HC Deb 14 July 1997 vol 298 cc55-6W
Mr. Key

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list(a) the number of personnel on the recent exercise by 34 Field Hospital at Elvington airfield, (b) the numbers planned for theatre operational deployment by 34 Field Hospital and (c) numbers available currently for operational deployment by 34 Field Hospital, by each specialty described in the current Defence Medical Services Army manning spreadsheet; and if he will make a statement. [8547]

Dr. Reid

(a) 229 personnel from 34 Field Hospital participated in Exercise BOB CAT at Elvington airfield, near York, between 27 May and 16 June of this year.

(b) the number of hospital personnel who would deploy on operations, in 34 Field Hospital's current role in support of the Joint Rapid Deployment Force (JRDF), would depend on the composition of the force that is to deploy and the size of the hospital that is required to support that force. The following table illustrates the number of medical personnel that deploy with a hospital according to the number of beds and surgical teams the force will require, which in turn is dependant on the nature of the operation. The different requirements for beds and surgical teams are grouped into four categories.

Theatre operational deployment by 34 field hospital
Serial Reinforcement category Total troops (cumulative) Beds Surgical teams
1 1Cadre 106 25 1
2 2Category 1 121 25 2
3 Category 2 172 50 2
4 Category 3 270 100 4
5 Category 4 506 200 8
1 The Reinforcement Category "Cadre" is a permanent staff that are based in barracks and provide the manpower for peacetime activities including command, equipment husbandry and administration.
2 Categories 1 to 4 are reinforcement staff, who are mostly provided by Defence Secondary Care Agency (DSCA). Personnel to make up Categories 1 and 2 are nominated in advance, but the balance of personnel to make up Categories 3 and 4 are found as required from the balance of DSCA personnel.

(c) 34 Field Hospital is available for deployment with a full complement of the required specialists. The table below lists the personnel currently available for operational deployment, by speciality, and according to the various reinforcement categories.

Work is in hand to consider the future of the Operational Medical Capability requirements of the Armed Forces.