Ministry of Defence: Health

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 22nd October 2019.

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Photo of Chris Ruane Chris Ruane Shadow Minister (Wales)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department uses Office for National Statistics estimates of personal well-being in formulating policy; and what policies his Department has introduced to improve personal well-being in the last 12 months.

Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) consults relevant National Statistics when formulating policy.

The MOD takes the health and wellbeing of its personnel very seriously. A Health and Wellbeing Strategy for all MOD employees, military and civilian, was published in mid-2015 (updated in August 2016) and is designed to provide guidance to the Chain of Command and civilian line managers on how to manage the health needs, both mental and physical, of their people. The aim is to maximise the number of people fit to work, managing people back to work after a period of sickness, so that they are fit and able to meet the requirements of Defence outputs, including operational effectiveness.

For personnel returning from conflict, the MOD continues to fund the large scale, ongoing independent study from the King's Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR), King's College London, which has become an important source of data on the impact of deployment on the overall health and wellbeing of military personnel and veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2003, MOD has contributed over £9 million to this study.

A considerable number of research papers, relating to issues such as wellbeing, depression, alcohol abuse, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, can be accessed on the KCMHR area of the King's College London website at https://www1.kcl.ac.uk/kcmhr/pubdb/. This work continues to produce high quality evidence upon which we can make considered decisions about the way we manage and treat our personnel.

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