Since 2018, the RNRMC has worked closely with the St John and Red Cross Defense Medical Welfare Service (DMWS). To date, the RNRMC has delivered over £220,000 in grant funding to the DMWS, including a £60,000 in September this year. This money supports members of the Royal Navy community with medical welfare issues, such as Gary, a 55 year old former Royal Marine Corporal.
Gary served for 11 years and was medically retired due to an accident, he uses a wheelchair and is still able to drive. Classed as vulnerable during lockdown he was unable to go out and his activities stopped. As a result of his reduced mobility, he developed pressure sores and was admitted to hospital.
Gary was referred to DMWS Welfare Support Worker, Rachel. In order to be discharged home Gary needed a specialist tilting bed that would help with his recovery and prevent further pressure sores. The only bed available to him via the NHS required his carer to reposition him every two hours including overnight. With this solution being impractical, Rachel set about finding a bed that automatically tilts and repositions, however such a bed came at a cost of £10,000.
Rachel liaised with the discharge team and SSAFA to put together a proposal to apply for funding an automatically tilting bed that would support his recovery, prevent pressure sores and reduce the amount of manual handling Gary’s carer would need to do. Gary initially went home with the manual tilt bed; this meant he did not have to go to care home whilst waiting for funding. One week after being home the funding was agreed. Rachel spoke to the company supplying the bed, the person she spoke to was also a veteran; a week later the bed arrived. Gary’s condition has improved, he’s in a home environment with his carer Kim and the dogs, which is much better for his mental health and long-term recovery.
The latest RNRMC grant will help fund the support DMWS provide to Royal Navy and Royal Marines veterans to combat loneliness and social isolation, promote health and wellbeing, and improve mental health.
Paul Gaffney, DMWS CEO said:
“We are grateful to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and Greenwich Hospital for their generous grant. Their ongoing support and commitment allows us to continue to provide medical welfare support to those who need it most.”