SOLDIERS who have legs or arms amputated are to be given the most up-to-date artificial limbs under a scheme launched by the Scottish Government.
• Amputee soldiers will be first in line to be given the most advanced prosthetics available
• Scottish Government scheme aims to give veterans limbs using the most modern technology around
It will ensure veterans get “advanced prosthetics” which are able to anticipate movements and function as close to a natural limb as possible.
It was part of a range of measures set out by the Scottish Government today to ensure that veterans get a better deal and follows a similar announcement made recently south of the border.
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.”
The scheme will see veterans offered 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.
Ian Waller, Director of Support and Communications, British Limbless Ex Service Men’s Association (BLESMA) welcomed the 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,” he said.
“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.”