Armed Forces: Discharges
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many soldiers were subject to a manning control review and were discharged at Manning Control Point in each of the last five years, broken down by regiment. [129688]

Derek Twigg: I refer the hon. Member to the answers given on 27 November 2002, Official Report, column 333W, and 3 March 2004, Official Report, column 961W.

There have been no discharges as a result of manning control point review since April 2002.

By Kate Mansey Kate.Mansey@Sundaymirror.Co.Uk 15/04/2007
More Sunday
NEARLY one in five British soldiers are now officially unfit to serve in a war.

Shocking new figures show that an astonishing 16,080 troops out of the Army's 90,000 strength are too sick or injured to fight.

Instead they are "downgraded" to desk jobs or sent on sick leave. This massive toll of unfit troops - many of them injured in Iraq and Afghanistan - has doubled since the year 2000. It led campaigners yesterday to brand our forces "the Sicknote Army".

They have blamed the illness crisis on current conflicts, and have accused Ministry of Defence chiefs of trying to cover up the problem by not paying off unfit soldiers - as that would add to the recruitment crisis hitting the armed services.

The bombshell figures - released by the MoD only after a request by the Sunday Mirror - show that 18 per cent of the entire British Army has been "medically downgraded".

Shaun Rusling, of the National Gulf Veterans and Families Association, said: "This figure is phenomenally high. What we've got is a Sicknote Army which bosses are trying to cover up.

"Many of the soldiers showing up in the figures have been injured in a pointless war in Iraq and the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan."

Ministry of Defence records show a total of 14,910 squaddies and 1,170 officers are downgraded after examinations by the Army's own doctors.

Yesterday campaigners called for a full investigation into why sick troops are being downgraded instead of being discharged with pensions.

The NGVFA's Shaun Rusling added: "The real scandal is that now the MoD is more likely to downgrade troops than discharge them. Not all of the downgraded soldiers should leave the Army but there is no doubt some of them should leave with a pay-off."

Last year 14,000 left the Army and only 12,000 joined - despite increasing the maximum recruitment age from 26 to 33.

The Army has also been forced to recruit abroad - with one in every 10 British soldiers now a foreign
Given your average squaddies reluctance to be downgraded or put on the sick, the real figures are probably truly alarming.

Soldiering on is not just a play on words.
With JPA in the Army going live soon that will be a hard one to mask too. I'm just happy that the correct pressure was exerted in the right place at the time on the MOD to put a stop to the abuse of Manning Control. I am quite sure had BAFF been in existence back then, Manning Control would not have been abused to the extent it was back then, if ever,
The eye has still not gone of the ball though :wink:
How can keeping injured/sick soldiers in the army be a bad thing for the soldier him/her self? While still serving they have a reasonable wage (condidering they are probably non-deployable), have easy access to medical/dental care, comradeship and, when they finally do leave, an enhanced pension due to injury or illness caused by army service.

I agree that keeping so many in may mask other issues, but it has to be a positive for the soldier that wants it!
With the new contact coming in, Versitile Engagement I think, Manning Control Points have now been reintroduced and stated in the contract to make them legal.

The problem is not with the soldiers, it is with the other soldiers who get more regular tours to cover those downgraded.

Many downgraded soldiers can play a very worhtwhile role supporting deployed troops, but there should be a clear division or roles and numbers to stop misuse.

As for dental care that should be state paid for by the government due to service of Her Majesty.
This piece is mostly cr*p.

There are all sorts of reasons why individuals are downgraded. Most are temporarily downgraded whilst their injury or illness is dealt with. My brother , for example, is currently downgraded following a Rugby accident but will be expected to be fit enough to be upgraded in time to deploy to the stan at the end of May, dependent on the speed of his recovery.

P3 LE downgraded soldiers can still deploy and many do, although their roles are limited.

There are permanently downgraded personnel but they can fulfill many roles, often those that many thrusters would not touch with a barge pole but are still very necessary to keep the military functioning.

Downgrading is not used as an alternative to Medical Discharge, this is only an option if there is no role an individual can fulfill or where the injury prevents any realistic career progression.

The scandal is how long individuals take to be upgraded due to lack of pysio and having to rely on the NHS for treatment with no fast track.
while I agree that the 16,080 troops downgraded mentioned in a PQ last month has been exaggerated in the article. Points missed by the article are the reasons for soldiers beyond repair being kept in desk jobs instead of being properly Medically discharged under P 8 (immediate pension)

From my experience I came across an alarming number of soldiers, even one confined to a wheelchair who had been before Med boards only for the med board on two occations to ignore medical specialists and to claim only P7 and that there was a job still in the army for the soldier, then only ten months later told by his unit he would be subject to Manning Control and it was his own fault.

His redress made interesting reading
Not the first time the MOD tried it on.

an admission by Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, that the MoD's figures for the numbers manning controlled were distorted
bet that was a first :lol:

Army 'forcing out sick Gulf war veterans'

The Ministry of Defence forced "hundreds" of victims of Gulf war syndrome to quit the Army under a system known as manning control to avoid paying them medical pensions.

If the soldiers were medically discharged they would have been automatically eligible for a medical pension. But because they were forced to quit, they received nothing.

The National Gulf Veterans and Families Association said yesterday that at least 400 of its members were forced out under the manning control system rather than being medically discharged.

Shaun Rusling, the association's chairman, said they were considering taking a class action against the MoD.

"All these people can prove they should have been medically discharged, but instead were wrongly discharged from the Army, either by manning control or jumping on their own accord before they were pushed.

"Because they weren't properly medically discharged they do not have any medical pension. It is a national disgrace, and it has been well hidden until now by the MoD fudging figures."

The revelation follows an admission by Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, that the MoD's figures for the numbers manning controlled were distorted.

The policy, first exposed by the case of Cpl Paul Biddis, has seen thousands of soldiers given the choice of being dismissed or switching to a short-term contract in a move designed to cut the numbers serving 22 years.

At the end of the short-term contract, the soldier is told that his or her "services are no longer required", allowing the MoD to evade its pension obligations.

Soldiers sign on for 22 years with options to leave at three-year points but unless they do something wrong, the Army can only dispense with their services at the six, nine or 12-year points. If they serve for the full 22 years they receive an immediate pension. This costs the MoD millions of pounds a year.

The Government announced a new system which does away with the immediate pension in the Queen's Speech but anyone who is already in the Army will still receive it if they serve the full 22 years.

The MoD has insisted that only a very small number of soldiers have been "manning controlled".

But even before the Gulf war veterans came forward 360 victims were taking legal action against the MoD.

Mr Hoon admitted, in a letter to Paul Keetch, the Liberal Democrat defence spokesman, that many more may have been affected since "some soldiers elected to leave" rather than wait to be forced out. His admission comes as documents leaked to The Daily Telegraph show that defence ministers misled Parliament over the extent of the "manning control" policy.

Lewis Moonie, the then veterans minister, told Parliament in June that there were "no plans to conduct any manning control point reviews in the next 12 months".

Mr Moonie's successor, Ivor Caplin, confirmed last month in a written reply to a question from Mr Keetch that this suspension was still in place.

But The Telegraph has seen documents sent to units since the alleged suspension in which they are still being given lists of soldiers who are to be considered for manning control.

One document said the Army Personnel Centre in Glasgow, which orchestrated the policy, "would no longer prompt units with a list of corporals, lance-corporals and privates approaching the manning control point".

But a subsequent document sent to the same unit gave a list of soldiers approaching their manning control points and when the unit did nothing it received a demand for confirmation that action was being taken.

Mr Keetch called for an inquiry amid what he said was mounting evidence that the system had been abused.

The legal action that was pending would force the MoD to come clean eventually, he said. Mr Keetch added: "If these Gulf war heroes were chucked on the scrap heap and denied medical pensions to save money, it is a national disgrace."
Given your average squaddies reluctance to be downgraded or put on the sick, the real figures are probably truly alarming.

Soldiering on is not just a play on words.

Cad, I'm not sure which bit of the Army you are in but it is obviously a bit different from my end. A lot of soldiers are quite content to get downgraded if it gets them off the back to back tour circuit (BYOB). This, in tandem with a medical system which positively encourages RMOs to downgrade soldiers is more likely to be the cause of the problem. I agree that the figures are pretty alarming at Unit level but a lot of those figures, instead of being genuine injuries from TELIC HERRICK etc are the usual SL&L who can now get a biff chit more easily than before.

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