The British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists (BAPO) called for O&P services there to be protected from further COVID-related closures so facilities can continue operating throughout the pandemic, especially in regard to children’s care.
In April 2020, England’s National Health Service recommended that work relating to “wheelchairs, orthotics and prosthetics and equipment” services for children and young people be stopped. The ruling was met with criticism and warnings of problems that could arise as a result of stopping O&P services. With variants of the virus on the rise and concern about winter’s impact on positive cases, closures are again under consideration in the United Kingdom.
“Access to prosthetic and orthotic services in the UK is vital in supporting children’s physical health, mental health, and development,” the statement read. “We recognize the need for flexibility in areas where acute pressures are high, where individual discussions may be appropriate, however, we ask that the impact of the lack of access to prosthetic and orthotic services are discussed and understood from a multidisciplinary perspective. Prosthetic and orthotic services should not be left without the staff or facilities to deliver essential treatment….”