He was backed by a senior NHS official, who said there is “a degree of a postcode lottery” involved. Mr Ellwood, a former soldier who served in the Royal Green Jackets and reached the rank of captain, said: “The implication that there are different standards across the country is a concern that we have. “And that’s where the Veterans Board, a cross-Whitehall committee, is able to point the finger and say to local Government: Are you providing the necessary housing for homeless veterans? Health Service, are you making sure that Colchester is the same as London in providing mental health support?”
He was backed by Miriam Duffy, the NHS Programme Director of the proposed civilian National Rehabilitation Centre, who said: “There is a concern. There is a degree of postcode lottery in all NHS services, but mental health particularly.”
She said veterans’ first port of call is their GP and added: “It does very much depend on what that GP has access to. It is right to say there is variability in that at the moment.”
They were speaking as the military’s new £300million Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Stanford Hall in Leicestershire opened its doors to the media.
Set in 358 acres of beautiful parkland, the DMRC is intended to provide state-of-the-art treatment for wounded and injured military personnel.
It replaces the smaller centre at Headley Court, in Surrey, which closed last September.
There are also plans for a £100million NHS National Rehabilitation Centre next to the DMRC, sharing the military’s expertise.
Army chef, Lance Corporal Adam Nesbitt, who transferred from Headley Court, described the new facilities as “amazing”.
The Afghanistan veteran, 24, from Manchester, suffered serious leg, arm, skull and brain injuries in a motorcycle accident. He said: “Headley Court and here are both outstanding. I prefer the surroundings here. My treatment has been top of the range. I am shocked and surprised by how much they can do. “The facilities here are amazing. Everything is upgraded.”
Source: Read Full Article