Previous Section Index Home Page

26 Nov 2002 : Column 173W—continued


Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what statistical information he has collected concerning the deaths in or near military property since 1990. [80685]

Dr. Moonie: Information on deaths is routinely collected within the Ministry of Defence in a number of ways. Service casualty branches receive and hold information on injuries and deaths for next of kin and casualty purposes. The Armed Forces Pay and Administration Agency collects information on deaths for pay, pensions and manpower purposes. The Defence Analytical Services Agency collects information for statistical purposes. Detailed information on location is held by the Service casualty branches. However, this is not readily accessible, being held as free text fields in a mixture of databases and paper records.

Defence Medical Services

Mr. Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many consultants there are in each faculty within Defence Medical Services. [80796]

26 Nov 2002 : Column 174W

Dr. Moonie: The number of consultants in each specialty within the Defence Medical Services, as at 1 July 2002, is set out in the following table:

Consultant specialtyCurrent manning(15)
General Surgery18
Orthopaedic Surgery11
General Medicine20
Accident and Emergency3
Genito-Urinary Medicine1
Obstetrics and Gynaecology0
Burns and Plastic Surgery3
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery7
Ear, Nose and Throat3
Rheumatology and Rehabilitation6
Chemical Pathology0
Aviation Medicine1
Occupational Medicine43
Public Health Medicine8
Restorative Dentistry2
Dental Public Health2

(15) Including command and staff appointments

Fire Service Cover

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what reserve forces are available (a) to assist in firefighting duties and (b) to replace regular service personnel engaged in firefighting duties during industrial action by civilian firefighters. [82908]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 25 November 2002]: There are currently no plans to call out reservists in response to the firefighters' strike. However, it is possible that volunteers may be used in supporting roles, but in such cases they would not be deployed as firefighters.

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the impact of the deployment of service personnel to provide fire cover on the ability of the Armed Forces to respond to a chemical, biologial, radiological and nuclear attack in the UK. [82952]

Mr. Ingram: Contingency plans, involving the Armed Forces, are in place for responding to a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack. This capability has not been affected by the deployment of Service personnel to provide emergency fire and rescue cover.

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to sign a Queen's Order conferring rights to call up extra reserves in the event of military action being undertaken before the firefighters' dispute has been settled. [82910]

26 Nov 2002 : Column 175W

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 25 November 2002]: Reservists are called out under the legal powers conferred by the Reserve Forces Act 1996.

26 Nov 2002 : Column 176W

As my right hon Friend the Secretary of State told the House on 4 November, call- out of reservists for any new operational commitment would be the subject of a separate call-out order at the appropriate time.


Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of each of Her Majesty's armed services have (a) died and (b) been seriously injured as a result of the discharge of firearms in (i) Great Britain, (ii) Northern Ireland, (iii) Germany and (iv) other overseas postings in each year since 1990. [80680]

Dr. Moonie: Between 1 January 1990 and 31 December 2001, 199 service personnel have died as a result of the discharge of firearms. These deaths are shown by location in the following table.

Deaths due to discharge of firearms since 1990, by location

Year of death
Great Britain843357
Northern Ireland109111147
Other overseas postings12512155
Grand total283919172720

Year of death
199619971998199920002001Grand total
Great Britain64132248
Northern Ireland41010361
Other overseas postings70038471
Grand total17517109199

Comprehensive information on firearm related injuries is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Firearms Deaths

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many firearms deaths since 1990 were perceived to be (a) suicide or self-inflicted deaths, (b) accidental deaths and (c) homicide or other deaths caused by other persons or persons unknown. [80681]

Dr. Moonie: Between 1 January 1990 and 31 December 2001, 199 service personnel have died as a result of firearms. The cause of these deaths are shown in the following table:

Deaths due to discharge of firearms since 1990

Year of death
Hostile action and assault10126780
Suicide and open1271151214
Grand total283919172720

Year of death
199619971998199920002001Grand total
Hostile action and assault51032155
Suicide and open93003278
Grand total17517109199


1. The number of suicides and open verdicts is likely to rise for the later years as outstanding coroners' verdicts are confirmed.

2. As at 18 November 2002.

26 Nov 2002 : Column 177W

Frigate Sales

Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which frigate the UK intends to sell to Thailand. [83014]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 25 November 2002]: No Royal Navy frigates are currently intended to be sold to Thailand.

Homeless Ex-service Men

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions his Department has had with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Homelessness Unit regarding homeless ex-service men; what welfare policies are in place to prevent young ex-service men becoming homeless; and what plans he has to introduce further policies. [83299]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 25 November 2002]: Since my appointment as Minister for Veterans in March 2001,1 have had regular contact with ministerial colleagues in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) through the Veterans Task Force which normally meets every six months to give direction to the Government's Veterans Initiative. I have also agreed to become a member of the Ministerial Committee on Homelessness.

Officials from the Ministry of Defence and ODPM meet representatives of veterans' organisations regularly through the Ex-Service Action Group; in recent times there has been increased contact in order to develop a work placement programme which will be provided in partnership with the Prince's Trust XBusiness in the Community". The programme will be up and running next year.

Officials from ODPM are members of a working group on service resettlement established as part of the Veterans Initiative. I have tasked the group with enhancing processes to ensure a more successful transition to civilian life for the small minority of vulnerable service leavers who need support.

The MOD had a number of discussions with the ODPM earlier this year in order to assume financial responsibility for the housing advice staff provided by the English Churches Housing Group in Catterick Garrison and Shelter at the Military Correction and Training Centre in Colchester.

Officials from both Departments have also been discussing how best to make local authority housing officers around the country aware of the change in the 1996 Housing Act Priority Needs Categories, issued on 31 July 2002, which extends the groups of homeless people considered to be in priority need of housing to include the few armed forces personnel who are vulnerable to homelessness due to their institutional background. MOD has also been engaging with the appropriate authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to ensure that the same issues are taken into account in their future legislative proposals for housing allocations.

More recently, my officials have been finalising arrangements with the ODPM's Homelessness Directorate and the local authority in Richmond, North Yorkshire, for a project to convert a disused art-gallery

26 Nov 2002 : Column 178W

into 13 self-contained studio flats. The flats will be used to provide short-term accommodation (six to nine months being the norm) for service leavers who are most vulnerable to homelessness. I met the first residents on 25 November.

Next Section Index Home Page