Casualty Numbers From Iraq

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Birdie_Numnums, Jan 25, 2006.

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  1. Searched but couldn't find this elsewhere.

    Is this accurate? If so for those who are invalided out whilst still recovering at what point are the MOD hands washed of these lads?

    40 British Soldiers Seriously Hurt In Iraq War
    Extracted from THE Guardian via MOD Oracle
    Tuesday, January 24, 2006

    Forty British soldiers have been "very seriously injured" in Iraq since the invasion and required urgent life-saving treatment, the Ministry of Defence disclosed yesterday.The figures were released as John Reid, the defence secretary, went to a military rehabilitation centre in Surrey, and became the first cabinet minister to have a public meeting with troops who had been injured in Iraq.Mr Reid said a total of 230 personnel had been injured in enemy action and treated in British army hospitals since operations began in Iraq. This figure includes those now being treated in the British field hospital at Shaiba in Iraq.It is the first time the MoD has released the figures of those categorised as being seriously injured in Iraq. Previously, it has only confirmed the number of British soldiers who have been killed - 98 so far, of whom two-thirds were killed in action, the rest as a result of accidents and disease, though there have also been suicides.More than 4,000 soldiers have been evacuated mainly as a result of illness, accidents or minor injuries. The ministry declined to give details of those it has classed as "very seriously injured" or the circumstances in which they were hurt.But it is understood that 12 soldiers at least, including two from the Black Watch, have had one or more limbs amputated after attacks by suicide bombers or from roadside improvised explosive devices. A further 30 to 40 have paralysing spinal injuries, lost an eye, or suffered brain damage from bomb attacks, the Scottish newspaper, the Herald, reported this week.Private Karl Hinett, 19, is reported to be still undergoing treatment for severe burns after his Warrior armoured vehicle was attacked last September in in Basra, the significance and seriousness of which the ministry initially tried to play down.The minister has been criticised by the families of some of the seriously injured, including the wife of a badly wounded captain. Peter Norton, 43, lost an arm and a leg in a bomb blast. His wife, Sue, had said ministers should reveal how many other personnel had been injured like him.Speaking on his visit to Headley Court, Surrey, Mr Reid insisted there had been no cover-up. Categorising the injured, wounded and sick was simply not a priority for forces in Iraq, he said. "The important thing, actually, is not the 40 or the 230, the important thing is that every single one of them gets to be given the care they need."Mr Reid said a "first-class service" was being provided for injured soldiers but said he regretted reports, if they were true, of injured service personnel being neglected or left to languish in NHS treatment when returned to civilian life."I'm for excellence for everybody. Like any human organisation, there will be omissions ... If there are omissions when they go into the NHS or go into civilian life, I regret that and if people bring it to my attention I try and sort that," he added.The defence medical rehabilitation centre at Headley Court is being expanded from 18 "polytrauma" beds for those with multiple injuries and loss of limbs to 36 so it can treat and help rehabilitate the average of 15 to 20 military personnel who lose limbs each year.There are now 35 amputees in the British military who have returned to active service, according to Lieutenant Colonel David Minden, commanding officer of the unit. Of 111 present patients, 11 were injured on Operation Telic in Iraq.Mr Reid denied that servicemen and women who lost limbs received substandard treatment from the military's in-house prosthetic technicians. "They are higher than the standard provided in the NHS." The defence secretary added: "I get bowled over by the courage, enthusiasm, morale and endurance of our armed services. People have the most traumatic experiences, have lost limbs, and they tell me they want to get back into the services. It gives the lie to those who say the morale of our services is lower than it ought to be. The morale is great."
     
  2. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    Amazing. Reid has gone from 'no figures kept' to quoting the number of patients listed VSI (according to Joint Casualty Procedure).

    Dr Reid's statement that "categorising the injured is not a priority for forces in Iraq" would appear to directly contradict JSP751 (Joint Casualty Procedures), Chap 1, Sect 1, Para 0101. As it is categorised as Restricted I will not give the details here, but suffice to say it's very clear indeed.

    Whilst perhaps we cannot expect those who have never served (e.g. every single member of the Cabinet), to be aware of the importance of dealing with cas procedure properly, it does beg the question of why Ministers are being so innacurately briefed.

    No doubt any enterprising journalist could discover the actual wording of JSP751 and tackle MoD about it - FOI, anyone?

    One reason why categorising the wounded is a priority is that it is this which enables DILFOR and other arrangements for NOK to visit; are the families and friends of the wounded now 'not a priority' for this government? I think we should be told.
     
  3. I hope that I won't earn too many brickbats for appearing to be cynical, however the current government has demonstrated repeatedly that it is very willing and more than capable of engaging in sophistry when it comes to making public statements.

    Is it possible that the fact Dr Reid's statement specified injured AND treated in British military hospitals means that there have been more UK troops injured who have recieved treatment in the hospitals of other coallition nations? And since it makes mention of military hospitals were it the case that personnel were injured, treated in say, a US hospital, and then returned to a UK civilian hospital they would not be included in the figures.

    Given the broad range of readers and contributors to the site I'm sure that someone in know will be able to set me on the right track.
     
  4. Except not all of those were KIA; there have been a fair few helicopter crashes (I don't include the CH46 here), RTAs, suicides and deaths by natural causes
     
  5. Quote:

    The defence secretary added: "I get bowled over by the courage, enthusiasm, morale and endurance of our armed services. People have the most traumatic experiences, have lost limbs, and they tell me they want to get back into the services. It gives the lie to those who say the morale of our services is lower than it ought to be. The morale is great."


    Perhaps he could have added, ' I get so bowled over in fact, that I, along with my cabinet colleagues who voted for our armed forces to go to war, that we find it very difficult to display the same courage and enthusiasm in actually visiting them for two and half years'

    The SofS and his predecessor should be ashamed at the period of time that has elapsed and the lack of ministerial understanding in this respect.

    As for moral being great, I assume that his brief comes from the same Whitehall sources as his knowledge of Casualty procedures referred to in Virobono's earlier post - and while SofS's ignorance is understandable in this respect, it again shows how far from reality the SofS is, in these matters. The true figure of course will be much higher in respect of personnel who have sought 'treatment' from their' GPs and been treated to by them - quite often with no communication made to the MOD.

    Perhaps during this year's parliamentary summer recess, members of our cabinet and other 'pro-war' voters could spend a month working in a civilian role in Southern Iraq, either with the coalition authority or with one of the numerous IO/NGO's that currently have such problems finding people to work in Iraq. Maybe, this would not only 'bring them up to speed' on the reality of life in Iraq, but would also help curb the attitude within the cabinet that Southern Iraq is some form of Middle East paradise resulting from military intervention.

    Given the other news today, of British forces having to carry out raids in Basra, perhaps the SofS might like to indicate to the country, how this turn of events and overall situation security wise in Southern Iraq impacts our 'Exit Strategy'. It strikes me that we were closer to leaving Iraq in summer 2003, than we are now - mission creep? Or, to quote Martin Bell; "The massed ranks of inexperience in Whitehall".
     
  6. What should also be borne in mind is the phrase 'Field Hospital' - this will not account for those injured and dealt with in CAPs and RAPs. Additionally, although the soldiers will have been looked after, the data for those treated in American hospitals (or other allied hospitals) is not available.

    The figure of '40 VSI' applies to injuries only and not illness, however the 4K+ figure applies to all casualties. The '40 VSI' does not correlate directly with the 230 figure (i.e., not all of the 40 are VSI due to combat operations).

    A rough count through open sources suggest around 3/4 of the death figure are due to combat/enemy action, the remainder have been classified as illness/non-combat action/accident and some have not been classified.

    One would assume that Innsworth, Upavon and HMS Warrior (?) would have their own single service figures, by virtue of them being automatically on CASREP signals. Likewise the figure for all those being evacuated should be very accurate if the 'swipe card' system works properly.

    I think it is highly disingenious of the politicians to claim that the hospitals were more concerned about saving lives than taking names - surely there are medical records that could be inspected, unit Campaign Diaries should be clear on who has been injured etc. The data is out there and we are irresponsible if we don't set about finding it for ourselves, not just because the press want to know.
     
  7. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    Data will be available, since the patient's medical record will be forwarded on discharge. The only times this may have gone awry are a few cases early on where patients were AE to Ramstein via the USAF AE system.

    I think the 40 VSI includes DNBI (disease and non-battle injured), though it is possible to separate the categories because the NOTICAS signal should show the cause. The majority of VSI patients will be due to injury rather than illness. VSI requires the patient's life to be in imminent danger. It is possible to be seriously injured but not be VSI - to this end it would be useful to have the SI figures as well.

    The single service cas/comp cells have been replaced by the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre at RAF Innsworth, which should make reporting and stats easier rather than harder to obtain.

    A government procured computer system working properly? However, the figures will be available from the AE system, which records, for each patient, diagnosis, listing status, evac priority, and where he is ultimately going.

    As I have said before, it would be medically negligent if accurate records were not kept, in addition to their usefulness for research. I know that accurate records and stats are kept in theatre, because I have seen it being done. Those responsible for this important work must feel insulted that their efforts seem not be appreciated by the SofS, who appears not to understand that Fd Hosp staff includes admin staff as well as doctors and nurses (maybe he's been briefed by the QAs).
     
  8. ^ViroBono,

    Sorry for repeating what you have already said elsewhere, my point, which I neglected to make clearly was that I think the questions are being asked by the wrong people to the wrong people. The information must be able to be collected (I think one of the arguments against collecting the information was that it would cost too much to collect together - whatthefuk are people doing?) and it is deeply disturbing that the military who are feeding into the answers provided by civil servants aren't being clear or are being lazy.

    I just thought I'd add this snippet:

    22 Field Hospital deployed on Op TELIC 1 and in the 30 days of its deployment (before being relieved by 33 Field Hospital) it treated 600 patients (admitting 240 of them). I may be quoting figures for the sake of giving stats out left right and chelsea, but if that is representative of the throughput (peak in-patient capacity of 74 pax) for one month where are we almost 3 years down the line (above 4000 I feel).
     
  9. Just added the poll.
     
  10. Dr reid stated in the above report:

    If you are looking for defining moments of leadership Dr Reid you just missed one. Stop being a typical pollie spin merchant and show some real leadership. How about something like:

    "Our soldiers are laying their lives on the line for our Nation. The least they and their families deserve is care and respect when they are killed or wounded. I will not tolerate casualties being lost, ignored or abandoned whether they are still serving or returned to civilian life."

    Personally I think the spam system of Purple Hearts for service pers wounded in battle is an excellent one that Britain should adopt. It is recognition of being wounded in battle and it is another indicator of the volume of casualties.
     
  11. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    This from "The Scotsman", which has followed this story well:

    http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=147612006

    Key quote
    "These are not great statistics," he said. "We are fully aware that there may have been hundreds of others with superficial injuries but we don't have those figures." MOD SPOKESMAN


    Story in full:
    THE Ministry of Defence has admitted that it issued misleading figures for the number of British soldiers injured in Iraq after a Scotsman investigation found that they were wildly inaccurate.

    John Reid, the Defence Secretary, last week claimed that about 230 UK personnel had been wounded in action in Iraq since the start of the war in March 2003. The new figure was substantially smaller than previous estimates and would mean British troops had a ratio of deaths to injuries of roughly 1:3, compared with the US ratio of 1:7.

    The MoD admitted yesterday that hundreds more may have been injured in combat and that it was unlikely that injuries sustained by soldiers during the war itself had been included in the total. It is now reviewing the information and has promised to issue more figures in the next couple of weeks.

    A spokesman said: "At the moment this is the only figure we have got. We simply can't tell you how many people have been injured in Iraq. We have been absolutely clear about this - it is never going to be precise. There will be many, many more injuries that would not require admission to a hospital."

    The spokesman said there were problems in defining when a soldier had been injured in combat and he said that during the war itself, staff were too busy to record how many soldiers were treated and in what circumstances.

    "These are not great statistics," he said. "We are fully aware that there may have been hundreds of others with superficial injuries but we don't have those figures."

    The MoD rarely publicises figures for injuries sustained in operations in Iraq and many of those that have been reported have only come to light because the incidents have involved fatalities.

    However, analysis of the MoD's own statements, interviews with senior officers and published reports of casualties from Iraq shows there have been more than 230 injuries. A study of reports from Iraq filed over the past three years found reference to 263 wounded soldiers, but uncovered evidence to suggest that the MoD routinely under-reports casualties. Military analysts believe that the true figure is closer to 800.

    In a number of instances it was possible to show that the MoD issued incorrect information about specific incidents in which soldiers were injured.

    In August 2003 eyewitness reports from Basra suggested that a number of British soldiers had been injured in rioting. This was denied by the MoD, only for the soldiers' commanding officer, Lt Col Jorge Mendonca, to reveal a few days later in an interview that they had suffered 21 casualties, some with stab wounds.

    And the MoD's own figures do not tally with the evidence. In November 2003 Adam Ingram, the armed forces minister, said 145 Britons had been wounded in action, but the Scotsman investigation found that, even using the partial record available through published incidents, there had been at least another 188 casualties since then, giving a total of 333.

    Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, demanded to know why the MoD was unable to publish accurate figures.

    "This is not good enough," he said. "The British public and our servicemen and women deserve to have a much clearer picture of what is happening in Iraq."

    Angus Robertson, the SNP defence spokesman, said:

    "Every effort must be taken to establish the true figure so that we can understand the human cost of supporting this unpopular war," he said.

    "Otherwise the MoD runs the risk of accusations of a cover-up."

    Military experts expressed astonishment at the casualty figure given out by Dr Reid. Charles Heyman, a former British army staff officer and now editor of Armed Forces of the UK, said the MoD was clearly not telling the truth.

    "They are being totally disingenuous," he said. "I suspect that they are making a serious mistake here."

    Mr Heyman expressed astonishment at the MoD's claim that it did not have details of casualty figures. "You monitor the sick rates as much as you monitor the ammunition," he said.

    He revealed that the army routinely recorded details of injuries on NOTICAS (notification of casualty) forms when a soldier received treatment. He said medical facilities then classified the injured as those able to return to duty within 24 hours, within seven days, within 30 days and those who were marked down for indefinite treatment. The MoD claims it only has two categories: wounded in action or disease and non-battle injury.

    Mr Heyman said he would expect to see a British casualty rate of approximately 800 wounded in the Iraq campaign.

    "The figure that we use for a modern, conventional military operation is that for every guy killed between eight and ten are injured," he said.

    Bruce George, Labour MP and former chairman of the Commons defence committee, said he did not believe that the MoD figure could be accurate.

    And Clive Fairweather, former second in command of the SAS, said he did not believe the government figures. "It is not good enough," he said. "We need to know this. It seems terribly low. I would be very surprised if that were true."

    The MoD has repeatedly rebuffed attempts to establish how many British soldiers have been injured in Iraq, claiming it does not compile such statistics. Military sources claim this is untrue and that casualty figures are readily available to the MoD. The US routinely publishes the number of its soldiers injured in Iraq.

    Asked how the MoD evaluated the success of its operations and the effectiveness of its tactics without referring to the number of casualties sustained, a spokeswoman said: "We don't judge whether operations are a success or efficient or not by the amount of people that are injured or killed. We judge success on whether we have achieved specific military aims, and in the case of Iraq, whether the Iraqis have a competent, democratic government and police force."

    All (C) The Scotsman.
     
  12. I find it hard to fathom why the MOD would want to hide these figures. Unless things have dramatically changed in the past 7 years I'm guessing units submit daily SITREPS and COMBATREPS or a variation of such things which used to include unit casualty figures for the past 24 hour period. Mine always included detail cas figures even those that didn't go beyond the RAP.
     
  13. i believe it is a manipulated statistic ..ie how they classify seriously injured ..found a link on the newish cougar armoured vehicle ..says over 6000 US troops have been injured by roadside ied's !!!!
    what is seriously injured to you an i is a lot different to what HMG classifies it as
     
  14. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    The statistics may well be manipulated to make the number or seriousness of injuries appear lighter. What concerns me more, however, is the number of statements made by MoD and Ministers to the effect that such records are not kept - it's simply untrue, and one can only guess at the motives for lying in this way.

    Not only is this deeply dishonest, it demonstrates a cavalier attitude towards the wounded - as if their injuries are not a matter for concern. Perhaps those involved in the grubby world of MoD PR, as well as Ministers, should remember that the lives of many of the wounded and their families have been irreversibly changed - they don't deserve to be swept under the carpet in an effort to disguise the mess the government have made with Iraq.
     
  15. The figures quted for Casualties on TELIC 1 from the Fd Hospital do not differentiate between Brit Toms, Iraqi soldiers and civilians. The casualty figures throughout the period of TELIC 1 were remarkably light all things considered ( I was in 1 Div at the time and we took a keen interest when anyone was injured throughout the AO). Since that period there has been a huge amount of spinning by the Govt on this subject which is not helping. News management in the MOD is pants. Be open, tell the truth and don't try to hide things. A classic example was the harriers damaged by insurgents in Khandahar. One minor damaged the other trashed but the MOD line was that an incident had happened but it had not effected operations. Stuff like this doesn't help and the MOD will get caught out.