A SERVING solider today said he wanted his national insurance contributions refunded after a misunderstanding led to him being denied an X-ray at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital.
Richard Stone, 27, of 3 Mercian Regiment, was referred to the hospital by his military GP who was concerned he could have developed curvature of the spine.
But the infantryman, who has served since 2007, claims he was told the procedure could not take place because the Army did not have an account with the hospital.
Queen’s Hospital chief executive Helen Ashley has now apologised and put the misunderstanding down to ‘confusion between both parties’.
Mr Stone, of Island Close, Albert Village, said: “I just don’t understand it. I’m a citizen first and a soldier second.
“I would like to get my national insurance back, to be honest. If the Army is paying a hospital for us to go to why am I paying national insurance?
“It’s my local hospital so you would think it’s as simple as just going in.”
Mr Stone has said he will now have the X-ray in Nottingham.
His father, Neil, 46, a miner from Fauld, branded the situation ‘disgusting’.
He said: “I think it’s very poor. He should not have to travel when there’s somewhere just up the road.”
Mrs Ashley said: “There was some confusion between both parties in relation to Mr Stone’s referral which resulted in him being referred onto Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham.
“Having clarified the situation it appears that we could have treated Mr Stone at Burton and apologise for any distress caused by this genuine error.”
A spokesman for Mercian Regiment said it would not comment on the soldier’s medical condition.
But the spokesman added that NHS England was responsible for secondary healthcare for the armed forces.
She said: “Armed forces based in the UK are entitled to the full use of NHS secondary and community services on the same basis as civilians.”