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  • Diane Dernie

Injured soldier challenging MOD for failure to meet care needs

I am crowd funding for legal fees on behalf of my son, Ben, so that he can challenge the failure by the MoD and NHS to provide him with adequate care.

Support the Ben Parkinson Campaign Here:

My son Ben Parkinson was not expected to survive his tour of duty in the North of Helmand Province in Afghanistan in September 2006. He suffered a severe brain injury and lost both his legs after a Land Rover he was travelling in was struck by an anti-tank mine. He is now 33 years old and has been told by doctors that he will require 24/7 care for the rest of his life.

On behalf of Ben, we have instructed solicitors at Irwin Mitchell LLP to investigate the failures by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), NHS England, and Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to meet his care needs.

We were promised by the MoD that Ben would be properly taken care of. But after commissioning a 100 page report by an expert to identify his care needs, the MoD has failed to implement her urgent recommendations. Ben is not able to access critical therapies he needs, such as carers to take him swimming once a week, to take him to hospital for hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment, we are not getting any respite, and there is equipment he needs urgently, such as specially adapted wheelchairs.

The CCG is funding below the minimum hourly rate to pay Ben's carers and it has not increased his personal healthcare budget for 9 years, even to keep up with inflation. Ben hasn't had a review by the CCG for 5 years. No one is taking proper responsibility for coordinating his care, and Ben seems to fall between the cracks between the MoD, NHS England, and the CCG.

After endless meetings and letters to try to resolve these issues, we felt we had no other choice but to instruct solicitors. Our solicitors have sent a letter before action to the defendants challenging these failings in the support that Ben has received. We are saying that the MoD has failed in its duty to develop a coherent plan of care for Ben, that both NHS England and CCG have not met their responsibilities under key legal frameworks, and that these public bodies are in breach of the Armed Forces Covenant, which encapsulates the moral obligation owed towards to those who serve in the armed forces.

We now need your help to raise funds to meet Ben's legal fees for our solicitors to review the formal responses by the Defendants, consider the evidence, and for expert advice as to whether to issue a judicial review claim in the High Court. This includes instructing a barrister to advise on the merits of Ben’s claim.

Ben has become an inspiration to others, as he has overcome so many challenges. He carried the Olympic torch when it visited Yorkshire in 2012 and was awarded an MBE by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace in 2013. But sadly, after serving his country, he is now being let down. Promises made to him by the MoD, that he will be properly cared for, are not being fulfilled.

Ben's case may also have wider implications for other men and women who have been injured during service in the armed forces. No one who has made great sacrifices for their country should be left without sufficient care and support to meet their needs.

Please support Ben's case by donating money, and help us to challenge the MoD and the NHS' failure to properly look after a serving soldier.

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