Care Following Military Injuries In Afghanistan To Cost £288m

Expert Military Injury Lawyers Hope Research Will Improve Care For Veterans

02.06.2015

A new study into injuries suffered by Armed Forces personnel in Afghanistan has revealed the long-term cost of care, rehabilitation and prosthetics has reached £288 million.

Expert military injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell hope that the estimate of the amount of money needed to ensure those injured in Afghanistan are cared for and received the support they need will lead to improvements in the future and ensure injured veterans are able to access all the help they need.

The study found there were 265 casualties between 2003 and 2014, with those seriously injured suffering 416 amputations. It found the care costs for the 153 individuals who suffered a single above-the-knee amputations were £1.16 million.

Experts at the Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injury Studies at Imperial College London calculated the combined sum of trauma care, rehabilitation and prosthetics for amputees over a 40-year period.

Irwin Mitchell recently hosted a special rehabilitation conference to share best practice on how to help military amputees with their lifelong needs with speakers including the inspirational Andy Reid and Stephen Cruise from the charity AIM (Amputation, Inspiration, & Motivation) on issues surrounding the users of the military rehabilitation, their transition to civilian life and treatment.

Dr Emily Mayhew, a professional historian from Imperial College, also spoke about the need to learn medical lessons from the past including WW1 to help amputees long after the deployments have taken place.

Irwin Mitchell has represented a number of injured Armed Forces personnel, including Sergeant Stuart Pearson, who lost his left leg when he stood on a landmine in the Kajaki Dam, Afghanistan. Expert lawyers were able to secure him a seven-figure settlement, which was used to provide state-of-the-art prosthetics and access to rehabilitation, transport, accommodation and specialist equipment, which is not provided for under the current Armed Forces compensation Scheme.

Geraldine McCool, an expert military injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell and Secretary of the Royal British Legion Solicitors Group, who represented Stuart, said: 


Expert Opinion
It appears that the costs associated with caring for seriously injured Armed Forces personnel have been underestimated for a long time.

“The figure calculated in this latest research is likely to increase as other illnesses and injuries have not been taken into account and many injured personnel will also be looking to recover the loss of earnings they will face given the severity of their injuries. There needs to be a real focus on rehabilitation and how it can help save costs by equipping veterans for lifelong challenges including employment.

“We hope that this new research will ensure the long-term implication of injuries to military personnel are better understood in the future and injured veterans will be able to access the funds they require to get the help and support they need to allow them to get their lives back on track.
Geraldine McCool, Partner