Many military amputees in the UK are speaking out against the level of substandard care they are receiving through the National Health Service system.
A former Royal Marine and the UK’s first triple amputee from Afghanistan tells Forces TV he’s had to “beg, borrow and steal” to find the money to get the care he needed.
Mark Omrod said having to plead with charities for money has caused more distress for him and his family than the actual physical injuries he suffered. He had to raise over $200,000 for prosthetic limbs to be fitted at Hanger — a renowned prosthetics clinic in Oklahoma.
Under the Armed Forces Covenant, service personnel are meant to be prioritized for NHS treatment, but Clive Smith – a veteran confined to a wheelchair for 8-months after NHS delays– claims the care he’s received has been substandard.
The Covenant, which became law in 2011, promises that veterans will be “sustained and rewarded for their service – and crucially, that they shouldn’t be disadvantaged by serving their country.”
The care has deteriorated for these vets and since returning home many of them are now questioning whether the sacrifices they made for their country was worth it.
The “White Report” is described as the most detailed case study of 160 former servicemen who were let down by NHS. Daily frustrations, delays, and complications have been reported by those who suffered terrible injuries in combat. They say unequivocally, the NHS has failed them. The report was compiled by former Royal Marines Captain Jon White, who was injured by an IED while serving in Afghanistan, according to the Plymouth Herald.
According to the report, many amputee veterans struggle to find decent care once they leave the armed forces and go into the NHS. Some end up going back in a wheelchair because the “NHS cannot make sockets good enough.”
The White Report calls for a restructuring of health services. It found that in some cases, “soldiers should continue to be treated by the Ministry of Defense and not transferred to the NHS, so that they would be entitled to specialist treatment overseas.”