Do we make footwear for NHS clients ?


Yes is the simple answer, if only it was that simple though. Hopefully the full explanation in the opposite column will help explain more fully.


Is there any difference in quality ?

Quite simply, no.   All the footwear we make receives the same care and attention, the  same quality materials and the same care and attention to detail.  In fact, with the involvement of your NHS orthotist you will also receive the advice and cooperation of your NHS clinic.

Will I have to pay towards them ?

Normally no, but there are situations where you might chose to contribute.


The NHS footwear pricing structure does not pay for the full cost of making the lasts or required for each new patient.  Therefore the manufacturer absorbs the cost and accepts little or no profit on a first pair of shoes for the patient.  Ownership of the lasts stays with the manufacture, not the paient.


If however you wanted to change to another shoemaker, or the hospital decided not use use The Cordwainer to make your footwear, the ownership of the last is retained by us.  This would mean you would have to rely upon your next NHS supplier replicating the lasts, or purchase another pair of lasts from another company.

The success of your footwear relies essentially on the lasts, you might well feel that by buying your own lasts you are looking after your future footwear needs whatever the outcome.

How long do they take to make ?

Our normal delivery for all footwear is around 8-12 weeks depending on how complicated the footwear required.

Will I have to visit the workshop in Derbyshire ?

This is a choice you need to make.  By visiting the workshop we can ensure the measuring and fitting of your footwear is made to our standards.  It is the main reason our footwear works well for our clients.

If you prefer that your hospital does the measuring and fitting, we will still work with them to provide the best service we can.

Do I have to pay for a consultation ?

If you just want to chat about we can help you then I do make a small consultation charge of £55.00 which you would have to pay (the NHS will not fund consultations).   I am also happy to provide a written report on your footwear needs for you to present to your hospital for a further £75.00.

If the NHS place an order for footwear prior to you visiting us then these is no charge for  a consultation.

Can you visit me at home ?

All appointments for NHS funded footwear must take place at either your hospital or at our workshop, so the answer is 'no' home visits for NHS patients.


Guidelines for clients who are entitled to NHS prescribed footwear. 

It is important to note that whilst The Cordwainer is happy to work alongside all Health Service providers, the provision of footwear through the NHS is at the sole discretion of the clinician/orthotic department concerned.

Some NHS service providers are happy to have The Cordwainer provide a service for their patients while others will only use their established suppliers. As The Cordwainer is not currently contracted through NHS procurement arrangements, this might influence the decision whether or not to use The Cordwainer as a supplier.

I have no desire to supply any specific hospital with an extensive footwear service, only to be able to take on specific patients where for any reason the correct footwear has not been able to be provided.

If you have not had footwear from the NHS before. 

 There are two possible routes to the service you need.  If you are not under a specialist or consultant, you must first see your GP who will refer you to your local service provider. Usually you will first see a Specialist Consultant related to your disability who will then prescribe the footwear you need, then pass you on to the Orthotic or Surgical Appliance Department who are responsible for the provision of the footwear. Here an Orthotist will measure you for footwear and the Head of Department will decide which supplier will be most suitable for the supply of the footwear. 

 If you are already under the care of a consultant they might well refer you directly to the Orthotic or Surgical Appliance Department. In any case you would have to explain why you would wish me to make your footwear rather than the service provided by the hospital.  From my experience it is unlikely you will have footwear made by me in this instance.

 If you have had footwear from the NHS before.

 If you are happy with your existing footwear then the service provider will assess your need for further footwear. If you have not been happy with the footwear you have been wearing, you should make this known to the clinic where you received the service and give them the opportunity to make what alterations are required to correct the problem. If the problems cannot be resolved then each hospital will have a Patient Support Manager who will take on your complaint and seek to remedy any problem.


If the problems cannot be resolved through these means then you have the choice to have your shoes made privately or ask if the hospital / service provider would consider using The Cordwainer as the supplier for your footwear. They will then make the decision based on clinical need and financial implications whether or not they wish to use The Cordwainer as a supplier.

If you have had footwear privately but seek future footwear through the NHS.

 Occasionally private clients ask if future items of footwear could be made through the NHS. Again it is at the discretion of the service provider if they will authorise the work to be done by The Cordwainer, based on the above criteria. Experience shows that hospitals are keen to provide a good service to their patients and in most cases this has been allowed but it is at the discretion of the service provider.

 Why is The Cordwainer not an “approved” or contracted to the NHS.

We have therefore taken the decision to remain outside of NHS procurement until purchasing policy changes, a decision which seems justified as an increasing number of hospitals and clinics are using The Cordwainer as a supplier based on the excellent record we have of making footwear for clients with disabilities. It is accepted that The Cordwainer is unique in its ability to “troubleshoot” problems and stands alone in the North West of England as an accessible and affordable provider of highly specialised orthopaedic footwear.

 Do you have to be an approved supplier to work for the NHS?

 According to the Department of Health there is no approval or registration process other than the process where companies can tender for contracts from the NHS. Most hospitals and NHS Trusts have contracts with manufacturers, either solely or arranged through regional procurement agencies.

 Hospitals are however allowed within (most) contracts to find a non-contracted supplier when their own contracted supplier is unable to supply a product for any reason.

Further information.


Bespoke and Orthopaedic Shoemaker

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Unit 8 Brough Business Centre



S33 9HG

Tel:  01433 621623

Email:  info@thecordwainer.co.uk

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