Construction of first dedicated centre for veteran orthopaedic care completed
A pioneering centre for military veterans – the first of its kind in the UK – has opened its doors following a 17-month build.
Headley Court Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre at the world-renowned The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (RJAH) in Gobowen, near Oswestry in Shropshire, will deliver specialist care for Armed Forces veterans. It was built by Pave Aways Building Contractors and the architect was Pinnegar Hayward Design.
The centre is set to change the face of medical care for veterans, co-ordinating services under one roof for former military servicemen and women. The £6m two-storey building has examination rooms, clinic rooms, a treatment and procedure room, an assessment room and a splinting and therapy room and clinic space for virtual appointments.
In the main entrance foyer of the centre, there is a café and a dedicated veterans’ hub, where support will be available to veterans and their family and friends on issues including homelessness, finance and debt management, welfare, benefits, health, and PTSD. There are also offices for research, admin support, clinical teaching and training space for staff and a multi-disciplinary team room.
Managing Director Steven Owen said: “Being part of delivering this UK first for healthcare and the military has been a huge honour for Pave Aways. The people who have served our country deserve our respect and support and we are pleased to have been able to provide the framework for this new service.
“As a long-time construction partner of The RJAH, we have built much of the hospital’s infrastructure but this is a project that holds a very special place in our hearts.”
A soft launch opening ribbon cutting event followed a special Remembrance Day Service outside the state-of-the-art building at the Oswestry-based hospital.
Lt Col Carl Meyer, who started the Veterans’ Orthopaedic Service back in 2014 and is the hospital’s Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, said: “This 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.”