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This paper describes the data obtained during the first 12 months of the morbidity surveillance system used, world-wide, by the British Army in operational and non-operational settings and the economic impact of such morbidity in terms of estimated working days lost. Analysis is provided on primary health care and dental morbidity, the surveillance of patients undergoing physiotherapy and those Service personnel cared for by the NHS. The surveillance of the latter population shows a high burden of morbidity which, previously, has never been quantified. The most frequent cause of attendance within primary health care is injuries (all causes) with an annual total of 77,254--a rate per 1,000 personnel per month of 51.92. This leads to an annual loss of manpower, in terms of estimated working days lost of 127,839--a rate per 1,000 personnel per month of 85.91. Army Training Regiments (ATRs-5 sites), Infantry Training Centres (ITCs-2 sites) and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) are grouped together as Selected Training Establishments (STEs) and show attendance rates higher than the mean for all causes. Summary results of Cochrane systematic reviews presenting up-to-date concise information on experimental evidence as to which preventive interventions should be used to diminish the notable impact of injuries on Army personnel are also given.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps

Publication Date





11 - 17