prosthetics engineer arm

NHS England has stated that the National Framework for Prosthetics equipment will be operational from April 2021 in a bid to ensure service users receive equal access to equipment, irrespective what part of the country they are in.

The confirmation of the new framework comes as the National Health Service in England continues its review of specialised prosthetic services.

NHS England is responsible for planning and buying specialised services for those who need complex disability equipment, including all major upper and lower limb amputees, as well as people with congenital limb deficiencies who have a potential to use prosthesis to help them mobilise or improve upper limb function.

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According to the NHS, equal access to equipment was one of the patient concerns identified following engagement with stakeholders in March 2019.

After engagement with both patients and staff working in prosthetics centres across the country, the NHS says it began exploring potential changes to the existing potential changes that could be made to the existing service specification and clinical model to address issues raised by patients, carers and professionals.

Highlighting that work to tackle the issues is ongoing, the NHS confirmed that the new national equipment framework will mean that the same equipment and devices will be available to all prosthetic centres in England.

“This should ensure that all patients will have access to the appropriate equipment to meet their clinical need regardless of which prosthetics centre they attend, offering more patient choice and standardisation on price,” stated a communication from NHS England and NHS Improvement on the 11th May.

Due to the current coronavirus, however, NHS England confirmed that the Prosthetics Review team is currently re-deployed to support the national response to the COVID-19 incident.

When the review does restart, the NHS says it will plan to organise engagement events with stakeholders, particularly with some of the patient groups who may be affected by potential changes to the clinical model, including children and young people, people with complex needs and those with upper limb prostheses.

“We will be in touch with people with more information about these events, but if you would be interested in being involved with these please contact us at england.prosthetics.transformation@nhs.net,” added the communication.

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