HC Deb 04 November 2003 vol 412 c621W
Gareth Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what action the Royal Welch Fusiliers have taken in respect of soldiers suffering from stress-related mental conditions in the past five years; [135362]

(2)what guidelines he has issued in respect of support and treatment of army personnel suffering from stress-related mental conditions; [135363]

(3)what facilities the Royal Welch Fusiliers have for support and treatment of soldiers suffering from stress-related mental conditions. [135364]

Mr. Caplin

The Ministry of Defence recognises that stress-related disorders are serious and disabling conditions. Policy on prevention is reviewed regularly in light of medical developments. Guidance and prevention of stress-related conditions has been issued widely throughout the army chain of command, and all army medical officers receive training in the recognition and management of such conditions.

Community-based psychiatry is available to every military unit and to every service person. Support available to the Royal Welch Fusiliers includes an on-site community psychiatric nurse, who is backed-up by a psychiatric consultant where possible. Secondary care is provided by military and civilian psychiatric hospitals. If a soldier is assessed as suffering from a stress-related condition the unit medical officer will order treatment tailored to his or her clinical needs. The unit medical officer liaises closely with the chain of command and may also refer individuals to the unit welfare officer and/or the padre as appropriate.