In 2011 Dr Andrew Murrison MP undertook a six month review of NHS Prosthetics Services in England, taking evidence on the current and future needs of veterans for prosthetics services, and on the provision and cost of services. His report, A Better Deal for Military Amputees, was published on October 31, 2011.
Fulfilling the commitment to deliver the recommendations within A Better Deal for Military Amputees is an integral part of the Scottish Government's commitment to the Armed Forces.
The Scottish Government accepted in principle all 12 of Dr Murrison's recommendations including the establishment of multi-disciplinary prosthetic centres across the UK to provide care and rehabilitation to the same standards as the Defence Medical Services centre at Headley Court.
A Short Life Working Group (SLWG) was established in 2012 to plan the implementation of Dr Murrison’s recommendations in Scotland. The group has strived at all times to work collaboratively with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Department of Health (DH) in England, as well as other devolved administrations in recognition of the UK wide nature of the Armed Forces.
At its last meeting on March 15, 2013, the group agreed there was sufficient information on which to base their recommendation that a nationally designated and commissioned service represented the best way in which to deliver a specialist State of the Art service in Scotland, in line with Dr Murrison's recommendations.
The Report of the Short Life Working Group was approved by Scottish Ministers, and on 26 June 2013 the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, and the Minister for Transport and Veterans, formally announced the new national state of the art prosthetics service for veterans in Scotland.
State of the Art Prosthetics Service
The national State of the Art (SOTA) prosthetics service became operational in April 2014 and is provided through the limb fitting rehabilitation centres in Edinburgh and Glasgow, with links to the Aberdeen, Inverness and Dundee centres.
The Group was mindful of the potential need to provide a similar service to meet the needs of the civilian population when an advanced prosthesis is required to address a functional requirement. The provision of SOTA prosthetics will be based on an agreed clinical pathway and multi-disciplinary assessment on an individual case by case basis, regardless of veteran or other civilian status.
Individuals who feel State of the Art prosthetics would be beneficial to them and would be clinically appropriate should formally register their interest with their local Prosthetics Centre.