Introduction of DMWS Chairman to Royal Patron

Yesterday (12 July 2017), Brigadier (Ret’d) Allan Thomson Chairman of the Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) and Deputy Chairman Mr Steve Cowden met Her Royal Highness, The Countess of Wessex, GCVO at Buckingham Palace. The meeting forms the initial visit by Allan Thomson, our newly appointed chairman (1 March 2017) to meet HRH in her capacity as DMWS’s Royal Patron.

Although Allan and Steve recently met The Countess when she attended the Reception at the House of Lords for DMWS on 16 May 2017, today marked DMWS’s Chairman official introduction and provided a perfect opportunity to update her on recent DMWS projects in more detail.

DMWS has been providing a medical welfare service to support the British Military personnel since 1943. Our expertise has led to new projects for frontline services such as the Police. Following the successful pilots of our Police Medical Welfare Service for Hampshire and Avon & Somerset Constabulary, HRH was brought up to date on our Police Welfare Service activity.

We were also pleased to inform HRH of the expansion of our Service to support the Aged Veteran community in Scotland, Herefordshire and Nottinghamshire, a service that is already well established and sought after in the Somerset and Bristol area as well as in Greater Manchester.

Furthermore, we were able to report on the important role our Welfare Officers played in provide additional help to people affected by the Manchester bombing incident in May. This included support to those who had lost loved ones, solving practical issues for patients in hospital, releasing clinicians to do clinical work and providing members of the emergency services with an impartial listening ear to unload about what they have seen.

Other news included the MBE Award for our Chief Executive Nicky Murdoch for service to the Armed Forces Community and their families. We are delighted she received this well-deserved recognition. 

Looking forward, DMWS discussed the option of our 75th Anniversary Reception to be held at Buckingham Palace next year.

Mr Thomson said: “It was a real pleasure to meet with The Countess today. She takes a keen and active role in DMWS and we hugely value her Patronage.  We discussed the amazing work our Welfare Officers carry out for our Veterans, Serving Military personnel and Police across the UK and abroad.”