Support For Forces Veterans To Be Assessed
The government’s plans to review the quality of prosthetic services offered by the NHS to those who have lost limbs while fighting for their country are a positive step, according to a lawyer at Irwin Mitchell.
Health Minister Simon Burns has announced that the review will assess the current and future needs of veterans who need prosthetic services, as well as the provision and cost of them.
It has come about after the Department of Health was told by several charities that those leaving the Armed Forces are concerned over whether the NHS is adequately equipped to provide support to the same standard as the Defence Medical Service at Headley Court.
Discussing the issue, Lindsey Houghton, an associate solicitor in Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office, said a postcode lottery has developed in relation to the services.
She said: “It is welcome news that the government are keen to consider the issue with a view to ensuring veterans receive the highest standards of care. The quality of prosthetic services varies across the country. I have had many clients who have been provided with excellent prosthetics by the NHS, while others, in different areas, have not.
“As my clients had compensation claims, I was able to secure the advanced prosthetics they required privately, but unfortunately not everyone has this option.
“Support group provision also varies across the country. In the north east there is presently no support group for amputees. I am keen to establish a local support group and am presently liaising with local health care professionals to try to establish a group in the north east."