Today (29 November 2017), the Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) and Veterans First Point (V1P) signed a Memorandum of Understanding, with the aim to improve collaboration between the two organisations and to better serve the Military community in Scotland.

DMWS and V1P’s cause complements each other; both organisations focus on improving the health and well-being of veterans and their families. DMWS welfare officers provide practical and emotional support to the Armed Forces community when they receive medical care in hospital, rehabilitation settings or at home and V1P have specialists in mental health and psychological disorders.

Mr Paul Gaffney, COO of DMWS and Dr Lucy Abraham, Veterans First Point Clinical Lead met at V1P Scotland  Head Office in Edinburgh today, to establish a framework of mutual understanding of roles and responsibilities. DMWS and V1P will now be in a position to better signpost to each other’s key workers, provide coordinated solutions, and ultimately deliver the best possible support network for the ex-military community.

Paul Gaffney said: “It was a real pleasure to meet Dr Lucy Abraham today and hear of the fantastic work the organisation has delivered to veterans since it was set up in 2009. I am confident that the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding will ensure we refer the community we serve to the best support available. We are pleased to be able to deliver a common goal: ‘caring for those who serve’”.

“We are delighted to be signing this agreement today to mark the joint working of Veterans First Point and Defence Mental Welfare Services. We at Veterans Fist Point aim to address veterans needs “whatever their needs may be” and we could not achieve this goal without the continued support and good working relationships we have with our partners.” Dr Lucy Abraham added.

 

The role of V1P Scotland

Since opening in 2009, Veterans First Point has created a service tailored to the needs of veterans, and offers help with benefits, education and employment as well as psychological conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, under one roof. The regional teams across Scotland provide a mental health and well-being service to veterans and their families no matter what their need may be. Veterans and family members can be referred to the service or can self-refer. They will go through a registration process with a designated Veteran Peer Support Worker (VPSW) who then determines with them what these needs are and work in partnership with other agencies to meet welfare and social needs. Where appropriate, clients will be offered assessment and treatment by clinicians delivering evidence-based Psychological and Pharmacological treatments. The teams work within the NHS governance policies and procedures of their respective health board and in partnership with other V1P teams, NHS and 3rd sector partner services.  

The Role of DMWS

In Scotland, DMWS works as part of the Unforgotten Forces Consortium led by Poppy Scotland, delivering our services to the older veteran community. This 3 year project has been funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund. DMWS provides a holistic medical welfare service, offering emotional and practical support for veterans aged 65 and older, their families and carers, when they are on a health care pathway. We enable early supported referrals to the most appropriate local organisations and services with the aim to improve recovery, wellbeing, discharge planning, independent living, and reduce social isolation. DMWS Welfare Officers conduct regular visits in hospital wards, outpatients departments and service establishments in the NHS areas’ of Grampian, Fife, Lanarkshire and Ayrshire & Arran.