The Defence Medical Services manage an extensive armed forces rehabilitation network which meets a wide range of requirements for rehabilitation treatment, including treatment for operational casualties. The network includes primary care rehabilitation facilities and 13 regional rehabilitation units (RRUs) in the UK, as well as the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court in Surrey, where seriously wounded servicemen and women are normally treated following the completion of their secondary care.
Funding for the treatment of wounded personnel has been, and will continue to be, made available to match clinical requirements, including surges in casualty numbers. Our future budgetary plans assume a continuing need for additional investment in facilities and staff at Headley Court. Comprehensive financial data for the past five years are not readily available.
Headley Court has received steadily increased investment in facilities and staff over recent years. The unit's operating costs, including estate management, are about £20.4 million in the current financial year, as compared with some £10.7 million (actual costs) in 2005-06. Significant new facilities brought into service over recent years, at an additional total cost of about £7.5 million, include a 30-bed ward annexe (May 2007), a 58-bed staff and patient accommodation block (January 2009) and the new Centre for Mental and Cognitive Health (opened last spring). For many years the Headley Court estate, which is owned by a charitable trust, has also benefited from additional funding of projects by that trust and other charities.
In addition to funding the projects just listed, we announced in May 2008 an extra £24 million in capital funding over the next four years for a Headley Court development programme. Over the first two years (i.e. up to April 2010) this funding is being mainly applied to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) contribution to the Help for Heroes rehabilitation complex, which will come into service in a few weeks, and a utilities upgrade for the whole site. Assessment work has also started on a project to re-develop the clinical areas, which would replace and expand the unit's current ward bed capacity (66 beds) and deliver other benefits, with an expected completion date in late 2011. As a prudent contingency measure, we are also providing additional ward accommodation of up to 30 ward beds later this year.