Hospital visits by Ministers

Press Briefing: 11am Thursday 20 January 2005Briefing from the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman on: Injured Servicemen and Iraq Timetable.

Injured ServicemenAsked if the Prime Minister or any other Ministers had plans to visit servicemen injured in Iraq, the PMOS reminded journalists that Geoff Hoon had visited Selly Oak in the early stages of the Iraq operation. He had also visited the hospital at Shaibah in theatre, most recently in December. Senior military personnel had also made a number of visits. Asked if the Prime Minister thought it was acceptable for the Defence Secretary to defend his failure to visit more inured troops by minimalising the injuries as minor and commenting that some of the injuries were caused by road traffic accidents and sports, the PMOS said that he had not seen the precise comments by the Defence Secretary but while it was a fact that some of the injuries were fairly minor, there were 790 cases of UK personnel whose injuries had been caused by hostile action, accidents and other incidents. No one in any way was trying to downplay the numbers or the seriousness of many of those injuries, it was necessary however to set the facts out as clearly as possible.

Put to him that the he had not listed the Prime Minister amongst those who had visited injured servicemen, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister had visited troops in theatre, most recently just before Christmas. Questioned further the PMOS confirmed that the Prime Minister had not visited a hospital here. Asked if he had any plans to, the PMOS said that he wasn't aware of any.

Asked why the breakdown of injuries had not been made clearer by Geoff Hoon, the PMOS said that no one under-estimated the difficulty and the problems that injuries cause for those who suffer them and their families. The important thing was that we insured that the personnel themselves were given the right hospital backup and any other support that they might need. That was where Ministers had concentrated their effort and would continue to do so.
Or if he went unescorted to selly oak he would realize what a s*ithole it really is!! (had a 2 week broken pelvis rehab thingy when i returned from canada) went round the corridors at night in my wheelchair hoping for a glimpse of florence nightingale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
If I were serioiusly injured (God Forbid) then the last thing I would want would be TCH turning up with a fake smile just to maje some political millage out of my injuries.

He is a W*anker and the further he stays away from soldiers the better. :twisted:
Thanks for the link. Interesting reading.

I was struck by this:
Will a Minister visit the combat stress unit, which deals with post-traumatic stress disorder? If those who are wounded seem to be the forgotten victims of Iraq, those who suffer from the mental anxiety of post-combat stress disorder are often completely neglected.

Lord Bach: My Lords, as I think the noble Lord will know, the Birmingham centre is not responsible for patients with purely psychiatric illnesses. However, all those at the centre are fully trained to assess the risk of potential psychiatric problems that result from the trauma of injuries. I will take back his request.
I wonder if Lord Bach is aware that the inpatient treatment of PTSD is carried out by charitable organisations such as Combat Stress, the MoD having chopped all military psychiatric inpatient facilities. Most Service psychiatric patients are now farmed out to the private sector, or worse, dumped onto the scrapheap of NHS community care.

I have said this before, but I think it bears repeating. The vast majority of Service personnel have no complaints about their treatment at RCDM and other hospitals. It is the failure to support them properly after discharge (from hospital), that generates complaints. This is entirely a consequence of the failure to fund and implement a tri-service medical welfare setup. The RAF and RN manage reasonably well, though not all patients are visited often enough. The Army stystem still relies on the obsolete MAO(CH) system, which is simply overwhelmed.

There is a working party looking into a Tri-service system, but it has yet to report. In the meantime, some other welfare resources are under-used because of territorial issues.

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