Prosthetics service for veterans launched

The Scottish Government has launched a new specialist prosthetics service for military amputees. Picture: Neil Hanna
The Scottish Government has launched a new specialist prosthetics service for military amputees. Picture: Neil Hanna
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A NATIONAL prosthetics service has been launched for veteran military amputees.

The service will provide amputees with advanced prosthetics designed to function as much like a natural limb as possible. It will also act as a dedicated point of access to services including limb fitting and rehabilitation.

It is estimated there are about 66 military amputees in Scotland, and ministers yesterday met one of them, Steven Richardson from East Lothian.

He lost both legs and some fingers on both hands after he stood on an explosive device during a tour in the Nad-e-Ali district of Afghanistan in 2010.

Health secretary Alex Neil said: “It is only right 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 21st-century healthcare.”

The service has been launched by the Scottish Government following recommendations in a report by Dr Andrew Murrison on NHS prosthetics for veterans, particularly those from recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The UK government asked Dr Murrison, a Tory MP, to review prosthetic services after concerns were raised by some charities the NHS may not provide services to the same standard as the Defence Medical Service provided by the Ministry of Defence.

Ian Waller, of the British Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association, said: “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.”