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Amputee ‘wasted’ cash on prosthetic leg

Ivor Sault
Image caption

Ivor Sault said the NHS “could have done more” to help him

An amputee has said he has paid nearly £10,000 on a prosthetic limb because he was not told he could have been entitled to a similar one on the NHS.

Ivor Sault, 69, from Devizes, Wiltshire, found a leg provided by the NHS was painful so decided to pay privately for a different type.

Mr Sault has since discovered he could have got the replacement on the NHS.

The NHS said a request for an alternative could have been considered if it had been aware he was unhappy.

Mr Sault, who lost his leg in motorbike accident over 50 years ago, said a previous prosthetic limb, which he was happy with, wore out.

“They couldn’t repair it and I was given a different one.

“I was told [a better type] wasn’t available in the budget, and I offered to pay more but was told it wasn’t allowed.”

Mr Sault said the prosthetic he was given led to problems and caused sores.

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Mr Sault spent £9,500 on a new prosthetic limb

He said a “lack of communication” led to him deciding to pay £9,500 for a better limb.

“The NHS could have explained the policy better. I don’t think they helped me at all.”

North Bristol NHS Trust said it was disappointed to hear Mr Sault was unhappy but had not been aware of his concerns.

“We work within agreed NHS prescription guidelines to offer patients clinically appropriate prostheses,” a spokesman said.

“We also work with them to consider alternatives if the initial prostheses are not suitable, as we did in Mr Sault’s case.

“If a particular prosthetic limb is deemed clinically appropriate but is not routinely available within the NHS, we would consider making an individual request on the patient’s behalf to service commissioners [NHS England] to see if they are prepared to provide additional specialist funding to support the provision.”

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