The inspiration for the booklet was Sunderland amputee Andrea Smith, who shared her experience of being discharged from hospital after her amputation and not having the information to hand about local support services she needed.

Andrea saw there was an information gap and contacted Healthwatch Sunderland, introducing staff to others who had a similar experience.

They explained how many aspects of their lives had changed and that they didn’t know where to start to look for information and support.

Healthwatch Sunderland worked closely with Andrea, Healthwatch South Tyneside and Healthwatch County Durham to collate information on a range of local services, on areas which were highlighted by the amputees, for the patients being discharged from Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Separate booklets were then developed for each of the areas, to cover a range of subjects like where to go for benefits advice, healthier lifestyle and general wellbeing support etc.

Sadly Andrea passed away before she could see the finished advice brochures. Healthwatch Sunderland would like to dedicate these booklets to Andrea for her commitment to supporting others who experience amputation and their carers.

The brochures include advice on post-op rehabilitation services, mental health support, financial advice, driving and support at work – with contact details for various services.

They will be regularly updated and distributed by staff on Ward C36 at Sunderland Royal Hospital to support patients who have experienced an amputation.

The South Tyneside amputee brochure can be downloaded here:

Amputee Signposting Information – South Tyneside