The Countess of Wessex arriving.

On Thursday 23 March, to mark the uniquely important role The Defence Medical Welfare Service plays in our society, they were delighted to welcome their Patron, Her Royal Highness, The Countess of Wessex GCVO, The Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Nick Carter KCB CBE DSO ADC Gen and The Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Mr Nigel Atkinson to the Charity’s Headquarters in Andover.  The visit provided the perfect platform for highlighting the successes of the work undertaken and promoted the fantastic welfare support carried out every day.  This is an organisation which is leading the way in professionalising the welfare space and which delivers an impact disproportionate to its size.

Today was a significantly important meeting for DMWS; with two prestigious visitors, their Royal Patron and The Chief of the General Staff.  This provided an opportunity to update them on the exceptional welfare service they have been providing to the Armed Forces community for nearly 75 years. DMWS was formed from the Joint War Committee of the British Red Cross and The Order of St John in 1943. The working alliance with the military medical services began during World War II and continues to this day. DMWS has been the only military charity to deploy to areas of conflict alongside the Defence Medical Services, ensuring that our service personnel have access to the very best support from the first critical moment of injury or illness through the pathway to recovery. By doing so, the Charity’s Welfare Officers play an important part in contributing to the delivery of the moral component to the Army which is the biggest group of service users in the Armed Forces in order to support the projection of Land Power in sustaining the safety of Britain.

DMWS has supported more than 1,000,000 patients and their families since 1943.  Their specialist expertise has led to an organisation that provides an outstanding service which has a profound understanding evolved from working alongside Armed Forces personnel and the NHS.

Nicky Murdoch, CEO of DMWS, showcased the impact the Defence Medical Welfare Service makes on the lives of wounded, injured and sick personnel from all three services and their families.

Sir Nick Carter, Allan Thomson and The Countess of Wessex.

Nicky said: “We continue to focus on our core business of bringing the Covenant between the Armed Forces and the Nation to life through the provision of a unique, highly responsive and professional medical welfare service to those who serve or have served. Our Welfare Officers do this this by meeting the needs whatever they are to those in the patient care pathway to ensure that no family goes through the worry of injury or illness alone.”

She continued: “Recent changes in Defence, the Army and the NHS means that we, as an organisation that is in the business of charity, must
continue to evolve to meet expanding and variable requirements.  Our reach now extends to new beneficiaries in the Veteran’s community, the Police, the Probation Service and the NHS.  The move to support the wider emergency services is part of our planned diversification to continue our mission to support those who put themselves in harm’s way for the Nation.”

Both, The Countess of Wessex and General Sir Nick Carter were impressed with the Charity’s successful transformation and reform, diversifying into new areas including the provision of a market leading Level 3 Diploma in Welfare Studies, MHFA and Resilience.  Both HRH and CGS acknowledged the vital work done by DMWS and how valuable it is in challenging times where all budgets are under so much pressure.  CGS acknowledged that the role played by DMWS was palpable evidence of the Army’s commitment to being a good employer.