To ask Her Majesty's Government how many service personnel have been (a) hospitalised in each of the past five years, (b) off duty for 12 months or more, and (c) medically discharged due to mental illness attributed to service in Afghanistan.
The MoD's Defence Analytical Services and Advice (DASA) organisation publishes on its website statistics on new attendances to the MoD's in-patient contractor, effective back to 2007. Equivalent verified data prior to 2007 are not available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. New patients assessed as having a mental disorder and admitted to the MoD's in-patient contractor by deployment are shown in the following table. Note that, for those who deployed to Afghanistan, this does not specifically attribute their disorder to that deployment.
|Year||All first admissions assessed with a mental disorder||Of which, patients who had previously deployed to Afghanistan|
|2009 (to 30 June 2009)||108||19|
* Prior to April 2007, precise individual deployment dates are not available centrally. Therefore, for in-patients in the first quarter of 2007, it is only possible to identify whether they were deployed at some point prior to
The single services record, for management reasons, the numbers of personnel who are at any one time "unfit for task" or "unable to deploy", although their records do not identify the length of time each individual has been so categorised. Details of the numbers of personnel fit for task and fit to deploy in each quarter since 2006 were given in my Answers dated 20 and
The number of UK Service personnel medically discharged with a principal condition of mental and behavioural disorders during the period 2004-08 is shown in the following table.
|Of this total, number previously deployed to Afghanistan||Total||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008|
Note that a previous deployment should not be assumed to be the cause of the principal disability leading to medical discharge. Although medical boards recommend medical discharges they do not decide whether the principal disability is attributable to service. A medical board could take place many months or even years after an event or injury and it is not clinically possible in some cases to link an earlier injury to a later problem which may lead to a discharge.