A new national prosthetics service, that will give specialist treatment to military amputees, is now fully operational.
Health Secretary Alex Neil met patients and staff at the service’s Glasgow centre today.
The national service is based at the WestMARC unit at Southern General Hospital, and the at the SMART Centre in Edinburgh. Patients in Aberdeen, Inverness and Dundee will be able to access services via video link-up.
A specialist service for veterans was one of the key recommendations from A Better Deal For Military Amputees, a report written by Dr Andrew Murrison. It forms a central part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to the Armed Forces.
An additional £970,000 has been invested to set up the new service, with a further £4m over the next two years to fund additional staff. State of the art facilities include new gait laboratories to study how well patients are walking with their new limbs, and to train them to improve their gait.
There has also been investment in prosthetic training and imaging equipment needed to manufacture and use the latest techniques in socket manufacture.
The specialist units will run alongside the existing NHS prosthetics service.
Mr Neil said: “I’m extremely proud to be able to visit this new NHS service. It’s absolutely right that ex-servicemen and women who have risked their lives on active duty, are given the very best care available.
“We are committed to delivering Dr Andrew Murrison’s recommendations in A Better Deal for Military Amputees, and this new service is a key part of that.
“Scotland already has a world-class prosthetics service in place. However, military veterans who have lost limbs in conflict have specific and complex needs due to the nature of their injuries. That is why we were determined to set up a state-of-the art service employing some of the best new technologies.”
Keith Brown, Minister for Transport and Veterans, added: “We owe a particular debt to those who have served and been injured in the defence of our freedoms. Therefore I welcome this new service, which is another example of the on-going work of the Scottish Government to deliver the promises made in our policy document Our Commitments on meeting the needs of our Armed Forces community in Scotland.”
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