A mother has accused NHS chiefs of 'age discrimination' after they refused to supply special artificial limbs to her one-year-old daughter until she is 18.

Poppy Pickford has a severely shortened right arm and would benefit from a flexible silicone limb. 

The NHS has provided the youngster with a more basic PVC limb that is attached with a velcro-strap and bandage. 

However, her mother Donna Padfield says it falls off easily and gives the appearance that Poppy's arm is broken. 

The local Primary Care Trust (PCT) has said it is not cost-effective to pay for silicone arms until Poppy is 18 because they need replacing regularly as the body grows.

But Miss Padfield, 26, from North London, said: 'I am absolutely furious with the PCT. It is age discrimination. 

'I just want her to have a choice and know what it is like to live with an arm. Poppy gets frustrated when she can't do certain things which can be heartbreaking.'Miss Padfield says trying to secure funds for the silicone arms has been a 'pointless waste of time'.

The PCT has referred the family to Great Ormond Street Hospital and then clinics in Roehampton and now Harold Wood.

The family now wants to raise more than £30,000 to pay for five silicone limbs from a private healthcare company Dorset Orthopaedic.

David Hills, of Dorset Orthopaedic, said: 'Poppy's parents do not wish for their daughter to be disadvantaged. Research has shown that children born without an upper limb adapt better throughout life, the earlier they start using one.

'Poppy has been unable to obtain acceptable prosthetics from the NHS because the materials they use are rigid and uncomfortable.'

A spokesman for Islington PCT said: 'Our priority is to ensure Poppy receives the most appropriate NHS care and treatment. Her progress has not been compromised by the non-availability of components within the NHS. 

'We have offered to Poppy's family an appointment at the specialist Disablement Services Centre at Harold Wood which will make a clinical assessment of her needs.

Article from Mail online