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King's Centre for Military Health highly commended

OCTOBER 24, 2008

Health workers who provide outstanding care for the Armed Forces were recognised last night in awards ceremony attended by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR) was highly commended in two categories.

The Institute of Psychiatry’s Simon Wessely, Professor of Epidemiological and Liaison Psychiatry and Director of the King's Centre for Military Health Research said: ‘It is very encouraging for all of us to be recognised in this way, but perhaps even more importantly, to see the fruits of our work actually making a difference to the health of the Armed Forces.’

The inaugural Military and Civilian Health Partnership Awards highlighted exceptional individuals and teams from across the UK working in fields such as deployed healthcare, care of veterans, mental health, education and training and innovation. The evening was attended by the Secretary of States for Defence and Health, prominent military and health representatives from across the UK, and more than 100 shortlisted teams and individuals.

Defence Secretary John Hutton said: This evening is an opportunity to pay tribute to the diverse and dedicated military, NHS, voluntary and private sector medical professionals from across the UK who provide first class care to our personnel, who quite rightly deserve the best.

The KCMHR commendations
The Health Improvement and Promotion Award commendation for KCMHR was for improving health protection against biological warfare and research on the side effects of the anthrax vaccine which led to changes in administering of vaccinations. 

The second commendation was for their work showing an increase in mental health problems in UK Reservists, which was instrumental in launching the Reservists Mental Health Progamme, which allowed reservists for the first time to seek care if they wished from military mental health services after they had returned home and demobilised. 

The 2008 awards were open to military or civilian members of the Defence Medical Services, NHS or independent sector healthcare professionals, either on an individual or team basis, who have benefited the care of a members of the Armed Forces. This included veterans and their dependants.

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