11 Apr The Duchess of Edinburgh officially opens UK’s first dedicated veterans’ orthopaedic centre
The Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire, Anna Turner was delighted to welcome The Duchess of Edinburgh to Shropshire.
The Duchess was at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital for an official visit, that saw her unveil a plaque marking the official opening of the pioneering Headley Court Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre.
The innovative centre was built by local contractor Pave Aways onsite at the Oswestry-based hospital following a £6 million donation from the Headley Court Charity.
Lieutenant Colonel Carl Meyer, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, launched the Veterans’ Orthopaedic Service back in 2014.
He said: “The official 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.
“Thank you to HRH The Duchess of Edinburgh for visiting the Veterans’ Centre and learning more about the work we do here.”
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 a café and dedicated Veterans’ Hub where Shropshire Council and various military charities will 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.
Harry Turner, Trust Chair, said: “It was an honour to welcome HRH The Duchess of Edinburgh to our hospital and have her officially unveil our Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre.
“This building is going to make a huge difference to our veteran and serving personnel patients, who deserve the very best standards of care.
Photo credit – Shropshire Star