Mirror article - Our Heroes Betryayed

#1
The issue of medical care is covered once more, and compared with the way US veterans are treated.

http://www.sundaymirror.co.uk/news/...objectid=18541495&siteid=62484-name_page.html

EXCLUSIVE: OUR HEROES BETRAYED
By Simon Wright And Gill Smith
THE full shocking extent of the divide between how Britain treats its war heroes compared to their counterparts in the U.S. can be revealed today.

A Sunday Mirror investigation reveals how our boys wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan - or discharged from the Army because of illness - are shamefully dumped at the back of the queue for medical treatment and paid second-rate pensions.

In contrast American servicemen are treated by the U.S. Government in a manner befitting heroes - with fast-track medical attention and the very best in long-term support.

Our findings have prompted outrage among servicemen's families and Army charities, who call today for immediate Government action to tackle the scandal.

In an unprecedented step, the Royal British Legion, which normally shies away from controversy, has accused ministers of badly letting our boys down.


And a privately-funded charity, Fisher House, provides free housing for
"Then I looked down. My pal grabbed my face to turn it the other way, but it was too late. I'd seen it. Both of my legs were blown off."

Close to death, Bryan was airlifted to a military hospital in the States. He was operated-on the same day and spent six weeks on a special amputees ward staffed by armed forces doctors and nurses.

His mother was given an immaculate room with all home comforts in which to live for the duration of his stay - a facility afforded to all families of injured servicemen and women.

After six weeks, he was transferred to a dedicated military rehabilitation unit nearby where he stayed for 13 months undergoing daily physiotherapy and where he was fitted with hi-tech artificial legs.

"My country made sure I got the best," he says. "They said I deserved it and I guess they're right."

He is currently staying with his parents - while a purpose-built home is built for him by the US War Heroes Foundation.


NO ROOM IN ARMY WARD FOR CPL NICK

IT was nine days before Christmas when a bomb left Corporal Nicholas Gilliver close to death.

He was travelling in an armoured Land Rover in Basra when the device detonated.

He and his driver took the full force of the blast.

The next thing Nicholas, 31, knew he was in intensive care at Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham.

Both his legs were badly hurt and his head and torso had shrapnel wounds.
bed shortages, he was put in a civilian mixed ward - instead of the dedicated military one.

Edited for copyright - PTP
 
#2
Im glad that the RBL are voicing concerns and that the plight is in the media again.
That last comment makes my blood boil though.
Better care in NHS hospitals eh? What a load of rubbish.
I have seen first hand the way uniformed personell are treated by some at Selly Oak. Not the staff but the public.
Dirty looks and snidey comments. What an absolute disgrace.
 

Ventress

LE
Moderator
#3
I am sure it has been posted a 1000 times, for all the Yanks faults, the DoD look after their veterans 100%. They have a ID card which gives them access to US facilities, PX, medical/ dental. As an ex soldier I cannot get near a camp.

Sad, the US have 200 military hospitals, the Germans have 7, we have no dedicated Mil Hospital. All driven by budgets and cost cutting. the Gonvernment use excuses like, 'Lack of training scope, limited injury types, the need to tap into the "excellent" NHS, etc etc'

The conflicts in the Middle East have thrown up a huge number of servicemen who require a mutitude of types of support be it medical or financial or just support which is obviously lacking on all fronts. If half the stories the tabloids roll outare based on fact then we have problem that no one at the MoD can grasp. Twigg pratled on about how great we are doing on the MoD webchat and didnt answer one question up front, TCH was just a vague and left with a whimper.

The solutions seen by every servicemen are now un affordable according to the Bliar camp and we will never see a dedicated militay hospital in operation again. Instead our wounded will return to share a ward with civilians, MRSA and crap food.

Good luck to all now serving and maybe there is a lot to be learned of the US Medical services.
 
#4
Incidentally, unlike the duty the Secretary of State for Health has to provide healthcare for civilian, but not service, residents in the UK, there is no such duty on the Secretary of State for Defence for treatment of injured service personnel - Tommy Atkins all over again. :thumbdown:
 
#5
That will be the Sunday version of the paper that ran the Iraqi POW abuse claims.......???



Support from then lying qunts...??

Thanks - but no thanks.
 
#6
Journo double standards - scum of the earth - only interested in sales. If you had a disabled vet trying to cross the road in rush hour it would be the Journo beeping at him to get out of the way of his shiney new Jag!
 
#7
But come on though fella's, yes journo's are the scum of the earth. However surely any media attention is better than none.
Yes its a scumbag tabloid, but if the great unwashed read it then all the better.
 
#8
I take your point and it is pretty hard to argue against it, but the thought of any of those lying maggots from The Mirror Group 'cosying up' to the plight of injured serviceman and women makes me want to puke.
 
#9
The whole situation makes me sick. This is one thing that our american cousins have definitely got right ! Wonder how much it would cost to set up and run a privately owned hospital providing treatment solely to service wounded with seconded or ex personnel running it ??
 
#10
Im still rather impressed with the RBL officially speaking out. They do a fantastic job and I for one am proud to hand money over to them on a regular basis.
Although regardless of who reported it, as long as Sir Jock Stirrup plays it down, the plight will not gain much ground I fear, and it will fade away when someone does a Jill Dando on the latest Big Brother contestants.
 
#12
We all know that seriously injured personnel from either Afghanistan or Iraq are not sent directly to UK, but always go to the US facilities at Ramstein in Germany. This is for two reasons.
Firstly, there are few if any facilities in the UK that are equipped or experienced in dealing with the kinds of injuries that most of these service personnel have encountered.
Secondly, the UK Press have absolutely no chance of getting a look in at these facilities - ergo no bad press regarding the injured/exact figures/ type of injury etc.
You might this is appears cynical - well it is!
 
#13
Gents,

Some replies edited or deleted. This subject is rightly going to attract emotive responses, but please bear in mind, well framed and eloquent answers , are far more likely to receive a response and further coverage in the media, than ranting invective filled posts.

The previous Selly Oak thread saw responses from the highest levels.

This story from the Mirror, shows there is still work to do, please think about your responses before you post. A lot of people ranting and swearing is only going to encourage a slopey shoulders stance in those we need to be taking notice, and further publicising this outrageous state of affairs.

Thanks

PTP
 
#14
Apologies PTP,
Outstanding, is that actually true? Im sure some of the worse cases may well go there as it is closer. However what about all the nightly flights direct to Birmingham Airport. and the subsequent Helicopters flying into Selly Oak post haste.
The staff at Selly Oak do their utmost for the privacy of the injured troops. However those that have been there will know that its a large hospital and many of the depatments are in seperate buildings. Privacy is not always maintained.
Also Selly Oak do not have all the departments required, this often means a trip to the Queen Elizabeth hospital down the road. Again with the QE, it is a large hospital with many visitors, and to get to certain departments you have to go through others. Hence alot of the time injured soldiers are seen.
We need specialist military hospitals so occurances like this do not happen, im not sure what the families do if their loved ones are in Selly Oak, but the housing system they have in the USA seems good.
On a different note (slighty) Where will injured troops go when Selly Oak is torn down?
When the Queen Elizabeth and Selly Oak hospitals merge to form the 'super hospital' what then?

Selly oaks a gonner

Edited to add link
 
#15
Outstanding said:
We all know that seriously injured personnel from either Afghanistan or Iraq are not sent directly to UK, but always go to the US facilities at Ramstein in Germany. This is for two reasons.
Firstly, there are few if any facilities in the UK that are equipped or experienced in dealing with the kinds of injuries that most of these service personnel have encountered.
Secondly, the UK Press have absolutely no chance of getting a look in at these facilities - ergo no bad press regarding the injured/exact figures/ type of injury etc.
You might this is appears cynical - well it is!
This is not true.

Unless there has been a recent change of policy, the only reason British soldiers have been sent to Ramstein has been that the soldier has entered the US medical chain - for example has been injured near Baghdad, been taken to the nearest CSH and then onto Ramstein as for US troops, before onward transit to the UK. A number of soldiers have also ended up in either civilian or military hospitals in Kuwait as well - usually because injuries prevented long haul flight. Indeed, I understand that during the invasion phase, some Brits ended up in the USA thorugh following the US med chain.

I don't know the med chain from AFG but medical colleagues on this site could clarify I'm sure.

In terms of press, the MoD would simply cite medical confidentiality in any case wherever the casualty was.

The thrust of your post - that the government tries to cover up statistics on injuries - is one I fully agree with however.
 

elovabloke

ADC
Moderator
#16
PartTimePongo said:
Gents,

Some replies edited or deleted. This subject is rightly going to attract emotive responses, but please bear in mind, well framed and eloquent answers , are far more likely to receive a response and further coverage in the media, than ranting invective filled posts.

The previous Selly Oak thread saw responses from the highest levels.

This story from the Mirror, shows there is still work to do, please think about your responses before you post. A lot of people ranting and swearing is only going to encourage a slopey shoulders stance in those we need to be taking notice, and further publicising this outrageous state of affairs.

Thanks

PTP
Very good point PTP. A little email to your MP would be a better idea asking why, when the PM stood up in the House in October promising military only wards, this has not happened. If enough of us ask maybe the media/MP's may take up the fact that once again the PM/Ministers have been lying to the house.
 
#17
elovabloke said:
PartTimePongo said:
Gents,

Some replies edited or deleted. This subject is rightly going to attract emotive responses, but please bear in mind, well framed and eloquent answers , are far more likely to receive a response and further coverage in the media, than ranting invective filled posts.

The previous Selly Oak thread saw responses from the highest levels.

This story from the Mirror, shows there is still work to do, please think about your responses before you post. A lot of people ranting and swearing is only going to encourage a slopey shoulders stance in those we need to be taking notice, and further publicising this outrageous state of affairs.

Thanks

PTP
Very good point PTP. A little email to your MP would be a better idea asking why, when the PM stood up in the House in October promising military only wards, this has not happened. If enough of us ask maybe the media/MP's may take up the fact that once again the PM/Ministers have been lying to the house.
Would some-one with a little more eloquency and less knee jerk emotionalism than I have be able to draft a letter I could then adapt to send to my MP? I would definately like my MP to look into the Bliar promises of more equipment and specialist medical wards that he has left unfulfilled.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#18
I have to declare an interest....... I work in a bit of The Firm that has to do with medical issues ( and no, not a medic myself)....but even so I thought it was worth donating this , from the local paper on Friday....just to compare and contrast.....

Tell us what you think at the Post messageboard



Brum surgeons save soldier's hand Jan 26 2007


Source here.

By Emma Brady, Health Correspondent


Private Neil McCallion nearly lost his left hand in a bomb blast while serving in Afghanistan last year. In an exclusive interview, he talked to Health Correspondent Emma Brady.

As Pte Neil McCallion walked into the room, it was hard to spot which hand had been rebuilt in a pioneering procedure four months ago.

It is only when the 22-year-old Scottish soldier rolls up a sleeve to reveal a large scar on his left arm the extent of his injuries becomes apparent.

Pte McCallion was airlifted to the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine at Selly Oak Hospital in September after a bomb blast ripped through his Land Rover as an Army convoy travelled through Kabul.

Four of the five metacarpal bones in his left hand were destroyed and muscle tissue riddled with shrapnel. Garth Titley, a consultant plastic surgeon who oversaw the 17-and-a-half-hour operation, said it "was like a rag doll's, very floppy".

But after consulting numerous medical journals, Mr Titley decided to perform a 'serratus anterior flap with ribs' procedure, to rebuild Pte McCallion's hand using three of his ribs, muscle and skin from the right side of his torso.

"This has been used to reconstruct one or two digits, but I found details of a case in Japan where surgeons had performed this procedure to rebuild four metatarsal bones in a foot," he said. "As far as I'm aware this has not been done to this extent on a hand."

Military medics in a field hospital at Kabul International airport removed large pieces of shrapnel from Pte McCallion's hand before he was be flown back to the UK on September 5. The following day surgeons at Selly Oak carried out the first of two preliminary operations to clean the wound. In the second Wing Commander Ian Sergeant assisted Mr Titley by inserting silicone wires into the hand.

Anaesthetists, support staff and three teams of scrub nurses were called in to assist Mr Titley and two senior surgeons – Lok-Huei Yap, who has used similar techniques to rebuild ears, and Michael Craigen – with four assistant surgeons.

The team began at 11am on September 14 and worked with pin-point accuracy until the following morning.

Pte McCallion, of Dumbarton serving with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, has little recollection of his first weeks in Selly Oak. He was grief-stricken after his friend Pte Craig O'Donnell was killed.

"It was only when I came round and I saw this huge lump on my wrist, like a burger had been put under my skin, that I realised they had managed to save my hand," he said.

"They had put a mesh 'bowl' with a metal support around it to reinforce the right-hand of my ribcage. To be honest I was more concerned I'd lost a friend, but I am glad I was brought to Selly Oak because I'm not sure this could have been done at any other hospital.

"This operation was a good collaboration between civilian and military staff and they did a terrific job. I'm sure other patients will benefit."

Now he is working hard with physiotherapists at Headley Court, a military rehabilitation centre in Surrey, where he pounds Plasticine and stretches elastic bands eight hours a day.

Pte McCallion, who is right handed, is unsure whether to return to service but is keen to start driving lessons.

"I'm really looking forward to learning to drive now that I'm getting more movement, as I never took my test before going into the Army," he said.

Looking at the latest X-ray, Mr Titley admitted he had "rehearsed" the procedure in his head.

He said: "Neil's was a severe and unstable injury. I wondered if it was the right thing to do because it was a big risk.

"Selly Oak has a lot of experience in performing the various elements, such as micro vascular surgery and reconstruction, but the scale and extent was quite daunting.

Pte McCallion still needs two more operations to "free up" knuckles and replace the silicone rods with tendons, which may be taken from one of his legs.

While he was being treated, a debate raged over the treatment offered to military personnel in the hospital's general wards, following reports a soldier injured in Iraq was abused by a Muslim visitor.

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I don't care who's in the next bed whether it's a soldier, a civilian or Ozzy Osbourne," said Pte McCallion.

----------

Private Neil McCallion was five weeks into his first tour of duty when he was injured in a bomb blast in Afghanistan. Less than 24 hours after celebrating his 22nd birthday, the soldier's Land Rover was bombed as a convoy travelled through Kabul on September 4.
Pte McCallion, who was serving with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland, managed to crawl out of the vehicle but his friend Private Craig O'Donnell was killed in the attack.

He said: "I lost one of my mates, my injuries didn't bother me as I couldn't feel the pain. My body had shut down in shock I think.

"Everything went dark for about 33 seconds, then I was back and I could see what had happened. It was awful.

"There was a big piece of shrapnel coming out of this big hole in my left hand, but I was more worried about being captured at the time.

"I wasn't thinking about anything other that I'd lost a good mate, the extent of my injuries didn't really hit me until I got to Selly Oak."

Pte McCallion, from Dumbarton, Scotland, was taken to a military field hospital at Kabul International airport where large pieces of metal and debris were removed from his hand and arm.

Small pieces of shrapnel are still embedded in his forehead which will eventually force their way out through the skin.

Just 14 hours later Pte McCallion, who joined the Army in 2005, was flown back to the UK.

He was airlifted to the RCDM at Selly Oak Hospital, where he had three operations before surgeons could begin to rebuild his hand.
....call me a cynical barsteward ,but in the same edition of the Sunday Mirror is

'Drunk Troops savagely beat up tourist - and escape jail' p30


...and of course that high impact Colour front page, set in 2 inch type - some sullage about Celebrity Big Brother naturally......


I'd love to think the Editorial board of the S-M really genuinely cares about Mister Atkins.......and not only when there is political blood in the water and the sharks are circling .....but, y'know, like some of the other posters on here I kinda have my doubts.... :-(



Dee Billybock.
 
#19
A heartening story 'goatman', many have called for a dedicated military hospital - myself included - but after reading this story, there can be no questioning of the quality of treatment for wounded soldiers. The skill of the surgeon and his team is breathtaking and, believe me, so is the cost. There can be no doubt that our injured are getting some of the best medical treatment available - credit where it's due, and that is the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine at Selly Oak Hospital.
 
#20
I'm sure if we had anything like the bidget the US military enjoys we could afford a military hospital, but we don't so we can't.

I don't think anybody on here is in any doubt as to the dedication and skill of the poeple working in the NHS, they are some of the best in the world.

The real outrage comes from returning soldiers not getting the complete treatment they need and deserve. Its been said before but a military hospital that has the capacity to take some of the stress off the local NHS, thus giving the military staff lots of experiance should be looked at as a compromise.

As for the tabloids, burn 'em all.
 

Similar threads

Top