Technological advances have enabled prosthetics manufacturers to create some incredible devices for amputees – but these limbs do not come cheap and the National Health Service has competing priorities and demands on a finite budget.
NHS England plans and buys specialised services for people with complex disability needs, including lower and upper limb amputees – according to its website, the NHS works to ensure it achieves maximum return from every pound spent while providing the best quality of care for patients. It is clear, then, that spending on prosthetics is being carefully scrutinised and reviewed. According to NHS figures, up to 60,000 patients with amputation or congenital limb deficiency require prosthetics and attend specialist service centres across the UK, and NHS England spends approximately £60 million every year on these services.
These costs are not limited to the manufacturing of the prosthetics themselves; funding is also required for fitting, replacement parts and servicing, as well as specialist multi-disciplinary teams including psychologists and prosthetists providing individual patient services such as rehabilitation consultancy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
Those who have been injured as innocent victims of someone else’s lack of care rightly pursue compensation from the negligent party and are entitled to claim for private rather than NHS treatment – indeed, many people feel strongly that in such cases the negligent party’s insurance company should be made to foot the bill, instead of using up precious NHS resources and potentially depriving other patients whose need is also great.
Paul Fretwell, author of ‘Personal injury amputee claims’, is a Partner in the Personal Injury department of George Ide LLP
This blog has also appear on the George Ide LLP website
Acting on behalf of Amputees
Prosthetic Performance – Where is it at?
Please contact us to request a complimentary copy