Re-think on care for Doncaster’s Ben Parkinson after legal battle

Ben Parkinson
Ben Parkinson

Hero Doncaster paratrooper Ben Parkinson is set to receive a full care assessment following a legal battle.

Lance bombardier Ben, aged 33, suffered a severe brain injury and lost both legs after the Land Rover he was travelling in struck an anti-tank mine in the North of Helmand Province in Afghanistan in 2006.

But his compensation has fallen far short of his ongoing and extensive care requirements. He has been told by doctors he will require 24-hour care for the rest of his life.

Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell wrote to the MoD, NHS England and Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group – CCG – highlighting the gaps in his care which had arisen from a lack of funding and communication between the organisations.

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

The NHS will take over funding Ben’s personal health budget from the CCG following a ‘full care assessment’.

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.

Alice Cullingworth, Ben’s solicitor at Irwin Mitchell said: “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.”

Ben’s mother Diane said the issue should have been resolved sooner.

She added: “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.