One GPs view of war, returning soldiers and the NHS

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#3
I was taken by this:

I have several patients who have served in Iraq. One, who I will call David, was a paratrooper. He was a career soldier. He was blown up when the vehicle in which he was travelling went over a land mine. He has a vague memory of flying up in the air, but nothing else. He sustained horrific injuries to one leg. The medical care he received from the army was first rate. He lost count of the number of operations. Finally, he was honourable discharged from the Army. He is no longer “able bodied” or not in terms of being a paratrooper. He cannot play rugby. He can and does play squash. He is, of course, lucky to be alive. He knows that. And yet, his chosen career has gone. Does he keep in touch with Army friends? Not really. Paratroopers are not very good with injured ex-colleagues. He has met some of them for a pint a couple of times, but he feels uncomfortable, almost ashamed.
Shame if it's true.


But also get a sense of despair from the doc:
Ex-servicemen should have fast track access to all that the NHS has to offer. Specifically and particularly, they need access to specialised rehabilitation services, both physical and psychological. At present, once they have left the Army, there is nothing.

I am ashamed at how little I have to offer them.
 
#5
Good for the Doc in writing up his blog - sharing a couple of bottles of wine with any GP these days and you get a pretty accurate view of how the NHS works at the sharp end for former pers.
 
#6
Really made me weep. So sad....these lads deserve so much more. Im disgusted with this government...and the mandarins in the MoD, proof that the Military Covenant is well and truly broken.
 
#7
I don't understand why the gov's being so stupid about this. In the great scheme of things it would cost comparatively little to provide returning wounded with top health care, generous compensation, decent housing, re-training etc etc. Yet the state seems to fight every inch of the way. And the streets of London are packed with homeless former soldiers. For what? I don’t see what the government gains, and the bad publicity does them considerable damage.
 
#8
annakey said:
I don't understand why the gov's being so stupid about this. In the great scheme of things it would cost comparatively little to provide returning wounded with top health care, generous compensation, decent housing, re-training etc etc. Yet the state seems to fight every inch of the way. And the streets of London are packed with homeless former soldiers. For what? I don’t see what the government gains, and the bad publicity does them considerable damage.
It's quite simple Annakey. The Govt is stacked full of anti "establishment" 80's ex-agitators whose sympathies lie more with Greenham wimmin than service personnel, and [ii] Labour Party standard issue MP's coming from state-funded non jobs whose experience of the military is non existent. Couple this with a distinctly Thatcherite urge to treat public services as a commodity to be used to the max without thought of the consequences = trouble. The Armed Forces are there to be used -- fair enough -- but they don't like to fund them; it goes against the grain to support the military.

The irony is, I get the feeling that within the Labour Party, what little support for the troops that exists comes from the older breed of Labour Party MP's who are either working class themselves or represent working class constituencies. Sadly, they are in the main back benchers. Frank Field is a good example.
 
#9
DavetheApe said:
annakey said:
I don't understand why the gov's being so stupid about this. In the great scheme of things it would cost comparatively little to provide returning wounded with top health care, generous compensation, decent housing, re-training etc etc. Yet the state seems to fight every inch of the way. And the streets of London are packed with homeless former soldiers. For what? I don’t see what the government gains, and the bad publicity does them considerable damage.
It's quite simple Annakey. The Govt is stacked full of anti "establishment" 80's ex-agitators whose sympathies lie more with Greenham wimmin than service personnel, and [ii] Labour Party standard issue MP's coming from state-funded non jobs whose experience of the military is non existent. Couple this with a distinctly Thatcherite urge to treat public services as a commodity to be used to the max without thought of the consequences = trouble. The Armed Forces are there to be used -- fair enough -- but they don't like to fund them; it goes against the grain to support the military.

The irony is, I get the feeling that within the Labour Party, what little support for the troops that exists comes from the older breed of Labour Party MP's who are either working class themselves or represent working class constituencies. Sadly, they are in the main back benchers. Frank Field is a good example.


Thanks for explaining. I wouldn't know how to set about proving it but suspect the highlighted bit's right. It would be interesting to know, say, Tony Benn's record as a constituency MP. Or Bob Marshall-Andrews. I suspect they'd have no trouble being anti-war on the one hand, yet fighting hard for their Forces constituents on the other.
 
#11
DavetheApe said:
Be funny to see what Joan Ruddock would make of a plea for help by a homeless ex-squaddie wouldn't it?
Why not? Should she behave less than properly, details can be published for her constituents to take account of at the next election. If the Mandelson/Blair Babe section of New Labour are behaving like shits towards injured service personnel I don't see why they shouldn't be exposed.
 

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