Compassionate case in headlines

Great to see MoD doing something exactly as it should be done! Well done to all involved.

From the Scotsman (registration required)

Mercy Flight for Soldier to Dying Mother's Bedside

By Tim Walsh, PA

A soldier serving in Afghanistan was flown thousands of miles to be with his dying mother in her last hours.

The RAF arranged a mercy flight for Lance Corporal Mark Oscroft when he received a call to say his mother, Mavis, was close to death.

L/Cpl Oscroft, of the 1st Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment, knew she had breast cancer when his unit was sent to the remote town of Mazar-e-Sharif in October.

But the disease spread and the 26-year-old got a call from his brother to say the end was near. Within 24 hours, he was at his mother’s bedside.

His situation was designated the highest category of importance for a compassionate case and the Ministry of Defence’s joint compassionate cell quickly devised a plan to get him home.

The flight plans of a Hercules transport plane and a C-17 jet were changed to return him to the UK, where a helicopter took him to the Sheffield hospital treating his mother.

He arrived at Mrs Oscroft’s side on January 25, in time to share her final moments.

Commenting on the operation in British Army magazine Soldier, L/Cpl Oscroft’s commanding officer, Lt Col Richard Westley, said: “To be able to rely on this sort of support means that soldiers are confident that, when they deploy on operations, their needs can be met.

“They can deploy even when relatives are desperately ill, secure in the knowledge that, should it be necessary, they can be moved extremely quickly.

“The impact upon morale is tangible. The soldier was grateful but not surprised when I briefed him on the plan to get him back. He had suspected that his mother would not be able to last that long but he did not shirk from deploying to Central Asia. I think that says it all.”

Mr Oscroft told The Sun: “It meant the world to me. I can’t thank the RAF enough.

“I just wanted to see her one last time to say goodbye, and for her to know I was there for her. They moved heaven and earth for me.”

An MoD spokeswoman said: “Armed Forces personnel have an automatic entitlement to paid return, and associated compassionate leave, to the UK should there be a verified incident of serious illness, or death in their close family.

“Mark was designated a category A compassionate case and we did everything we could.”
TheHelpfulStacker said:
Its a shame 'RAFMover' had to go trawling for praise on the thread he started.
Did he not say the trip cost a third of a million or somesuch? Good to see the MOD has a few beating hearts in there somewhere.
TheHelpfulStacker said:
Its a shame 'RAFMover' had to go trawling for praise on the thread he started.
Indeed, particularly as he is now calling the Army 'slow' in their normal duties.

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