HEALTH bosses have promised to urgently consider funding a vital back brace for a five-year-old disabled girl from Taunton after the County Gazette took up her case.

Alice Kemp has spinal muscular atrophy and needs a new back brace every time she outgrows her old one.

The braces, designed to stop the spine curving, are made by specialist consultant Steve Porter at John Florence Ltd Paediatric Centre in Brighton and are funded by NHS Somerset.

Alice’s mother, Lucinda Kemp, told the County Gazette that when the firm asked NHS Somerset to pay for Alice’s next brace, they were told funding was not available.

Lucinda said: “I was told the primary care trust hadn’t funded more than one brace and I had to either reapply for funding or pay for it myself.

“The first time we had to apply it took them a year-and-a-half to approve the funding, which is ridiculous, and I can’t afford £500 to replace it myself.”

But there was good news for the Kemp family this week when NHS Somerset told the County Gazette that if John Florence makes a funding request on their behalf, the authority’s Excep-tional Treatments Committee will consider it ‘as a matter of urgency’.

It added: “Should committee members approve this funding request, there should be no reason why a new back brace could not be supplied.”

Responding to the news, Miss Porter said she was concerned about the impact on her daughter’s spine during the committee’s four-week review process.