Care worries for injured troops after Afghanistan tours

15/12/11

British soldier in Afghanistan

The government's being asked to show how medical care given to injured soldiers will continue after troops leave Afghanistan.

A report by MPs says its worried about the number of people who need long-term care.

The Commons defence committee also called on the Government to act "urgently" to exclude Armed Forces compensation - paid to injured personnel - from consideration when means-tested benefits are assessed.

There is always more to do and we will carefully consider the committee's specific recommendations as we strive to fully meet and sustain our commitment to wounded, injured and sick personnel under the Armed Forces Covenant
Andrew Robathan
Defence Personnel Minister

It criticised the lack of support for children following the death or severe injury of a relative and urged the department to "look again" at its support services.

MPs raised fears that the Government's reforms of the NHS, the largest shake-up in its history, will hit the future care of troops.

They also suggested that charities may be paying for projects that the MoD should be funding and warned that donations to organisations are likely to fall when troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan.

Defence Personnel Minister Andrew Robathan said: "The medical care that is given to our injured personnel is among the best in the world.

"The MoD has made significant investment in health care, the welfare and needs of service personnel and their families.

"There is always more to do and we will carefully consider the committee's specific recommendations as we strive to fully meet and sustain our commitment to wounded, injured and sick personnel under the Armed Forces Covenant."

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Andrew from Bolton - I was injured in 2001 at the time the army services was so poor I decided to stay in a NHS hospital.

An unhappy ex-soldier - after 15 years service since the age of 16 I developed alcohol depression and anxiety illnesses. Being discharged on medical grounds I lost my house and did not receive the correct medical care. The government want the public to believe they look after the men and women of the armed forces but in reality they don't. I am proof of this.

Anon from Tidworth - After I came back I found my physical treatment was second to none, but my mental state was neglected. I am still finding life tough at times. This is after two years.

Anonymous - Medical care for soldiers who have physical injuries is excellent but for those who display no physical injuries, those who have witnessed awful, traumatic incidents get no support UNLESS they ask for it.

My ex held a colleague in his arms whilst he died and as a consequence began to drink very heavily. I noticed he was struggling & asked his commanding officer for help but he said his hands were tied, unless the soldier asks for help, they are left to get on with it.

The worrying thing is, they will not ask for help, they are conditioned to believe it's weak to ask for help.

As a consequence, my marriage of 20 years fell apart, so not only is my husband a victim of PTSD, so am I and our two children, so four lives have been 'destroyed'. I hope the government wakes up and addresses this very real problem.

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Steve Valentine - Injured troops should get the full support needed after being injured serving their country. There are also charities out there to help financially.

John Clarkson - They are worried about how many are going to need long care treatment!?

Maybe they should have thought about that before sending us to war. Maybe they should have thought of that when the equipment we had was shown to be inferior for the job on hand, in every way.

No doubt they will find a way of stopping all help & assistance in the next year or so.