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Who Is Supposed To Pick Up The Pieces

#1
I don't suppose that many contributors to this site will be surprised by the contents of this article. Nevertheless it makes sobering reading and any opportunity to keep this scandal in the public domain is to be welcomed. I just wish more people were as scandalised as Lesley Garner seems to be.

Who Is Supposed To Pick Up The Pieces
 
#2
good article, might be good for other soldiers to see, its completely correct about the one minute interview and a phone number. at this point all i wanted to do was get back home and spend my money i had saved. dont think i even thought for one minute anything i had seen would effect me. soldiers need to know where and how to seek help if needed.

i do not think the support was drummed into us enough. this, of course has left soldiers isolated and witholding emotions bursting to get out.

people change after tours.
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#3
I was at a talk last Friday by given by Combat Stress. The picture painted is very much the same as the article. The talker also felt that large problems were being stored for the future as the infrastructure is not sufficiently robust to take the large numbers they fell will need help. However I know the COC is currently looking into how those coming back can be brought back gently rather than in the 'Stan one day & out for a pint with civvie mates the next who have no idea.
Research shows the RMs who sailed back from the Falklands & therefore had a period of relaxing with likeminded had far fewer problems than the Paras who flew back and encountered the problems described above.

And as the poor sods in the TA.. In the TA Forum some are complaining about being passed over for promtion, that, in the long term, could be the least of their problems.
 
#5
Vonshot said:
A rage inducing article :evil:
Quite.

And just what did happen to MOD's plan to provide military psych treatment for TA personnel?

Why are people still falling through the gaps in the after-care system?

Why are our ill and injured servicemen forced to rely upon charities (who do an excellent job) for support they should be provided with as of right?
 
#6
Good point, VB. 'The system' just cannot cope with TA. There is no after-care and the entire process is designed to pass TA back through the system as quickly as possible without any regard for the long-term implications. Regardless of whether you have a a physical or emotional injury, once back in civvy-street you become someone else's problem and the MOD isn't interested.
 
#7
redsquirrel said:
Good point, VB. 'The system' just cannot cope with TA. There is no after-care and the entire process is designed to pass TA back through the system as quickly as possible without any regard for the long-term implications. Regardless of whether you have a a physical or emotional injury, once back in civvy-street you become someone else's problem and the MOD isn't interested.
Yes, RedSquirrel, you are right. The problem really kicks in when as a "civvy" you get referred back to the military for help, or people aren't in the loop.

When I explained to local SSAFA rep the situation that I had encountered, he flatly denied that it had happened like that, which was incredible, given that items were appearing in the media and hundreds of posts on ARRSE on the subject. To be fair, this was one man, so I don't hold SSAFA responsible, and still have the utmost respect for the work which their' volunteers and others working in this area do. But, he was so badly briefed on how ops had been conducted recently, as to be useless - as an easy example, he informed me, that every reservist who had been mobilised for TELIC since early 2003 had received two months notice.

It can't surprise anyone that the media is now chasing every story. As much as the MOD does a wonderful smokescreen job and tries to paint over the cracks, if the treasury doesn't invest funds in both the NHS and MOD to properly care for our military personnel, this will go on forever more. I also think that the CoC has been absolutely spineless in fighting the corner for aftercare - possibly too afraid to ruffle feathers and risk that lucrative position in the city when they retire. Either way, the military families will continue to break up, lose careers and get abandoned, all because the government doesn't support it's military. Thanks Tone.
 
#8
This is just an idle thought that came to me when pondering exactly what has changed in the way we handle post-op troops since WW2 or Korea.
Many people have pointed out that the wierdest bit of demobilisation (and I use the TA example here as it seems to me to be the most extreme) is patrolling the sandpit in the morning and sipping a cuppa at home in blighty the same evening. Not everyone does this, I grant you, for most units have a period of decompression but it rarely lasts more than a few days.

So how about reintroducing the troopship? Stickybomb senior spent six weeks on one between Korea and Southampton in the fifties. Plenty of time to unwind, discuss and 'file' the experiences with people who'd been there too, controlled environment, 'most luxuriant moustache' growing competitions, plenty of scoff, alcohol etc.

Aren't we missing a trick by flying people back?
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#9
stickybomb said:
So how about reintroducing the troopship? Stickybomb senior spent six weeks on one between Korea and Southampton in the fifties. Plenty of time to unwind, discuss and 'file' the experiences with people who'd been there too, controlled environment, 'most luxuriant moustache' growing competitions, plenty of scoff, alcohol etc.

Aren't we missing a trick by flying people back?
Old Baldy said:
Research shows the RMs who sailed back from the Falklands & therefore had a period of relaxing with likeminded had far fewer problems than the Paras who flew back and encountered the problems described above.
Exactly my point.
Rather than a ship I understand there is a thought to having troops stage through Cyprus. However that is also fraught with problems. No doubt senior officers & WOs will fly their families out. Thought has also been given having a cooling off of a couple of weeks in barracks in the UK but the same problem as with Cyprus would no doubt apply. The rules would only apply to the Jnr ranks.
 
#10
Hi all,

Is there any MP's fighting this corner at the moment??

There has been alot of posts on this topic and its concerning to see that there are alot of guys out there that seem to be suffering so badly!

I am TA and have been to the Sandpit and I struggled when I got back and the more I read about this the more angry I get as nothing seems to be getting done!

OXO
 
#11
I think this is another reason why we need BAFF. I hate to use the "Vietnam" example but those who served there (both Aussie and Septics) only ever really got the support and help they needed once a credible and organised body had been formed that could represent their interests at the highest level, but outside established military/political channels.

It makes me so sad and angry that nothing is being done to help those who have served and suffered. Like I have said before keep an eye on your mates guys, we shall look after ourselves like we always do.
 
#14
Dear All

On the subject of lack of longer term support - I agree with you all, however:

I do get a bit depressed about the perception that **** all is done for the guys on the ground and post Operation. In the Defence Mental Health Services we try to deploy at least one Community Psychiatric Nurse (often more) with every deploying formation above a certain size. We are there to provide mental health support to those who do not respond to the CoCs best efforts and to give advice where necessary. Agreed that the quality of the service is dictated by the individual(s) deploying, but this is the same in any deployed formation.

We have 14 sizeable Departments of Community Mental Health in the UK and a hatful in BFG each seeing 4-800 new referrals each year. They will see urgent cases either immediately or within 24 hours.

The RAF supply Mental Health aeromed for those requiring evacuation out of theatre and ongoing care in the home base.

We have access to the Priory hospital for those who need in-patient care. They will admit within 4 hours on request. This is a platinum standard service by NHS standards.

It irks me a bit (actually a lot) to see our efforts roundly trashed by the media and also serving folk who clearly do not know what is available.

There are problems with the service that we try to address, but by NHS standards, it is not bad.

We have been instructed to pick up mobilised TA and recently mobilised Reservists with effect from Oct 06 and have yet to work out the final form of the service. So, you are all correct in saying that the service to demobilised TA/Reservists is poor (nearly non-existent), but the same is not so for serving soldiers.

It is easy to produce the exception that proves the rule, but equally, if medical in confidence considerations permitted, we in the Defence Mental Health service could tell of umpteen people who have been successfully rehabilitated/helped and serve on.

What I do feel is that Veterans get a raw deal in our society and that we have a broad social responsibility to them that is currently lacking.

Rant over.
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#15
Problem is Ratched, you are taking about those regulars who are serving and only those who seek help will be able to avail themselves of the services you describe.
In a recent interview Chris Ryan tells how after he was back in the UK he was told by his COC to tell the shrinks, who were to interview him, that everything was OK when it wasn't. That cost him a lot of things including his marraige.
As long as there is a stigma for those serving in seeking help, they will not & therefore we will continue with the mess & the press will contine to highlight it.
And Combat Stress will be ever busier looking after Vets.
 
#16
nurse_ratched said:
We have been instructed to pick up mobilised TA and recently mobilised Reservists with effect from Oct 06 and have yet to work out the final form of the service. So, you are all correct in saying that the service to demobilised TA/Reservists is poor (nearly non-existent), but the same is not so for serving soldiers.
For regulars, the DMS psych services are generally good. There is apparently (and I base this on what former patients and their family and friends say), occasionally a lack of military oversight at some Priory (free Peerage with every stay!) establishments, and as with physical injuries some continue to fall through the gaps after their inpatient treatment. I don't think this is attributable to the Defence Mental Health Services, but rather a combination of factors including them being out of sight, out of mind to units, and the mess which is the Y List.

However, the new Sickness Absence Management scheme should take care of this, and ensure that those on long term sick leave or SAH get regular visits and access to whatever support they need. It will, to some extent, rely upon the co-operation of COs whose units the long-term sick are attached to, but it's a definite move in the right direction.

As for the TA, in my view they continue to get a rough deal. The main problem is that they seem to be demobilised in almost indecent haste. MOD announced the new mental health program for TA, and seems to have then done precious little about it. I note from the MOD announcement that those who require inpatient care who are likely to be some of the worst cases), will be 'assisted to obtain NHS care'. I think this is really a no-brainer; TA with psych injuries have got them in the same way as the regulars - why shouldn't there be one standard of inpatient care for all? (note: rhetorical question - I know that it won't happen because MOD/Treasury don't want to pay for it).
 
#17
only those who seek help will be able to avail themselves of the services you describe.
So what are we, mind readers?

I take your point that stigmatisation is a problem for some and that this might stop them coming forward. We do our level best to counter this and considerable effort goes in by the CoC, although there will always be ignorance and bias to deal with.............

You say we will continue with the mess........what mess? Got any facts and figures? Please share them with us if you have them because I am not privy to them.

There seems to be some myth that you can send people into harms way, put some services in place and all will be well. They only way to prevent problems is to not send soldiers into combat. People will always suffer and some will slip through the net. Many do not slip through and do well in the long term. I know this because I work with them.

Yes, there are problems, but random quotes, perpetuating rumour and believing everything that you read in the press will not help.
 
#18
oldbaldy said:
stickybomb said:
So how about reintroducing the troopship? Stickybomb senior spent six weeks on one between Korea and Southampton in the fifties. Plenty of time to unwind, discuss and 'file' the experiences with people who'd been there too, controlled environment, 'most luxuriant moustache' growing competitions, plenty of scoff, alcohol etc.

Aren't we missing a trick by flying people back?
Old Baldy said:
Research shows the RMs who sailed back from the Falklands & therefore had a period of relaxing with likeminded had far fewer problems than the Paras who flew back and encountered the problems described above.
Exactly my point.
Rather than a ship I understand there is a thought to having troops stage through Cyprus. However that is also fraught with problems. No doubt senior officers & WOs will fly their families out. Thought has also been given having a cooling off of a couple of weeks in barracks in the UK but the same problem as with Cyprus would no doubt apply. The rules would only apply to the Jnr ranks.
Ah, sorry, was only scanning across the thread rather than reading it thoroughly.
 
#19
Any Royals sneaked over from rum ration reading this thread?
if so, a quick explanation of what the TRiM (Traume Risk Management) does would be very useful to all. also look at link here

Saw a presentation from a guy called Mark Brayne a few years ago, who deals with war correspondents and their PTSD (yes even the media pondlife can get affected) , in it he referred to the RM system which had been put in 4 years before telic and worked well, of coy/pl mentors, people who had had a brief and training on what to watch for and what to do.

The systems are there within the wider british military, but it is a matter of the CoCs to identify the need and what would have to be done to acheive a result (as opposed to throw another ill thought and planned initiative on to already overburdened units), and then the units to find the time to do what's necessary.

This is something that can't be delivered just in time as per TQM, but needs longer term planning and commitment
 
#20
Thank you small brown etc........

As a one of the initial developers (along with some compadres) and long term supporter of the TRiM process, I cannot commend it enough. It is a top piece of kit. We tried to get it going in the Army, but lack of funding, lack of manpower, resources, etc.............. resulted in a messy stillbirth. Introducing TRiM properly in a Brigade is a whole different ball game to getting it going in an Army. It also helps when the CoC, in this case the RM takes ownership, sees it as a management tool and a force multiplier and drives it forward at all levels.
 

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