The Defence Committee regards the Government’s Response to its Report on the Armed Forces Covenant: Military Casualties, published today, as disappointing. In its original Report, the Committee commended the medical treatment and rehabilitation services provided to injured personnel but found some areas for improvement. In its response, the MoD has not given sufficient regard to the Committee’s recommendations to address these areas.
The Committee was surprised that the MoD is not prepared to review the support it offers to families of Armed Forces personnel, in particular, to families of deployed personnel and to those families where a member of the Armed Forces has been killed on operations or been severely injured. The Committee reiterates its view that the MoD must look at the support it provides for families and must, at a bare minimum, look at what it is doing to support the children of injured personnel. (Recommendations 10 and 14)
The Committee welcomes the MoD’s intention to review its policy towards alcohol and measures to promote responsible drinking. It looks forward to seeing the results of this policy review. (Recommendation 11)
The MoD acknowledges that there are significant challenges associated with the care of those with serious brain injuries and that there are links between brain injuries and depression and suicide. The MoD has not agreed to commission a review into the needs of ex-Service personnel with brain injuries – the Committee believes it should reconsider its decision. (Recommendation 25)
Chair of the Defence Committee, Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP, says,
“The medical care and rehabilitation provided to injured Armed Forces personnel is excellent. However, we remain concerned about the long-term support of people once they leave the Armed Forces, in particular, of those with traumatic brain injuries. We are also disappointed that the MoD does not intend to review its support to the families of deployed and injured personnel.”
Image: Ministry of Defence