Equipment and orthotics


We are the Children’s Integrated Equipment Service (CIES). We provide equipment for children and young people under the age of 18 (or 19 if still in full time education) who meet the criteria for a service from CITES. The types of equipment we provide includes: daily living equipment, complex equipment, and orthotics.

We are responsible for:

  • the assessment and provision of equipment for children and young people into the home and educational setting
  • making sure our third party providers give a good quality service (third party providers may deliver, collect, maintain or recycle equipment)
  • liaising with external agencies including community nursing, continuing care and Chailey Clinical Services regarding the assessment and provision of specialist equipment.

The following equipment can be provided by CITES:

  • seating systems for postural management
  • mobility equipment such as walkers
  • standers
  • community profiling beds
  • equipment to help a child/young person to meet their personal care needs, such as bathing equipment and toileting equipment
  • grab rails and stair rails
  • moving and handling equipment including slings and portable hoists (mobile and freestanding gantry hoists)
  • ramps (temporary and semi-permanent)
  • upper limb splints
  • orthotics
  • lycra pressure garments (body suits)

CITES is not commissioned to provide:

  • equipment for children who need minimal assistance and whose needs can be met using products that are widely available from retail outlets. This includes bath steps, shower boards, perching stools, high chairs.
  • alternative and augmentative communication devices (AAC)
  • car seats and car harnesses
  • cot beds/ safe spaces
  • comfy seating
  • pressure mattresses
  • specialist footwear with the following exceptions: Children with a foot width larger than a standard H fitting; children who are ready to stand but have poor ankle stability or is below a D fitting.
  • voucher top ups
  • wheelchairs
  • seating systems for containment or control and restraint
  • sleep systems

Assessment and ordering

An occupational therapist or physiotherapist will visit you at home or in your child’s educational setting for an assessment to establish whether or not your child needs specialist equipment.

If the therapist identifies a need they submit a request to our equipment panel for approval.

This equipment may already be in our equipment store or it may need to be ordered directly from the manufacturers. If we order a new piece of equipment for your child this is usually delivered within six to eight weeks.

Reviews and repairs

Your therapist will routinely review your child’s equipment for wear and tear, growth and suitability.

If you have any concerns between reviews please contact the treating therapist or the CIES admin team: 0300 123 2650

Schools and professionals

Additional information on funding


Equipment funded by the Nursery Bursary Fund remains the responsibility of CIES. Nurseries do not own this type of equipment. Repairs, reviews, collections and disposal are the responsibility of CIES.


The therapists will discuss any prescriptions with the school before submitting to the panel. Clinical approval is required via the CIES request processes.

If approved, CIES will liaise with the school to confirm funding arrangements before making an order.

The current East Sussex County Council school’s equipment policy sets out the following funding provisions:

  1. Maintained mainstream primary schools and academies are responsible for funding the first £1,000 towards the cost of each item of equipment.
  2. Maintained mainstream secondary schools and academies are responsible for funding the first £2,000 towards the cost of each item of equipment.
  3. Maintained special schools and units or facilities attached to maintained mainstream primary or secondary schools, and academies are responsible for funding the full cost of each item of equipment.

CIES can provide repairs, collection and disposal of equipment used in schools but will charge schools for the costs of any new parts needed to repair or refurbish equipment.

Case studies

Amelia’s story

Amelia was two-years-old when she became known to the service. She has a diagnosis of achondroplasia. She was assessed by an occupational therapist at home, who identified that Amelia was having difficulty getting on and off a dining chair having outgrown her high chair, which prevented her from being able to access the table for mealtimes with her family. Her parents were having to lift her, which put them at risk of injury.

The occupational therapist provided a specialist chair for use at home for meal times and other table top activities such as play and school work, which she could use independently and which would offer her the required level of postural support and positioning.

The family reported: “Amelia loves being able to sit at the dining room table like a big girl to eat her meals. She has also discovered it is easier to draw/scribble when sitting somewhere where her arms are properly supported. It is a wonderful piece of equipment.”

Poppy’s story

Poppy was two-years-old when she became known to the service. She presented with delayed development which impacted on the development of her walking. She was assessed by a physiotherapist who identified that as part of her intervention she required the provision of bespoke orthotics.

The physiotherapist made a referral to the orthotics clinic run by CITES. Here, she was assessed for and provided with supramalleolar ankle foot orthotics (SMAFOs), which provided additional support to her foot position, allowing her to stand with more stability.

The family reported: “[the splints] improved her posture so much she was almost standing on her own."

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Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust

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