Medical care of troops could suffer if casualties rise, MPs warn

The Times reports (29 Mar 2010) that British Forces lack a proper plan to ensure that all seriously injured troops will receive first-class medical treatment if the number of casualties from Afghanistan rises significantly, MPs have warned. UPDATED - link to PAC report added.

The Public Accounts Committee, in their latest report entitled 'Treating injury and illness arising on military operations' also voiced concern over Britain’s ability to maintain the same level of care and support to a wounded serviceman or woman after they are discharged from the Armed Forces and must rely on the NHS, particularly in the light of expected public spending cuts. From the Times article:

The MPs applauded the level of care in the military wing of Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham, where the most seriously injured Service personnel are taken first, saying that they were more likely to survive than civilians treated for major trauma by the NHS. The group urged the MoD, however, to ensure that other hospitals were properly prepared to take wounded Forces if Selly Oak became full.

Edward Leigh, chairman of the committee, said: “What concerns us is the extent to which the MoD would continue to be able to provide that high standard of care if the casualty rate were to increase significantly.” Civilian patients are sent elsewhere if the military wing of Selly Oak is full but this contingency lasts only for five days.

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