Reply from No 10 RE War Pensioners petition

25 June 2007

We received a petition asking:

"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Investigate and hold a full public inquiry into the handling of war pensions, by the Veterans Agency and also investigate the second rate medical care by the NHS."

Details of Petition:

"Our soldiers wounded while on duty - or discharged from the miltary because of illness - are shamefully dumped by the government and MoD, and are also dumped at the back of the queue for medical treatment and paid second-rate pensions. We ask the prime minister to investigate the Veterans Agency and to hold a full public inquiry into the treatment and handling of war pensions given to members of our Armed Forces. We also ask the PM to investigate the second class medical care our war pensioners receive from the NHS."

Read the Government's responseThe Government recognises the special commitment which Service personnel make to the defence of our country and is determined to ensure that this commitment is properly reflected in pay, pension and payments for death and injury caused by Service. The Armed Forces pensions and compensation schemes provide a valuable financial package to members of the Armed Forces and their dependants. They are among the more generous public schemes and are in line with modern good practice.

The War Pensions Scheme (WPS) provides no-fault compensation for ex-Service personnel where illness, injury or death is caused by service before 6 April 2005. The WPS is administered by the Service Personnel & Veterans Agency (SPVA). The rights of war pensioners are protected by legislation including access to an independent appeals process.

We do not believe our war pensioners are getting second class medical care from the NHS. War pensioners are entitled to priority NHS treatment and to free prescriptions for illness or injuries accepted as due to service. Where a war pensioner raises priority treatment issues with MOD or SPVA, rather than raising the matter through the NHS's own complaints procedure, officials investigate and as appropriate take up cases with the relevant health authority. The Government does not agree that a public inquiry is required into the handling of war pension applications by the SPVA (formerly the Veterans Agency).

The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme was introduced in 2005 and provides a package of compensation focusing on the more severely disabled. All qualifying injuries or illnesses attract a lump sum payment, which may be made in service, with more serious conditions attracting a continuing tax-free guaranteed income payment for life. Major improvements to lump sum death-in-service benefits under the Department's service pensions schemes were also made in 2005, benefiting widows, widowers and other partners.

Under the Veterans Initiative launched by this Government in 2001, there have been other major steps to improve support for veterans. We are improving the transfer of health and welfare care from the military to civilian services for those discharged from the Armed Forces. We have procedures in place to monitor the health of those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, including those who have left the Armed Forces. Where there are problems, we will look at what further measures can be taken. In addition, steps have been taken to improve mental health care for veterans. Shortly we expect to launch pilots of a new community-based mental health arrangement. This will be specifically designed to address concerns that NHS health professionals do not generally have ready access to expertise in veteran's mental health.

We have also recently set up the Reservists Mental Health Programme (RHMP) at Chilwell, Nottingham. This programme is for those whose mental health has possibly suffered as a consequence of their operational service. The programme offers assessment and, where appropriate, out-patient treatment by the Defence Medical Services (DMS) to eligible Reservists for mental health problems associated with operational deployment since 2003.

We have always been concerned for the welfare of our veterans and their families, and we will continue to do all that we can to provide support, and assistance for them.
I suppose, using the Neue Arbeit definition the underlined is true, I do not receive second class treatment for my war pensioned injuries, My GP is not competent to treat the injuries, does not recognise priority for war pensioners so will not refer me to a consultant.

What a load of cr@p :evil:
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