Compassionate system, did it suck for you too?

I'm serving in BFG, married accompanied with one child aged 12, the other is a serving soldier in the UK.

Last week my wife woke up thinking she had trapped a nerve in her face - no feeling & drooping mouth. Later in the morning in the Med Centre she had a stroke.

The medics were brilliant, up to & inc the Lt Col & civvy doc. The German Emergency crew were excellent - they all helped to save her life and certainly made me feel someone cared. Thanks to you all.

Once I had got my head straight I went about notifying the relatives and contacted my son who was on ex in the North. He obviously wanted to see his mum so I contacted the compassionate cell in Upavon, only to be told that the Army would do nothing to help as my wifes NOK (ME) was by her bedside! Fcuk her serving soldier son, he didn't count. Their advice was "contact his unit they may give him some time off, but he will have to pay his own way".

His unit werre excellent, drove him back home & onto an indulgence flight, all arranged and paid for from unit funds.

My point for raising my dirty laundry in public is this:

At a time when the Army is fighting hard to retain its soldiers and trying to present itself as a caring and well intentioned employer, why do we have a system that prevents any serving soldier from being re-uinited with his family during times of acute illness AND, why do we have such idiots with no actual successful experience sitting in the compassionate cell at Upavon?
Not much many can say in the way of an answer to that absolute disgrace that happened to you and I know it's not the first time either.Best wishes to you and the missus mate and hope you're all getting sorted.
Yea man all the best to ya missus. but there are some cases that get a good response im on op tosser right now and the comp chain seems to be working fine now, but as i said all the best to the wife :)
Malky,  really sorry to hear about your wife hope she gets well soon.

The Comp thing amazes me.  I think that in all probability the guy on the comp cell desk got his lines crossed.  It seems like it was your wife's next of kin rather than your son's that was checked.   If he had gone through the unit and they had contacted Upavon, they would have verified his NOK and acted accordingly.  At least that is how I believe it works.

Great news that his unit was so helpful.  Generally the compassionate leave system works well, occasionally there is a glitch, sadly no amount of apologies can make up for the grief suffered by relatives when it does happen.

Time for a review I think.  Put it in writing and pass your valid complaint up the chain of command, it needs addressing.

As I said earlier, I sincerely hope your wife makes a full recovery.  Regards
I have only had to use it once and I felt that my family was completely let down.  

I was on an Op tour in the Balkans a number of years ago and was making the weekly 20 minute call to the wife in Germany.  As soon as she spoke I knew there was a problem.  She sounded in real pain and explained that she had gone to the Med Centre a few days before with what she thought was cystitis.  She thought this as she had had it a couple of times before.  The civvy doctor (Dr Death) basically told her there was nothing wrong and just to drink a lot of water.  Two days later she colapsed whilst visiting a friend in the north of Germany.  The Med Centre there gave her some strong pain killers and she managed to drive herself home (3 hr drive!).

This was the state I found her in when I called.  From her voice I knew she was in agony and she actualy agreed that she thought she needed to go to hospital.  Usualy the only thing that would get her near a hospital is a dose of Ebola or Anthrax!!

She was concerned because she was by herself with our child who was then about 4 yrs old.  I told her to call the families officer for assistance and to see whether the G1 chain could get me home for a few days.

After 2 hours, the news she gave me made my blood go cold.  According to the duty doctor she was not ill enough to warrant me being sent home.  He said that if she needed to go into hospital, our child would have to be taken into foster care.  This was obviously out of the question so she was sent home with just some pain killers.  These she couldn't take as they sent her to sleep and there was no-one to look after our child.  She begged me not to come home as she did not want to be seen as a whinging wife!!

Luckily, my boss was extremely sympathetic (being a family man himself) and told me to get on the next trooping flight home.  I got back the next day and took my wife immediately to hospital.  There they found she was suffering from a serious kidney infection brought on by the misdiagnosis from Dr Death.  She was given the correct antibiotics and knocked out with pain killers for a few days.  Luckily there was no lasting damage.

What really p****d me off were wives who had used the old depression trick and got their husbands back permanently only to go around bragging about their 'success' (snakes with t*ts the lot of them).  I was back out on ops 4 days after leaving.  I'm not after a pat on the back or anything but I feel the whole affair was a complete disgrace.



And you thought that was bad :eek:

A BOY aged two is the unlikely victim on the Army's 'manning control' waste dump. But
little Chandler Biddiss symbolises the despair of his soldier dad.

It was 1999 when Cpl Paul Biddiss, 33, was told to sign a form to prematurely end his career but all that mattered to him was getting home. New-born Chandler was very sick.

But he was blocked from going home from Northern Ireland for FOUR DAYS until he put pen to paper, it is claimed in legal papers.

He refused. The top brass relented. But by the time he got home, Chandler's condition had worsened. He had suffered meningitis, lost his sight in both eyes and now
suffers from cerebral palsy Epilepsy and can not talk.

For the soldier, the obsession with him signing a career-ending form was put before his family's welfare. It is something for which he will not forgive senior officers.

Now that is what I call Disgusting. :mad:
With reference to my original post, wife is much better but I'm still having problems, the SSO refuses to rehouse me closer to the Medical centre (2 letters from my wifes doctor request we be moved in case of another stroke) and my "Welfare" Officer has only ever talked to me when I phone him or pop into his office.

I would also like to add that I don't often feel the urge to personally attack someone, but the post by Bob Sydmond strikes me as either a very poor post by a bitter relative/friend with no thought for the original (and very personal) thread, or a post by a dimwit trying to provoke an anti army response during times of considerable peril/worry for many soldiers and their families.
If you can't post a literate or sensible comment, DON'T POST!

Try putting the SSO on the spot by asking him to put into writing that he refuses a move and giving the reasons why.  Do not tell him why you need it but that you may need it in the future.

I have used this sort of thing in a similar vein and it worked, either way, it might put the wind up him a bit!!
I do think that the thread from Bob was valid,the topic was did it work for you.I feel that he was only making a reply so take the gerkin of you nose and WAKE UP we all have a veiw you might not like it, but as they say if you cant hoot with the owls dont scream with the eagles . get a life chaps
My point for raising my dirty laundry in public is this:

At a time when the Army is fighting hard to retain its soldiers and trying to present itself as a caring and well intentioned employer, why do we have a system that prevents any serving soldier from being re-uinited with his family during times of acute illness AND, why do we have such idiots with no actual successful experience sitting in the compassionate cell at Upavon?
I think the point this guy was making (Mr B Sidmonds) is in answer to your question on this thread
Compassionate system, did it suck for you too? )
There is obviously more to this story than what was posted so i will not comment other than both posts are very serious
I would just add to good points made in the previous post, that compassionate cases are taken extremely seriously and the post compassionate reports go to the highest levels. The system is well oiled now and whilst of course there may be human errors, in the main it works extremely well.

I am sure others on this board know of examples where soldiers have been taken out of theatre, by the fastest possible method and have been met at airports with police escorts. When the system wants to move - it really does move !!
I would agree with Ramillies, the system will have the odd glich but is a well oiled system and can work very well.
I know of one guy in the middle of Norway on Ex, a BV206  came out of nowere to pick a soldier up and he was back in the uk within 24 hours. that is well oiled.
However what ever the reason for the 4 day delay from NI...sounds more to do with the soldiers Chain Of Command and not the compassionate cell but still very  extremely serious all the same.

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