Treatment of Injured British Servicemen

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by asst_dep_to_dep_asst, Mar 13, 2007.

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  1. This didn't really fit in the current thread on the treatment of US injured, but there are echoes of the same sentiments.

    The press at the weekend and yesterday were full of what allegedly goes on at Selly Oak hospital, where our injured are brought by the medical evacuation chain from ops. I have no doubt that some of these gripes are well-founded, but to those who are now suggesting that any of this is the Service medical authorities' fault, certain retired senior Army officers among them, may I suggest a bit of self-recrimination? The Service hospitals whose passing you so lament were closed, or their closures were planned, on your watch.

    There can be no doubt that the treatment available to Servicemen now is as good as, if not better than was available in the halcyon days of Haslar, Plymouth, Aldershot, Catterick, Ely, Halton, Wroughton and so on, but we do not have the exclusive military facilities that we would like for the recuperation phase of treatment because the bean-counters closed them.

    Some of what has been written is, quite frankly, nonsense and it is to be hoped that the Service authorities will have the spine to refute the allegations of poor treatment in what is an old, but efficient hospital at Selly Oak. Lots of what goes on in hospitals is not ideal, but welcome to the modern world of healthcare. Hospitals are noisy places in comparison to our bedrooms at home, but that is the reality.

    If you want the government to unpick the deliberations of Lawrence and so on, which led to the current situation, the only way to do it is to contact your MP and get him / her to ask questions at the right level in order to change what is happening.

    PS 18 days to military withdrawal from Haslar!!
  2. Are our lads and lasses getting the best possible treatment they deserve or are they getting the same lack of care so many public services are dishing out to normal members of the public.

    For those that provide the safety net under which others benefit, should the government not put its hand in its coffers and pay for private treatment for them. They pay BUPA and other private hospitals for services now, should they make this a priority for returning war vets in need of medical attention.

    All public services, not just the NHS, at best are providing shite services but PM in waiting wont admit that he needs to put taxes up to pay for improvements, he just gets his fellow MPs to talk bollox to try and cover up his Fcuk Ups.

    Personnel suffering medically as a result of fighting on behalf of our government deserve the best in my opinion.
  3. IMHO they are getting the best, given the constraints of the current situation. Don't get swayed by the thought that because BUPA is private it is the best. The old Service hospitals had some great things to offer because they were under Service management, but anybody who thinks that they were clinically better than a large district general hospital like Birmingham is living in cloud cuckoo.

    I don't think that anybody likely to read and contribute to RR or Arrse would disagree with your point that injured Servicemen should receive the best, but that does not fit in with the save-money-at-all-costs regime currently in charge of UK plc.

    Services medicine only becomes important when there is a problem. Rather than plan and provide for the sort of situation that we are now in, the powers that be in MOD have seen fit to denude the Defence Medical Service of any useful, expandable real-estate on the altar of capitalising on assets. So now, when we most need a facility to call our own, the only sizeable place in military hands that could be reasonably developed to provide for secure and excellent aftercare, ie Haslar, is being shunted into NHS hands while the MOD continues to pay for its upkeep. Barking, of course, but it's in the South of England, so how dare we even consider keeping it on?!
  4. I think that you need to experience Sellyoak yourself for a period of time before you can pass it off as a well maintained and good provider of medical care for our injured. they cannot even provide security for those injured, as has happened with the press sat at bedsides of seriously injured soldiers. Thank god they were only press. i understand that they might be trying their best, but their best is clearly not good enough. why should be accept substandard service, i am sure yours and mine HOD would not accept substandard output, just cause everwhere else is as bad. as for asking questions at the right level then what better way than an official complaint through service. oh i know we will respond to your complaint within the alloted timescales stating that it was a one off and things will be in place to ensure that it never re-occurs RUBBISH. nothing has changed. our guys and girls are treated like second class as soon as it is know they are service as they know that they cannot get up and protest or even discharge themselves. as you have to sign hospital standing orders so you leave yourself open for a charge if you so much as miss a little bum fluff on your face after 10am. the best service given in Sellyoak is from the civilian welfare reps. its them who ensure those alone have someone to talk to
  5. On a lighter note the bloody place has a lot to answer for I was born there many moons ago!!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
  6. I agree with much of what you have to say. We should never forget that the destruction of the RN Medical Service was the work of some senior RN officers in the 1980s, the machinations of whom the politicians were only too glad to accept. The RN accepted that the way forward was to have military wards in NHS hospitals, and this would have been a good solution if service personnel had priority of treatment in those wards. That is not the case and service personnel have to go on the same waiting list as Joe Civilian, resulting in lots of unnecessary P7R time. Civilian NHS managers will always resent and try to undermine any "privileges" that service personnel may be getting.
  7. Remember the same thing happened to the Merchant Navy, had a dedicated hospital in Grenwich, got transfered to St Mary's in London (two wards) got down graded to one ward,then forgot about - you might if you time it right get a bed there if they have one! maybe! Not the fault of the hospital more that of the administration!!?!! (whoever this unknown admin is) Looks like the Military is going the same way but slightly faster! Next Month Haslar soon after we get out of Iraq you know Selly Oak will go, one way or another, Ok percy we've got a bed in your local maternity hospital -you've had your leg blown off, no bother the midwife will be able to fix that next week then you can go home! Great sytem we have ain't it!! Can't remember anybody actually voting for this can you? Democracy - yeah OK!

  8. Methinks your probably right there Mate , :evil: :evil: :evil:
  9. Topical letter by former Surgeon General

    There was an interesting letter by Lt Gen Sir Peter Beale, Surgeon General 1991 - 1994 in yesterday's Torygraph well worth reading. Sorry I don't have a link. He makes it clear that the current Government line about the previous Military Hospitals not being able to handle the situation was not how it was seen then and he "strongly denies that these arrangements (ie military being treated in civilian hospitals) were recommended by the military medical staffs themselves, except by necessity of having to make the most of the badly damaged defence medical services."
    Last night on The Politics Show Michael Portillo also admitted that his abolishment of the old hospitals was not his proudest moment. A bit more honesty and less presentation here from the current administration would be helpful to my mind. I remain particularly concerned about the fact that a serviceman can end up as a PTSD case as a direct result of his military service, be discharged because of it and then find that he has to pay to get the help he needs to deal with the problems. That was the case for Justin Smith, a former Guardsman who confronted Tony Blair about it on Westcountry TV in January. I bet nothing has changed since!
  10. Certainly a shite state of affairs, but I find it hard to believe that the old system of service hospitals would have been any better. They simply could not provide the degree of medical training and specialist care/equipment to match that provided by the NHS. If they hadn't been closed you can be pretty damned sure that by now they would be as badly funded as the rest of the defence sector and unable to cope with current requirements. I don't however think that the private medical sector could provide the degree of specialist care that is normally required and in any event they are not what they are cracked up to be - many nurses for example are on worse employment terms than the NHS (if that can be believed).
  11. silverfox

    silverfox War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Interestingly enough there is an exact parallel issue going on with the Americans over the treatmenat of their injured at their Walter Reed Military hospital. From what I've seen it puts our issues into the shade - but they have reacted accordingly - the Secretary for the Army (Min AF sort of equivalent) has resigned, the 1* running the place has resigned and the 3* who set the place up and got promoted as a result has been forced to resign ie he jumped before he was pushed...

    Just goes to show that we are not alone in this case and the grass is definately not greener....
  12. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    Theres only Haslar left now, due to close as a Military Hospital shortly and as any sort of hospital within the next couple of years.

    I accept all of the arguments about specialist medical skills being hard to retain, but don't believe its to much to ask that when people are recovering and the more complex treatment has been completed, that they should be among their own, sharing the rough humour of other Service people in an atmosphere that they feel both comfortable and safe in. For that reason alone, I believe Haslar should remain as the Military Hospital for the whole country.

    Surely, especially for those with mental health problems there can be no better aid to a faster recovery.

    Would it not be possible for the required expertise to be called for from among the NHS, I would have thought that there are plenty of people out there who would be only to happy to improve or gain further skills, by working with those that have given more than most do for their Country,
    by doing a secondment from their normal place of work.
  13. I don't think it would be affordable for the MoD to go it alone and provide a hospital on the right scale but perhaps there is some mileage in a PFI style new-build in which the MoD stakes a firm claim to exclusive use in time of crisis and reverts to NHS use (income generation) when demand allows. Not sure that this would present well with Joe public though (Why was Aunt Ethel kicked out of her bed to make way for a squaddie?). Probably a bit of a non-starter
  14. Sorry to disagree - Walter Reed is but one cog in a big wheel and the grass is definitely greener in the US. For example just in San Antonio (traditionally an Air Force town) you will find:
    Brooke Army Medical Centre
    "Brooke Army Medical Center is a modern state-of-the-art, 450-bed health care facility that provides level-one trauma and graduate medical education.... It has 1.5 million square feet of operational space and a normal bed capacity of 450, of which 48 are ICU beds and 40 are dedicated to the Institute of Surgical Research Burn Unit. The hospital is capable of expanding to 653 beds if needed to support a wartime mobilization.


    Wilford Hall Medical Center
    "Wilford Hall Medical Center, the Air Force's largest medical facility, is a national resource, providing complete medical care to military healthcare beneficiaries in the south central United States as well as specialized care to patients referred from all over the world. Wilford Hall has four overall missions. The primary mission is military readiness; to train, to plan for contingencies and to prepare to deploy elements to forward areas around the world. As a second mission, Wilford Hall provides a worldwide referral center and operates a comprehensive community health care system for active duty military personnel and other beneficiaries. Third, Wilford Hall is the Air Force's foremost provider of medical education, providing the Air Force with some 65 percent of its physician specialists, 85 percent of dental specialists and a full spectrum of other training. The medical center's fourth mission is clinical investigations."
  15. At Walter Reed the axe also fell on several SNCO's who were deemed to have suspect integrity in passing bad-news up the chain, but the root cause appears to have been the politically motivated privatization of much of the hospital complex [where have we heard this before??].

    There was a film clip of Walter Reed the other night; plush carpeted floors, antique furniture, flat-screen plasma TV's and private rooms. Very impressive until you listened to the voice-over where they explained that this was the VIP wing for the treatment of General Officers hemorrhoids and politicians Botox treatments. As a private soldier you have full access to the VIP wing;.......... but only if you have won the Medal of Honor.

    The entire medical system here is creaking under the strain of the Iraq/Afghanistan wounded and one of the reasons appears to be that the true number of casualties has been under-reported and therefore under-resourced. The after-treatment of veterans is equally dire and it is not unusual to see homeless vets begging at traffic intersections. This is the stark reality that the "Yellow-Ribbon" patriots tend to ignore. I do some charity work for one of the organizations that tries to help but it is too little.

    One of the clever things that both Bush and Bliar have done is to isolate most of the civilian population from what is really going on; fat and happy and with lots of mindless TV channels they are kept from asking why, by Presidential order, the Evac flights trundle in during darkness and the caskets of the dead are unloaded under tight security with no photographers present.

    The Romans kept the Plebs quiet with Bread & Circuses.........we just use MacDonalds & American Idol.

  16. Don't need a new build. Haslar has several fully-functioning operating theatres, is among the cleanest hospitals in the UK and has huge potential for expansion. If the activity provided at the Rehab centre at Headley Court was transferred to Haslar, there would be more space for the numbers being treated, a psychiatric unit on hand (for the moment), a very pleasant, seaside position for those undergoing treatment and a local population that wants the facility to stay. It's big and it's old, but it's what the Forces needs and it's still ours (for a few more days). There's more than enough potential accommodation for Servicemens' families to stay on site, as well, but it'll cost a few bob!
  17. Now come on, stop talking sense, you know it will never catch on!

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