There has been a massive amount of comment by people on the story that broke this morning in the Daily record. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/this-ultimate-slap-face-former-10885724
Firstly I have every sympathy with the young man concerned. He is in a situation which is horrific and deserves all the support he can get. It is important not to lose sight of that, yet he is ill-served by the report and by the reaction it has got on social media.
Comments run along the lines of moaning about No voters, anti-”WasteMonger” moans and so forth. “The soldier like the rest of them from Scotland mean nothing to the British imperialists ” was fairly typical.
I expect it ill not be long before someone suggest crowd funding.
There are a few points to make. The first is the headline as simply misleading, it is bad journalism.
Another point I want to make is a plea for not just responding on an emotive issue with a simple un-thought-through answer. Look at the facts and read the report you are responding to carefully. As it is social media becomes a mere exercise in ill-thought out ranting and helps no-one.
A bit of consideration and fact checking is useful.
The idea that the young man is not to be treated because he is Scottish is anonsense. He is not going to fail to get treatment but treatment by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is normally for Birmingham area residents. I have a friend in Birmingham who is treated there and that is because it is her local hospital. The Military specialist unit at the Queen Elizabeth is run as a partnership between the forces and the local NHS trust. By all accounts it is excellent, and it may well be the young man would be better treated there. It is accepted that he would benefit from contact with others in the same situation.
I know the QE hospital’s unit receives and does the initial care for the armed forces. http://www.army.mod.uk/welfare-support/23866.aspx
This is not an open-ended commitment and after a period the care becomes a normal NHS responsibility.
The NHS does routinely refer people out of area for specialist treatment. The treatment is a matter for approval by the NHS authority for your area of residence. My late wife was in a national centre of excellence for intestinal failure cases which was at Salford Royal, our then home authority was Morecambe Bay who picked up the bill.
The crunch bit is at the bottom of the article “ The trust who run the hospital said: ‘University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust have arranged two more follow-up appointments to determine the effectiveness of Mr Brown’s latest cycle of treatment.
If he needs further treatment within the trust, we would need to seek pre-approved funding from NHS Scotland.‘ ”
So any denial of treatment is simply not there, nor is there any discrimination against Scots!
“Treatment plan for injured soldier to be reviewed” would be an accurate headline, but not massively good for selling papers.
Now there is a story and a question to be asked about how long a service man or woman should be treated at MOD expense. The issue here seems to be the young man concerned is a FORMER soldier; as such his care comes a matter for civilian health services. Ho far this is a good thing is debatable, but it makes sense for things like general support and occupational therapy to take place reasonably locally and in the community in which someone lives.
I have believed for a long time that anyone undertaking a job deserves support and recompense for personal loss and damage caused as a result of that job. I have a personal interest here; I left teaching as a result of work-related stress causing big health issues.
The case of the treatment of former services people is very serious; they are institutionalised, looked after, fed, housed and so on whilst in the services, but often find themselves without any support on leaving, many of them with serious issues to deal with. It is a scandal there is a high rate of mental health problems amongst ex-services personnel and a high rate of homelessness. These things need addressing. The odd bout of sentiment and buying a wrist band or a poppy is not really adequate.
The way we treat service personnel needs some careful thinking about and improvement. That is the real issue behind the young man the Daily Record has sensationalised. It is important we get it right, but for now the matter of this particular individual is one for NHS Scotland. I hope they make the best decision. I suspect given the particular situation and expertise in Birmingham he will continue to be treated there. But that is a matter of clinical decision in the light of what is best for the patient.