Forces amputees return to duty

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#1
From the beeb

Most servicemen who lost limbs while deployed in Afghanistan or Iraq have returned to duty following treatment, according to a charity.

The British Limbless Ex-Service Men's Association (Blesma) said it had seen about 37 amputees since operations began in Afghanistan in 2001.

About 78% of them were able to take up posts within the Armed Forces.

Blesma, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this summer, started as an idea by wounded soldiers from Glasgow.

General secretary Gerome Church said about 29 of the 37 service personnel - all men - had been able to return to work.

He said in some cases this may have only been for six months, or a year, but added that many of the wounded would have died of their injuries in previous conflicts.

Lt Col Church said there was "no doubt" advances in combat medicine and military equipment had saved lives.

He added: "It is noticeable that the amputations seem to be more severe. A lot more people are losing limbs above the knees.

"Before, these people would have been dead but body armour has saved them."

The Ministry of Defence said it worked with the charity, but could not confirm how many service personnel had lost limbs in Afghanistan or Iraq because that kind of breakdown of casualties was not available.

Wounded servicemen and women can become involved with BLESMA while receiving treatment at a military-run ward at Selly Oak in Birmingham.

Lt Col Church said: "They are prepared for the disabled life ahead and the lots of opportunities ahead of them."

Members can take part in activities such as winter sports and sailing, while some recently teamed up with the American Wounded Warrior Project in the US.

Lt Col Church, who lost his right leg below the knee while serving in Northern Ireland in 1972 but went on to attain the rank of lieutenant colonel with the Royal Fusiliers, said there was "terrific camaraderie" among members.

Training accidents

Blesma started as an idea among wounded soldiers living in Glasgow in 1920, but was not formed until 1932.

After World War II it had 115 branches, but slowly shrank to the 24 remaining today.

The organisation has a small national headquarters and two homes in Creiff and Blackpool.

Most of the residents are servicemen or women who served during World War II.

Blesma is also closely involved with personnel who have lost limbs in road and training accidents.

The charity, which does not receive government funding, will celebrate its 75th anniversary in July.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/6567241.stm
 
#2
oldbaldy said:
The Ministry of Defence said it worked with the charity, but could not confirm how many service personnel had lost limbs in Afghanistan or Iraq because that kind of breakdown of casualties was not available.
WTF not? Management Information is the life blood of any organisation. How do DMS plan for requirements in theatre and back to Selly Oak? How are new tactics and safeguards being developed if no-one knows what the threat and impact are?

Sounds like a bit of spin to me.
 
#3
western said:
oldbaldy said:
The Ministry of Defence said it worked with the charity, but could not confirm how many service personnel had lost limbs in Afghanistan or Iraq because that kind of breakdown of casualties was not available.
WTF not? Management Information is the life blood of any organisation. How do DMS plan for requirements in theatre and back to Selly Oak? How are new tactics and safeguards being developed if no-one knows what the threat and impact are?

Sounds like a bit of spin to me.
It asks for a plethora of less important (according to the spin machine) information. i bet they could give a figure for the amount of gay, ethnic minorities and women who are serving in theatres. Probably give their boot size as well.
 
#4
western said:
oldbaldy said:
The Ministry of Defence said it worked with the charity, but could not confirm how many service personnel had lost limbs in Afghanistan or Iraq because that kind of breakdown of casualties was not available.
WTF not? Management Information is the life blood of any organisation. How do DMS plan for requirements in theatre and back to Selly Oak? How are new tactics and safeguards being developed if no-one knows what the threat and impact are?

Sounds like a bit of spin to me.
Those are certainly my thoughts about the matter. I cannot believe that records aren't kept regarding the nature of the injuries of those wounded in theatre. Methinks this has something to do with the FoI Act and the government not admitting to possessing certain information lest interested (read "pesky") individuals or organisations request to see it.
 
#5
There are those who say the MoD has been steadily manipulating casualty figures and that "minor" injuries sustained and treated on the ground are filtered out.

But for a Government Department that has longhad a statitics fetish to claim that numbers for serious injuries are "not available" points to either gross negligence or somewhat darker motives.

Tin foil hats optional
 
#6
Or a bone idle Staff Officer/Civil Servant who probably believes that life would be so much better in the MOD if there weren't any soldiers.
 
#7
Blogg said:
But for a Government Department that has longhad a statitics fetish to claim that numbers for serious injuries are "not available" points to either gross negligence or somewhat darker motives.
Spot on! From the day Bliar took power, everything has been benchmarked and league-tabled, so either they're lying about what information they have about casualties or they're once more confirming the widely-held belief that to them servicemen and women are less important than any other group within society.
 
#8
western said:
oldbaldy said:
The Ministry of Defence said it worked with the charity, but could not confirm how many service personnel had lost limbs in Afghanistan or Iraq because that kind of breakdown of casualties was not available.
WTF not? Management Information is the life blood of any organisation. How do DMS plan for requirements in theatre and back to Selly Oak? How are new tactics and safeguards being developed if no-one knows what the threat and impact are?

Sounds like a bit of spin to me.
It's rubbish as I'm sure medical colleagues will agree. Whilst medical confidentiality might rule out description of injuries to individuals, it would not be hard to aggregate such information at all. Quite simply, the MoD don't want a headline 'X soldiers maimed by Blair's wars'.

Personally, I think the wider population should understand the greater sacrifice necessary for these sort of operations. We rightly note the loss of those killed, but those seriously injured are usually quickly forgotten with just a 'speedy recovery to those injured' comment. If they are reported as very seriously injured, or even just seriously injured, it is actually quite likely that they will never fully recover.
 
#9
It would more than likely make very alarming reading if the true figures were published, thats why they don't have them.

The more I see of this govenment, the more I realise that Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister were predicitions, not satire.

"No, Minister we lost those files in the flood of '78."
"Oh, was it a bad flood."
"No, it was a great flood, we lost all manner of embaressing files that day."
 
#10
How on Earth is a department meant to plan medical logistics and medical manning levels if it has no idea of casualty rates and types.

As alluded to, it is either gross negligence that no figures are available, or spin.

Are we to believe that Diversity figures are a higher priority than casualty figures?

If this is the case, what does it say about the priorities of those who are meant to command us?
 
#11
Maybe they'll have another one of those circulars that plague us? Tick box that applies: are you legless a) above knee? b) below knee?
More Govt bollox.
 
#12
Hats off to the lads who are back to work though.

They put our lords and masters to shame don't they!
 
#14
The_Cad said:
Hats off to the lads who are back to work though.

They put our lords and masters to shame don't they!
Indeed!

Well done to those who have got up, dusted themselves off and started again.

Good luck to the other 22%.
 
#16
It states in the article that amputation patients are treated in a special ward in Selly Oak - so why can't the MOD just ask them for numbers?
Real answer: because it's politically sensitive...
 
#17
OK - slightly off-topic,but,why were lads visiting wounded warriors (from 3 Para,'Stan) at Selly Oak - told BY MEDICAL STAFF - they cannot visit mates, wearing Para/Airborne tee shirts,and banned from entry ? WTF ??
As they may OFFEND other patients' visitors...


...not forgetting of course the Asian (!) hurling verbal abuse at others in/near the Hospital...


Yes - well aware it's 'old news' - but this thread reminded me - again,that the Duty of Care is non-existant,(lest it be headed upwards..) and the sooner this collection of collisions in Comedy be removed from Office,the better for us all.

Labour isn't working - again !
 

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