Orthotics Production on the map as Team Leader attends international workshop

Release Date: 11/10/2019

Orthotics Production on the map as Team Leader attends international workshop

A member of the Orthotics Production and Manufacturing team at Shropshire’s specialist hospital flew out to Germany to find out about the cutting edge materials and techniques used by one of the world’s largest orthopaedic shoe manufacturers and engineers.

Steve Bishton, Orthotics Technician and Team Leader at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH), visited the nora factory in Weinheim, Germany, in a bid to discover and share best practice, as well as put the work of the hospital on the map.

The two-day trip saw Steve, alongside other healthcare professionals, including Orthotists and Podiatrists, look at some of the new materials the firm are using, as well as learning about their various manufacturing techniques and network with colleagues from across the globe. He also visited BOSS Training Facilities.

Steve said the trip was also “a great opportunity to showcase the work of Orthotics Production”.

He said: “It was a really interesting trip, we had a tour of the nora factory and saw how EVA (Ethylen Vinyl Acetat) was made from scratch. EVA is one of the materials we use to make insoles with.

“It was a great chance to show off what we do at RJAH, particularly because I was the only Technician on the trip. I ended up being the go-to guy for most it because I was the only person with any experience in manufacturing insoles, particularly when we were tasked with making our own insoles, during the second day.

“Overall, it was a fantastic experience and I definitely picked up a few new techniques from our German counterparts.”

In Steve’s role as Orthotics Technician, he is part of the team that manufactures orthotic devices. These can be splints, braces or special footwear to aid movement, correct deformity and relieve discomfort.

As part of Steve’s role, he works alongside the Trust’s Orthotists. The Orthotist assesses the patients’ needs, then Steve and his colleagues will manufacture the device using the most suitable materials for the patient.

Lance Jones, Orthotics Production Manager at RJAH, added: “It’s important that the Trust’s department of Orthotics Manufacturing are at the forefront of any new technology and materials that are available to offer the patient the best possible outcome of producing insoles with quality materials, this is deemed as very important in the manufacturing of foot orthotics for diabetic patients.

“As Team Leader, Steve has taken on the role of ensuring this with insole production. During his visit to Germany, he gained valuable knowledge of new materials that we will look into introducing into our range of insole devices.”

The Orthotics Production and Manufacturing department at RJAH is only one of five NHS in-house production and manufacturing teams.


Photo caption:  Steve Bishton, Orthotics Technician and Team Leader at RJAH, in the Trust’s Orthotics Production and Manufacturing workshop.

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