Plaster Technician Explains Tape

A new initiative making it easier for patients to access information about their cast, splint or surgical boot has been launched by the NHS Fife orthopaedics department. 

In a first for Scotland, cast technician, Stuart Main, took forward the project, which applies scannable QR code stickers to casts and links to an online cast care hub. The sticker is effectively vinyl tape printed with a code pointing to the NHS Fife website's Cast care section, which the plaster technician applies to the cast, boot or splint. The hub features up-to-date information on how to care for a cast, as well as a list of recommended actions, activities to avoid, potential complications, and other troubleshooting advice. 

Casts, splints, and surgical boots are used to help heal injuries to bone or soft tissue, as well as managing pain. 

Stuart, who is based at the new National Treatment Centre – Fife Orthopaedics, believes the stickers are a simple and effective way to supplement information that has already been provided by a nurse practitioner or doctor. He said: “Previously, we would hand out leaflets with helpful information about cast management – but people would routinely lose these or forget where they were kept, and they would have to ring us up and ask questions.  

“With these new stickers, because they are applied directly to the cast using a durable, water-resistant material, as long as people have their mobile phone nearby – which most people do nowadays – they will always have access to the information they need.  

“Aside from the benefits for people wearing a cast, there have also been some great results for our department with a significant reduction in the number of phone calls coming in where people are asking questions about their cast-care. I am really pleased with the response to the stickers, and we’ve already had interest from colleagues across different specialities keen to learn more.” 

The online cast-care hub is part of the NHS Fife website and can be accessed at