Andrew Murrison MP: Why I'm launching a consultation into limbless veterans' services
Dr Murrison is an Iraq veteran and practising Consultant
After the Government was formed, the Prime Minister asked me to probe healthcare provision for servicemen and veterans, and to make recommendations. My report into combat stress and military that followed, Fighting Fit, was delivered last August, has been accepted in full by David Cameron, and is currenty being implemented by the Ministry of Defence and Department of Health. It was also featured on ConservativeHome.
I'm now launching a consultation into limbless veterans' services. I'm obviously concerned about the future for the large number of amputees from Iraq and Afghanistan. Consequently, I'll be writing to NHS limb centres, service users and military charities in order to assess the situation. The responses will form the basis of recommendations on service improvement.
The use by the Taliban of increasingly sophisticated Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), and the survival of critically injured soldiers who would have previously succumbed, is generating a bow wave of amputees with complex needs and aspirations, many of who are on the point of being discharged from the services.
Amputees rightly get a Rolls Royce service whilst they are still serving, b ut there is every sign that they will struggle to access the same once they have left. It's already clear that the military covenant demands more than many civilian limb centres are currently resourced to provide. I hope that, having assessed the views of providers and service users, I will be able to make recommendations that will the government can adopt.