Parents invited to feedback their views
Photo/ interview opportunity: Friday 1 June at 4pm at the Rainbow outpatients department at West Suffolk Hospital. Children who have received specialist treatment for clubfoot and their parents join in the fun at a special tea party.
The parents of children who have received treatment for foot problems at West Suffolk Hospital will be given the chance to help improve services for future patients during a special tea party taking place on Friday.
The informal event has been organised by consultant Sue Deakin and her team for the families of children who have been treated with the ‘Ponseti technique’ for congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV), which is more commonly known as clubfoot. It will give parents the chance to share their experiences while feeding back their views on care at the hospital, along with ideas for improving services in the future.
The Ponseti technique has been used successfully for the last 50 years, but was not introduced to the UK until more recently. It involves straightening the feet using plaster casts which are reapplied every five to seven days. The patient will also need a small operation before wearing specially made boots joined together by a metal bar to keep their feet in the correct position.
West Suffolk became the first hospital in the region to begin offering the treatment in 2003. Previously, patients would have needed major surgery to correct the condition.
“The Ponseti technique has really revolutionised management of this condition across the world,” said Miss Deakin. “It has made a big difference to the patients as they no longer need to be admitted into hospital or undergo major surgery.
“However, it does still take several years of wearing the boots at night to prevent the condition from returning, which can be difficult for parents and other family members. We hope that the tea party will help by giving them the chance to meet and share their experiences so that they can offer each other mutual support and advice.
“In addition, we really want to find out if there is anything further we could do as a hospital to improve the service we offer. We’ll be asking for feedback about areas where we are performing well, as well as those where we might be able to do more so that we can ensure that we can continue to meet the needs of our patients and their families in the future.”
Parents have been given the chance to fill in questionnaires prior to the event, which give their opinions on a variety of areas, such as waiting times, cleanliness, staff attitudes and whether they were given enough information.
During the afternoon, they will also discuss the possibility of forming a CTEV support group so that the families can continue to help each other in the future. For more information about the group, contact Sheenagh Manning on 01284 713294.