Provide Cranial Remolding Helmets for Babies on the NHS
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Sofia was born 2 months earlier than expected. At 3 months old we noticed that her head was looking a little flat so I raised it with the health visitor, who didn't take any notice of me. Roll on to 6 months old, and the flatness of her head has worsened despite repositioning her and purchasing matressess supposed to help with this kind of thing. We have tried physiotherapy as it was thought that she may have a condition called Torticollis where the musles in her neck are tight, but after a couple of sessions we have been told that there is nothing wrong with her neck movement.
The physiotherapist explained that a baby having flat head is not a medical condition and therefore the NHS will not treat it, despite the fact that in the future it could lead to lopsided ears, protruding forehead and mis-aligned jaw. The NHS say that it is cosmetic rather than anything else, and so therefore do not offer any help.
The physiotherapist told us about a treatment centre called LOC (London Orthotic Consultancy) who are a private medical facility. After an appointment with our GP we went to a free consulation at LOC in Kingston, where the specialist there told us that Sofia was suffering from two forms of flat head, Plagiocephaly and Brachycephaly. This basically means both the side and back of her head are flat. He told us that the only way to correct this would be to purchase a special helmet that would help remold her skull into the correct position. With appointments every two weeks to continuously reposition the helmet, plus scans etc this would cost £2050 and the treatment would last 3-6 months.
It appears that when Labour were in power, these helmets were being provided by the NHS, but when the Tories came in, it was taken away. The amount of parents in the same situation as us is extraordianry and not everybody is in a position to be able to pay the extortionate amount of money requested by these private clinics. Babies shouldn't have to suffer potential bullying in the future because people are unable to pay for treatment.
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