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Mental Health Services: Ex-servicemen

Volume 504: debated on Thursday 28 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 11 January 2009, Official Report, columns 15-16WS, on medical care (veterans), what special provisions he expects mental health services to make for veterans during 2011-12. (313971)

The Operating framework for the national health service in England 2010-11 makes it clear that meeting the needs of military and ex-military personnel is a reputational issue for the NHS as a whole. This includes mental health.

The NHS will be helped in this task by the results of six United Kingdom pilots that aimed to test different approaches to encouraging uptake of NHS mental health services by veterans. This will report in the next few weeks.

In addition, we are currently launching a project which will embed personnel from the Combat Stress charity into another six or seven mental health trusts to build on benefits of collaborative working between the NHS and the voluntary sector.

Commissioning responsibility for mental health care services, including any special provisions for veterans, now rests with individual primary care trusts. We do not propose to change this.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate has he made of the number of former service personnel who have received treatment for mental illness in each year since 1992. (314383)

The fact that someone has served in the armed forces is not recorded within national health service information systems, so these figures are not available.

The Defence Medical Services and Department of Health will shortly introduce a new process to help service leavers register with an NHS general practitioner, including direct transfer of medical records and this will allow the individuals status as a veteran to be passed to other health workers, including within mental health services.