and wider access to assistive devices, other areas have very long waiting time which means that the service, particularly to the paediatric population is meaningless.

The NHS trusts seemed to be able to answer questions that reflect quantity of service above quality of service. However, the combination of the number of Trusts who declined to reply to the FOI request and those who replied with limited information, hindered the ability of this study to collate the data received to provide a fuller national picture of the Orthotic Service provision.

Although this paper confirms that many of the issues reported in previous reports on Orthotic Service provision are still evident, the result show that there have been some improvements.

Read the full paper here: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/9/10/e028186

Press Release: https://www.staffs.ac.uk/news/2019/10/postcode-lottery-for-nhs-orthotics-patients

Calling for Early career Researchers in India interested in Diabetes and Assistive Devices

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The Centre for Biomechanics and Rehabilitation Technologies at Staffordshire University, UK is looking to establish a network of like-minded early career researchers in India interested in the area of rehabilitation and/or mobility assistive devices (e.g. footwear, orthoses, prostheses, wheelchairs) for people with diabetes. The goal of this network will be to establish national collaboration between early career researchers within India and international collaboration with Indian institutions and Staffordshire University.Centre for Biomechanics and Rehabilitation Technologies

Ideally you should:

· Have a PhD related to the area of rehabilitation or mobility assistive devices for people with diabete
· Be employed at an Indian University or Research based Institution.
· Be an early career researcher who is currently within their first five years of academic or other research-related employment.
· Ideally with a good range of internationally peer reviewed journal publications.
· Below the age of 40 years.

If you are interested please email Dr. Aoife Healy (a.healy(at)staffs.ac.uk) with a short resume including a list of publications or provide a link to your ResearchGate/Google Scholar profile by Monday 22nd July 2019.