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News Senior Research Fellow is first Consultant Orthotist in UK

A Staffordshire University Senior Research Fellow has been appointed the first Consultant Orthotist in the NHS.

Dr Nicky Eddison, Consultant Orthotist
Image: Dr Nicky Eddison, Consultant Orthotist

Nicky is a fantastic role model for orthotists, not only in this country, but across the world. Her research work with us is going from strength to strength and has started to have an impact on changing clinical practice.

Professor Nachi Chockalingam, Director of the Centre for Biomechanics and Rehabilitation Technologies

Dr Nicky Eddison is a healthcare professional from The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust who makes and fits braces and splints for patients. Dr Eddison, who studied for her PhD in Biomechanics at Staffordshire University, has been confirmed by British Association of Prosthetists & Orthotists (BAPO) as the first post of its kind in the UK.

“I’m delighted to be recognised as the first Consultant Orthotist in the NHS,” said Dr Eddison. “I have to thank the Trust for recognising the position and its importance and also for their investment in orthotics which allows us to treat such a variety of patients across many disciplines. When I started here, my line manager was the only other clinical member of staff in the team, so I could never have imagined how we would be able to expand the service.”

Much of Dr Eddison’s more high profile work has been in helping younger patients with cerebral palsy, where her research is also improving the quality of life for patients in her care. 

Commenting on ther appointment Professor Nachi Chockalingam, Director of the Centre for Biomechanics and Rehabilitation Technologies at Staffordshire University, said: “Nicky is a fantastic role model for orthotists, not only in this country, but across the world. Her research work with us is going from strength to strength and has started to have an impact on changing clinical practice.”

“We are extremely pleased the Trust has given her this consultant role – the first in the country – which will pave the way for strengthening the collaboration between the Trust and the university.”

Dr Eddison, 45, has been with the Trust for 14 years. after arriving as a Band 5 Junior Orthotist in 2007. She now leads a team of seven operating across New Cross Hospital and West Park Hospital in Wolverhampton, Cannock Chase Hospital and Bridgnorth Hospital, handling 40 referrals per day and up to 16,000 patients per year.

Dr Rosalind Leslie PhD, Group Manager, Therapies and Ambulatory Care, Chief Allied Health Professional (AHP) at the Trust, said: “I am thrilled Nicky is the first orthotist in the country to be promoted as a consultant within the NHS. This forward thinking will benefit both our patients and staff and will blaze a trail for others.”

Lynne Rowley, Chair of BAPO, added: “This is superb news and a fantastic achievement for Dr Eddison. As the first Consultant Orthotist appointed in the NHS, I would like to commend the forward-thinking team at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust for recognising the need for this role.”

Dr Eddison has authored or co-wrote 20 publications and has been Chair of the Professional Affairs Committee of BAPO and a member of its Executive Committee since last November.

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