Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The BBC Panorama Programme (BBC One, 15 July) highlights the terrible consequences of  military trauma for our forces’ veterans and the deficiencies of current support in the UK.

PTSD Resolution is the only charity – the only organisation nationally - in the UK to provide counselling to veterans and reservists and then publish the clinical results.  It is the only care provider with a proven record of success, at 78 per cent, (defined as where, for those who complete the programme, both the counsellor and counselled state that no further treatment is required).

Despite this record of success, Government and the NHS refuse to acknowledge or support PTSD Resolution, and the charity has to rely on donations from the public. Moreover, the charity has been refused membership to UK services’ charity organisation COBSEO, and therefore access to mainstream charitable funding without any satisfactory explanation.

PTSD Resolution offers exceptional value for money too. The cost per treatment is £400 – this compares with the cost by the largest charity in the sector which is as high as £25,000 per treatment (from analysis of the records registered with the Charity Commissioners, as no results’ data are published).

PTSD Resolution meets all the requirements of the Veterans Pathway, NICE guidelines and other national clinical and care standards - and meets many unmet veterans’ needs:-

1.    The PTSD Resolution national outreach programme has over 200 counsellors.  It is private, confidential, local, and one-to-one. No referral is needed, so reducing any sense of stigma. Counselling is brief and effective – an average of five out-patient sessions are required.

2.    PTSD Resolution treats veterans who cannot be seen by other care providers because, for example, they have alcohol or drug problems, are on the sex-offenders' register, or are in prison.  At Resolution there is no such bar on providing help.

3.    The ex-military prison population with post-traumatic symptoms is in particular need of help. This is because prison medical services do not generally employ specialist psychological trauma therapists on their staff. Resolution can go into prisons to help veterans – but there is no national recognition of Resolution by the prison authorities or Home Office, which restricts availability.

4.    The counselling methodology of Resolution is a form of Trauma-Focussed CBT. It is therefore entirely compatible with the NICE guideline on PTSD treatment. It therefore could be, but is not made available through GP Primary Care, hospital referral or other NHS networks. 

The methodology and organisation of Resolution are fully open to independent inspection and further validation. We welcome the opportunity to work with any Government, COBSE or NHS-related organisation.

Most of all Resolution requires fair access to funding, including the many millions of pounds that are channelled through COBSEO and the NHS to other service charities and care providers, but without any supporting evidence by them that their treatment works; or the percentage of veterans that are effectively treated; or any demonstration of value for money..

Colonel Anthony de Gauvain (Retired)
Chairman, PTSD Resolution, charity (No. 1133188)