Yesterday the Government announced the results of its much vaunted audit of nuclear test veterans’ health needs.
In total 891 questionnaires were sent out to veterans and some 630 were returned, a response rate of 71%. In addition 84 individuals took part in eight discussion groups which took place around theUK.
According to the survey which was paid for by the MoD at a cost of £75,000, most veterans felt their needs were being met well by the NHS, though there were some concerns expressed about access to social care services.
Veterans made a number of suggestions including how communication with the MoD could be improved and the provision of better information about the nuclear tests.
While it’s good that veterans’ heath needs are looked after, the fact that they believe the NHS is meeting their health needs says nothing about whether those needs came about as a result of radiation from nuclear testing.
Of course the living conditions and services for veterans should always be refined and improved, but doing so does not remove the need for the Government to accept responsibility for putting some of these veterans in harms way in the first place.
The court battle between veterans and the MoD will continue.