Reid to visit Headley Court

#1
No, not as a patient. ;)

Lets hope he doesn't get mown down crossing the particularly treacherous road seperating the site...perhaps it could be brought to his attention while he is there?

http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/54292.html

Wounded victims of Britain's military involvement in Iraq are to receive a high-profile visit this week from defence secretary John Reid.
The visit follows widespread criticism that severely wounded soldiers are being ignored by the politicians who sent them to war. Tony Blair has yet to tour either of the UK's two military hospitals almost three years after the invasion to topple Saddam Hussein.
Critics claim the prime minister has avoided photocalls with crippled servicemen in case the pictures are used by anti-war groups to hammer home the human impact of his interventionist foreign policy.
At least a dozen servicemen, including two from the Black Watch, have suffered traumatic amputation of one or more limbs as a result of insurgent suicide bomb attacks or roadside booby traps.
A further 30 to 40 have paralysing spinal injuries, have lost an eye or suffered brain damage from bombs.
Although the Ministry of Defence claims it is impossible to provide a detailed breakdown of wound types or casualties, The Herald has obtained figures from personnel working in the military medical services.
They say that every injury is logged before casualties are flown out of Iraq, a process known as aeromedical evacuation, and copies of the details are routinely forwarded to Whitehall.
Mr Reid is to visit Headley Court defence military rehabilitation centre, near Epsom in Surrey, the UK's premier location for treatment of amputees and those with neurological damage. Casualties flown home for treatment are processed initially through the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine at Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham, with the most serious cases forwarded to Headley Court.
Geoff Hoon, Mr Reid's predecessor, paid one visit to Selly Oak in April 2003, while the Iraq war was still under way, although most of the serious injuries have occurred since the combat phase of the campaign ended on May 1, 2003. About 4000 have been transported back to the UK since 2003, including 800 wounded in action, or in road accidents and training and sporting mishaps.
The majority of the others, according to medical service sources, have contracted local diseases, suffered from heat-related complaints or have relatively minor problems.
Although the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have paid several unpublicised visits to comfort the wounded, few politicians have followed suit. It is also claimed that the casualties, mainly soldiers, have been ordered not to speak to the media while their future in uniform or the question of possible compensation for their injuries is being resolved.
One military doctor told the Herald: "Some of these guys have already lost limbs, probably their army careers and possibly their futures.
"They'd have little left to lose by defying orders and letting rip with a few home truths. On the other hand, few of them want to see politicians anyway. A morale-boosting visit by Girls Aloud or Jim Davidson would do more to raise their spirits.
"The royals, on the other hand, have been terrific and have not gone to either Selly Oak or Headley Court because it represents a photo-opportunity, but to show they genuinely care and appreciate the sacrifices made."
The MoD's official line is: "We take our duty of care responsibilities extremely seriously. We have comprehensive healthcare policies to look after injured personnel."
Downing Street would not comment on the prime minister's decision not to visit wounded servicemen.
 
#2
The MoD's official line is: "We take our duty of care responsibilities extremely seriously. We have comprehensive healthcare policies to look after injured personnel."
yes they spend money on chairs and artwork and building so they look nice...

for visitors
 
#3
So, 'Dr Bleed' is paying a 'high-profile' visit eh? Best dress him in a hi-vis vest so that no-one misses him on the treacherous crossing as advised by MrPVRD.
 
#4
I spent a bit of time at Headley Court they do stirling work for rehabilitation I had only one gripe when there the RAF PTIs
The Army PTIs slim thin running machines
The Navy PTIS Big muscle bound Arnie types
The RAF pie eating lard arrses with figures similar to that of buddha

I was injured and was still fitter then them wasters the phrase practise what you preach came to mind quite a bit.

Never the less a fantastic facility
 
#6
MrPVRd said:
No, not as a patient. ;)

Lets hope he doesn't get mown down crossing the particularly treacherous road seperating the site...perhaps it could be brought to his attention while he is there?
It is dangerous isn't it? Despite the big signs saying "Hospital' and 'Slow!' Such a narrow road too - lived in a MQ there for a year and the amount of times I was forced into the ditch by high speed oncoming traffic. Mind you I didn't hang around but at least slowed down! I knew how dangerous the area was around Headley Court so I slowed right down but many people using it as a rat run didn't. The one incident I recall was the school bus being rammed into the hedge next to the accomodation side by a (civvy) Land Rover. Took hours for it to be recovered.

It is a great facility, and we're lucky to have it, but in return for the peppercorn rent it is in the agreement with the RAF that it is kept in good condirion, hence the sums shelled out to keep the house and gardens nice. Still, far cheaper than it would probably cost to create a similar facility these days.
 
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Guest
#7
If I was wounded, I would rather stick my head in a lions mouth and flick his love spuds with a wet towel than be visited by Reid. The man is selling our defence industries out, is erodong our terms and conditions of service and he smells of whisky, urine and cabbage. Why doesn't he feck off to the Scottish Parliament and leave us alone?
 
#8
I've been an 'inmate' as well and having been treated by RAF PTI's, have nothing but good to say about them.

I agree with Bomb_Doctor. It isn't very well known-especially in dark blue circles but an outstanding facility. And Epsom is a cracking night out!

Note to Army PTI who may be still there. First name begins with 'E'-it's a rehabilitation centre. You're not supposed to break people!!!!!
 
#9
Agree with Matelot, an outstanding facility. I spent 12 weeks there and the RAF PTIs were brilliant. Back then, we were told that all the remedial PTIs had, themselves, suffered pretty serious injuries themselves. The guy who was running Inters, Jess, had been in the Falcons and had ploughed in from quite a few feet above the desert. Both ankles shattered, with coompound fractures in both legs IIRC. The man was fit as anything.
Probably the most important thing I learned there was that no matter what you were in for, there was somebody worse off than you. On day one, I was introduced to a young cav subaltern in the Ward who had been seriously injured in a car crash in Cyprus. When I met him, he had just been told he would never walk again. Ten weeks later was the summer ball and damn me if he didn't walk up from the Ward to the Officers' Mess in full mess kit. This was amazing, but I noticed he was leaning backwards at an almost unnatural angle. Closer inspection revealed he had reversed the spurs in his boots, and was using them to give him a bit of support.
Another time we had a fancy dress do in the mess. Prior to the event, and all in fancy dress, we staggered to the pub just up the hill for a couple of warmers. One of our number was wearing his No.2 false leg and volunteered to hold the kitty. When it came time to pay, he sat down and shook his leg until all the cash fell out. Some of the carriage trade complained to the landlord that this had upset them. Good man that he was, his reply to the complainers was "These people have all been injured serving the country. If you don't like it, please leave!"
 
#10
Reid,I wonder if he will be singing his republican songs to the troops.He was a very active CND man and republican sympathiser back in the sixties and seventies when he would get up and sing the praises of the IRA back then.Don't trust this little shi'ite as far as you can throw him.
 
#11
I'm afraid I have to totally disagree with 'scousemech' on his point regarding the RAF PTI's at Headley Court.

I spent 3 years serving at HCT and have never found a more professional bunch of RAF PTI's in my life, and this is saying something about a trade that is usually found walking between the gym and the solarium on normal units.

All the various services have their strengths and weaknesses. The Army PTI's are very good at the 'beasting' side of the fitness but generally have less experience in the in-depth side of rehabilitation treatment, not through fault of their own though, unfortunately they are victims of the short tour lengths offered to their trade at HCT. The RAF PTI's on the other hand are the opposite, spending many years at HCT (the WO i/c Group Therapy has been there since before the first Gulf War I believe in various ranks) and as a result they have a very extensive understanding of the finer points of rehabilitation treatment. GTD is a true 'purple' environment and the various strengths of its personnel are used to compliment the areas of weakness in others.

My personal opinion is that they all (service and civilian staff) do a sterling job with very little funding. Having injured myself a few times through my career and having been a patient of HCT twice before being based there I can say that as both a patient and member of staff I was well pleased with the treatment I received and also proud to have been a part of (although in a non-medical role).
 
#12
Have you seen today's OBSERVER ?

Mr Reid notes that a 'first class army' deserves 'first class facilities'. He is right - we do. But we certainly don't have them. As previous contributors have noted, Hedley Court is superb - I have also been a patient there and thank god it exists.

But the rest of the Defence Medical Services are an utter mess - a result of the slash and burn attitude of the current government. I am sure that there are some medics out there that can add the detail but the provision of medical services today is a pale shadow of what went before - and is getting worse. We (the RN) still have the 'luxury' of Haslar although by next year that will have gone too. I have now twice had to pay for private care, once immediately before Op Telic 1 in order to be fit for the op, because the best that the military system could do was put me into the NHS waiting list for care.

I also have a large number of FTRS servicemen workign with me - filling holes that the regular service cannot - and I was astounded to find that they are not entitled to Military health care - a cost cutting exercise.

Secretary of State should consider carefully these sound bites - he may fool joe public but he cannot fool us. He should be ashamed of such deceit.
 
#13
Navy1 said:
Mr Reid notes that a 'first class army' deserves 'first class facilities'. He is right - we do. But we certainly don't have them.
I wonder if Dr Reid is aware of the length of the waiting list for Headley Court?
 
#14
scousemech said:
I spent a bit of time at Headley Court they do stirling work for rehabilitation I had only one gripe when there the RAF PTIs
The Army PTIs slim thin running machines
The Navy PTIS Big muscle bound Arnie types
The RAF pie eating lard arrses with figures similar to that of buddha

I was injured and was still fitter then them wasters the phrase practise what you preach came to mind quite a bit.

Never the less a fantastic facility
I was there for a month over winter 2002/2003. My Remedial PTI was an RAF Sgt called 'Lenny'. Top bloke. Really fit, very knowledgable, and committed to fixing his patients. Most of us were the same rank or higher than him but he was totally professional. There was another PTI there who was a knob but that was just his personality, not his capbadge. (APTC).

There was one soldier who had been mangled in a ski accident the winter before. Apparently when he arrived he was nearly a vegetable. His last day in Headley was one of my first and he asked to say a few words of thanks to the staff. In the morning warm up he walked from the back of the gym hall to the front, very slowly, and climbed onto the stage. He spoke very deliberately for about a minute and then walked out. There were lumps in the throat all round and a good few damp eyes. They were all convinced that he wouldn't talk again, never mind walk.

Awesome place.
 
#15
I suggested this back in December on this site.

Does this mean we actually have a government that listens, or maybe they will take the credit for an original idea or just luck that they found somewhere that involved as little work & time as possible.

Interceptor said:
.... morning warm up......
First good laugh of the day.

As for DSMRU its self, I worked there for 2 yrs on North Wing then a few years later was unlucky enough following an incident in NI (fell of a bar stool pissed, honest. Dislocated my shoulder & some bright medic tried to put it back - almost ended my career there & then with loss of function of the arm for months) anyway I digressed, I can’t praise the place enough, got 80% use of my arm back & served on to the end of my career.
 
#16
Interceptor said:
.... morning warm up......
It's a long time since I was there, but are those about to be released back into the community still called upon to conduct the morning warm-ups on the day they leave? We had one chap who did his as Jake the Peg, three legs and all, and another couple who hired a pantomime horse costume for warm ups. POSL.
 
#17
Dr Reid to visit the Court? I know they work miracles there but he is so far beyond hope that even THEY won't be able to help. Apparently he had an ******** transplant in the mid-eighties but the ******** rejected him....
 

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