Former mayor tells party of war hero’s rehab concerns

THE plight of wounded Doncaster war hero Ben Parkinson has been raised at the Labour Party Conference.

At the conference in Liverpool former Mayor of Doncaster Coun Ros Jones raised concerns over the paratrooper’s future treatment.

During her time as mayor, Coun Jones took part in a sponsored parachute jump with Ben, to raise money for services charities.

She told the conference how Ben had been receiving Ministry of Defence funded rehabilitation as he battles back from injuries which have led to him being described as the most seriously injured serviceman to have survived.

She said: “He has been told the NHS will take charge of his treatment when discharged in December, even though the NHS says it can’t provide the sort of help Ben needs.”

Ben’s family has raised concerns that he is being recommended for discharge from the army, which they fear would mean the forces’ funding for his treatment would end. He is also worried over the Government capping compensation to injured soldiers at £570,000. He had been assessed at more than £1 million.

Ben’s MP Caroline Flint has released details of a letter Prime Minister David Cameron sent to his mum, Diane Dernie, promising to continue rehabilitation for however long it takes. Mrs Dernie agreed for her to publish the letter.

Mr Cameron said of Ben in the letter: “His determination to come to terms with, and overcome, those injuries is truly inspirational.”

His letter also states Ben and his family will be fully consulted before any final decision on his future in the army is made.

Ben, aged 27, of Bessacarr, was injured by a Taliban bomb in Afghanistan in 2006.