MoD accused of covering up injuries to troops

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by msr, Sep 21, 2008.

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  1. msr

    msr LE

  2. I can quite believe it, the MOD couldnt provide figures for troops injured in Ulster properly,so i would'nt expect any difference.
     
  3. Would suggest its the suits from spin central who like to keep true cost kept down! Not to mention making anyone in Main Building straight in the frame for any flak...

    Or is my cynic meter once again spinning up at the "Pontius Pilote " school of public information that labour do so well.
     
  4. chimera

    chimera LE Moderator

    A spokesman for the MoD dismissed the claims of a cover-up of the severity of casualties in either Afghanistan or Iraq as "nonsense".

    He said: "The MoD keeps comprehensive medical records for each operational casualty and summaries are published on the MoD website every two weeks. These regular updates record the severity of the injury suffered and an indication of the cause.

    "The MoD recognises there is considerable public interest in the number of military personnel who are seriously injured in the course of their duty. This is why we publish our casualty statistics on the MoD's website and regularly facilitate media access to Headley Court and Selly Oak to demonstrate the levels of care we provide to seriously-injured service personnel.


    So where is the cover up? Or is this another non-story?

    Just for interest here is the link:

    http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistanBritishCasualties.htm

    Seems pretty comprehensive. Perhaps the journo should have checked it out first.
     
  5. I think the article is suggesting that the MOD figures, especially for Op Herrick and Op Telic, are not sufficiently descriptive. Fatalities apart, casualties are categorised as either "seriously injured or wounded" or "very seriously injured or wounded", defined on the MOD website as:

    No one disputes the high standard of medical care provided in theatre. However, these definitions do not provide a clear distinction between those casualties capable of achieving a full recovery (as far as any recovery can be considered full) and those left seriously maimed, physically and/or mentally, and requiring long-term or even life-long aftercare. All casualties are tragic but the latter should concern us particularly because we need to ensure that they receive the best possible attention. Sadly, this often requires resources not necessarily provided without the intervention of Service charities.
     
  6. My understanding is that the MOD only started providing the current level of information after concerns were expressed in Parliament and, yes, here on this website. I seem to remember a Minister blaming the lack of information on the "fact" that medics in theatre were far too busy giving treatment to be bothering with records. The thrust of Sean Rayment's report is that the improved information which is now provided is still not adequate, and specifically does not detail injuries. One may or may not agree, but the issues are serious and I would personally not dismiss it as "another non-report".
     
  7. Think there is a "story" here Chimera. Whilst the record keeping, seems to have translated into stats in certain areas. Outside of the information given, for the MOD spokesman to declare this as "nonsense" is from the same school of thought that gave us "stretched, but not over-stretched".

    Or is the reader to subscribe to the view, that the only places the injured are treated are Selly Oak and Headley Court? The MOD seems to take the view that you are either KIA / seriously injured / pefectly okay.
     
  8. Injury statistics are my bag having worked in it at the heavy end of industry. I am scratching my head trying to think of any organisation in the UK (public or private) that provides the level of detail that is being demanded here. Large organisations may produce this data (I have certainly done so) but it rarely goes any further than management or perhaps the HSE so that they can analyse injury trends and 'manage' accordingly. There is always a real fear of betraying confidential info with this sort of stuff that the victim may not wish to become public so making the data anonymous is important.

    Where there might be ammunition for the MOD's critics could be around their definitions of which kind of injuries are serious enough to be 'recordable'. Due to the nature of military life these are unlikely to be the same as those used for civi statistics which tend to be based on something like OSHA. Does anyone know if there are any international recordable definitions for Military injuries that the MOD have signed up to ? If not then they can effectively define for themselves what is serious enough to report and could raise or lower the bar to suit themselves. Equally it could even be a civil service decision rather than MOD as to exactly what gets reported or not. I bet its rarely a clinical decision though.
     
  9. Well what do you want?

    2005-2007

    19 * legs lost

    249 * facial laseration

    7 * paralyzed from the waist down

    3797 * sunstroke

    etc, etc...

    How would that help anyone?
     
  10. Would agree with parapauk entirely, don't see why anyone really needs to know a breakdown of injuries unless it's for ghoulish pleasure or to make cheap cracks at the MOD about it.

    No one disputes the high standard of medical care provided in theatre. However, these definitions do not provide a clear distinction between those casualties capable of achieving a full recovery (as far as any recovery can be considered full) and those left seriously maimed, physically and/or mentally, and requiring long-term or even life-long aftercare. All casualties are tragic but the latter should concern us particularly because we need to ensure that they receive the best possible attention. Sadly, this often requires resources not necessarily provided without the intervention of Service charities.

    My bold, depends on the seriousness of the injury, the NHS is actually very good at looking after those with very severe injuries, despite what the tabloid press (including the Express and Mail in this) would like you to think. The NHS Fully Funded Continuing Care setup pays for all care for those with very severe injuries. It's also very difficult to say at the beginning of a rehab or recovery process what the outcome will be, it's just a guess at that point and you won't find anyone really willing to say, given that recoveries can take years, particularly for brain injuries.
     
  11. P + P - I should have been clearer, my concerns were based around the seriosness of the injures that constitute serious and the reporting / analysis of those figures. No, I don't need to know (fully take on the points about confidentiality and how much detail was required) and agree with the ghoulish element. Recruiting Office Reject's second paragraph, where he mentions the "definitions" of injury, states my concern,

    Given the acknowledged "public interest" - I take onboard psychobabble's comment with regard to the NHS being geared to treating very well, those with severe injuries. My estimation was that there were likely to a higher percentage of injured, where the injury was not classed as severe, whilst I don't need to know those numbers, there are many in the NHS, who do - I am not convinced that they do.

    Not up for a pizzing contest - as always, thanks for the considered responses.

    AB