Blind Veterans UK welcomes Healthcare Inspectorate Wales report

9 May 2012 14:17

Blind Veterans UK – the national charity for blind ex-Service men and women, welcomes the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) report on the provision of healthcare for Armed Forces personnel, and its associated recommendations.

We particularly support the HIW's recommendation that each Local Health Board and Trust should establish an Armed Forces Forumbringing together Service charities, military and health care representatives.  Such a forum would ensure that injured veterans receive a holistic approach to meeting their healthcare and quality of life needs.

Blind Veterans UK has long practiced collaborative working in support of vision impaired veterans, including participation of the Department of Health's Military Health & Veterans Programme and the NHS Armed Forces Network.  If the recommendation from the report is put into force, we would welcome the opportunity to make a positive contribution.

The second key recommendation that the charity supports, is the creation of a veterans' mental health clinical network.   Blind Veterans UK shares HIW's concern about the emotional wellbeing of veterans, which is why it offers a counselling service providing free, expert support to blind veterans, their families and carers. We would be happy to be part of a network that seeks to improve the emotional and mental wellbeing of veterans.

Blind Veterans UK is delighted that the HIW has listened to the personal experiences of members of the Armed Forces community, and we look forward to playing a part in any new collaborative ways of working in Wales that should arise as a result.