Coronavirus: amputee rehabilitation service update
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, please read our advice and information before attending the service.
The amputee rehabilitation service provides a prosthesis service for people who need an artificial limb as a result of amputation or congenital (present from birth) abnormality.
Based at Bowley Close, our team of doctors, nurses, prosthetists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, counsellors, rehabilitation engineers and technicians work together to provide:
- life-long prosthetic and medical care, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and counselling
- specialist assessment
- education and training, enabling you to use your artificial limb as efficiently as possible
- provision of equipment (i.e. prosthesis).
We work closely with the orthotic service and wheelchair and specialist seating service, also located at Bowley Close.
How to access our service
You must have a written referral (Word 64Kb) from your hospital doctor, GP or NHS therapist.
Cancelling or changing your appointment
- new patients call 020 3049 7713
- prosthetist appointments: call 020 3049 7681 or 020 3049 7741
- prosthetic physiotherapy appointments: call 020 3049 7724
- prosthetic occupational therapy appointments: call 020 3049 7775
- rehabilitation counselling appointments: call 020 3049 7727.
Before your appointment
- all prosthetic devices you have previously been provided with
- a list of current medications that you are taking.
If you need to see a number of health professionals, your appointment may be quite long. Please ensure you bring any medication and snacks/drinks to your appointment.
We advise lower limb amputees to bring shorts to wear during your visit.
What to expect at your appointment
Appointments usually last around 30 minutes, depending on your needs. Repairs and alterations take time. Your prosthesis goes to the workshop to have this work done, and during this time your prosthesist may need to see another patient. A wheelchair will be available should you need one.
Our team comprises many different members of staff.
If you have a lower limb prosthesis, you will normally be seen by a consultant in rehabilitation medicine, a prosthetist and a physiotherapist.
If you have an upper limb prosthesis, you will normally be seen by a consultant in rehabilitation medicine, a prosthetist, an occupational therapist and occasionally a physiotherapist.
Talk to your prosthetist
During your appointment, it is important to talk to your prosthetist. Your prosthetist is there to listen to your requirements and gather information about your hobbies, family and social interests so that we can provide you with the best prosthetic treatment.
Talk to other prosthetic users
Whilst at the centre, it is a good idea to talk to other prosthetic users and share your experiences so that you can offer advice and vice versa.
We support student training and will always ask your permission for students to be present at your appointment. Please note that students will never be present during counselling sessions.
After your appointment
Your prosthetist will let you know which artificial limb(s) is suitable for you, so that you can make an informed decision. On delivery, your prosthetist will give you guidance on your prosthesis and how to care for it. Follow-up appointments will be arranged as necessary.
Your physiotherapist will develop a treatment programme for you. It may include:
- learning how to put your prosthetic leg on and off safely
- how to move with the aid of your prosthetic limb, or how to walk again with your new prosthesis
- how to get up off the floor if you have fallen, or coping strategies if you can't
- exercises, e.g. stretching, strengthening and balancing.
Your occupational therapist will provide advice on how to manage your day to day tasks with and without a prosthesis, in an environment that is most relevant for the patient, e.g home, school or work. This may include:
- compensatory strategies
- preventing overuse of your remaining limb
- prescribing adaptive aids
- providing education on how to use your prosthesis during everyday activities.
When appropriate, your prosthetist or therapist will liaise with your referrer to keep them informed of how your prosthetic rehabilitation is progressing.
At the Bowley Close rehabilitation centre, we host a quarterly meeting which is open to everyone, known as the Rehabilitation User Network Group (RUNG).
It is also an opportunity for patients to see how the service is performing, and to be involved in the development of the service and patient survey action plans.
British Limbless Ex-Servicemen Association website (BLESMA) - The British Limbless Ex-Servicemen Association promotes the welfare of men and women who have lost a limb or limbs, or one or both eyes, or the use of limbs as a result of service in any branch of Her Majesty's Forces or Auxiliary Forces.
Limbless Association website - UK charity for people with limb-loss, their family, friends and carers and the industry and healthcare professionals who support them.
UK Limb Loss Information Centre - an online resource to guide individuals with congenital or acquired limb loss and their friends, family and carers through the emotional, physical and psychological process of coming to terms with limb loss.
Reach charity website - The association for children with hand or arm deficiency.
STEPS website - association for families of children with lower limb abnormalities.