We are aware that there is a post on Facebook which has now gone viral requesting you send a Christmas Card to 'A recovering Soldier, c/o Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Mindelsohn Way, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2WB'
Whilst this is very kind of the public to think of our soldiers at Christmas time, this is not something we have requested and we would be grateful if cards were not sent due to security and the overloading of the postal system resulting in delays for important medical and personal mail getting through to departments and patients.
The Royal Centre for Defence Medicine's Clinical Unit based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) is the primary receiving unit for all military patients from overseas. In addition to operational casualties we accept non-operational casualties from around the world and routine military referrals from Wales and the West Midlands Region.
To deliver this care we work in partnership with the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHBFT) and a number of other NHS hospitals in the Birmingham area. The combined experience of the military personnel working alongside their NHS colleagues, within this internationally renowned network of Teaching Hospitals, means that the best care is available.
All our efforts are focused on the needs of the patient and their immediate family. The multi-disciplinary team, both military and civilian, combine the skills, experience, and training of a wide variety of professionals to individually tailor the care needed.
RCDM Patient Welfare Fund
The Fund, which is now a registered charity, was set up several years ago and derives income from the generosity of the general public, regimental associations and charitable organisations. The fund is used to enhance the patient's stay, provide some luxuries and improve the quality of life during admission. Money is spent on a wide variety of things ranging from recreational activity through to buying DVDs and sundry items for the patients. Patients can arrive in Birmingham ahead of their possesssions, which can follow on several days later, and so helping them in the first few days is a massive boost.
The initial days of a patient's time at QEHB when the family first arrive are particularly difficult, and we provide other facilities and comforts over and above that funded by the 'system' to allow the family to concentrate on supporting their loved one. On occasion, we also have small projects which require funding.
The medical care provided at QEHB is second to none and few places in Europe have built up the same level of experience in dealing with military casualties. But total care is more than just medical care and in the last few years, the administrative and welfare support provided to military patients and their families has become just as good.
For many families, being told that a loved one has been wounded and is being brought back to QEHB, can seem like the world has suddenly changed. It is the 'military bubble' which we at QEHB endeavour to put in place that helps the patient group to cope with that initial stress and trauma. What ever is required, Patient Support Services will do its utmost to assist and provide.