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Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven residents to have their say on NHS services

Patients and carers in Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven are being asked for their views on proposed changes to wheelchair and orthotics services.

NHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging people to give their views about the proposed changes, which are to introduce referral criteria for the wheelchair and orthotics services provided by Airedale NHS Foundation Trust.

The proposed changes aim to speed up services for patients with high and complex needs giving them quicker access to assessments and delivering their prescribed equipment to them faster.

Around 6,000 people use the orthotics service and more than 2,000 people use the wheelchair services (December 2017). Orthotics is the term used for aids such as insoles, braces, splints, callipers, footwear, spinal jackets and helmets.


Dr James Thomas, clinical chair of NHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCG said: “Demand for the wheelchair and orthotics services increases every year.

“We want to make the services more responsive so that people with the most complex and urgent needs are seen as quickly as possible.

“We know that the needs of some people referred to the service could have been met more appropriately by a referral, for example, to a physiotherapist or podiatrist, whereas some could have bought a readily available aid. As part of the proposed changes, the CCG is producing guidance on how to make the best choice.

“The referral criteria will help GPs and other clinicians to assess which services are best for patients and, by doing so, reduce waiting times for people with more complex health issues who need a specialist clinical assessment.”

In 2017, the CCG worked with Healthwatch Bradford and District on ‘The Big Conversation’ to understand public expectation and views about the future of health and social care.

An important theme which emerged from this work was that people wished to see better value for money in the NHS and that work was needed to manage people’s expectations of what could be provided by the NHS and what people could arrange and buy for themselves.

Local people can complete an online survey here, email their views to or write to us at: Wheelchair and Orthotics Engagement, Scorex House, 1 Bolton Road, Bradford BD1 4AS.

If people need help completing the survey, they should call 01274 237290 and ask to speak to a member of the engagement team.

The closing date for comments is Friday 10 May 2019.

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