New treatment package for seriously injured Veterans
This is a step in the right direction says Ahmed Al-Nahhas, head of the military team at Bolt Burdon Kemp …
The MoD and the NHS have agreed a new package to be offered to a small number of seriously injured Service personnel. This new package has been in development since 2017, and was launched last month as the Integrated Personal Commissioning for Veterans, or IPC4V.
The idea behind the new scheme is to provide personalised care for the seriously wounded, which in financial terms will amount to £24,000 per year for each individual, for life. The funding can be spent on a variety of treatment methods, as well as well-being activities. Those who qualify should benefit from, among other things:
- assessment at least nine months before discharge
- a personalised care plan that takes into account their care needs
- ongoing support from a dedicated welfare officer
- an opportunity to provide input into their care plan so that it can evolve with their needs.
This scheme builds on work already undertaken by the MoD, the NHS and the Department of Health and Social Care, as well as a number of military charities (such as Blesma, Help for Heroes and The Royal British Legion).
Care for the seriously injured is more successful when approached from a multi-disciplinary perspective; this means having input from various clinicians, therapists and healthcare specialists. This requires great coordination. The scheme is designed to go ‘beyond traditional health and social care to focus on all aspects of an individual’s life, including their goals and ambitions’. This is very promising; often it is not just the physical injuries but the psychiatric harm suffered as a result of those injuries that has the greatest impact on work and family life after service.
Importantly, the MoD has also taken on board the challenges that some seriously injured Veterans have faced in obtaining good, long-term medical and social care. At least 6,000 former Services personnel have already had the benefit of help from the NHS’s Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS), and several NHS Trusts have been accredited as ‘Veteran Aware’. But despite these steps forward, and perhaps because the NHS is so strained, some Veterans do still slip through the cracks and are not given the care they need.
I am concerned that the scheme is currently available only in England, and that, while extra funding is always to be welcomed, healthcare can be very expensive, so I wonder how much this budget will stretch for those who really need it. I think we can’t underestimate the amount of support and investment that medically discharged personnel deserve.
Despite these concerns, I think that this new scheme is definitely a step in the right direction. The way that the MoD is approaching this issue shows that it acknowledges that there are challenges faced by seriously injured Veterans during and after transition to civilian life, and it is to be hoped that this will improve their care, standard of living and long-term prospects.
To find out more about the work of Bolt Burdon Kemp, visit www.boltburdonkemp.co.uk
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ahmed Al-Nahhas is head of the specialist military team at Bolt Burdon Kemp, acting exclusively for Service personnel in claims involving personal injury, clinical negligence, bullying and harassment. He can be contacted by email at email@example.com
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