Veterans need bespoke health facilities Olympic gold medallist says

An Olympic gold medal winner says it is vital that military veterans have health services tailored to their needs.

Garry Herbert MBE is the cox that steered brothers, Jonny and Greg Searle to gold in the 1992 in the Barcelona Olympics.

He made the headlines when he broke down in tears during the medal ceremony.

Today after several years as a barrister he works in finance in the South of England as well as being a well known rowing commentator for the BBC.

He is also a patron of the Veterans Centre that is being built at Shropshire's Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital.

Garry was in Shropshire last week for the turf cutting ceremony for the £6 million centre.

"There are definitely similarities between veterans and former sport players," he said.

"Both have spend their careers completely dedicated to their role," he said.

"Both can be injured in their careers. And also, both spent their careers responding to orders, whether that is from their commanding officer or sergeant or from their coach."

Garry, who travels across the UK giving motivations speeches, said both also 'retired' early and had to find their way in the world.

"It can be very tough," he said.

"I am very lucky, I had a second career already and so I had options for my life after being a cox. But for many people they leave the world of sport, or the military, with no real aim in life for the future."

"All of these mean that health services tailored to veterans and the other services that will be available from the centre, will be a tremendous help for patients from across the UK."

A £6 million pioneering facility is being built onsite at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital near Oswestry. Once complete, it will be the UK’s first dedicated orthopaedic centre for Armed Forces veterans.

The hospital initially launched a £1.5 million appeal in October 2018 to build a more modest outpatient facility for veterans, but is now set to boast a state-of-the-art facility thanks to the support of the Headley Court Charity.

Headley Court, Surrey was the leading medical rehabilitation base for members of the Armed Forces before the building was sold and services transferred to a new facility at Stanford Hall.

The Veterans centre will house nine examination rooms. There will also be clinic rooms, which will also be utilised for Physiotherapy appointments, a treatment and procedure room, an assessment room, and a splinting and therapy room.

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