Soldiers who are sick or injured will be given enhanced support to help them successfully return to duties or transition into civilian life under new plans announced today by the MoD.
The Army Recovery Capability (ARC) will take soldiers from the point of injury or illness through to their return to duty or into a successful and supported civilian life. Under the ARC, educational, occupational and welfare support will be delivered to soldiers in a military environment. The scheme will be delivered in partnership with the Service charities the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes, as well as other Government Departments.
Minister for Veterans, Kevan Jones said: "The Army Recovery Capability will deliver further improvements to the Army's support for its wounded, sick and injured people by bringing together a range of services into a single programme. It will either return individuals to duty or take them to a point where it is right for them to be discharged - however long that takes.
"The Army Recovery Capability is another step in the ongoing improvements we have made to welfare support for Service personnel, their families and veterans. It underlines the Government's commitment, outlined in 2008's Service Personnel Command Paper, to deliver world-class services for the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces."
Chief of the General Staff, General Sir David Richards said: "The ARC is designed to enable the swiftest return to duty, or the smoothest transition to an appropriately skilled and supported civilian life, for wounded, injured, or long term sick soldiers, irrespective of cause. It builds substantially on the significant progress that has already been made in the support provided to our service men and women. The ARC is all about the individual and what is right for their recovery needs, focussing on what personnel can do, not what they cannot. This is a positive step forward that will allow Commanding Officers to focus on operations, confident that the needs of their wounded, sick and injured soldiers are being met.
The Army Recovery Capability will be made up of four key components:
Personnel Recovery Branch
A Personnel Recovery Branch will co-ordinate all elements of the Army Recovery Capability and provide the focal point for all aspects of support to the transition of wounded, injured and long term sick personnel. It will keep track of all those who enter the recovery process - to the point of discharge and beyond - and will develop employment opportunities for those leaving the Army.
Personnel Recovery Units
A co-ordinated network of 12 Personnel Recovery Units will provide support and guidance to personnel on a recovery pathway. These units will be dispersed throughout the UK, with each region lead by a commanding officer, who in turn will be guided by the Personnel Recovery Branch. The capability will provide occupational therapists, welfare staff, and links to training and educational organisations, charities and other Government Departments, ensuring that a holistic and fully joined-up service is provided.
Individual recovery plans
Every person on a recovery pathway will have a tailored recovery plan, which is developed, coordinated and managed by a Personnel Recovery Unit. This will ensure individuals are able to access the particular support they need at each stage of their recovery.
Personnel Recovery Centres
Experience shows that injured personnel find a military environment conducive to the best possible recovery, so we will provide purpose-built Personnel Recovery Centres around the UK. These centres, built by Help for Heroes and run jointly by the Royal British Legion and the Army, will provide a residential base for those who need it. Each centre will be located inside or close to Army sites, enabling access to Army facilities and support from the Army, including existing medical, educational and other garrison facilities. The first centre is based in Edinburgh, with a second likely to be based in Colchester.
There is a long history of charitable organisations contributing to the welfare of serving Military Personnel, veterans and their families, this relationship will be strengthened further through the introduction of the ARC, for the continued benefit of Armed Forces personnel.
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