Veterans’ mental health and the needs of the Very Seriously Injured and Brain Injured were among the issues raised by Help for Heroes on the Secretary of State for Defence’s first visit to one of the charity’s Recovery Centres, Tedworth House, on Monday.
The meeting comes a week before Help for Heroes appears before the Defence Select Committee, alongside other charity partners, as part of its inquiry into the mental health of Veterans and Serving Personnel. In written evidence to the Committee, the Charity raised concerns about MOD data collection in relation to mental health, as well as concerns with the MOD model of care which only allows for 6 months of treatment through the Departments of Community Mental Health (DCMH) before responsibility for care is passed to the NHS. Help for Heroes is calling for this to be reviewed and brought in line with other countries where they allow between 18 months and two years of treatment before resorting to medical discharge.
During the meetings, the Charity reiterated support for an exceptional tier of compensation for those with the most serious and complex injuries and care needs. Help for Heroes recently secured funding from the Libor fine fund to develop a pathway of care for the Very Seriously Injured and Brain Injured. This work is to ensure those with the most complex injuries are able to not just survive, but also enjoy a better quality of life.
The Defence Secretary also met some Help for Heroes Ambassadors and spoke to them about their recovery journeys and the role Help for Heroes played in helping them restore their sense of purpose.
After the meeting Mel Waters, CEO, said: “I was pleased to welcome the Secretary of State to our Help for Heroes Recovery Centre in Wiltshire. It was a great opportunity to highlight and discuss the current issues affecting our wounded, injured and sick Veterans and their families and demonstrate their impact on society when they return to civilian life.
“We believe those who put their lives second, deserve a second chance at life. This was one of our key messages to the Defence Secretary on Monday when he reaffirmed his commitment to working with us to ensure Veterans get the best possible care.
“We work with the Ministry of Defence to deliver the Defence Recovery Capability, and it is important he has the opportunity to see this in action as we work together to ensure our Veterans get a fair deal.
“Having helped 20,000 Veterans and their families, Help for Heroes has demonstrated its ability to champion the needs of our wounded, injured and sick – we will continue to do so until every life is rebuilt. I am pleased The Defence Secretary understands the key role we play in helping Veterans and their families, and we look forward to working with him in the future.”
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For more information, please contact Robyn Staveley at 020 7337 9823 or email Robyn.Staveley@helpforheroes.org.uk
Notes to Editor:
Help for Heroes submission to the Defence Select Committee: http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/defence-committee/armed-forces-and-veterans-mental-health/written/79763.pdf
Help for Heroes Libor funding for IPC4V: https://www.cobseo.org.uk/britains-seriously-injured-veterans-supported-help-heroes-government-awards-1-5-million-libor-grant/
For more information about Help for Heroes, please visit www.helpforheroes.org.uk
For more information about the inquiry, please visit http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/defence-committee/inquiries/parliament-2017/inquiry8/
ABOUT HELP FOR HEROES
Help for Heroes offers comprehensive support to those who have suffered life-changing injuries and illnesses while serving our country. This support is provided through grants direct to our Heroes and their families, grants to other charities and through four Help for Heroes Recovery Centres across the UK. A recent study launched in January 2016 by Help for Heroes and King’s College London found of the 750,000 men and women who served as Regulars between 1991 and 2014, at least 66,000 need long term support.