HC Deb 13 March 2003 vol 401 cc388-9W
Mr. Jenkin

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many reservists called up for duty in connection with Operation Telic have failed to respond to call up papers; and what plans he has for legal proceedings against reservists who have gone absent without leave. [102554]

Dr. Moonie

The Reserve Forces Act 1996 (RFA 96) requires reservists who are served with a call-out notice to report for service at a specified time and place. Should a reservist fail to comply with a call-out notice, the Ministry of Defence will attempt to resolve administratively cases where an individual has inadvertently failed to comply with call-out instructions. This includes checking address information and sending a follow-up notice by recorded delivery. However, should it become apparent that the individual has deliberately failed to comply, a formal investigation will take place that may result in the reservist being charged with desertion or absence without leave. Such cases will be reported to the civil police and will be tried in a civil court. As at 10 March only one reservist is believed to have deliberately failed to report for service.

There are separate arrangements for conscientious objectors.

Mr. Waterson

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many NHS personnel(a) resident and (b) working in Eastbourne have received notice that they may be called up for active service; and what are their positions in the NHS. [91195]

Mr. Hoyle

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many reservists have been called up who are employed at(a) Chorley hospital, (b) Preston hospital, (c) hospitals in the north-west and (d) hospitals in the UK. [100682]

Dr. Moonie

Generally, reservists are not required to provide details of their civilian employment to the Ministry of Defence until such time as they are called-out. Historically, therefore, no central records have been maintained by the MOD of the numbers of reservists working in the NHS as doctors, nurses, paramedics and other professionals allied to medicine.

As at 6 March, 1,065 medical reservists in the Volunteer Reserve Forces had been sent call-out papers. Of these, 509 are understood to be working in the NHS. Information detailing the specific NHS Trusts these individuals work for is not available centrally. In addition, 166 medical reservists from the Regular Reserve have been sent call-out papers. None of these are understood to be employed in the NHS.

The MOD is working with the Department of Health to minimise disruption to the NHS as far as possible.