The Orthotics Department provides prescription insoles, braces, splints, callipers, footwear, spinal jackets and helmets which help people recover from or avoid injury, or live with lifelong conditions.

  • We also run specific clinics within our department including:
  • KAFO clinic
  • Ambulatory clinic
  • Neuro clinic
  • Diabetic clinic



The Orthotics Department assesses people for and provides a wide range of braces and supports (orthoses) for many parts of the body. Orthoses are used to correct, accommodate or maintain good positioning of the muscles, bones and joints.  The orthoses do this by helping to rest, protect or support the muscles, bones and joints which may assist your posture and mobility.

The orthoses we provide include:

  • Foot supports/insoles
  • Ankle foot orthoses
  • Orthopaedic and diabetic footwear
  • Wrist and arm supports
  • Callipers, knee supports and leg supports
  • Spinal supports

What do I need to bring to the appointment?

  • If you are expecting an orthosis for your feet it is advisable to wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes, eg. shoes that have low heel, lace up or Velcro fastening, and a solid sole unit.
  • If you think that your own shoes may need adapting because your legs are different lengths (eg. a raise adding) please bring a spare pair of shoes with you so that you can leave a pair for adaptation.
  • If you are expecting an orthosis for your leg please wear loose clothing that can be rolled well above your knees so that you won’t have to get undressed.
  • If you already use something that helps you or you have had an orthosis before (even if it does not work, was provided by another hospital, is too small or is worn out), please bring it with you as this may help the Orthotist to decide on the best course of action.
  • If you need equipment to help with standing and walking please try and bring this with you eg. Walking stick, crutches, Kaye walker. We may ask you to walk and will want to see how you usually do this.

If you are not sure what to bring to your appointment, please phone us and we will be able to advise you. It is important you bring the right things with you otherwise you may need to come back at another time and your treatment may be delayed.

If you wish, you may bring a relative or friend to the appointment with you. A chaperone can also be arranged. Please call us in advance to request this.

Where will my appointment be held?

The Orthotics Department is based at Sandwell Hospital. However we also have weekly clinics at Rowley Regis Hospital, City Hospital and Victoria Health Centre in Smethwick. If you have a preference to be seen at one of these sites please let us know and we will try and arrange this if possible. You can also request if you would prefer to see a male or female clinician. Again we will try and arrange this for you if possible.

What happens at my appointment?

At your appointment you will see an orthotist (specialist in providing orthoses) who will ask you about the difficulties you have been experiencing. They will assess you and take some measurements or casts (you may need to partially undress for this). He/she will then discuss treatment options with you along with your expectations and realistic goals so you can agree on a treatment plan together.

The orthotist may issue you with an orthosis during your first appointment or need to order a specific orthosis for you.  You may need another appointment to have this fitted, you may be asked to collect it or we may give you another appointment for further assessment or treatment.


What happens if I need an orthosis?

You will be shown how your orthotic device fits and advised on how to wear it in gently.  The orthotist may then ask you to come back to be reviewed at some point to make sure that everything is alright, or they may give you our contact details so that you can get in touch if have any initial problems or concerns. They will discuss this with you when you receive your orthosis.

If your orthosis begins to wear out or you would like to be considered for a second, you should contact your GP or consultant. They will need to complete a new referral for a second or replacement device.

What happens if I need my shoes adapting?

Adults are entitled to have three pairs of shoes adapted or raised per year and children are entitled to two pairs per year unless they grow out of that size. Then they are eligible for a new entitlement.

If you would like additional shoes adapted you will need to contact the company privately and pay for this service. The Orthotic department can give you the details for the company to contact directly.

If you are unsure about the suitability of your shoes for adaptations, please contact the department and we will advise you.

Referral Criteria

How to be referred/refer to the Orthotics Department?

The following healthcare professionals can refer patients to the service:

  • A GP
  • A consultant
  • A community paediatrician
  • An allied health professional for example a physiotherapist or occupational therapist


Telephone: 0121 507 2784/4358

Email address: swb-tr.SWBH-GM-Orthotics@nhs.net

Open: Monday to Friday:
8am-12.30pm and 1pm-4pm


For more information about disabled access for this service

Click here