Pioneering Barts Health medics set up clinics in community

A pioneering team of specialist surgeons and physiotherapists at Barts Health are hoping to improve the lives of sick children by setting up clinics in the community.

Funded through a grant of more than £430,000 from the Barts Charity, the specialist team – the first of its kind in the UK – will set up clinics in the community for children born with conditions such as clubfeet, dislocated hips and cerebral palsy.

Rather than having to travel miles for their appointment children will get their follow-up assessment closer to home at their school, local GP practice, district hospital, outreach clinic or child assessment centre.

This will mean that around 3,000 young people (a fifth of all those supported by the service) will no longer have to travel to attend follow-up appointments at The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel or St Bartholomew’s Hospital in West Smithfield.

The project will see additional staff join the team with two full-time physiotherapists providing outreach clinics across the range of locations.

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Each week mum Leigh-Anne Mupfumira travels with her five-month-old son Masimba for up to three hours each way by train and tube from their home in Hertfordshire.

Masimba attends weekly appointments at The Royal London Hospital where he is supported by the Children’s Orthopaedic Team for club foot affecting both his feet.

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Consultant Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon and Director of Education and Research in surgery Manoj Ramachandran said: “I am delighted our bid for the charity grant has been successful and we are very grateful to Barts Charity. The new team will enable us to continue to improve our care to local children.

“By offering follow-up appointments closer to home we will make it easier for children and their families to attend appointments and limit any disruption to the school day, work and family life.”

Andrew Douglas, Chief Executive, Barts Charity said: “We are delighted to support this Orthopaedic Outreach Programme in North East London – a UK first. The benefits will go directly to the young patients and their families.

“Led by expert consultants in the field, this service will bring the hospital further into the community. It’s great to have another example of the Trust and the Charity working in partnership to bring better results for patients.”

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