Defence Medical Services

Defence written question – answered on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Menzies Campbell Menzies Campbell Chair, Committee on Issue of Privilege (Police Searches on Parliamentary Estate)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence

(1) which private companies Defence Medical Services uses to hire civilian medical locums to work at UK medical facilities on deployed operations;

(2) how many civilian medical locums have been employed by Defence Medical Services to provide support to Operation Herrick; and what the (a) specialism, (b) length of deployment and (c) cost was of each such locum.

Photo of Kevan Jones Kevan Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence) (Veterans)

holding answer 20 March 2010

The company with which the Defence Medical Services (DMS) holds an enabling contract for contracted medical support (nursing, medical support services and doctors) is Frontier Medical. Each deployment is ordinarily for a three-month period and cover has only been required for up to eight posts at any one time.

Set out in the following table are the total costs of the locums employed on Operation Herrick for each financial year since April 2007 to August 2009, together with the total numbers of individual personnel who have deployed at any time between the dates shown.

Financial year Total individuals deployed at any time in period as civilian locums Operation Total cost £ million
April 2007-March 2008 16 Herrick (Afghanistan) 0.612
April 2008-March 2009 35 Herrick 2.34
April 2009-August 2009 26 Herrick 0.79

The service chiefs have decided that detailed data will no longer be published where this would highlight potential pinch points within the armed forces, including the DMS. I am withholding information on pinch points as its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.

In order to maintain appropriate external scrutiny of such data, the Department will continue to provide comprehensive restricted manning data to the House of Commons Defence Committee.

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