Veterans Centre Appeal officially launched at House of Commons

Release Date: 17/10/2018

Veterans Centre Appeal officially launched at House of Commons

An appeal to fund the country's first dedicated Veterans Orthopaedic Centre has been officially kick-started at a prestigious launch event at the House of Commons.

Members of Parliament, dignitaries and business leaders were at the event to hear about plans to raise £1.5 million to build the UK's first Veterans Orthopaedic Centre at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH).

Lieutenant Colonel Carl Meyer, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, as well as a serving officer in the British Army, and Clinical Director of the Veterans Service at the Oswestry-based hospital, outlined the Trust's vision for the centre, as well as the increasing demand for the service.

Lt Col Meyer said: "It's absolutely right to say that, as a country, we provide world-class care to acutely injured service men and women – but on leaving the services there is no specific provision for them.

"For a long time now, I've felt that we should be doing more for our veterans. There aren't many professions where workers put themselves at risk of death or being maimed, while at work.

“This is why it's important that this provision is available for veterans.

"This initial £1.5 million will build us a Veterans Orthopaedic Outpatients department, in an environment that feels familiar to them, and where they feel welcome and at ease.

"Until now, this is something that's been lacking across the NHS but it is something we want to tackle, with this service providing specialist orthopaedic care to our veterans and our serving military personnel."

Veterans Minister and MP, Tobias Ellwood, North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson, who helped to organise the event, and Trust Chairman Frank Collins also presented to the packed room of attendees.

Frank said: "Our veterans deserve the very best care possible, which is why we believe we are the right hospital to be providing this service. We are a truly wonderful hospital, with fantastic outcomes, low infection rates and with staff who understand the needs of veterans.

"This launch event was an excellent opportunity to drive home this message and unveil to MPs and dignitaries from across the country, our dream to deliver this crucially needed service.

"I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderfully supportive League of Friends for the tremendous sum presented to properly kick-start this appeal and for their continued support.

"Thanks must also go to the Orthopaedic Institute, who raised the funds to support the launch, and for their ongoing support."

Mark Brandreth, Chief Executive, said: "We're very proud of our plans to build the country's first dedicated veterans centre, and are thrilled that they've now been unveiled at a national level.

"At the moment not enough has been done to offer the care and provision our veterans need but we are going to change that.

"Thank you to everyone who attended, and in particular to our local MP Owen Paterson, who supported us with arranging the launch."

Lt Col Meyer first set up exclusive veterans clinics at the hospital in 2014, and this project will allow him to fulfil an ambition of operating out of a dedicated centre providing a full range of orthopaedic care to veterans and serving military personnel in an environment that is familiar to them and addresses their specific needs.

Peter David, Chairman of the League of Friends to RJAH, added: "We are delighted and very proud to be supporting the Veterans Orthopaedic Centre Appeal and to have handed over a cheque for £100,000 to really get the fundraising up and running.

"The work the Trust has done so far and will do to support veterans is incredibly important, and we look forward to seeing these plans become a reality in the near future."

There are a number of ways you can donate to the project:

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