Scotland

Military amputees treated at state-of-the-art prosthetics centre

  • 26 June 2013
  • From the section Scotland
Prosthetic legs
Ministers were meeting one veteran who lost both legs in a bomb blast

A new state-of-the-art prosthetics service for military amputees has been launched by the Scottish government.

The service provides equipment which can anticipate movements and adapt instantly, to act as close to a natural limb as possible.

It is based in Edinburgh and Glasgow, with links to the rest of the country.

Ministers were meeting with one veteran who stood on an explosive device during a tour in the Nad-E-Ali district of Afghanistan in 2010.

Steven Richardson, from East Lothian, lost his legs and some fingers on both hands in the blast.

'Risked lives'

It is estimated there are about 66 military amputees in Scotland. The rehabilitation centres in Glasgow and Edinburgh will have telehealth links to Aberdeen, Inverness and Dundee.

Visiting the Astley Ainslie Hospital Health in Edinburgh, 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 21st Century healthcare."

The service follows recommendations set out 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 Conservative MP, to review prosthetic services after concerns were raised by some charities that the NHS may not be able to provide care to the same standard as the Defence Medical Service provided by the Ministry of Defence.

Ian Waller, director of support and communications at 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."

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