The Duchess of Edinburgh opens the UK’s first dedicated veterans’ orthopaedic centre


The UK’s first dedicated Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre at Shropshire’s specialist orthopaedic hospital has officially been opened The Duchess of Edinburgh.

The Duchess of Edinburgh meets veterans

Her Royal Highness visited The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital for an official visit, where she unveiled a plaque marking the official opening of the pioneering Headley Court Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre.

The Duchess of Edinburgh next to the plaque she unveiled

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.

The Duchess of Edinburgh meets staff

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. 

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. Following the move, the Headley Court Charity were looking for worthy causes in keeping with their ethos and aims to support in the form of charitable grants. 

The Duchess of Edinburgh meets staff

Following the multi-million-pound grant, it was decided the new facility will be known as the Headley Court Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre. 

The orthopaedic hospital also received support from many groups and individuals, including regimental associations, former patients, the Orthopaedic Institute and the League of Friends which launched the fundraising campaign.

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