About my Orthotic Appointment

Your first visit will be for an initial assessment with a clinician who practices Orthotics called an Orthotist. They are required to be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and are professionals with a degree qualification or equivalent in Prosthetics and Orthotics.

As the Orthotist will need to see the affected limb or area it is helpful to wear or bring appropriate clothing. For example, with foot and ankle problems it is useful to come in trousers which can be easily rolled up, shorts or a skirt, and a pair of trainers or sensible shoes with a lace, a hook and loop or buckle fastening. For knee problems it would be useful to bring shorts.

Following this assessment you may be measured for bespoke items such as footwear, or advised where to purchase retail items which are widely available. You may also be advised that no appliance is necessary.

Remember to check your appointment letter for anything specific you have been asked to take with you. In addition, it would be helpful if you could bring the following:

  • Your full address and telephone number(s)
  • Your appointment card and appointment letter
  • Your GP’s name and address
  • Money to pay for any prescriptions, or an exemption card
  • A list of questions you may want to ask your Orthotist

Do I have to pay for my orthosis?

Fabric supports and some abdominal / spinal supports incur a prescription charge which must be paid before an item is supplied. Information about the charges and the exception criteria are available from the Department of Health website:

Otherwise contact the Orthotics Department.

Please let us know if you do not have to pay prescription charges. You will have to provide proof that you are exempt from paying.

Specific provision / entitlements

Footwear Adaptations
In most cases patients are entitled to two footwear adaptations, i.e. shoe raises, rocker soles etc., each financial year.  Anything beyond this will need to be funded privately and you can contact the department regarding this. 

For repeat adaptations, please post or drop your shoes into the department. Please ensure you label your footwear with your name and address.

Information is available from the department on suitable footwear should you require it.

Patients will be provided with two pairs of shoes/boots.  This will ensure the patient always has one pair to wear whilst another is being repaired.  Once a pair is beyond repair, this will need to be confirmed by an Orthotist, a new pair will be provided to ensure the patient always has two pairs.

Insoles / Functional Foot Orthoses (FFOs)
In most cases patients are provided with one pair of insoles or functional foot orthoses (FFOs).  A second pair can be purchased privately and you can contact the department regarding this.  In some cases due to clinical need a second pair will be provided.

With regards to all other orthotic devices, e.g. Ankle Foot Orthoses (AFOs), spinal braces, collars, in most cases a patient will be provided with one device/one pair, which can be repaired as necessary.  In some cases, due to clinical need, a spare may be provided, the Orthotist will be able to advise on this.

Repairs to Orthoses
Please keep your orthoses in good repair.  If the orthosis you have been provided with breaks or becomes worn contact the department regarding its repair.  For example, if you have received footwear you can drop or post them into the department to be re-soled as necessary, or to have a hook and loop fastening replaced on splints or new covers on functional foot orthoses/insoles.  Please ensure you label your devices when dropping them off.  We will contact you when they are ready for collection.  Unfortunately, except  in exceptional circumstances, we are no longer to send orthoses in the post to patients.

When will I receive my orthosis?

We keep a small number of orthoses in stock which may be provided at your initial appointment. Other items may have to be specially ordered or made for you. These items will be provided at a follow up appointment. The Orthotist will discuss this with you.

Will I need another visit?

If the orthosis needs to be ordered then a second appointment will be made before you leave. You may need appointments to help you learn how to take the orthosis on and off. You may need further appointments to ensure that the orthosis fits and functions correctly.


What happens when you have an Ankle Foot Orthoses Plaster Cast?

If you need to have a plaster cast for an Ankle Foot Orthoses then it can seem daunting so we have developed a short film to show you what happens and answer the common questions patients have.  If you still have further questions or concerns please contact the Orthotics department.

Plaster Casts for Ankle Foot Orthoses (AFO) at the Department of Orthotics at RJAH Orthopaedic Hospital NHS FT on Vimeo.

Image of orthotist with a patient Image of orthotist with a young patient Image of orthotist with a patient fitting footwear Image of orthotics manufacturing