Skip to main content

Armed Forces: Orthopaedics

Volume 457: debated on Thursday 8 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what medical, therapeutic or support provision has been made for members of the armed forces who have had to undergo amputation of one or more of their limbs. (119394)

Service patients who have had to undergo amputation of one or more of their limbs will usually be treated at first in an NHS hospital, generally the Royal College of Defence Medicine (RCDM), where they will be fitted with an initial basic limb. At the appropriate stage in their recovery, they will be transferred to the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) at Headley Court, Surrey.

DMRC is the principal medical rehabilitation centre run by the armed forces and contains the complex rehabilitation and amputee unit. Here, an individually moulded and appropriate prosthetic limb is manufactured on site and tailored to the specific patient. MOD also has a contract with an external prosthetics provider, whose personnel attend DMRC and contribute to the assessment of the individual. A range of technicians and therapists will be involved in the day-to-day care and treatment, including those employed by the prosthetics contractor.

A high priority is given to enabling personnel to return to service duty in the same or a similar role to the one they occupied before their injury if at all possible. During their continuing service career, any maintenance of officially-issued prosthetics is provided by the Defence Medical Services. This will usually be provided at one of 15 MOD regional rehabilitation units across the UK and in Germany.