1. ITV Report

Ben Parkinson to get 'full care assessment'

Severely injured paratrooper Ben Parkinson is expected to receive a full care assessment as soon as possible with a view to filling the gaps in care highlighted by his lawyers after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and NHS England responded positively to a legal campaign.

Ben Parkinson Credit: ITV News

Specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell who have worked with Ben since he was injured while serving in Afghanistan in 2006 wrote to the MoD, NHS England and Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) highlighting the gaps in Ben’s care which had arisen from a lack of funding and communication between the organisations.

The MoD has confirmed that it is their responsibly to commission primary care for Ben and NHS England has agreed that it is responsible for commissioning community and secondary care for him.

This means that NHSE will take over funding Ben’s personal health budget from the CCG following a “full care assessment” – to take place as soon as possible. The MoD has also offered a meeting between the parties to resolve the issues with Ben’s care.

Ben is currently waiting for new wheelchairs and broken gym equipment to be replaced. There is also not enough funding to pay carers to provide respite for his family and to take Ben swimming and to other much-needed rehabilitation treatments.

It is very good news that the organisations involved appear eager to resolve the issues regarding Ben’s care. Whilst we are hopeful the action proposed will resolve all the failings, we will be monitoring closely to ensure his needs are all going to be met. We will be asking the parties to confirm a tight timetable for the assessment and a round table meeting, because the issues with Ben’s care are urgent as he is shortly due to have surgery.

– Alice Cullingworth, Ben’s solicitor

While we are delighted that it seems there is some movement towards improving Ben’s care, we are disappointed that we needed to enlist lawyers to help us get to this point.

We hope that it will not be necessary to go to court, so long as NHS England and the MoD get together and work out how all Ben’s care needs will be met now and in the future.

We have recently faced a number of issues with support and it has been difficult to identify who is responsible for what parts of Ben’s care. But there is now light at the end of the tunnel and we just hope that we will now get the help he needs.

We felt like we had been left with no option but to seek legal help – not just for Ben but also to stop other injured personnel facing this in the future.

– Ben Parkinson's mother, Diane