UK Politics

Liberal Democratic Party: 80% of hospital trusts have no idea whether veterans have received priority treatment – Harvey

Press Release   •   Dec 18, 2009 10:13 GMT

80% of NHS hospital Trusts have no idea whether they have treated any veterans under the Government’s priority treatment scheme, according to research by the Liberal Democrats.

FOI requests sent to England’s 170 Acute Trusts found that, of the 118 which responded, 94 had no records or did not collect information on the effectiveness or results of the scheme.

The research also found that:

  • Five Acute Trusts were unaware of the scheme or did not have it in place

  • One said they were still awaiting guidance from the MOD

  • One said they had knowledge of only 1 veteran having been considered for priority treatment

  • Just three were able to provide figures – 2 of these had recorded a single patient each, while the third had treated 15 under the scheme in 10 years

Requests were also sent to 146 PCTs, of which 84 replied. Of these:

  • 67 had no records or don't collect the information

  • Three were able to provide figures – of these two had recorded one patient under the scheme, the other had had two requests

  • One said they were unaware of the scheme

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Defence Secretary, Nick Harvey said:

“This raises serious questions over the effectiveness of the Government’s veterans treatment scheme. If the vast majority of trusts have no idea whether any veterans have benefited from this, how can we be sure it is working at all?

“These are people who have put their lives on the line for this country. They deserve more than meaningless spin from Labour.

“Ministers must act urgently to ensure that this scheme is really delivering for the brave men and women who have risked life and limb on our behalf.”