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Armed Forces: Health Services

Volume 504: debated on Monday 18 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the average cost per service personnel patient was for (a) below knee and (b) above knee prosthesis follow-up in the (i) Defence Medical Services and (ii) NHS in the latest period for which information is available; (309990)

(2) how often (a) above knee and (b) below knee amputees were routinely followed up in the (i) Defence Medical Services and (ii) NHS in the latest period for which information is available.

Information on the cost per service personnel patient to the DMS for prosthesis follow-up is not held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, in general, the long term cost of maintaining an above-knee amputee are considerably more that a below-knee amputee because of the expensive artificial knee components.

As regards frequency of follow-up for DMS patients, on average the numbers of follow-up appointments for above-knee and below-knee amputee patients are equal. The average patient will require diminishing prosthetics input up until year three when only regular servicing is required. Outlined as follows is the average number of follow-up appointments:

Average number of follow-up appointments

Year one

17

Year two

12

Year three and beyond

3 per year

NHS information on the cost per patient, whether a veteran or not, for prosthesis follow-up is not held centrally.

NHS assessments for prosthetics are undertaken at any one of 35 prosthetic centres within England with decisions on follow-up and aftercare being included within the assessment. This decision is agreed with an individual to ensure their circumstances and requirements are taken into consideration.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what rules are in place in respect of routine visits by a regimental associations to soldiers in the military ward of Selly Oak hospital. (310794)

Visits by members of regimental associations would usually be treated as “pastoral” rather than “official” visits. Pastoral visits are always welcome, but are subject to the wishes of the patient and to local hospital visiting rules and hours.

Further, visits by family and close friends take precedence, and consequently there may not always be the capacity to allow visits by regimental associations. For that reason, associations are strongly advised to check first with the Headquarters Joint Medical Command Visits Coordinator in order to avoid conflict with higher priority visitors before travel.