Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Care for amputee ex-troops reviewed

The Government has launched a review of how the NHS looks after former service personnel who lost limbs serving their country

The Government has launched a review of how the NHS looks after former British service personnel who lost limbs serving their country.

Armed Forces charities have raised concerns that the civilian health service is not adequately equipped to support amputee veterans to the same standard provided at the military's Headley Court rehabilitation centre in Surrey.

Dr Andrew Murrison, a former Royal Navy medical officer who is now Conservative MP for South West Wiltshire, will lead the review.

He will look at future funding for technologically advanced prosthetic limbs, minimising the "postcode lottery" in services and the role of service charities like the the British Limbless Ex-Service Men's Association.

Dr Murrison said: "The provision of prosthetics service for the armed forces at Headley Court is recognised as exemplary and it is important to identify and understand possible issues that may arise for NHS providers or veterans when striving to maintain the same level of service in the future."

Health Minister Simon Burns added: "I am grateful to the service charities for bringing this to our attention.

"We remain firmly committed to ensuring that military personnel will continue to receive the standard of prosthetics issued by the Ministry of Defence at Headley Court when they are discharged.

"Service personnel risk everything in the service of this country and the NHS must provide the first class care that these brave men and women rightly deserve and help to improve their health outcomes."

Dr Murrison is expected to report back by the end of June.

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