Injured veterans are not receiving the care that they have been guaranteed by the government, according to leading professors in psychology and orthopaedics.

Medical experts responsible for treating injured soldiers have said that the government is failing to follow its own military covenant, The Armed Forces Covenant, which recognises the moral obligation to protect members of the armed forces and their families and prioritises NHS treatment for injuries sustained while in the line of duty.

Figures obtained by Help for Heroes under a freedom of information request show that almost 13,000 service personnel who have lost limbs or have problems with ligaments and joints have been medically discharged since 2001, despite many requiring high levels of care for the rest of their lives.

Professor Neil Greenberg from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “In my view the government needs to be a bit more honest about what it is delivering and just what it says it’s delivering, because the two are definitely not the same.”

Leading orthopaedic surgeon Professor Tim Briggs, said that “finding access to specialist care was sometimes proving difficult and as a result some veterans were falling through the net and we had to improve things.”

Thompsons Solicitors’ military claim specialist, David Robinson, said: “Today’s revelation that the Ministry of Defence is not providing veterans with the long-term care and support they have been promised reaffirms the dispiriting picture I have been seeing for many years acting for injured service personnel. This is often particularly the case in respect of service personnel suffering with mental health problems caused by their service who are not provided with the ongoing and specialised treatment and support they so desperately require.

"Whilst the acute initial care provided is often excellent and staff at centres such as Headley Court provide a world-class service, longer term care following discharge is regularly lacking. Many are forced to bring civil claims in order to obtain the treatment and equipment they need to deal with the life-long effects of their injuries. When they do so they sadly face vilification by the government and some parts of the media for being part of a so-called 'compensation culture'.

"The power to avoid litigation rests in the hands of the government. Our injured service personnel should receive life-long exceptional care to reflect their exceptional commitment, dedication and sacrifice.”