Gulf War veterans still need legal and medical help says Hilary Meredith

Veterans of the First Gulf War have urged those struggling with the horrors of conflict 30 years later to seek help for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The First Gulf War ended on 28 February 1991, following the conclusion of Operation Desert Storm, as allied forces forced Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi troops to retreat from Kuwait.
Forty-seven British personnel were among the fatalities, however, the effects of the seven-month war were felt by many of those who served.
Veterans told the PA news agency they battled with depression, divorce, harrowing flashbacks and suicide attempts after the Gulf War, but refused to seek help because it was not the “manly thing to do” at the time.
Hilary Meredith, Chair of Hilary Meredith Solicitors and Visiting Professor of Law and Veterans’ Affairs at the University of Chester sat on the Royal British Legion’s Parliamentary Gulf War Group, working to ensure mistakes made in this particularly toxic war were never repeated again.
Said Hilary:“What we are seeing here is the trigger isolation and confinement as a result of lockdown causing PTSD decades after leaving service.

“Alarmingly, the proposed six-year longstop on civil claims in this Overseas Operations Bill will mean veterans are unable to access financial compensation.
“It is totally unacceptable for the Government to legislate to deny those who put their lives on the line for our country overseas the same employer liability rights as the UK civilians they defend.”
Added Hilary: “While treatment should be available, veterans often complain of difficulties accessing healthcare when they leave the military. Specifically, they state that their GP doesn’t recognise that their presenting health problem may relate to their time in the armed services.
“Research carried out by the Westminster Centre for Research and Innovation in Veterans’ Wellbeing indicates that GPs often have little knowledge of how many veterans are registered with their practice, and only a few have accessed the specialist learning resources available.”