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House of Commons Hansard
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Armed Forces: Health Services
06 March 2007
Volume 457

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what physical rehabilitation is available to reservists injured on operations. [119080]

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Any mobilised serviceman or woman injured when on operational deployment is treated the same, and will receive exactly the same medical treatment and support, whether they are regular or reserve. If a medical officer in-theatre assesses that a member of the reserve forces requires treatment or rehabilitation back in the UK, they will be treated in exactly the same way as regular personnel. This may include treatment and rehabilitation at a military Regional Rehabilitation Unit or the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court, Surrey.

When reserve personnel are demobilised, they are given a medical assessment. During this process, if it is identified that they are in need of an operation they may be referred to one of five Ministry of Defence Hospital Units, where they will be treated within military timeframes, which can offer faster access to treatment. Reserve personnel will receive treatment for injuries sustained on operation until they are deemed to have reached a steady state of fitness. They are then demobilised, and taken through a transition from military to NHS care, if they have continuing healthcare needs.

The patient may express a preference for treatment in a hospital nearer to their home, which may be a non-MDHU hospital, and some reservists opt for this route. In accordance with NHS protocols, if they are referred on to a non-MDHU hospital, then access to treatment is according to clinical priority.