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Healthcare of Service Veterans...

This statement by the Minister may be of interest, including the more general health issues raised [my italics].

Commons Hansard: 2 October 2006, Cols.2564-5W

Demobilised Reservists (Mental Health Services)

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence where the planned new mental health provision for demobilised reservists will be located; what services will be provided; how much it is expected to cost; when the service is expected to commence; and if he will make a statement. [91157]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 18 September 2006]: I refer the Member to the statement made to the House on 16 May 2006, Official Report, columns 43-46WS, to my hon. Friend the Member for West Bromwich, East (Mr. Watson).

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements are in place to ensure that ex-Territorial Army soldiers who served in Iraq receive assistance from his Department if they become subject to post traumatic stress disorder. [91264]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 18 September 2006]: The responsibility for the medical care of ex-service personnel, whether regular or reserve, lies with the NHS. This has been the established practice since 1948 under successive Governments. Where an individual is also a war pensioner, he or she is entitled to priority treatment for his or her accepted condition within the NHS. Priority is decided by the clinician in chargeand applies to physical and mental health problems. For conditions that are due to service where treatment is not available under the NHS, the Governmentalso funds care at the specialist mental healthcharity Combat Stress facilities, which last year cost £2.8 million.

The health needs of the majority of veterans will be met by current NHS provisions. However, MOD has work in hand to ensure that there is a coherent response to veterans’ mental health issues, co-ordinating inputs from the NHS, Health Departments throughout the UK, the services and ex-service organisations, including Combat Stress. The MOD is also working on a number of further measures for the prevention and management of operational stress, and has work in hand to ensure that service leavers can recognise the signs of stress and know where to go for help, using suitable magazine-style material.

The MOD is currently developing detailed arrangements for the enhanced post-operational mental healthcare programme for recently demobilised reservists. The programme will offer a mental health assessment, conducted by appropriately qualified members of the Defence Medical Services (DMS). This will be available to any member of the reserve forces who has been demobilised since January 2003 following deployment on any operation overseas and who has a concern about their mental health as a result. If individuals are then assessed as having a mental health problem that is categorised primarily as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or a related traumatic adjustment disorder, and that is directly related to their operational deployment and of a nature that can be treated within the resources of the DMS, then they will be offered out-patient treatment by the DMS.

If the assessment identifies cases that fall outside the parameters set out above, such as complex multi-disorder diagnoses or acute cases requiring in-patient care, the DMS will refer them—with our assessment results—back to their civilian GP in order to assist their access to NHS treatment, as well as encouraging contact with the relevant welfare organisations to ensure follow-up.

As my predecessor, the hon. Member for West Bromwich, said in his statement on 16 May, a further announcement will be made later this year to confirm the details of the programme, including the location(s) at which the assessments will be provided, and the date on which the service will commence.

So basically ex servicemen will only get lack of care in the comunity accoding to a priority set by some one who has no understanding of the services and what the poor person has been through. Once again the love and care of the government for it's servicemen is overwhelming.

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