FES - how do you get one?

Does anyone know how to go about getting a referral for a FES? Is there a test/proven limitation on walking?

Does it depend on area? What would be the cost if I were to seek one privately?

Any help would be great. x

Yes, it does depend on area - very much so. While it is NICE approved, the wording of the approval is just sufficiently vague as to let some PCTs /CCGs avoid having to pay for one.

Ring the people at Odstock - 01722-439540 - and they will tell you where their nearest approved centre is. Then you get (preferably) your Neuro or a Physio to refer you to that centre. If you get the referral, and funding, they will test for the continuity of the nerve pathway in the lower leg, set up an FES to condition the muscle, and then set the FES up for walking at your next visit. Then they time you over a 25 foot walk with and without the FES.

The follow-ups are at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months - then annually… The cost is about £1600 for the first year, and something over £300 for subsequent years. This includes the loan of the basic FES unit itself. There are some more fancy versions that may interest you (but offered nothing for me).

Is it worth it? For me, absolutely yes. Without an FES and a 3-wheel rollator, I would have trouble moving more than a few feet.