Surgeon-general lieutenant general Louis Lillywhite defends Selly Oak hospital’s treatment of injured solders

The military’s head of medicine has responded to reports of horrific neglect of injured soldiers by insisting that the Armed Forces are happy with the treatment they are receiving.

Newspaper reports claimed that servicemen returning from Iraq and Afghanistan were being made to wait longer than 18 months for treatment.

There were also claims of filthy conditions, poorly trained staff and superbugs at the Selly Oak hospital in the west Midlands, which is used by up to 800 soldiers.

But the surgeon-general, lieutenant general Louis Lillywhite, insisted that a survey of military patients at Selly Oak showed they all rated their treatment as excellent, very good or good.

“When any members of the Armed Forces, or their family, are unhappy about their treatment then we will investigate with the NHS on their behalf,” he added.

The last dedicated military hospital in the UK is to close next month, and criticism is mounting of the Forces’ use of the NHS.

But Lillywhite said: “All three of the service chiefs have committed themselves to making the military managed ward in Selly Oak work.

“Creating an independent military hospital is not the best way to look after our people. Serious casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan need and receive advanced levels of care across a wide range of medical disciplines that can only be found in a major trauma hospital.”

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