"Getting custom made shoes appropriate to my disability"

About: Fiona Stanley Hospital Royal Perth Hospital / Goderich Street Outpatients Clinic

(as the patient),

I have a permanent disability and have been getting custom made shoes via FSH (and, prior to that, from Royal Perth Hospital) for many years. I greatly appreciate the provision of low cost or free shoes annually as paying full price would be prohibitively expensive. Further, the orthotics department and surgical bootmakers always make an outstanding product.

I do however have an issue with the process to get shoes. First I have an appointment at the Goderich Street site, which involves difficult (and expensive) parking, plus at least a 1-hour wait, and often longer.  All that to see a doctor for 5 minutes to get a referral for new shoes. I then wait several months for an orthotics appointment at FSH, involving a 1 hour drive each way, for another 5-minute appointment as I ask for "same again please". Then another wait for an appointment with the bootmakers which is needed, mainly to discuss the look of the shoes.  Finally, a month or so later, I get new shoes.

That does seem an awful lot of time both from me (necessitating time off work) and various health professionals for something that never changes.  Surely, in the case of a permanent disability which is unlikely to change, the process could be streamlined.

Responses

Response from Kellie Blyth, Director Allied Health and State Rehabilitation Service, Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group

picture of Kellie Blyth

Dear charabx46,

Thank you for posting your comments regarding provision of custom shoes. I can confirm that the Rehabilitation Technology Unit, which operates across both Royal Perth Hospital and Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH), is managed by the East Metropolitan Health Service, and they are best placed to respond to the concerns and suggestions you have raised. I am advised that they are responding directly to your comments.

The service works in close collaboration with clinicians at FSH, so if you have any further queries about the clinical services at FSH please contact us directly via our Patient and Family Liaison Service on email FSHFeedback@health.wa.gov.au or phone: 6152 4013.

Kind regards,

Kellie Blyth

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Response from Lesley Bennett, Executive Director, Royal Perth Bentley Group

picture of Lesley Bennett

Dear Charabx46,

My apologies for the late reply to your posting. I am very sorry to hear of the frustrating process you have to go through each year for your surgical shoes.

You will be pleased to know we have received advice from FSH Orthotics that it is possible for your GP to directly refer you to them each year, and not have to attend RPH anymore. The Manager of Orthotics here at RPH, Mr Stephen Carpenter, would be happy to discuss this with you. He may be contacted via the Orthotics Department on 08 6152 7450. Stephen also wanted to reassure you that it is important that an Orthotics Department review your needs each year to ensure you have a correct prescription.

I hope this helps to make things easier for you.

Dr Lesley Bennett

Acting Executive Director

Royal Perth Bentley Group

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