Woman with cerebral palsy laments cost of adaptive shoes Wakefield NHS trust won’t pay for

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Bianca Raven, 36, said Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, would provide orthotics – the adjustments in shoes for people who have difficulty walking – but not the shoes themselves .

She said it was then up to the patient to find shoes capable of holding the orthotics, which can cost £160.

The trust recommended trainers, she said, but Miss Raven says these types of shoes are not suitable for many everyday situations.

Bianca Raven, who has cerebral palsy, struggles to find the right kind of shoes for her condition at an affordable price. Photo Scott Merrylee

She said, “You can’t wear a suit with sneakers. There were parties, business meetings, charity balls or weddings where I didn’t want to wear them.

“It’s easy to take something as simple as having a stylish pair of shoes for granted. It makes you feel different without them. It makes you feel like people are staring at you all the time like people are watching you and makes you feel socially awkward.

“I have confidence issues. When I was younger I tried to stand out, now I just want to be like everyone else, I don’t want to stand out from the crowd unless I want to. decided.

Trainee accountant Miss Raven said other NHS trusts in other districts, including a previous trust in Bradford, provided both the orthotics and shoes needed.

She said many of the shoes available for purchase were for children and would not be suitable for adults.

Miss Raven said NHS trusts should change and retailers should continue to supply footwear to accommodate people with disabilities.

She said: “The NHS should consider providing shoes with orthotics as a starting point and shops should not raise their prices. If you put “adaptable” or “handicap” on the label, that doesn’t mean it automatically inflates the price.

“Things like the PIP are supposed to help cover the cost of mobility aids, but it doesn’t go far enough. If the price tags were the same as everyone else for the basics, that might go pretty far, but it’s not.

“I don’t know why anyone should pay for something if it’s a medical need.”

Talib Yaseen, Chief Nursing Officer at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: ‘We are sorry that Bianca feels this way, but I can assure her that she is not treated any differently to the patients we see on our ward. orthotics.

“The service provides clinical or medical products to support all patients based on their personal clinical needs, and in most cases this does not include the provision of shoes.

“In exceptional circumstances, we have provided shoes when patients have struggled to find anything suitable for them and all avenues have been exhausted.

“In this particular case, we are not at that stage yet.

“We’ve advised Bianca on the type of footwear she needs to fit her devices, giving her access to a range of more fashionable brands and allowing her more choice.

“If Bianca still feels that she would like to raise any concerns, we are more than happy to discuss this with her at any time or she can contact our Patient Advising and Liaison department to raise any concerns. .”

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