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Defence Medical Services (2012 report)

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  • Public

Our review of the Defence Medical Services (DMS) has found high standards of medical care for frontline military personnel.

About the review

This review looked at the recommendations that the Healthcare Commission made when it reviewed the DMS in 2008.

We undertook 47 inspections across the UK, Germany, Cyprus and Afghanistan to review health care services provided to members of the British Armed Forces and their families.

We spoke to 200 patients, analysed 550 responses from our patient survey and interviewed over 500 military and civilian clinical staff across the DMS.

Our inspectors focused on:

  • the care and treatment people receive.
  • how patients are involved in their care.
  • infection control.
  • nutritional needs.
  • how services keep people safe.
  • how the staff are supported, trained and supervised.

Key findings

Our review of the DMS found areas of good practice across all of the services that we inspected.

Significant improvements had been made across the DMS since the Healthcare Commission’s review in 2008, particularly to governance and assurance systems.

We also identified good practice in:

  • care provided to casualties.
  • training of staff.
  • design of field hospitals.
  • rehabilitation for injured personnel.

However, we found the following issues in the primary health care services it provided.

  • The buildings where primary medical services are delivered remain a major problem.
  • Concerns over safeguarding arrangements are still apparent.
  • Documentation and information systems are in need of improvement.

We’ve recommended that the DMS consider our findings and take appropriate action to act on them.

Last updated:
09 August 2017