A WORLD-CLASS mental health unit for military veterans should be set up by next year, MPs will urge today.
The recommendation comes after a probe found that care for serving and former troops was crippled by “scandalously” low funding.
Getty – Contributor A world-class mental health unit for military veterans should be set up by next year, MPs are urging
A Commons defence committee report will say the centre should take charge of national efforts to improve mental health care for veterans and cut through the confusion between charities and different NHS trusts.
It should be based alongside the new Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre in Loughborough, Leics, and established in the next 12 to 18 months.
A committee member, Labour’s Ruth Smeeth, said: “Scandalously little funding is allocated to veteran-specific services and it is unacceptable that veterans and their families should feel abandoned by the state.”
The NHS has committed £10million in long-term plans for veteran care.
But MPs say demand is “swamping” availability, with some veterans waiting a year for treatment.
The committee declared that it is “convinced” the UK needs a “highly specialised place of safety”.
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But some experts insisted the best care was at local level by small teams — not centralised in a single hub.
Prof Sir Simon Wessely said: “I’m in favour of regional trauma centres and of linking with charities.”
A government spokesperson said: “NHS England is committed to bespoke services for veterans.”
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