The Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) is one of 10 organisations to receive funding from the Aged Veterans Fund to deliver health and wellbeing services to aged veterans, their families and carers. DMWS has provided Medical Welfare Support to the Armed Forces Community for over 70 years and will lead the project that will provide health and wellbeing support and activities to Aged Veterans, their families and carers in Herefordshire and Nottinghamshire.

We already deliver a similar service for the Avon & Somerset area and in Greater Manchester where our Welfare Officers have been providing a medical welfare service to veterans aged 65 or over, their immediate family, and primary care givers.

Our expertise lies in our early intervention and assessment of patient needs outside of the clinical treatment pathway, allowing the health care providers to focus on their core work. Some of the ways we help include a confidential and impartial listening ear, helping to explain and resolve any medical care issues, referral to other agencies for support etc. The additional support has been received very well and is a highly sought after service.

Working in partnership, the new projects in Herefordshire and Nottinghamshire will improve the health and wellbeing of aged veterans, increase skills to support those with dementia, reduce social isolation, and enable independent living.

The portfolio of project partners will deliver:

DMWS Medical Welfare Service – providing emotional and practical support to aged veterans, their families and carers when they are in a health care pathway.  Working within the NHS Trusts in Herefordshire and Nottinghamshire, Welfare Officers will support individuals and their families throughout their health care pathway acting as care navigators, advocates, and supporting the service users to access the support and services they need to improve their discharge from hospital or health care, improve independent living, reduce social isolation, and improve the long term health and wellbeing of the aged veteran and their family.

Herefordshire County Council - who will be creating new Aged Veterans Outreach Workers to support aged veterans in their local communities, enabling independent living, reducing social isolation, and ensuring access to a range of services and support

Nottinghamshire County Council – who will create a new Co-Production worker post specifically to support Aged Veterans in Nottingham, and in addition, work with the aged veterans community to create projects and social enterprises that improve health and wellbeing, reduces social isolation, and improves community cohesion.

Herefordshire Veterans Support Group to enable new activities aimed at aged veterans both at HVSG venue and in other locations in Herefordshire, and to encourage intergenerational activities that will help to reduce social isolation of our older community

The Cart Shed, Hereford – to enable aged veteran specific outdoor activities, combined with the current outdoor learning provision at the Cart Shed site leading to reduction in social isolation, intergenerational activities, peer support, access to formal support and learning new skills

Alzheimer’s Society – to deliver formal dementia training courses aimed at those working with aged veterans, aged veterans caring for someone with alzheimers or someone caring for an aged veteran with alzheimers.

DMWS Training – providing Mental Health First Aid Training and Armed Forces Awareness training in Nottinghamshire and Herefordshire, open to those from statutory and voluntary organisations working with aged veterans, and specifically to train NHS and health professionals in Armed Forces awareness.  Mental Health First Aid Training the Trainer course in Herefordshire to provide an in county trainer for future delivery.

We are looking forward to expanding our service to Herefordshire and Nottinghamshire to improve the health and wellbeing of the aged veterans’ community and to be working closely with the both County Councils.