Prime Minister agrees to meeting over injured Doncaster soldier’s medical care

Armed Forces Parade  Ben Parkinson
Armed Forces Parade Ben Parkinson

Prime Minister David Cameron has agreed to arrange a meeting between senior ministers and injured ex-Doncaster serviceman Ben Parkinson over the future of his ongoing medical care.

Mr Cameron agreed to facilitate the meeting after Doncaster MP Caroline Flint raised concerns about long-term funding for Ben’s treatment.

Lance Bombardier Ben lost both his legs when he hit a land mine in Afghanistan in 2006.

He and his family fear that the cost of his long term medical care may eventually lead to it being withdrawn.

Speaking in the Commons, Ms Flint said: “Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson is the UK’s most severely wounded surviving soldier. He has been greatly helped in the past nine years by the specialist healthcare and other treatments and services that have been afforded to him, but his family are worried that this might end when he is forced to leave the armed forces.

“The Prime Minister has pledged his support for Ben before. Will he arrange a meeting for me with a senior Minister and Ben and his family, so that we can secure his future?”

Mr Cameron replied: “I am very happy to do that for Ben Parkinson. It has been an immense privilege to meet Ben. He is one of the bravest people I have ever met, and he always seems to have good humour and optimism about the future despite how much he has suffered.

“We have tried to put in place progressive improvement, year on year, in the services that we give to our armed forces personnel and their families. We have to recognise that, after the Iraq war and after 14 years of deployments in Afghanistan, we need to look after these young people for the rest of their lives. They do not simply want tea and sympathy; they want fulfilling lives.

“They want the best possible prosthetic limbs and the best healthcare. They want to go on and do great things, and it should be our ambition as a country to help.”