Skip to main content

Defence Medical Services

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 15 April 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what defence medical services are available to the UK armed forces on active service in the Gulf (a) in theatre, (b) in transit to the UK and (c) in the UK. [108445]

The medical services available to armed forces personnel deploied to the Gulf region include integrated medical support within units, dressing stations and two Field Hospitals. At the commencement of operations in the Gulf, three Field Hospitals and the Primary Casualty Receiving Facility, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ARGUS, were deployed in theatre. The personnel from one of the Field Hospitals have recently returned to the United Kingdom, and RFA ARGUS left theatre on 13 April.Medical evacuation back to the UK, where necessary, is provided by the Royal Air Force. Personnel are flown initially to The Princess Mary's Hospital at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, and following reassessment and any further treatment, would either be returned to theatre, or to the UK. On arrival in the UK, and depending on their clinical condition, individuals may be referred back to their unit medical officer, to NHS hospitals or to military specialist facilities. We have a well-established joint plan with the Department of Health, "Reception Arrangements for Military Patients", for handling casualties returned from overseas in times of conflict. In accordance with this plan, the Department of Health determines which NHS hospitals receive Service casualties, based on bed availability and clinical need.