DEFENCE chiefs have paid out £53.8million in the past ten years to troops suffering mental trauma from combat, figures obtained by the Sun on Sunday reveal.

The Ministry of Defence has reached settlements with more than 3,000 service personnel and veterans who have had problems such as flashbacks and nightmares, often linked to serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Some 3,120 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder payments were made under the MoD’s Armed Forces Compensation Scheme totalling £42.1million — an average of £13,500.

Another 64 claims were settled by the courts for a total of £11.7million — an average cost to the MoD of £183,000.

The biggest settlement for PTSD is believed to have been made in 2011 for £2.4million to a Gulf War veteran.

Separate MoD data shows 301 assessments were carried out on personnel last year where they were diagnosed as suffering from PTSD.

These were made up of 216 from the army, 37 from the navy, 30 from the RAF and 18 from members of the Royal Marines.

Johnny Mercer, the Minister for Defence People and Veterans, said: “I have helped accelerate the introduction of a new high intensity service to meet the demand of those most in need.”

“As a former soldier, I am acutely aware of the experiences of those struggling with PTSD.”

Dr Walter Busuttil, Medical Director at charity Combat Stress, said: “Combat Stress has long called for a properly coordinated approach to treating those in need.

“We feel this must include strong collaboration between the MoD, the NHS, Combat Stress and other charities.”

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