Photo of Andrew Robathan

Andrew Robathan (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence; South Leicestershire, Conservative)

The Ministry of Defence Medical Assessment Programme (MAP) will move from facilities at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, to the Reinforcements Training and Mobilisation Centre (RTMC) at Chilwell in October 2012. The MAP offers mental health assessments to ex-service personnel who have deployed on operations since 1982 and have mental health problems related to their military service.

The House is aware of the report published by my hon. Friend Dr Murrison for making improvements in mental health care provision for service personnel and veterans. We fully support the report’s recommendation that the MAP service continues while NHS mental health services are further developed across the UK, and remain committed to doing all we can to help veterans with mental health problems related to their military service and to making improvements to the services we provide.

There are significant advantages in collocating the MAP with the RTMC at Chilwell. This will provide a more structured professional environment for the MAP physician; benefits for clinical governance and flexibility from working alongside the reserves mental healthcare service; and improved cost effectiveness from sharing the facilities already in place at Chilwell. This move is also expected to benefit the majority of veterans as demographic data indicate that a high percentage are being referred from the north and the midlands.

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