Ministry of Defence
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Military and Civilian Health Partnership Awards launched

Military and Civilian Health Partnership Awards launched

MINISTRY OF DEFENCE News Release (073/2008) issued by The Government News Network on 12 May 2008

The new national Military and Civilian Health Partnership Awards scheme were launched today at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, opening the nomination process for entries.

The health partnership awards will recognise the people, both military and civilian, working within the Defence Medical Services, NHS, charity and private sector, and the excellent healthcare services they provide to UK Armed Forces, veterans and their dependants.

Supporting the new Awards, Defence Secretary Des Browne said:

"Those who provide medical care to our Armed Forces deserve this recognition. They are true professionals of the highest skill and expertise. Not only do they save lives, they provide outstanding care to Service Personnel whether on operations abroad or here in the UK, both during active service and thereafter."

Adding his support the Health Secretary, Alan Johnson said:

"A close partnership exists between the NHS and the MOD to ensure our service men and women receive an excellent level of care. These awards will showcase examples of the most exceptional work and highlight those successful partnerships that exist across the UK between the MOD and the NHS."

Lieutenant Jim Berry 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, was severely injured when a grenade exploded in Afghanistan in 2006. A piece of shrapnel entered his right eye and went into his brain, causing him to lose the sight in that eye and suffer neurological problems caused from the path of the shrapnel. He had to learn to walk again, and has received rehabilitative treatment at Headley Court for the past 18 months. Speaking of his experience he said:

"I can't really remember what happened after the grenade went off, but I know I am alive because of the swift medical care I received both immediately on the ground in Sangin, and thereafter from the Army Medical Services and NHS.

"On returning to the UK I spent six weeks in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, before moving to Headley Court. The service I received there has been second to none; I learnt how to walk again and after only four months I was able to return to work to a position similar to those I held before. I look forward to returning to full duty abroad soon, and am extremely grateful to all who've helped me get this far."

The awards scheme is a joint venture between the MOD, Department of Health, the Welsh Assembly, the Scottish Government and the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety for Northern Ireland. The MOD is the host department for 2008.

Notes to Editors:

1. The awards are open to military and civilian members of the Defence Medical Services, NHS or independent sector healthcare professionals, as individuals and/or teams, who have benefited the care of a member(s) of the Armed Forces. This includes veterans or their dependants.

2. The eight categories are:
* Innovation in Service Development Award
* Education and Training Award
* Deployed Healthcare Award
* Health Improvement and Promotion Award
* Mental Health Award
* Healthcare Reservist of the Year
* Care of Veterans Award
* Team of the Year Award: Military and Civilian Health Partnership Award

3. The closing date for applications is 5 July, and people can self-nominate or be nominated for an award.

4. Launches also took place in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland today.

5. The Military and Civilian Health Partnerships Awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 23 October at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London.

6. The origins of the Royal Hospital Chelsea date back to the 17th century. Nowadays it provides accommodation and medical care to retired soldiers of the British Army. It has a fully staffed Infirmary and also runs an out-patient service for the Chelsea Pensioners.

7. Further information on the health partnership awards, including how to apply or nominate can be found at, the Military and Civilian Health Partnership website. The helpline number is 020 7807 8125.

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