Revelations on future Military care “appalling, but unsurprising”

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Revelations on future Military care “appalling, but unsurprising”

16th December 2011

Revelations that armed forces veterans injured whilst serving in Iraq and Afghanistan could face difficulty getting the medical help they need in the future, have been blasted as “appalling but unsurprising” by a specialist military lawyer.

Mark McGhee, head of the Military Claims department with Fentons Solicitors LLP, was speaking after the Commons Defence Committee published a report into military casualties. Although the report praises the care given to injured service men and women both in the UK and abroad, it warns of potential problems ahead.

“There is clearly a concern that the support personnel receive once they have left the services is simply unsustainable long-term,” said Mark. “The report suggests the Government has failed to fully understand the likely future demands and related costs of providing suitable care and treatment to those individuals – something that is guaranteed to them in the Military Covenant.”

Official figures show that more than 760 UK personnel have been seriously or very seriously injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. “But that’s only the tip of the iceberg,” said Mark, who has acted on behalf of veterans and serving military personnel for many years and was one of the pioneers in proving the existence of Gulf War Syndrome in the 1990s. “The lasting effects of service will continue to develop and reveal themselves for many years to come. The report itself warns that ‘an unknown number of veterans may go on to develop "severe and life-limiting mental health, alcohol or neurological problems"’.

“The thought that these people who served their country will possibly be denied the future care they are entitled to is appalling, but I’m afraid it’s entirely unsurprising,” said Mark. “Given the number and range of enquiries we receive concerning Military Covenant issues, it has long been apparent that there are major problems in delivering what has been promised to – and earned by – our armed forces.”

Mark said the report also cited the importance of the work of charities in raising awareness and funds to provide care for military personnel. “Unfortunately the charities cannot help every individual who has to bear the legacy of their service,” he said. “We are being contacted every day by people who are affected by serious issues concerning their post-deployment care, and the issue needs addressing at the highest level, immediately.”

How can Fentons help?

Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for serving or former military personnel.

For a free, no obligation discussion to discuss how we could help you, call our freephone helpline on 0800 019 1297, or complete the brief military claim form. . 

Read more: Sky News