Skip to main content

Service Personnel

Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the full complement is of (a) doctors, (b) nurses and (c) dentists in the (i) Army, (ii) Royal Air Force and (iii) Royal Navy; how many are employed in each category; and if he will make a statement. (89623)

The two key outputs of the Defence Medical Services (DMS) are medical support to deployed operations, and the provision of health care to the armed forces to ensure that the maximum possible numbers of armed forces personnel are fit for purpose. The DMS will continue to deliver both outputs, working where appropriate with coalition partners, the NHS, private health care providers and the charity sector. The DMS have met all operational requirements placed on them. Medical support to deployed operations is absolutely vital and there is no question of British forces deploying on military operations without the appropriate medical support.

The current official, formally endorsed DMS manning requirement figures were drawn up as a consequence of the Strategic Defence Review (SDR) in 1998. Since then, however, overall defence planning assumptions have changed and DMS manning requirement figures have evolved. In order to support the defence planning assumptions contained within Defence Strategic Guidance 03, the Defence Medical Capability (DMC) Phase 2 Study was carried out. The DMC study produced interim revised DMS manning requirement figures which more accurately reflect defence planning assumptions and have thus overtaken the SDR figures. Indeed, the Ministry of Defence has previously released elements of the interim revised manning requirements, in anticipation of a new definitive set of figures (as in a previous answer to the hon. Member for the Forest of Dean on 9 February 2006, Official Report, column 1402W).

However, the DMC figures are themselves only interim. The overall DMS manning requirement is currently under review against the strategic requirement, and the figures will change. I anticipate that new endorsed DMS manning requirement figures will be available later this year.

The following table show the manning levels as at July 2006 in the specialties of general medical practitioners, nurses and dental officers (requirement figures shown are the SDR figures and the DMC figures, but as explained, these are being revised):

SDR Requirement

DMC Requirement

Trained Strength

General Medical Practitioners

RN

71

54

53

ARMY

250

120

130

RAF

130

94

73

Nurses

RN

320

220

290

ARMY

1,080

1,000

590

RAF

490

450

420

Dental Officers

RN

58

62

57

ARMY

140

120

130

RAF

63

55

67

Notes: 1. Figures above 100 have been rounded to the nearest 10. 2. Figures are the trained strength for each cadre in each service and include some specialists working out of specialty in headquarter posts. Source: DMSD

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many complaints about incorrect pay have been received from service personnel in each of the services in each year since 2001. (92809)

Prior to Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) rollout to the RAF on 20 March 2006, pay complaints were dealt with by the individual's unit human resources staff and details of the number of complaints received were not held centrally. This will continue to be the case for the Royal Navy and the Army until rollout on 23 October 2006 and March 2007 respectively.

As at 10 October 2006, 526 complaints had been received from RAF personnel via the centralised JPA complaints process about real or apparent problems with pay or the handling of a query.