Paralympic star launches University’s prosthetics and orthotics centre

Thursday 24 October 2013

Paralympic swimmer Charlotte Henshaw was at the University of Salford yesterday (Wednesday 23 October) to officially re-open its prosthetics and orthotics centre which was refurbished at a cost of £1.3m.

Salford is the only university in England to offer prosthetics and orthotics training which prepares students for highly skilled work as prosthetists (fitting artificial limbs) and orthotists (fitting supportive braces and splints).

Training takes place in the Brian Blatchford Building which was first opened in 1993 following a generous donation from the Blatchford family – the founders of Blatchford Clinical Services which manufactures prosthetic and orthotic products. The University has spent £1.3m investing in new machinery and refurbishing the clinical rooms, workshops, rehabilitation gym and plaster room.

Charlotte won a silver medal in the 100m breaststroke at the London 2012 Paralympics, and has a special interest in the prosthetics industry. Both of her legs were amputated above the knee when she was 18 months old and her first pair of prosthetic legs was fitted when she was two years old.

She said: “I firmly believe that the dedicated professionals I’ve seen since I was two years old have helped me to become an athlete. The new facilities at Salford will help people like me to achieve their hopes and dreams.”

The launch event also marked the beginning of a joint venture between the University and Blatchford Clinical Services – a new company called Crescent Rehabilitation Services Ltd which will provide private clinical services in prosthetics and orthotics.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Martin Hall said: “Prosthetics and orthotics are central disciplines at Salford which have produced some of the leading professionals in the country. The new company with Blatchford Clinical Services is an exciting development for the University and will create more opportunities for our students.”

The University is currently investing heavily in its campus - earlier in the month BAM Construction started building the £55m ‘Gateway Project’ which will have a theatre, recording and photography studios, café areas, performance and rehearsal spaces, computer suites and lecture theatres.

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