"Using Orthotic services"

About: Scottish Ambulance Service / Patient Transport Service Stirling Community Hospital / Orthotics Department

(as the patient),

MS Patient – Primary Progressive

Looking to get alternative splint for lower limb as current one is very hard /stiff

Currently my foot doesn’t lift well – have investigated an electrical stimulator (aids drop foot ) – England and Wales patients get these on NHS – Scotland doesn’t.

People do need to see if they are suitable for it and to do that they need to go to Glasgow where they test for suitability. To be able to get, one would need to buy personally or get a grant: - Cost is £700

Lynne here at the Orthotics department has been fantastic.

Splint is made for me but there are issues with it as it goes right down to my toes therefore it means my shoes become an issue making a difference of a shoe size between the left and right foot.

Something a bit lighter would help or more options available.

My family feel the splint is unsafe and can cause me to topple or stagger.

I understand it may be all they have (NHS) but that’s all that’s suitable for me………

Lady on reception is lovely and nothing is too much bother.

I was collected by ambulance today. The ambulance service call a few days ahead to check to see if I need a 1 or 2 driver pickup. At the time I said I only needed one and could get into the ambulance myself, but today I struggled to get into the vehicle. The driver today was really helpful and on arrival got a wheelchair for me and took me out of the ambulance on the rear ramp. He also radioed ahead to notify the ambulance service that I would need more assistance on returning home.

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Response from Chris Conroy, Head of Patient Transport Service, Scottish Ambulance Service

Dear Nearby609,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your most recent experiences when attending the Orthotic department, in particular with regards to the Patient Transport Service (PTS). It is not uncommon for PTS to contact patients in advance of travel to make sure their needs have not changed. Likewise, we do have a system in place which allows our PTS Ambulance Care Assistants the ability to contact our PTS control staff to advise if the needs of a patient differs from what was discussed when the transport was booked. This allows our control team the opportunity to make alternative arrangement to better support patients.

I am pleased to hear that you found the PTS Ambulance Care Assistant who transport you to hospital helpful. It would be great if I could share your comments with the member of staff involved, therefore, please feel free to email me on cconroy@nhs.net with further details to allow me to do this.

Best wishes,


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Response from Lynne Rowley, Orthotist Lead, Orthotics, NHS Forth Valley

Dear Nearby609,

Thank you for posting your experience with the Orthotics Services In Forth Valley.

Unfortuantely FES is not available from NHS Forth Valley as a treatment modality at this time.

We would like to highlight, FES treatment is not a solution for everyone especially if there is weakness in more than one muscle group involved.

I am sorry you have found your current prescription to be a problem and would suggest you make a review appointment back with the service to see if an alternative orthosis can be found for your needs.

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