Veterans' Minister visits C&I to talk to staff and service users

Staff and users of our Veterans’ Service praised the care and treatment they had received at C&I when they met Veterans’ Minister, Leo Docherty and Kate Davies CBE, Director of Health and Justice at NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Leo Docherty MP and Kate Davies visited C&I to find out more about the work of the Trust and our specialist veteran services, called OpCourage, and were told face-to-face about its recent successes; it was Highly Commended at the HSJ Awards, has been accredited as a Veterans Aware Trust, has a Gold Award from the MOD as part of the employers’ recognition scheme for our forces friendly initiatives and it is part of the Step into Health scheme.

Kate Davies said: ‘With significant improvements made to NHS veterans mental health services over the last few years, including the recent launch of OpCourage, it was great to hear the powerful testimonies from men and women veterans using the London service and how it has supported them.  OpCourage has been developed with veterans and their families and is here to help.’ 

The Veterans’ Service recently launched a High Intensity Service working with partners from other veterans’ organisations,  Ripple Pond, Stoll and Walking with the Wounded.

The head of the service, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Sue Ferrier, said: “It was a pleasure to meet the minister and Kate Davies and have a conversation about the specialist veteran services we provide. He was keen to hear from our service users and their experiences of our services and he seemed particularly impressed by the role of our peer veteran workers in facilitating recovery from mental health issues and our partnership with the charity sector, particularly with STOLL and Walking with the Wounded.

Veterans discussed several issues, and told the Minister about their experiences trying to get help. Many of them praised the work of C&I and said that more veterans needed to be made aware of the important work being done by the Trust in this area, and called for greater funding. Veterans and staff are pictures with Leo Docherty MP and Kate Davies (please note that the people in this phto who are not wearing masks are exempt).

C&I Lead Governor, also a veteran Eric Crossfield said: “I was very encouraged to see the interest shown by the Veterans’ Minister,  Leo Docherty, and the way he took the time to really listen to the veterans’ stories and what was important to them and their mental health service needs. I’m sure it will go a long way towards raising awareness among those who need to know.

Veteran Anthony Muckell said: “More people need to know about this service and more veterans need to be given this kind of care. It has been amazing for me, I can’t praise it highly enough.”

Users of our Veterans’ Service have recently appeared in a series of training videos which were created to help people understand the problems they faced during their transition from the Armed Forces to civilian life. You can watch the videos here.

Please click here to find out more about OpCourage, the Veterans’ Service at C&I.

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