Coroner calls for mental health review for soldiers
A coroner has called for a review of mental health procedures for soldiers as he recorded a narrative verdict at the inquest of a former soldier who was found hanged at his home in 2012. Lee Bonsall, 24, had served in the Army for three years.
Responding to a coroner's call for a review of mental health procedures for soldiers at the inquest of a Pte Lee Bonsall, who was found hanged at his home in 2012, a Ministry of Defence spokesman said:
Every suicide is a tragedy and our thoughts remain with the families of all those who have sadly taken their own lives. Mental health of our personnel and veterans is a top priority for the Government that is why we have committed £7.4 million to ensure there is extensive mental health support in place for everyone who needs it.
Medical experts and clinicians working in our Armed Forces and across the NHS are committed to providing the best possible care to all those that have bravely served their country and to ensuring a smooth transition from the Armed Forces into the NHS.
This includes improving the transfer of medical records on discharge to provide better continuity of care and providing mental health assessments prior to discharge. Letters are also included in the NHS medical notes to their GP stating they have been under military medical care and by keeping their NHS number so they are identifiable and remain visible in NHS systems.
The mother of Private Lee Bonsall who was found hanged at his home in 2012 has welcomed a coroner's call for a review of mental health procedures for soldiers.
Karen Bonsall told ITV News it was "amazing news" which "proves what [we] have said all along and all the recommendations we asked for".
As he recorded a narrative verdict at an inquest into the former soldier's death, Coroner Mark Layton said he intended to write to the Ministry of Defence to suggest that the procedure for arranging psychiatric appointments is reviewed.