PERFORMANCE: The orthotics department at Medway Maritime Hospital has dramatically reduced waiting times, according to Medway Foundation Trust.

Orthotics staff have worked with Medway Clinical Commissioning Group to find ways to speed up treatment. As a result, GPs can now refer patients directly to the department through a new direct access pathway.

The pathway has cut out around 20 stages that previously stood between the GP and orthotics team, which has also resulted in waiting times being reduced by 15 weeks.

The trust said other trusts around the country had asked for advice and support about the pathway, including North Staffordshire Hospital.

The orthotics department provides patients with devices that assist different parts of the anatomy to mobilise or immobilise the body’s function such as upper and lower limb braces.