Police Medical Welfare Service: Avon and Somerset

The Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) works in partnership with the Avon and Somerset Police Federation to extend the existing welfare support for Police Officers, staff or family members of Avon and Somerset Constabulary. 

How we help

Whether you are receiving care due to illness, struggling to maintain your mental health, injured or assaulted during the course of your duty, or just require some emotional support whilst under investigation or suspension; our experienced Welfare Officers will provide a confidential, impartial and early assessment of your wellbeing needs. 

We will support you in a medical care setting or within your home environment, and can also assist you to access specialist support from other services, charities and organisations who can help, allowing you to focus on your medical treatment and recovery.

What we can help you with

DMWS Welfare Officers use counselling skills to offer direct support to you and use their professional experience to act as an advocate. Our support is tailored to the individual needs of you and your family. Some of the ways we can help include:

  • A confidential and impartial listening ear
  • Practical assistance and accompanied visits to appointments
  • Home visits for those who have had more than three months sickness absence
  • Liaising with your employer regarding your medical treatment
  • Emotional support for personnel under suspension/investigation through difficult times
  • Referrals to other agencies for support (e.g. housing, benefits, adaptations)

How to get support

You can access our support via Occupational Health or by asking your Police Federation or Unison representative to contact us. Alternatively you can contact us directly on:

Phone: 0800 999 3697 (‘DMWS’)
Email: police@dmws.org.uk


Our service is confidential and operates independently outside of the Police.

Guide to the Avon and Somerset Police Medical Welfare Service

For full information about the Police Medical Welfare Support Service, please read our Guide for Avon and Somerset Police Officers and Staff


Testimonials

I would like to praise DMWS as an independent welfare organisation that is helping me in a complex work related situation. In approaching DMWS and trusting into their Welfare Officer I have found a knowledgeable professional advocate who has attended meetings with me, supported me, spoken to my partner & family and acted with my best interests at heart. I cannot recommend DMWS enough. I found their support invaluable and think their service is long overdue in a policing environment.

My life was changed forever on 25th May 2016, and I suddenly found myself in a very unfamiliar situation.  DMWS Welfare Officers visited me very early on in my recovery, and remained a constant source of support throughout. Their help in dealing with the housing provider and persistently and tirelessly contacting them until the necessary adjustments were made to our home was a huge burden removed from us. I'm grateful that their help was made available to me as a police officer, and I would commend the service to my colleagues.

DMWS has supported me from the early weeks after my husband had a life changing motorbike accident whereby he became paralysed from the chest down.
Having this service available to me has been invaluable and has helped me cope through very difficult times where by I have been able to share the stress of the situation with my welfare officer from DMWS. By having someone available to support me by attending medical appointments or help dealing with local authorities I've been able to concentrate more on other areas of my life such as my three year old daughter.
I don't feel alone in this traumatic situation and even just knowing support is available has taken a weight off my shoulders. With my situation every corner my family and I turn there has seemed to be a new battle but with DMWS support I feel equipped to face each challenge.
This is a invaluable service and has been a helpful coping mechanism I would recommend the use of the service for anyone undergoing any trauma or stress in their daily lives.


Link to related publications

To find out which other charities might be able to help, please view the UK Police Charities Booklet 2015