Mum calls on NHS to treat son’s flat head syndrome

Shantelle is raising awareness of ten month old son's plagiocephaly condition.

Shantelle is raising awareness of ten month old son's plagiocephaly condition.

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A mother is campaigning for a condition that affects one in two babies to be treated on the NHS.

Mum-of-three Shantelle Hirst, 28, of Crowtrees Lane, Rastrick, says more should be done to help thousands of families dealing with the commonly known ‘flat head syndrome’.

Plagiocephaly affects around 47 per cent of babies but reconstructive treatment through a special head helment is not available on the NHS as it is classed as ‘cosmetic’.

Shantelle and partnerJohn-Michael Barnfather, 27, a member of the Royal Air Force, have so far saved £1,500 towards the £2,000 private bill to get their 11-month-old son Toby-James, pictured, special treatment.

The tot has to wear the helmet for 23-hours a day.

Shantelle said: “It annoys me that there are people out there having actual cosmetic treatment on the NHS - for tummy tucks and breast enlargements.

“Toby’s condition is affecting his ears and eyes yet he can’t be treated on the NHS.

“I’ve had three children and never heard of this until Toby-James was four months old. If there was more awareness I would have taken preventative steps like tummy time. You get so many leaflets but nothing on plagiocephaly.

“I just don’t want anyone else to go through what I went through - I felt so much guilt and there’s nothing worse than a mother’s guilt.”

Shantelle has set up a facebook page ‘Toby’s pagiocephaly journey’ to help people experiencing a similar situation to feel better connected.