Upper limb prosthetics has interested me since my graduation as a clinical prosthetist from the London School of Prosthetics in 1991. I worked as a prosthetist in Liverpool before becoming a lecturer at Salford, and now my research focuses on some of the issues that have frustrated people with upper limb absence and hindered upper limb prosthesis use and acceptance.
The team here at Salford, and those who have joined us from elsewhere in the F4P project, have a keen mutual interest in resolving some of the problems associated with prosthesis use and control. My own PhD was focused on the area of socket development to improve functional control in myoelectric prostheses, and I am a keen believer that it is the socket again that is critical to achieving the goals of the F4P project. My PhD was carried out at the same time as Mohammed Sobuh’s PhD, and it is great to be working alongside him again.
Becoming involved with the project has also allowed me to both meet and work alongside some very dedicated and gifted people, not least the Orthopaedic Fellows from Uganda, who came to the UK and spent some time with me in June of last year. I was so impressed with their abilities, attitudes and willingness to learn and develop their skills. Having these links with Uganda has also allowed us to develop annual student placements, and building on the great work undertaken by Louise Ackers and her son James, these have really opened my eyes to the reality of living with limb loss in Uganda. I know that these experiences have also strengthened the resolve of our students to improve prosthetic care and accessibility across the globe. I am looking forward to welcoming more Ugandan visitors this May-I will keep you posted!