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Military amputees to get 'bionic legs'

Government sets aside £6.5m for micro-processor limbs for military wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan

Mark Gould

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Around 160 Injured military personnel who have had legs amputated are to be given the most up-to-date prosthetic limbs after the government set aside a £6.5m fund for them.

Experts say the "bionic legs" will significantly improve the quality of life and speed up rehabilitation for amputees. They say the micro-processor technology provides better stability and greater mobility, as well as improving the ability to step over obstacles, negotiate stairs and walk backwards safely.The limbs will be fitted where clinically appropriate at the Headley Court military rehabilitation centre in Surrey.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said it was top priority to give troops the best possible care: "There is no greater example of this than Headley Court, which provides world class medical care and rehabilitation for personnel that have been injured while serving their country.

"Last year we spent £22m improving the facilities at Headley Court and I am delighted to announce that we will now spend £6.5m to ensure UK servicemen and veterans injured in Afghanistan or Iraq will have the opportunity to upgrade to the most technologically advanced prosthetics currently available."

Chancellor George Osborne, who is making the money available from the Treasury's Special Reserve, said: "Our troops are heroes who have and continue to give absolutely everything for their country and it is only right that we do everything possible

"I am delighted, therefore, that we have been able to make funding available for this cutting edge prosthetic technology, which will go a long way to improving the lives of people who have done so much for the UK."

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