More than 500 wounded servicemen and women have been flown from Afghanistan to Birmingham for treatment in the past five years, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said today.

The injured troops were airlifted from the war zone for care at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM), defence minister Mark Francois said.

British battlefield wounded are usually first treated at Camp Bastion hospital in Helmand before being flown to the UK aboard a C17 Globemaster plane dubbed the air hospital which is fitted with specialist medical equipment.

They were treated at Selly Oak until the Queen Elizabeth Hospital opened in June 2010, when services were transferred.

Mr Francois added: The number of very seriously injured and seriously injured service personnel aero-medically evacuated from operations in Afghanistan and treated at Selly Oak Hospital up to June 2010 and/or at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham at some point in their care pathway is 509.

This covers a reporting period from October 8, 2007 to September 30, 2012.

Selly Oak Hospital is now closed and the RCDM and the military ward in the hospital have relocated to the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Mr Francois revealed the figures following a written Commons question by Labour MP Lindsay Roy (Glenrothes).