Funding boost for Armed Forces’ amputee veterans

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A mobility centre is set to benefit from an £11m NHS windfall aimed at supporting ex-servicemen and women.

Lancashire Teaching Hospital’s facility in Watling Street Road, Fulwood, Preston, has been named among nine centres across the country, which will receive a share of up to £6.7m of funding to improve prosthetic and rehabilitation services for veteran amputees.

The Specialist Mobility and Rehabilitation Centre in Watling Street Road, Fulwood, Preston, will be given the money by the Government over the next two years to ensure veterans are able to access a level of care similar to that which the Armed Forces provides for men and women currently serving in the army, navy and air force.

The trust will be able to use the funding to invest in the latest technology and provide the highest quality of prosthetic care and prosthetics.

The 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 £22m in total between 2010 and 2015 to support veterans’ physical and mental health.

“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.”

Sean Hughes, medical director of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said it already provided mobility and rehabilitation care for people in Lancashire, South Cumbria and beyond.

He said: “The additional investment will ensure we can further develop specialist services to meet the complex needs of those who have been injured in conflicts.”

The NHS Commissioning Board will work with military charities and the NHS to finalise the amount each service will receive.

Fergus Jepson, rehabilitation consultant at the trust, said: “As one of just five hospitals in the country to have treated both Libyan amputees and trauma patients, we have developed specialist expertise in treating people who have been injured in difficult circumstances.

“This experience, along with the extra funding, will ensure we can provide the very highest standards of care to veterans in the future.”

Civilian amputees will also be able to benefit from advanced care at the centre.