Sports prostheses for children

The Department of Health has announced that £1.5 million has been made available to provide specialised sports prostheses on the NHS for children in England.

Taking his inspiration from Team GB’s outstanding performance at the 2016 Paralympics, the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, says that every child should be able to participate in sport. He believes this investment in children’s specialised sports prosthetics will enable the next generation of children suffering from limb loss to lead more active lives.

Of the £1.5 million of funding, half has been allocated to a Child Prosthesis Research Collaboration, intended to support research and bring the latest prosthetic technology into the NHS. The remaining £750,000 will be made available to Limb Centres, which must apply on a patient by patient basis for grants of up to £5,000 per limb, including fitting and associated costs. Applications must come from Limb Centres which have assessed the child’s prosthetic needs and prescribed a suitable prosthetic limb. Patients cannot apply directly or through their doctor. The funding will be available until March 2018.

In order to qualify for NHS funding towards a specialised sports prosthetic, such as a running blade, the Limb Centre’s application must demonstrate that the child meets the government’s eligibility criteria:

  • The child or teenager must be under 18
  • They must have suffered limb loss or have been born without one or more limbs – either upper or lower limb.
  • They must be medically fit to engage in physical activity, as assessed by the Limb Centre
  • The Limb Centre assesses that the child or teenager will benefit from the prosthesis and from engaging in physical activity, whether that is participating in school sport, organised group sport, recreational activity or active play with other children.
  • For more specialised sport prostheses, it must be demonstrated that the child or teenager has an active interest or past history of participation in that sport
  • The prosthetic limb must have been prescribed by the Limb Centre as suitable for the child and, ideally, should have been trialled by the child before an award is made

The Department of Health’s announcement of 7th January 2016 doesn’t say whether the sports prosthesis grants will be made on a one-off basis or be renewable for further limbs as the child grows and their prosthetic needs inevitably change or the proportion of child amputees who will be able to benefit from the total funds of £750,000. But Boyes Turner welcome this initial move by the Department of Health towards improving mobility, health and accessibility for disabled children in the knowledge that individual lives will be improved, alongside the benefits to all that come from greater understanding, inclusion and facilities for those with disabilities.

Boyes Turner’s clinical negligence and personal injury claims lawyers act for clients who have suffered amputations and limb loss. Our clients have lost limbs as a result of negligent medical care, such as delayed treatment of sepsis, meningitis and infections, mismanaged diabetes and its associated conditions, negligent surgery and mismanagement of vascular conditions, and accidents which were caused by someone else’s fault, either at school, on the roads, on holiday or in the workplace.

We understand the importance of early rehabilitation and the restoration of mobility to our clients, and the essential role that expert prosthetic assessment and correctly fitted and suitable prostheses  play in an amputee’s recovery, dignity and quality of life. We are experts in securing the highest levels of compensation and early interim payments to get your rehabilitation started and your life back on track as soon as possible. Watch a video about how we have helped one of our previous clients here.

The service was personal, professional and considered. I was treated so kindly and in the end I knew that not only had I found the right organisation but also the right person.

Boyes Turner client

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