Personnel Recovery Units (PRU) are specialist units that provide command and care for wounded, injured and sick soldiers who require more support than the unit are able to provide. There are 11 PRUs across the UK, and one in Germany. Units, in discussion with the soldier, can apply for the soldier to be assigned to the PRU most convenient for them to remain close to family and the medical provisions already in place.
Transfers to a PRU are decided by the Army Recovery Capability Assessment Board (ARCAB). Not every application to the ARCAB results in a transfer to a PRU as the unit could be providing the best support for recovery. There is also limited capacity at the PRUs, so priority is given to wounded, injured or sick soldiers with the greatest needs.
If a soldier is not assigned to a PRU it will not affect their recovery as they will still have the same access to all the facilities, courses and support they need. Units can send soldiers to the Personnel Recovery Centres for the same courses and adaptive sports and adventure training as soldiers who are transferred to PRUs.
Soldiers who are posted to a PRU will come under the command of the Commanding Officer of the PRU rather than their original unit, as with any military posting.
At the PRU they will also be allocated a dedicated Personnel Recovery Officer (PRO) rather than the Unit Welfare Officer who had been looking after them, although the unit may still visit.
As PRUs are not residential facilities, the PRO will be the main point of contact to assist the soldier through the Individual Recovery Plan. Depending on where the soldier lives, and their specific recovery needs, the PRO will visit at least once every 14 days and discuss their case. If a soldier requires more frequent visits then they need to discuss this with their PRO.
Transfer lengths to a PRU vary depending on needs, but on average are around 18 months before either being able to return to duty or transition into civilian life.