Tuesday, 5 August 2014

crazy feet

So, after finally seeing my arse with Orthotics on Thursday, I emailed PALS and Jo Cuddon, the head of the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, and cc'd Orthotics in.

Yesterday we had our appointment and whilst we were in it, I had a phone call from Gervaise Khan-Davis, the Directorate Manager. He met us after our appointment and apologised and told us what they had in place going forward - the lead time on her boots has gone down from six-to-eight weeks to 'hopefully two'. I pointed out that it was only because I was articulate and bolshy that this had happened and I asked what happened to families where parents weren't prepared to make a fuss. He didn't really have an answer, but it was clear that they are aware that the department isn't up to scratch.

I should add, I have no issue with the Orthotists - I can't speak highly enough of the two that we have seen, despite one of them being relatively inexperienced. It's the system.

So, we have night splints.

She doesn't want to wear them at night.

The night-splint-wearing
Cat Princess. Doh.
She and I put them on last night at bedtime - which is a rigmarole in itself because of the criss-cross velcro - and then she insisted on them coming off again before she actually got in to bed. The threat of two hours screaming was enough to make me take them off when she asked.

However, she will wear them in the day and because she can't actually walk at the moment, that's okay - they are aren't robust enough to walk on.

In the interim, I also heard from PALS, the Patient Liaison people. Apparently a 'formal complaint' can take up to twenty eight days to get a response; so instead, I asked them to keep in touch with Orthotics for us regarding the boots.

The whole thing is extremely frustrating and I now know of three different families who are having similar issues on one level or another with the Orthotics Department at Musgrove Park. If you are one of them, I suggest you email the head of the trust, Jo Cubben (Jo.Cubben@tst.nhs.uk) and/or the Directorate Manager of the Musculoskeletal Directorate, Gervaise Khan-Davis (Gervaise.Khan-Davis@tst.nhs.uk) and include PALS (pals@tst.nhs.uk). I also included the Orthotics department (SurgicalOrthoticsEnquiries@tst.nhs.uk) and the Physiotherapy Department (samantha.reid@sompar.nhs.uk) as cc's.

I hate the idea that there are children who aren't getting what they need because their parents are too knackered or overwhelmed to make a fuss. Perhaps if enough of us who are able, do so, there will be a system change.

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