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…

The meeting came 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.”