New £6 million veterans' centre for Shropshire's orthopaedic hospital

Shropshire's specialist Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital has secured funding of £6 million to build the UK’s first dedicated veterans' orthopaedic centre.

 Lieutenant Colonel Carl Meyer, consultant orthopaedic surgeon and army surgeon at one of the fundraising handovers for the charity
Lieutenant Colonel Carl Meyer, consultant orthopaedic surgeon and army surgeon at one of the fundraising handovers for the charity

A £4.5 million grant has been provided by the Headley Court Charity which helps the rehabilitation of former and serving military personnel.

It means the hospital's Veterans Orthopaedic Centre Appeal – originally set up to raise £1.5 million – is being wound up with immediate effect.

That would have built a six-room outpatient unit but the hospital says that the additional £4.5million from the Headley Court Charity, allows it to realise a much more holistic ambition.

Lt Col Carl Meyer, a serving army officer who is also a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at RJAH already runs a veterans' orthopaedic service at the hospital.

He said the money would provide a larger building and access to all the capabilities at the hospital.

"Importantly, this includes a veterans' hub to provide a holistic approach to patient care. Work on this has already begun through a partnership with Shropshire Council," he said.

Infrastructure

"There is also infrastructure to manage the service and allow growth. The aim is to establish a world-class veterans healthcare capability, a first within the NHS."

"This centre and service is the first of its kind in the UK. and the building of this dedicated centre is a huge step forward, in terms of care provision for our country's veterans and military personnel."

The hospital says that the aim of the facility is to provide individualised patient care for veterans and serving military personnel, in a centre that feels familiar and safe and addresses their specific needs - physically, mentally and emotionally."

"Veterans and serving armed forces personnel do not get preferential or priority treatment – this centre is instead about providing an environment to deliver an outstanding experience for this unique and deserving cohort of patients."

The Headley Court Charity's charitable object has been the medical rehabilitation of members of the armed forces.

Following the transfer of defence medical rehabilitation from Headley Court to a new facility at Stanford Hall, trustees resolved to close the Headley Court Charity and to distribute funds to organisations with comparable purpose.

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