Major Incident Response - DMWS

DMWS’ unique role and capability means that we can respond swiftly to a civilian crisis, national emergency or military deployment.

Since 1943 our welfare officers have deployed alongside the military to provide help and support in Field Hospitals during all major conflicts.

DMWS remain the only military charity and civilian welfare organisation to deploy to areas of conflict with the Armed Forces, working alongside medical staff in the Field Hospitals in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Covid-19 National Emergency

sketch of NHS staff wearing masksDuring Covid-19 we maintained operational responding to requests for assistance by our Service Users, the NHS and MOD. Our unique capability meant that we remained responsive during this period of national emergency.

Any essential operational response for assistance by the NHS or MOD were made in accordance with local NHS trust instructions and within local and national government guidelines.

In instances where we are not able to provide face to face support to service users in the patient care pathway, welfare staff continued to provide our vital service during their time of need via telephone.

The ABF The Soldiers Charity, highly commends DMWS for their bravery and acts of goodwill in this time of crisis.
The Army Benevolent Fund

DMWS Response to Covid-19 - Report


Welfare Support to families at the Manchester Arena bombing

Manchester bee 2017Our welfare officers are used to an emergency response environment because they have been providing a unique medical welfare service to the Armed Forces and emergency services at times of crisis for over 75 years. Our experience rooted in the operational area ensures we are always prepared to respond quickly as part of an integrated team to help when required.

We understand the pressures placed on operational staff; the Police, the Emergency Services and also the patients and families in the hospitals.

Our Manchester based welfare officers provided a service over helping people affected by the attack. We offered practical help and emotional support where it was needed. We supported front line staff police, fire, ambulance, A&E staff who were directly involved in attending and dealing with casualties as well as supporting the bereaved, the patients and their families.

DMWS welfare officers were on hand to help those dealing with the shock of such a bereavement, solving practical issues faced by patients away from home and in hospital recovering, releasing clinicians to do clinical work speeding up the triage and treatment of the injured. Our welfare service allowed members of the emergency services to find an experienced, impartial ear to unload about what they’d seen and heard during a highly intense and difficult period.  

The Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham, highlighted our collaborative work with the authorities, emergency services and the provision of welfare support to families within local hospitals.

Ebola, Sierra Leone

Isolation unit for ebola patientIn 2014-2015 DMWS supported the families of Ebola patients who had returned from Sierra Leone. Our welfare officers were relocated to the hospitals where patients were being treated to provide support to the families. 



Iraq and Afghanistan

Military casualty being stretchered to ambulanceThe Charity has been providing medical welfare support to Armed Forces Personnel and their families for more than 75 years. We remain the only military charity and civilian welfare organisation to deploy to areas of conflict with the Armed Forces working alongside medical staff in the Field Hospitals.


simon brown

Between 2003 -2014 DMWS sent out more than 150 Welfare Officers with our troops to provide practical and emotional support to the wounded, injured and sick in the Role 3 Hospital. This role extends beyond the casualty to help support their families back home.

An example of support: DMWS Welfare Officers were one of the first people Ex-Corporal Simon Brown saw after he sustained life-changing injuries during a rescue mission in Basra in 2006. Simon has supported DMWS as a Charity Champion since 2012.

Wherever our troops are deployed across the globe, we are there to help and support.


When I woke up in hospital it was not just me facing a worrying and uncertain future, but my family too.  Having someone with an ear to bend or a shoulder to cry on gave me comfort.  DMWS let us air our fears without unnecessarily worrying those around us.  My family and I will always be grateful for the support given by DMWS in the dark days following my injury.
Ex-Corporal Simon Brown

DMWS deployed to Military Field Hospitals

DMWS deploying to areas of conflict with the Armed Forces, working alongside medical staff in the Field Hospitals in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

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