Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter met veterans and Servicemen at Help for Heroes’ Tedworth House Recovery Centre and announced new investment totalling £6.7M in a network of specialist prosthetics centres and services across England.
Nine new specialist centres will be enhanced within existing NHS facilities in the following locations:
Preston, Sheffield, Carlisle, Portsmouth, Bristol, Cambridge, Birmingham, Leicester and Stanmore.
Dr Poulter told a group of 30 veterans and Servicemen, brought together by Help for Heroes and BLESMA that a further £1M, also announced today, would be spent on the provision of higher quality prosthetic services across the whole of the NHS and that this money will be available within months.
Dr 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.”
Bryn and Emma Parry, co-Founders of Help for Heroes said: “We are delighted that there will be a regional network of nine centres of excellence. It is important to remember that every individual is different, and we have heard today from some who are very satisfied with their prosthetic limbs, and from others with concerns for their future. Today’s announcement is the beginning, and we will be working hard to ensure men and women who have served their country get the best support, for life.”
Jerome Church, General Secretary of BLESMA said: “This is the biggest change in prosthetics for veterans in 40 years, but we’re not there yet. We feel this will revolutionise NHS provision of prosthetics for all amputees across the country.”