The Duchess of Edinburgh officially opens UK’s first dedicated veterans’ orthopaedic centre

5 April 2023

The UK’s first dedicated Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre at Shropshire’s specialist orthopaedic hospital has officially been opened by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Edinburgh.

The Duchess was at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital for an official visit, that saw her unveil a plaque marking the official opening of the pioneering Headley Court Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre.

The innovative centre was built following a £6 million donation from the Headley Court Charity.

The two-storey building features nine standard examination and clinic rooms, an enhanced treatment room for minor outpatient procedures, an assessment room, a splinting and therapy room, as well as clinic space for virtual appointments.

In the main entrance of the building, there is a café and dedicated Veterans’ Hub where Shropshire Council and various military charities will provide support to veteran patients and their family and friends, with issues that range from homelessness, finance, debt management, welfare, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), benefits and more.  The upstairs of the centre includes dedicated research offices, clinical teaching and training space for staff, a multi-disciplinary team room, and an office for admin staff.

Harry Turner, RJAH Chair, said: “It was an honour to welcome HRH The Duchess of Edinburgh to our hospital and have her officially unveil our Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre.

“This building is going to make a huge difference to our veteran and serving personnel patients, who deserve the very best standards of care.

“Thank you to the Headley Court Charity for their immense support, as well as understanding what we are setting out to achieve.”

Stacey Keegan, RJAH Chief Executive, said: “We were able to take HRH around the state-of-the-art building and show the impact these facilities are having on our patients. She also met with staff from across the Trust. It was a great day that everyone enjoyed, and we would like to thank The Duchess for taking the time to visit.”

Simon Whitehouse, Chief Executive of NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, attended the event. He said, “I was delighted to attend the opening of the new Veterans’ Centre as the representative of the ICS. Meeting Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Edinburgh, was a real privilege, and it was a pleasure to talk to her about the challenges facing the NHS and how we are addressing these locally.”

Page last updated 5 April 2023