New role at hospital will mean quicker treatment for young patients

Consultant paediatric orthopaedic surgeon Graeme Carlile and Charlie Martin, new specialist paediatr

Consultant paediatric orthopaedic surgeon Graeme Carlile and Charlie Martin, new specialist paediatric orthopaedic physiotherapist at Ipswich Hospital Picture: ESNEFT - Credit: ESNEFT

Children will be able to be treated more quickly and closer to home, thanks to a new specialist role at Ipswich Hospital.

Charlie Martin is taking up the post of specialist paediatric orthopaedic physiotherapist.

She also leads the hospital’s club foot service and will treat a variety of conditions affecting children up to the age of 16, including flat feet, bow legs, knock knees and walking ability.

“It’s a specialty that’s developed nationally, with only a few of these roles around the country, so it’s really exciting to have it in place at Ipswich,” Charlie said.

“The impact it will have on waiting times for patients and their families will be significant.”

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As an independent practitioner, she will be able to see 25 per cent of new referrals, order investigations, manage patients and offer complementary therapy.

Charlie added: “What’s not helpful for children is for them to wait a long time to see a surgeon when they may not need surgery. A specialist physiotherapist can offer different treatment to a consultant, I can advise what might be necessary to stop them having to wait so long and it means they’re getting the treatment right first time.”

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More patients will also be able to be treated closer to home, rather than having to travel to Norwich or Cambridge for treatment.

Consultant paediatric orthopaedic surgeon Graeme Carlile, who works in partnership with Charlie, said: “It’s much better for families in terms of convenience, distance travelled, and taking time off school, if a specialist service can be delivered locally.

“At times the outpatients’ waiting list has been six months. That’s not acceptable, so her role should help reduce that.”

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