- Government agrees to support the most seriously injured Veterans
- Help for Heroes petitioned the Government last year to improve support for the nation’s most seriously injured Veterans.
- Ben Parkinson – considered the most seriously injured soldier – is finally being Medically Discharged today, after new care package secured by Help for Heroes.
- Veterans like Ben and Simon (case study below) face a constant battle to make sure their long-term care, rehabilitation and social needs are met.
- This additional funding will support their significant and complex needs and improve their quality of life.
Some Veterans, like injured paratrooper Ben Parkinson, will never fully recover from their battle wounds. Previously, they may not have survived their injuries at all.
Ben is finally being medically discharged after being injured 13 years after being injured.
After extensive work with military charity, Help for Heroes, the Government will today announce increased financial support for those most seriously injured while serving and who require 24-hour care.
Ben’s mum, Diane Dernie, said today:
“Now that Ben is finally out of the Army, the extra allowance which Help for Heroes have campaigned for is welcome, but it simply won’t cover his full therapy costs in the future.”
Their full care and support can cost tens of thousands of pounds and many have had daily challenges choosing between therapy and improving their overall quality of life.
The money will support Veterans like former Corporal Simon, 34, who suffered a serious brain injury when a Land Rover he was travelling in drove over an improvised explosive device in Musa Qala, Helmand Province on 6 December 2008. His heart stopped beating at the scene of the attack, starving his brain of oxygen, whilst medics fought to keep him alive. He survived, but his family was told by doctors that his brain injuries were so severe he would remain in a vegetative state for the rest of his life.
With support from Help for Heroes, Simon was able to get the right level of support which has improved his mental wellbeing and morale. He now wants to get out more and socialise in his community.
Simon’s mother, Lynn said:
“This is a massive step forward, and I am so pleased the Ministry of Defence recognises how hard it is for people like Simon, who are living with these serious injuries, to live fulfilling lives, as well as their families. This funding will make such a difference. I cannot thank Help for Heroes enough for the work they have done and continue to do for my family and many more just like us.”
The Charity, which has directly supported over 21,000 Veterans and their families since 2007, published their report in December calling on the Government to improve the support offered to these Veterans.
The Veterans can use the money for personal care, equipment, adaptive sports, housing adaptions, psychological therapies, additional speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, support technology and dogs and other quality of life enhancing activities.
Help for Heroes’ Head of Welfare and Clinical Services, Carol Betteridge OBE said:
“We are pleased Ben will now be able to start this new chapter of his life with the support he rightly deserves in place. Help for Heroes is proud to have fought for this money to support the most seriously injured. Their needs are among the most complex and we are delighted that the MOD has recognised this and their role in making sure those who are injured while Serving are not forgotten about. These Veterans are determined to live as full a life as possible and this modest amount of additional financial support can help them to do so. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the MOD, NHS and local authorities to ensure our Heroes get the support they deserve, for life.”
Notes to Editor
Help for Heroes’ report Improving Care for Our Most Seriously Wounded is available here: https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/media/442686/improving-the-lives-of-our-most-seriously-injured-veterans.pdf