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  1. I went to visit some of my chaps in Birmingham recently who had been injured in Iraq. To say that I was horrified by the conditions they were being treated in is an understatement.

    I have some questions - and I would appreciate a knowledgeable set of answers (if such a thing is possible!)

    1. What on earth are these MDHUs?
    2. Do any military personnel work in these facilities, and if so, are they happy with their lot?
    3. How on earth did HM Forces end up with such facilities ie what was wrong with the Military Hospitals?
    4. Are there any plans to improve the situation in the coming months/years?

  2. Slopes

    In answer to your questions:

    1. MDHU = Ministry of Defence Hospital Unit. It is supposedly a number of military wards within a NHS Hospital. In reality military patients get stuck in any available bed. Thus a young "fit" soldier will find himself on a geriatric ward.

    2. Yes. Largely not at all - "loss of military ethos" and "I didn't join the Army to work in the NHS" are 2 regular comments from these poor lost souls.

    3. Remember DCS 15? A lack of GS support and bingo that killed off all the Mil Hosps. That said, Mil Hosps were unsafe, they didn't have the throughput of casualties to give military medical professionals the correct clinical balance, there was a chance that your clinical outcome in a Mil Hospital could have been worse than that achieved within the HNS.

    4. Yes. DGAMS is trying to put back a Military ethos by giving ownership of military secondary care personnel to the Field Army, i.e post them to the strength of the Regular Cadre Fd Hosps, but employ them within the MDHUs.

    Birmingham is a case in point - The Royal Centre for Defence Medicine. It needs committal of £600M in order to develop it as the core Defence medical facility. The mil staff have no quarters, no messes, the patients get stuck anywhere, etc, etc. What chance the £600M in today's financial climate?

    This very issue has been at the nub of extremely poor morale in the AMS for the last 5 -6 years and is probably the single biggest cause of poor retention of military clinical personnel.

    I could wax lyrical for days on this. PM me if you want some phone numbers of those who are trying to put right this wrong.
  3. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

    Could you ellaberate on the 'dreadful conditions' bit?
  4. Cheers cave bloke - swift response!! :D

    (Ventress - I think we have discussed this offline!)
  5. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

    Sad state of affairs.
  6. deleted
  7. As one who has worked in MDHUs, all that is said about them is true.

    You are lost in a sea of beaurocracy whereby NHS staff take precidence, their needs are greater than yours.

    Most of the NHS management regard you as at best a slave to their needs and the departments needs. Adventure training, forget that and if your deployed the usual statement isI don't think we can let you-oh, really :roll:

    Most people who end up in these God forsaken places get demoralised and adopt the attitude of if the civvies don't get this shiit then I ain't puitting up with it either.

    Now as for the arguement about Military Hospitals being unsafe and the standard of patient care being less than the NHS-utter ball0cks. The QEMH(Gods posting!) offered the best care both nursing and clinically than any other hospital in the whole of London. The CMH offered the same for the whole of the SE of England. Both where shining examples of hospital care and the reason was because they were MILITARY HOSPITALS.

    As a realist the governement will never admit that ditching them was a mistake and the only true reasons were treasury demands for savings. So things will never be the same, the AMS will not recover and Operational effectiveness will suffer.

    Yes, I think ditching them was a very bad move and I think QAs have rather large arrses to boot :twisted:

    There, rant over.....next complaint please......[/i]
  8. DL

    I really must take issue with following extract from your last post:

    "Now as for the arguement about Military Hospitals being unsafe and the standard of patient care being less than the NHS-utter ball0cks. The QEMH(Gods posting!) offered the best care both nursing and clinically than any other hospital in the whole of London. The CMH offered the same for the whole of the SE of England. Both where shining examples of hospital care and the reason was because they were MILITARY HOSPITALS."

    Methinks you are wearing rose coloured spectacles. Military Hospitals were great places to work and their contribution to the moral component is difficult to overstate (soldiers prefer the company of other soldires when they are sick and injured). Their clinical throughput however, was tiny when compared to that seen in the NHS. Our clinicians just didn't get the caseloads to allow them to gain the same experience as their civilian contemporaries. At the time of DCS 15, the BMA and DoH were taking a very close look at the standard of care being provided. I think it likely that they would have been closed for clinical reasons, had they not been cut through DCS 15.

    Sorry, but Military Hospitals at the latter end of the 20th century were unsustainable.
  9. Poppycock and Bolllocks............if i remember correctly QEMH took in Civvies from the surrounding area.......I remember doing a stint in theatres...most of the patients were civvy. Your a crap apologist for a crap DMS...you need to wait 5 years until the old and bold have gone and then start spouting the party line comrade :evil:
  10. I think all the military hospitals in UK took civvy patients, and offered a full range of services. The military always had a very good reputation for care and the military hospitals are still missed in the communities they served. The argument that junior doctors didn't get the experience was a thin one; I suspect that closure was more to do with the cost of keeping up with technology such as CT/MRI scanners in what were relatively small hospitals.

    How different things would be if the military managed a few DGHs, like the German military who still have several hospitals, two of them teaching hospitals, and also serve the local civvies.
  11. Hairy cave person,

    this statement of closed for clinically reasons is utter ball0cks.

    We had nurses trained to the standard for that speciality (oncology, burns/Plastics etc) and we had the Consultants as well, unlike now where have none! The QEMH and the CMH took in civvies in droves, people from SE London asked for the QE as did people from Aldershot area asked for the CMH. The QEMH covered the south of London for burns/plastics and the CMHs A&E was busy and well respected.

    The pure politics of the matter is that they were seen as a drain on finance for the Military budget. As for that utter crape about us being clinically inept, go speak to a Consultant from that era and say that. Then pick your severed head up from the floor.

    The AMS is in dire straits, it is going to get worse, a lot worse before it gets better. And by the way I lost my rose tinted spectacles years ago, you must have found mine and be wearing them hairy one. Take them off and see the real world :wink:
  12. DCS 15 effectively killed the clinical aspect of the AMS.
    As said above, the civilian population that used the Military Hospitals caused a huge fuss when they heard that they were being closed.
    It may have saved the Govt a couple of quid back then, but at what cost now? at least the odd MBE or 2 was awarded for it :roll:
  13. OK I understand the resentment for the demise of BMHs BUT I had the misfortune/fortune of being admitted as an emergency to FPMDHU way back in 1996 - my point - very well treated and have nothing but a very, very high regard for the staff.

    My main point - I was first admitted to the Maturnity ward (I am Male - no comments please :D ) due to an accute shortage of beds - then transferred after my op to the main military ward.

    Thank you to the AMS for a very professional service - could this have happened at QEMH/BMH something - yes and yes but we have to move forward :evil:

    I have worked with the current DGAMS and can support he will try for the best the AMS can get - I hope and pray he will - for us ALL
  14. I agree I am spouting the party line. The party line of the old and bold, ie one 2* and several 1*s with whom I have discussed this issue. I too, worked in several military hospitals (QEMH, CMH, BMH Munster and BMH Hannover) and remember them fondly. I also remember that we treated and received civilian patients but in clinical terms they were less clinically efficient and had smaller caseloads than their NHS counterparts.

    I'm sorry if that is unpalatable, but it is fact. We were not as good as we thought we were, we did not provide a proper clinical training base for our juniors. I don't like it either, but I am prepared to admit there were and are more efficient ways of providing secondary and tertiary care to the military.
  15. VB

    I accept that the military hospitals had a very good reputation for care per se, finance and the Tory mantra of privitisation and outsourcing were probably the key issues that did for military hospitals and that the military would do a good job if they got to manage a DGH.

    But ask yourself what was clinical base of our military hospitals compared to the NHS, were we really training our juniors effectively? Ask yourself why the German military has 2 teaching hospitals. Probably something to do with clinical throughput. The Germans are lucky in this respect they have the full range of clinical specialities and linkage to an academic institution. I don't ever remember a UK military hospital offering the full range, although some did offer Regional cover in some specialities (QEMH - Burns and Louise Margaret - Obs).