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Surgical Appliances

Breast Services

The Surgical Appliance staff work as part of the Trust multi disciplinary team to provide a prosthesis fitting and counselling service.


The following can make referrals to the Surgical Appliance department for prosthesis patients:

  • Breast care consultant
  • Breast care nurses
  • GPs.

The Surgical Appliance department will endeavour to see new patients within 4 weeks of the referral date.


At present services are offered as follows:

Watford General Hospital

Patients booked on an ad-hoc basis but service is available on a Tuesday or Wednesday. 

St Albans City Hospital

Service is provided monthly  on a Wednesday. 

Where possible a patient will be measured and fitted at the first appointment however as only a limited amount of stock is kept on each site and staff are free to order the most suitable item for the individual patient a follow up appointment may be necessary.


There is no fixed length of time that prosthesis will last. This will depend on the individual and their lifestyle. The fitter will discuss this with the patient. Care advice and an explanatory leaflet will be given to the patient during their consultation.

Prosthesis will be replaced if they become faulty or if the patient changes shape and the prosthesis becomes unsuitable.

There are currently no prescription charges payable by patients for the provision of prosthesis however a charge will be made, at cost, for a prosthesis suitable for swimming.

Bra Service

As part of the prosthesis service advice on the best type of bra is also provided. The patient is free to purchase bras at any retail outlet however if they chose to be supplied by the Trust a prescription charge per bra will be applied. Please see Prescriptions page for details of current rates.

Support with costs

Macmillan Grants

A Macmillan grant is a one-off payment for adults, young people or children with cancer, to cover a wide range of practical needs. This can include things such as heating bills, extra clothing, or a much needed break. Every week over 600 people receive a grant from Macmillan Cancer Support. Click here to find out more.

How to Qualify for a Grant

You may qualify for a grant from Macmillan if:

  • You have been diagnosed with cancer and are still affected by your illness or its treatment
  • Your savings do not exceed £6,000 if you are single, or £8,000 for couples and families
  • The average weekly disposable income of your household does not exceed £100 per person, after allowing for certain basic household expenses, such as rent or Council Tax.

You don't apply for the grant yourself. Ask your Macmillan nurse, community nurse, health or social worker or hospital social worker to apply on your behalf. They will fill in a grant form and pass it to your GP, who will add a medical report before sending the application on to us.

If your application is approved, most cheques are posted within three days. Each week over 300 people receive a cheque in the post from Macmillan, and some people, in continuing need, receive more than one grant.

For further information call the Macmillan CancerLine 0808 808 2020 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm) or email cancerline@macmillan.org.uk

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