The government is making £11 million available over the next 2 years to spend on prosthetics and improve rehabilitation services across the country for ex-servicemen and women who are amputees.
This funding will ensure veterans are able to access a high level of prosthetic and rehabilitation care - similar to that which the Armed Forces provides for men and women currently serving in the Army, Navy and Air Force.
Nine NHS facilities across the country will receive a share of up to £6.7 million of the funding. They will be able to use this specifically to access the latest technology and provide the highest quality of prosthetic care for veteran amputees.
Other services will benefit too - with a £1 million fund to ensure that all prosthetics services across England improve. The remainder will go towards providing prosthetics.
Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said:
Ex-servicemen and women who have been injured in the line of duty deserve the very best possible care from the NHS.
This is why we are making more funding available to improve veterans’ prosthetic limb services - and £22 million in total between 2010 and 2015 to support veterans’ physical and mental health.
We want to ensure that our Armed Forces veterans have access to the very best healthcare services at specialist prosthetic and rehabilitation centres across the country.
In time, these NHS centres will achieve the same high standards of care for veterans that are offered by Armed Forces rehabilitation centres such as Headley Court.
Today’s announcement is in response to recommendations made by Dr Andrew Murrison MP, now MOD’s Minister for International Security Strategy, in a report commissioned by the Prime Minister about the provision of prosthetics for military amputees.
Dr Murrison recommended that a small number of multi-disciplinary centres should provide specialist prosthetic and rehabilitation services in England to ensure veterans have access to a similar, high quality of care to that which the Armed Forces provide.
The additional funding and improvements that this will bring will mean that civilian amputees will also be able to benefit from advanced care in centres across the NHS in England.
The NHS Commissioning Board will work with military charities and the NHS to finalise the amount each service will receive.
The centres which have been chosen to share the £6.7 million funding are:
- Bristol - Disablement Services Centre, North Bristol NHS Trust
- Leicester - Specialist Mobility Centre, provided by Blatchford Clinical Services on behalf of the NHS
- Sheffield - Mobility and Specialised Rehabilitation Centre, Northern General Hospital
- Carlisle - Disablement Services Centre, Cumberland Infirmary, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
- Preston - Specialist Mobility & Rehabilitation Centre, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Stanmore - Prosthetic Rehabilitation Unit, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust
- Portsmouth - Prosthetic Regional Rehabilitation Department, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
- Birmingham - West Midlands Rehabilitation Centre, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust
- Cambridge - Addenbrooke’s Rehabilitation Clinic, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust