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Volume 403: debated on Tuesday 8 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether each strategic health authority has a programme in place to accommodate the mental health needs of returning servicemen and women; and if he will make a statement; [107167](2) what preparations have been made by the NHS for on-going mental health and counselling services for returning servicemen and women. [107168]

Most returning armed forces personnel requiring mental health care will be treated by the Defence medical services, which have experience in dealing with mental illnesses resulting from conflict. National health service mental health care will be available to any Service personnel who need it.The capacity and flexibility of mental health services provided by the NHS mean that no specific programmes or preparations need to be made for treating returning Service personnel. If they require NHS mental health care they will be able to access it through appropriate referral routes.