Veterans' Orthopaedic Service

The Headley Court Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre


Headley Court is a pioneering healthcare facility, the first dedicated orthopaedic centre for Armed Forces veterans in the UK, at Shropshire’s specialist orthopaedic hospital.  


Work on the state-of-the-art Headley Court Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital began in June 2021 following a £6 million donation from the Headley Court Charity.


Headley Court was the leading medical rehabilitation base for members of the Armed Forces before the transfer of those services to a new facility at Stanford Hall, and following that move, Trustees of the Headley Court Charity, had been looking for worthy causes in keeping with their ethos and aims to support in the form of charitable grants from their reserves. 


Lt Col Meyer, who started the Veterans’ Orthopaedic Service back in 2014, said: “The soft launch opening of the Headley Court Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre is a day I have long dreamt about, even before our fundraising appeal launched in October 2018.  


“For a number of years, we have talked about veterans being seen in an environment that brings comfort to them and by clinical teams that have an understanding of military personnel and their unique needs. This is now reality, which marks the beginning of a new era of bespoke care for our veteran patients and members of the Armed Forces. 


“Thanks must go to The Headley Court Charity for their amazingly generous grant, for believing in what we’re doing here and ultimately supporting our long-term vision for world class veterans’ healthcare.” 

The £6 million two-storey building features nine standard examination and clinic rooms, an enhanced treatment room for minor outpatient procedures, an assessment room, a splinting and therapy room, as well as clinic space for virtual appointments. 


In the main entrance of the building, there is the RV café and dedicated Veterans’ Hub where Shropshire Council and various military charities provide support to veteran patients and their family and friends, with issues that range from homelessness, finance, debt management, welfare, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), benefits and more.  


The upstairs of the centre includes dedicated research offices, clinical teaching and training space for staff, a multi-disciplinary team room, and an office for admin staff. 


We provide an NHS service exclusively for veterans with arthritis.


The Veterans' Orthopaedic Service is led by Lieutenant Colonel Carl Meyer and is open to those who have served with the UK military, including National Service, and treats arthritic lower limb problems, especially those requiring hip and knee replacements.


Veterans who are serving or have served with the UK Military, including National Service, who require treatment for arthritic lower limb problems, especially those requiring hip and knee replacements.


The Veterans' Orthopaedic Service clinics are held every Thursday afternoon, and twice a month on Friday mornings. During the clinic, patients will see one of our Veterans' Service doctors - more about our doctors can be found here


If you would like to be referred to the service, click here for more information.

Patient story - 

Craig Harrison 


Craig Harrison


Sergeant Craig Harrison served for 23 years in The British Army, commissioned for ten operational tours including Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and finally Afghanistan. In 1997, Craig was selected alongside thirty soldiers to enter the rigorous training of an army sniper. Just four of them passed and his return to regiment secured his status as an A1 soldier. During the next 16 years of Craig’s career on the battlefield, he experienced endurance beyond belief, facing the challenges of missions to secure the safety of others. 


In 2013, his tank was blown up by 30 kilos of IED explosives. He miraculously survived the attack, but the severe impact broke both his arms and he suffered head injuries. After just six weeks, plasters removed, resilient Craig was back in action on the frontline in Afghanistan to complete the remaining three months of his tour. His eventual return home revealed his recovery was far from complete. Craig had serious PTSD and the explosion had caused him underlying mobility issues which ended his army career aged just 47 years old. 


Frustration and depression followed Craig over several years as he attempted to cope with his life-changing disabilities and settle into civilian life. Watching Craig finding civilian support overwhelmingly different and difficult, a home visitor from the MOD suggested he contact Col Meyer at the Veterans’ Orthopaedic Service. The experience was transformational. 


“Veteran to veteran spirit is second to none,” remarks Craig, you’re made to feel at home, at ease. Col Meyer has an upfront military style understanding, there’s no messing around – it’s what I can relate to.” 


Craig’s right hip operation took place in November 2021 and his left in November 2022. Craig is so thankful to have found VOS and feels he is finally getting his life and soul back together and is keen to help others to do the same. 


Craig is ready to get back to work and the business he’s created since leaving the army – The Maverick Survival School – offering trained support, one-to-one to veterans and civilians suffering from PTSD in over 75 acres of woodland. 


At The Maverick Survival School, working in the familiar outdoors, Craig shares his own military experiences to provide his clients with bespoke survival training. As a sufferer himself, he engages in conversations to relax them after losing themselves in bush craft. Craig works alongside a Gestalt psychotherapist with almost 40 years’ experience, and a full restorative session is given. Craig is passionate about the help he can provide to veterans and civilians whose lives have also been changed by trauma.