Questions & answers about the Children’s Activity Prosthetic Fund

LimbPower are the administrators for the Children’s Active Prosthetic Fund. We have put together a frequently asked question sheet. If you have any further questions please contact us

Who do I speak to about applying to the Fund for an activity prosthesis for my child?

You should make an appointment at your NHS Limb Centre to speak with your Prosthetist who will have all the information for you. Any questions you have regarding the administration of the fund can be directed to

Will every child get an activity prosthesis?

Every limb impaired child or young person up to the age of 18 can approach their NHS Limb Centre to asses suitability. At present the Fund is only a trial and therefore will run out at some time.

Does my child have to be involved in competitive sport or belong to an official sport club to qualify?

A child or young person does not have to belong to an official sport club or be involved in a competitive sport to qualify.

My child doesn’t compete in sport but enjoys dancing, will they qualify?

All activity is considered and dancing would be included, as would running in the park and playing with friends.

Who will make the decision whether my child would benefit from an activity prosthesis?

The Prosthetist at your NHS Limb Centre will make the decision on whether an activity prosthesis is suitable for your child.

Can I use the Fund at a Private Clinic for my child?

The Fund is purely for activity limbs issued at your NHS Limb Centre, the funds are not transferable to any Private Clinic. If your child currently uses a Private Clinic you should see your GP who will be able to refer you to a NHS Limb Centre.

Will my child still have an everyday leg issued by the NHS?

Every child or young person issued with an activity limb will continue to be issued with an everyday leg as before.

How long will it take for the funds to be released to my NHS clinic?

It is expected that the funds will be released within 30 days of your NHS Limb Centre placing their invoice.

I have heard that the cut-off point for each application is £5,000 is this true? 

An NHS Limb Centre can put an application into the fund for up to £5,000 per limb, not per child. This will include any further costs that the NHS Limb Centre will incur to fit the activity prosthesis and maintain it.

How can I learn to support my child with their activity limb?

LimbPower, your Prosthetist and the NHS Limb Centre are all able to offer you help and support.

My child is 18 in a few months time can I still apply?

A child or young person must be under 18 at the time of the application.

What happens when the Fund runs out of money? Will it be extended?

This project is a new initiative, and depending on demand, we would be seeking funding to extend to future years.

My child swims and runs for the school, can they apply for two separate activity prosthesis?

Yes, although it may be that depending on emerging demand we would need to restrict applications to a single prosthesis in the future.  At present it is possible for your child to apply for two prosthesis. However this may change in the future.

Can I change Centre for an activity prosthesis if I choose to, while still using my current Centre for an everyday limb? 

Yes, it is of course expected that where a child or young person is already under the care of a specific NHS Limb Centre, that is where they should start. 

If my child meets the criteria and their Prothetist agrees to apply for an activity prosthesis, how long will it take from application to my child receiving their activity prosthesis?

This could be different depending on many factors such as which Centre the child attends, the need to provide a new socket or a new prosthesis, the condition of the residual limb which might require the making of check sockets first. Most Centres prioritise children prosthetics to avoid the psychological harm of immobility.

I want to apply for my child to have an activity prosthesis, I have read the criteria but would like to know what is meant by medically fit?

Your clinical team will be able to advise you on this. This part of the criteria will be met if your child’s clinicians confirm that the child has the potential to use the activity prostheses effectively and without harm to themselves.

What do I do if my NHS Limb Centre consider that my child would not benefit from an activity prosthesis, is there an appeal procedure?

There is no appeal process, but you can ask your GP to facilitate a second opinion at another NHS Limb Fitting Centre. Prosthetics England is nationally commissioned so you are entitled to be referred by your GP to another Centre for a second opinion.

I have read the cut-off point for application to the fund is 18, is there an earliest age that a child would be successful in applying for an activity prosthesis?

In theory there is no minimum cut-off point, however activity limbs are not made for very small legs/arms. Your child’s suitability will depend on your child’s size and desired activity. Your Limb Centre team will be able to discuss the options with you.

Should my child wear a blade all the time? Is there any research into possible complications?

No prosthesis should be used all the time, as they should be taken off in the same way that able bodied people need to take off their shoes for example. Some blades could be used for walking and running, and therefore could be the main day-to-day walking prosthesis as well as the activity prosthesis. There is unfortunately no published research evidence as these prosthesis have been available only recently.

Some blades are made to be worn for everyday activities as well as sport such as the Ossur Junior Explore or the Blatchfords XT. These have a foot plate so allow a normal walking pattern, others do not and are more like those seen in the Paralympics with now foot plate or foot shell. These are like being on you tiptoes and are not really very good for everyday use at all. Also they are set up slightly long due to the compression when all the force of running (many times body weight) is put on the blade, but in normal walking the blade will not have that much force and will just feel like a long leg giving a difference of up to 2cm, and this is not good for symmetry or back development.

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