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State-of-the-art prosthetics for veterans
A new national prosthetics service has been launched to meet the needs of Scotland’s military amputees.
The new service will provide veterans from the armed forces with advanced prosthetics that can anticipate movements and adapt instantly in order to function as close to a natural limb as possible.
It will offer veterans improved support and a dedicated point of access to healthcare services through the limb fitting and rehabilitation centres in Edinburgh and Glasgow, with telehealth links to Aberdeen, Inverness and Dundee centres.
The service was launched as the Scottish Government promised to offer a better deal for military amputees by accepting all of the recommendations from Dr Andrew Murrison’s report on NHS Prosthetics Services for veterans, particularly those from recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Speaking at a visit to the Edinburgh centre, Health Secretary Alex Neil said:
“It is only right that our veterans, who have risked their lives for this country, receive world-class services through our NHS. Scotland is already leading the way in prosthetic care and this new specialist service is a fantastic example of the NHS using innovative technologies to deliver twenty-first century healthcare.
“Veteran amputees often have complex health needs so it is vital that they have continued access to the modern technology now available to enable them to have a lifestyle that suits them.
“This new service is one of a range of actions we are taking to deliver a better deal for our military amputees.”
Veterans Minister Keith Brown said:
“In Scotland we seek to ensure that Armed Forces personnel and veterans who unfortunately lose a limb whilst on active service receive state-of-the-art prosthetics from NHSScotland that match the standard of prosthetic limbs given by the Defence Medical Services.
“The Scottish Government is absolutely committed to ensuring the needs and aspirations of Scotland’s veterans’ community is at the centre of our policy development and delivery in Scotland. That is why in September last year we launched Our Commitments - a paper which sets out what the Scottish Government is doing to address the health, housing, education and justice needs of current and former service men and women.”
Ian Waller, Director of Support and Communications, British Limbless Ex Service Men's Association (BLESMA) said:
“BLESMA is pleased to have brought our extensive knowledge and involvement in the Murrison Report to the work which has led to this announcement.
“We are encouraged by the clear message this sends to our members in Scotland; that their needs have been recognised, considered and are being addressed.
“We recognised the valuable work between the Defence Medical Services and the NHS to deliver continued care for our members once they are discharged from service.
“We will continue to support our members in Scotland, working alongside all parties involved in their care with a view to ensuring that they are able to live independent and fulfilling lives.”