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Health secretary hails £1m Glasgow-based prosthetics service for military amputees

A new state-of-the-art prosthetics service for military amputees will ensure they benefit from "some of the best new technologies", the Scottish Health Secretary said.

Alex Neil met staff and patients at the specialist national prosthetics service in Glasgow, which is now fully operational.

The service, which helps military personnel and veterans who have lost limbs, is based at the WestMARC unit at the Southern General Hospital and at the SMART (Southeast Mobility and Rehabilitation Technology) Centre at the Astley Ainslie Hospital in Edinburgh.

The service features state-of-the-art gait laboratories, to analyse how well patients are walking with their new limbs and help them improve.

Almost £1 million was invested in establishing the service, with a further £4 million being spent over the next two years on additional staff.

The specialist units, which have video links to communicate with patients in Aberdeen, Inverness and Dundee, will run alongside the existing NHS prosthetics service.

Mr Neil said: "I'm extremely proud to be able to visit this new NHS service. It's absolutely right that ex-servicemen and women who have risked their lives on active duty are given the very best care available.

"Scotland already has a world-class prosthetics service in place. However, military veterans who have lost limbs in conflict have specific and complex needs due to the nature of their injuries. That is why we were determined to set up a state-of-the art service employing some of the best new technologies."

Veterans Minister Keith Brown said: "We owe a particular debt to those who have served and been injured in the defence of our freedoms. Therefore I welcome this new service, which is another example of the ongoing work of the Scottish Government to deliver the promises made in our policy document Our Commitments on meeting the needs of our armed forces community in Scotland."

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