Prosthetic firm wins contract

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A FIVE-year contract has been awarded for the provision of prosthetic and orthotic services to island patients.

Opcare Ltd was awarded the contract by the Department of Health following a competitive tendering process.

The new provider will take over service from Hampshire-based Chas Blatchford from August 5 this year and the contract will run until 2016.

Opcare Ltd is a well-established leading service provider of prosthetics and orthotics in the UK.

In a statement, the Department of Health said Chas Blatchford had delivered a reliable and dedicated service and it was imperative this high level of care continued.

A detailed plan to transfer the care of patients and service users to Oxfordshire-based Opcare will begin shortly.

Health Minister David Anderson MHK said: ‘The tendering process is an integral part of service provision where government deems it appropriate to source services from third parties.

‘This ensures transparency, competition, value for money and enables government to monitor quality of service. Change is not always easy but every step possible is being taken to minimise impact on patients.

‘Clearly these services are vital, improving many people’s quality of life, giving them independence in mobility, reduction of pain, improved function and also help prevent deformity.’

He added: ‘Opcare Ltd is known for its quality and innovation of service provision. The department was impressed with their professionalism and reassured by the references we received from other health authorities.’

The Department of Health is to organise a ‘Meet the Team’ day at the Central Community Health Centre, Westmoreland Road, Douglas, where patients and service users will be invited to attend for an introduction and service overview. The date and time information for this event will be announced soon.

Bev Critchlow, director of nursing, midwifery and therapies, said: ‘We would like to reassure our patients and users of the service that there will be no interruptions in their care during the transition phase.

‘We are confident that Opcare Ltd will deliver a high quality service to the island’s residents. They are known for their innovation and excellent quality.’

Patients and users can contact Michelle Breed, acting physiotherapy manager, on 650681 or

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