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Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 463: debated on Wednesday 12 September 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK military personnel have lost limbs during operations in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq. (154946)

[holding answer 10 September 2007]: The Complex Rehabilitation and Amputee Unit (CRAU) at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC), at Headley Court in Surrey became fully operational on 1 June 2006. Between that date and 6 September 2007, it has treated 24 casualties from Iraq and 12 from Afghanistan.

Prior to 1 June 2006, comprehensive information on the number of military personnel who have suffered amputations as a result of wounds received on active service was not held centrally. To provide this information would require the examination of the individual medical records of each patient who has been classified as very seriously injured or seriously injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. These records can only be viewed for non-clinical reasons with the express consent of each individual concerned, to protect patient confidentiality.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to reimburse Royal Mail to enable parcels to be posted free of charge to military personnel serving in Afghanistan and Iraq; and if he will make a statement. (155204)

On 25 August the Ministry of Defence and Royal Mail Group announced that a free postage scheme would operate between 3 September and 7 December inclusive, and that further negotiations would take place on how to extend the scheme beyond this date.

These discussions are currently under way and it would not be appropriate to speculate on their outcome at this time. A statement on the future of the free postage scheme will be made once negotiations have been finalised.