13th December 2013 – First patient forum helps shape new shoes
Patients who use Airedale Hospital’s orthotic service have helped to shape a new range of footwear to ease a variety of foot problems in the first event of its kind.
The patient forum day was organised by the hospital’s orthotic’s team in partnership with Peacocks Medical Group, a northern based manufacturer of specialist footwear.
It was held in the hospital’s education centre (Wednesday 11 December) and the aim was to encourage people who use the service to feedback on how they felt about their current footwear, and to suggest areas of improvement for the future.
Around 20 patients took part in the event and met clinical and product development staff from Peacocks to develop two new ‘Airedale styles’ – one for men and the other for women.
Duncan Ferguson, director of orthotics at Peacocks, discussed with the group how orthotic shoes are made and designed to meet clinical needs of patients.
Elaine Coope, mobility services manager at Airedale NHS Trust, said: “We were delighted with the feedback we received, It was a really interesting event, our female patients were very active in providing ideas for fresh looks and bright colours, whereas the men were more interested in function.
“All comments by our service users will be analysed to help produce new footwear which will be presented to a patient forum early next year.”
Peacocks currently manufacture and supply bespoke orthotic footwear to the hospital custom-made for each individual’s needs, but their new development will be a range of off-the-shelf stock, which can be adapted to suit prescriptions.
The new range will be able to cater for extra wide and deep fittings, but also foot problems and deformities caused by diabetes, rheumatology conditions and other illnesses or accidents.