£700,000 fund will expand provision of MPKs in Wales
Advanced Microprocessor-controlled knees are now available to Wales residents whose amputation was not attributed to military service.
Vaughan Gething, Welsh Minister for Health and Social Services, has announced a £700,000 fund to provide microprocessor-controlled prosthetic knees (MPK) to a wider group of people living in Wales.
The announcement brings Wales into line with the rest of the UK and will benefit a number of Members who have had above-knee amputations that were not attributable to military service.
“This announcement is wonderful news for our Members in Wales,” said Tom Hall, BSO Wales & West.
“The funding will help a number of our non-Service attributable above-knee amputee Members, enabling some to lead more independent lives. This outcome shows what close and strong collaboration with the Welsh government and the NHS – including the Welsh Artificial Limb and Appliance Centres – can achieve.”
Microprocessor-controlled knees use computer technology to provide enhanced stability and safer walking. The technology makes it easier for the user to navigate slopes, stairs and uneven terrain with greater stability, therefore improving people’s long term health, independent living and quality of life.
The fund was made available from 01 April to those eligible via the NHS Prosthetic and Amputee Rehabilitation Services, which are delivered in-house by three specialist Artificial Limb and Appliance Centres in Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham.
Those eligible can discuss this with their prosthetists at their next assessment.
“The fine detail now needs to be worked out and Blesma has a role to play here,” said BSO (Prosthetics) Brian Chenier.
“We will work closely with the necessary parties to establish a fair and workable prescribing
policy. This is very welcome news.”
Throughout the process Blesma – through Tom Hall, BSO Wales & West and Brian Chenier BSO (Prosthetics) – has campaigned for this uplift in funding and has provided case studies and important data that have helped inform this decision.
“Blesma is very grateful to everyone who has worked to get this funding approved,” said Blesma’s Chief Executive, Jon Bryant.
“As a national charity that supports veterans living with limb loss across the UK, we know just how life changing an MPK can be. For some time, our Members with Service-attributable above-knee amputations have been able to benefit from such technology. The decision to
extend this to civilian amputees and our non-attributable amputee Members is great news.”