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"Britain failing to care for badly injured troops"

#1
Another twist on a sadly familiar story. Quotes are from a story in today's Independent on Sunday - WEB LINK.

British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering serious combat injuries at a record rate, The Independent on Sunday can reveal, leaving the country facing a crisis over their long-term care.

A new analysis of official figures from the Ministry of Defence has shown that British troops in Iraq are being wounded at double the rate of last year, while in Afghanistan the number of wounded this year already exceeds the total for the whole of 2006. This has gone hand in hand with an increase in troops killed on operational duty in Iraq, where 32 soldiers have already been lost in 2007, compared with 29 during the whole of last year. In Afghanistan the toll is 20, compared with 39 in 2006.
Critics say their treatment violates the Military Covenant, under which soldiers are entitled to expect proper care if they are injured in the service of their country, and proper provision for their families if they are killed in the line of duty.

General Sir Richard Dannatt, head of the British Army, said last week: "We must acknowledge that in some cases we have been found wanting – our systems [both medical and welfare], although generally robust, are not matched to the demands placed upon them. Events have overtaken us at times."
General Dannatt admitted that "the decision to close the military hospitals ... may have looked right at the time, but the legacy challenges we face are severe". The MoD says it has addressed problems at Selly Oak, where service families complained that wounded soldiers had been abused by civilians opposed to the Iraq war, but complaints now centre on what happens after disabled veterans are discharged after initial rehabilitation into the civilian NHS system.

NHS rules say soldiers should be given priority in the health system for long-term care of injuries sustained in battle. But one charity said last night that not only was this not happening, but some doctors were actually biased against former servicemen. "Doctors are the gatekeepers, and they are often stopping priority treatment going through," said Maria Rusling, head of the National Gulf Veterans and Families Association.

Campaigners say the thousands of soldiers returning home with psychological disorders represent a ticking timebomb and that it will take years for the true number of traumatised personnel to become clear.
 
#3
Thanks for posting this Hackle - well done to BAFF for keeping this in the public eye.

This isn't baiting - but does the MOD record, response times, in the same manner as the NHS are expected to?

Good point Scarletto regarding the RBL's campaign - I have an awful feeling that the various anecdotes that the campaign highlights will indeed, just be the tip of the ice.
 
#5
Just read the article - time to email my MP again , I think. Is there anyone in this government who actually cares enough to do anything ??
 
#6
Excellent Independent article. They cite figures for troops passing through field hospitals as well. It is a disgrace that those who suffer severe wounds (and who may well have died but for the advances in medical care since previous conflicts) are treated as an embarrasing secret.

Perhaps one way of reducing the problems caused by the reluctance (or ignorance) of some doctors to refer onwards as a priority would be if ex-serving were entitled to be referred onwards as a priority by a MOD doctor for treatment relating to wounds or injuries arising from their service.
 
#7
MrPVRd said:
...Perhaps one way of reducing the problems caused by the reluctance (or ignorance) of some doctors to refer onwards as a priority would be if ex-serving were entitled to be referred onwards as a priority by a MOD doctor for treatment relating to wounds or injuries arising from their service.
The Minister for Veterans, Derek Twigg, told Parliament on 12 June 2007 [HANSARD LINK] that "priority treatment applies to all disablements that have been found to be due to service, irrespective of whether they result in a pension." That would be good news because it would enable priority treatment to be given if an MOD doctor certified that an injury was attributable to service, even where (as is often the case) it takes a long time to determine any pension entitlement.

Unfortunately there seems to be some doubt/confusion over that interpretation of the NHS circulars. In any case it is clear that some medical practitioners are completely unaware of the circulars anyway, and other practitioners may know of the guidelines but have chosen to ignore them. See rockape34's thread Veterans right to treatment on NHS.
 
#8
There needs to be a balance in the way in which the medical hierachy view the evidence that proves the medical services are doing a good job.

Yes; from a quantifyable perspective they seem to get the casevac chain right and the injured seem to get the appropriate treatment. But what is blattantly obvious is the lack of qualitative evidence. Here, there is a unacceptable failure to actualy measure the experiences, views and values of those that are injured and the people around them (Family and work colleagues). Using the media is not the way to measure this it is open to unavoidable bias (although I accept there is no other way at present). It is about time the medical services were equally concerned about quality as well as quantity and actively seek ways to rectify this.

There needs to be some eating of humble pie and admit they have not got it right and then actively address these quality issues. Not through bone audits or governance but through leadership and action.
 
#9
scarletto said:
Which is the reason for the RBLs Broken Covenant Campaign, soon to be launched.
Scarletto, I think it is already 'up and running' as I had a thank-you email for signing the petition from them today.

My only comment on the topic is:

I am ashamed to be British because of the way this disgusting government can engage in an illegal war and subsequently ignore the wounded and not even provide the means to conduct the coroner's business for those killed.

Additionally, I am ashamed that politicians, safe from the snipers and bombs that they whimsically despatch our soldiers to face, have dismantled the military hospital organization in order: 'to save money the bunch of cnuts!!
 
#10
hackle said:
Another twist on a sadly familiar story. Quotes are from a story in today's Independent on Sunday - WEB LINK.
hackle said:

British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering serious combat injuries at a record rate, The Independent on Sunday can reveal, leaving the country facing a crisis over their long-term care.

A new analysis of official figures from the Ministry of Defence has shown that British troops in Iraq are being wounded at double the rate of last year, while in Afghanistan the number of wounded this year already exceeds the total for the whole of 2006. This has gone hand in hand with an increase in troops killed on operational duty in Iraq, where 32 soldiers have already been lost in 2007, compared with 29 during the whole of last year. In Afghanistan the toll is 20, compared with 39 in 2006.



Critics say their treatment violates the Military Covenant, under which soldiers are entitled to expect proper care if they are injured in the service of their country, and proper provision for their families if they are killed in the line of duty.

General Sir Richard Dannatt, head of the British Army, said last week: "We must acknowledge that in some cases we have been found wanting – our systems [both medical and welfare], although generally robust, are not matched to the demands placed upon them. Events have overtaken us at times."
General Dannatt admitted that "the decision to close the military hospitals ... may have looked right at the time, but the legacy challenges we face are severe". The MoD says it has addressed problems at Selly Oak, where service families complained that wounded soldiers had been abused by civilians opposed to the Iraq war, but complaints now centre on what happens after disabled veterans are discharged after initial rehabilitation into the civilian NHS system.

NHS rules say soldiers should be given priority in the health system for long-term care of injuries sustained in battle. But one charity said last night that not only was this not happening, but some doctors were actually biased against former servicemen.
"Doctors are the gatekeepers, and they are often stopping priority treatment going through," said Maria Rusling, head of the National Gulf Veterans and Families Association.

Campaigners say the thousands of soldiers returning home with psychological disorders represent a ticking timebomb and that it will take years for the true number of traumatised personnel to become clear.


The highlighted blue areas. Didn't some-one ask on the 'Peter Hitchens, mail-on-Sunday' thread, regarding these figures. l am amazed that within such a short space of time some-one in power has released this data. Perhaps, they should get in-touch with this research department, you never know, we might find out the true statistics.

The highlighted red piece:
Yes this is a serious major problem, that has been totally neglected. Sometimes, it is only after serving personnel leave the forces, that they recognise the shoddy and unprofessional treatment as well as practice bestowed on them.

l am amazed that the majority of the NHS Trusts, feel that it is the charities that support the Armed Forces responsibility, to look after veterans, and should be giving veterans the medical help, and support that they require. One of the main reasons these so-called GATEKEEPERS do not understand the piece of paper with the details wrote on it, is the majority of these so-called professionals are from a different culture, it is more often than not lost in translation...............lf offence has been caused, there will be no apologises; please do not hold your breath waiting.

Some of our troops deserve and require medical treatment, they shouldn't have to be begging, writing to their local MPs, or complaining. This just prolongs the veteran's suffering, some go to ground, storing their problems away for their rainy day; when they surface.

NEW LABOUR - NO SHAME should spend some of £45,500,000, that it is now saving because it doesn't have to pay the USA for it's wartime debt on better treatment for ex members of the Armed Forces.

Some NHS staff, might have idea or some experience of what it is like living and working in a war-zone, day-in-day-out. However, the majority haven't, and there lies the problem; ignorance. Like NEW LABOUR - NO SHAME, some of the NHS trusts are guilty of just taking the MOD money (from working in partnership), and running. providing limited service/care or nothing at all!

How can you tell a soldier to wait for an appointment, that MIGHT arrive in 7 - 9 months time? Easy, some NHS Trusts do exactly that.
 

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