Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting KNEWS to 80360, or email
Kim joins team at Airedale Hospital
Airedale Hospital’s orthotic team – which helps patients with neuromuscular and skeletal problems – has a new recruit.
Kim Mcarthur has joined existing orthotists Mark Baldwin and Paul Charlton.
The trio, employed by Newcastle-based Peacocks Medical Group, forms part of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust’s mobility services department.
Kim, who lives at Glusburn, studied for four years at Salford University for a degree in prosthetics and orthotics.
Kim said: “Initially I was going to be a physiotherapist but I changed direction after becoming fascinated when I saw children being fitted with their splints during some work experience.
“Our role is to do a biomechanical assessment and look at things like gait. Often we are trying to put people into a better alignment. Patients occasionally struggle to tolerate the orthotic solutions that we initially come up with. However adjustments can usually be made to suit the individual or alternative methods can be used.
“We can make a huge difference to someone’s quality of life. Many patients come to us in pain and can walk out of our clinic more mobile and in less pain.”
Orthotic referrals are made by a range of people including consultants and GPs and are now being opened up to other healthcare professionals such as podiatrists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists. Patients already registered with the service can refer themselves if they have a problem.
The team assesses patients to find the most appropriate solution from a range of devices which can include protective helmets, wrist braces, abdominal belts, collars, knee braces, insoles, special footwear or calipers. Some devices are suitable without any adaptation while others may be specially made at Peacocks’ factory.
Patients range from people who have had strokes or suffer from rheumatoid arthritis to those with fragile limbs, broken spines or necks or movement disorders.
The orthotic team visits Airedale Hospital wards and runs satellite clinics across the district.
About 80 per cent of hospitals have an orthotics contract with an external provider and Peacocks has just had its Airedale contract renewed for a further five years.