asked Her Majesty's Government:
Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Taylor of Bolton on 7 January 2008 (Official Report, 7/1/08; col. WA 137), what criteria are used to determine the “appropriate circumstances” for a service unit to reimburse the travel and subsistence costs for relatives visiting injured service personnel at the National Health Service Selly Oak Hospital in the absence of a medical recommendation that relatives should stay with that patient. [HL2022]
Service units have delegated authority to arrange travel and subsistence costs for up to three nights for up to two people (including at least one close family member) to visit a service person admitted to a hospital in the UK, when that admission is unexpected. This includes service personnel injured in an operational theatre who are subsequently moved to a hospital in the UK. This delegated authority enables units to make prompt arrangements, in advance of making a fuller assessment of the circumstances and gaining authority for longer periods or additional family members, where required.
Defence Medical Welfare Service staff supply all military in-patients at Selly Oak hospital who are separated from their possessions with “comfort kits” of toiletries, plus any clothing they require and items such as rucksacks, TV cards, loan of portable computers with internet access, or TVs in their ward, if none are otherwise available. In addition, all in-patients at Selly Oak receive incidental expenses at a daily rate of £5 a day. This allowance is designed to cover necessary personal incidental expenses.