What is the Number of UK Regular Armed Forces Personnel who have been Discharged due to a Spinal Injury (2001 to 2014)?

Between 01 January 2001 and 31 December 2014:

  • 23,558 UK Regular Armed Forces personnel were medically discharged,
  • Of which a minimum of 44 UK Regular Armed Forces personnel were medically discharged with a principal or contributory cause of “spinal injury”.
  • Of these, a minimum of 12 personnel were also medically discharged with a cause of “paralysis from injury”.

Points to Note

  • The number presented is a minimum, as there were personnel who had complex multiple conditions leading to discharge.
  • These ‘multiple conditions’ may have included a spinal cord injury but this was not listed separately on the coded causes contributing to medical discharge.
  • Once they were stabilised and had received appropriate NHS care, patients were then transferred to the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) for care that aimed to maximise function through rehabilitation, provide the best quality of mobility and aids for daily living (ADL) available, and to consider future accommodation and vocational options.
  • Patients were discharged from care when their rehabilitation potential had been realised, and the accommodation and vocational situations had been arranged to an appropriate level.
  • The length of this process varied dependant on spinal cord injury severity.


FOI 2018/00971 dated 07 February 2018.


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