"Surgical appliances dept at Blackpool Victoria Hospital"

About: Blackpool Victoria Hospital

(as the patient),

In my experience services in this department are so slow and mistakes made so often that for about 6 months of the year I feel your safety is compromised. The staff are very helpful but at the end of the day I think the slowness of getting shoes lets everything down. It seems strange to me that nobody looks at this problem as the hospital spends a fortune keeping me mobile and upright,a weak link in the chain.

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Response from Paul Jebb, Assistant Director of Nursing (patient experience), Clinical Governance, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

picture of Paul Jebb

It is always disappointing when a patient feels that the service provided by the Surgical Appliances Department has failed to meet their expectations. Staff endeavour to meet all our patients many and varied needs with speed tempered by a need for accuracy. Without knowing in detail of the issues leading to the comment, the response must address the wider points raised.

The requirements for each patient’s footwear is unique and with conditions that are unstable and subject to fluctuation, a pair of made to measure shoes may go through a number of trial fits and revisions. On each occasion the shoes are returned to the bespoke footwear manufacturer, for what, in some cases can be a complete remake. This all takes time but the manufacture of shoes for each patient is carefully monitored by the department, for both quality and lead time. The Surgical Appliances Department are exceptionally sensitive to our patients’ needs, and while we are not complacent enough to believe that we get everything right every time, we endeavour never to leave a patient without functional footwear.

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Update posted by slowshoes (the patient)

The response from Mr Jebb is the usual one. I have been a patient in this department for many years and the fact of the matter is that for about 6 months of each year I am falling around in shoes which are streached, worn and squeaking and with split insoles. I feel that they are a danger to me. My current shoes have cracked insoles and squeaking ,everyone knows when I'm about and looks. I do not accept his response to the time issue, this is what happens but I think it is unacceptable. I have had shoes within 4 weeks. I have one pair of dangerous shoes, I cant get shoes anywhere else. A second pair of shoes had to be returned because the wrong insoles were ordered, another simple mistake as Ive been having the same type of insoles for years. It can take upto 1YEAR to get your prescription of two pairs of shoes by which time the first pair are in an unusable condition.

Over the years I have never been asked what I think of the service by a patient experiece manager.

If this is hapening to me I worry it is happening to other patents.The cost in wasted time and effert, let alone my time,might be extreme.