To ask Her Majesty's Government how many places they provide in medical facilities for service personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. [HL1257]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there is a waiting list for places in medical facilities for service personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. [HL1258]
The provision of mental health services for service personnel is the responsibility of the Defence Medical Services (DMS). For personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment is provided on a case-by-case basis and tailored to the specific symptoms and needs of the patient. All assessments and treatments provided by the DMS are carried out in accordance with National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines.
Guidance issued by the surgeon general states that urgent mental health referrals are to be seen within 24 hours by a member of the local military Department of Community Mental Health (DCMH) team. Routine referrals are to be offered an appointment at a local DCMH within 20 working days. There are no indications that these timeframes are being exceeded. Under the MoD's in-patient contract there are no waiting lists for admission.
Information on the number of new attendances at DCMHs in 2007 for which an initial diagnosis of PTSD was given is contained within the UK Armed Forces Psychiatric Morbidity Report which is produced by Defence Analysis and Statistical Advice and is available to view on its website at www.dasa.mod.uk/. The report shows that in 2007, out of a total of 5,647 patients referred to a DCMH for initial assessment, 180 were assessed to be suffering from PTSD.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have conducted any research into the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder on propensity to engage in violence. [HL1259]
The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies though which the Government support medical and clinical research. The MRC is currently not funding any research directly related to post-traumatic stress disorder and the propensity to engage in violence.
The MRC is however funding a programme of research relating to the regulation of emotion and emotional information. The programme aims to address: how healthy people regulate and control their emotions; how these regulation processes might break down in various mental health problems such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders and anger disorders; the ways in which people might learn to regulate their emotions better; and the brain regions involved in emotion regulation.