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Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel who have served in Afghanistan have been treated for post-combat stress disorder in each year since 2001. (276040)

Since July 2007 the Defence Analytical Services and Advice (DASA) organisation has reported on the Psychiatric Morbidity of the UK armed forces. Quarterly reports for the whole of 2007 and the first two quarters of 2008 are available in the Library of the House and on the DASA website found at the following link:

www.dasa.mod.uk

Equivalent verified data prior to 2007 are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what estimate he has made of the cost of treating service personnel injured in Afghanistan in each year since 2001; (276042)

(2) what funds his Department has allocated for the treatment of service personnel (a) injured and (b) diagnosed with post-combat stress disorder as a result of serving in Afghanistan since 2001.

Medical policy for the Defence Medical Services (DMS) is overseen by the Surgeon General's Department (SGD). However, the organisational structure of the DMS means that comprehensive primary care and individual operational costs cannot be provided without disproportionate cost as they are disaggregated and embedded in the budgets of individual military units and overall operational budgets.

In Afghanistan, members of the DMS are deployed to provide the necessary in-theatre care and treatment for all our personnel. Funding for these personnel, and all associated treatment costs, are provided from overall operational budgets.

In the UK, the majority of secondary health care is provided in NHS hospitals by both DMS and civilian medical staff. The single service medical services are responsible for delivering primary health care to their respective service commanders-in-chief. This includes local medical centres, including GPs, Regional Rehabilitation Units (RRUs), and Departments of Community Mental Health (DCMHs). It is not possible to separate out costs from overall unit medical budgets without disproportionate cost.

The DCMHs provide out-patient mental health treatment for those requiring it, and, as noted above, funding for these falls to the single service commands. In the relatively few cases where in-patient care is required, this has since 2004 been provided under contract with external providers. The costs for in-patient care of UK service personnel in each year to date are provided in the following table:

Contract value (£ million)

1 December 2003 to 31 March 2004

0.4

1 April 2004 to 31 March 2005

4.2

1 April 2005 to 31 March 2006

4.5

1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007

3.4

1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008

3.9

1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009

3.3

The figures cover all service patients admitted for any mental health condition, not just post-traumatic stress disorder. They include the cost of assessing patients as well as any treatment provided, and also include services provided between 1 December 2003 and April 2004 prior to the formal contract start date.

Prior to 2004, in-patient treatment was provided by MOD's Duchess of Kent Psychiatric Hospital (DKPH) at Catterick. Although figures for each year since 2001 are not readily available, DKPH's costs in the final year of operation were some £10 million.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 18 May 2009, Official Report, column 1170W, on armoured fighting vehicles, how many Panther Command and Liaison vehicles have been modified for deployment to operations in Afghanistan in the last 12 months. (277337)

To date, 46 vehicles have been modified to a theatre entry standard, appropriate for deployment to operations in Afghanistan.