Rehab plea for brave para Ben

Improving: Ben Parkinson, 27.
Improving: Ben Parkinson, 27.

MP CAROLINE Flint has vowed to take the fight for wounded war hero Ben Parkinson’s rehabilitation to the Prime Minister.

Paratrooper Ben fears he faces being forced out of the army and losing his rehabilitation programme after receiving a letter informing him he was being recommended for medical discharge.

He also faces a cap on army compensation payments restricting the money he will receive for his injuries.

His mum, Diane Dernie, told The Star Ben had previously received a letter from Prime Minister David Cameron saying his rehabilitation would continue. That was six months ago. But she fears that, if he is discharged from the army, funding for his rehabilitation will stop.

Ms Flint says she will meet Mrs Dernie to see what can be done. She said: “Given the sacrifice Ben has made serving his country, I want to help him to keep the standard of specialist care he has received to date and, if necessary, I will contact the Prime Minister about the written commitment he has given.”

Injured paratrooper Ben has been told he is being recommended for medical discharge, subject to a final review in December, sparking concerns he could lose the funding which has helped him start to walk again.

The 27-year-old, from Bessacarr, Doncaster, has been described as the most seriously injured soldier to have survived his injuries. He lost both legs, and suffered internal injuries, back injuries and brain damage, when his Land Rover was blown up by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2006.

But he has battled back to be able to walk again, and make progress towards speech, astounding doctors.

Ben’s injuries were assessed for compensation at nearly £1.1 million. But new tariffs mean the compensation he actually receives will be capped at £570,000.

Mrs Dernie said: “We had a letter last week saying Ben was being recommended for medical discharge. We knew there was a cap on compensation, but being discharged would take away privately funded rehabilitation. The NHS wouldn’t be able to afford to carry it on without that – these are not the sort of injuries they are used to.

“We are going to appeal over the discharge until Ben’s rehab is complete – and we are lobbying over the compensation, but we’re not hopeful on that.”

An MOD spokesperson said: “We are committed to ensuring those who have been wounded while serving receive care and support.”