Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon calls new mental health service at NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Vale of Leven Hospital “A Shining Example” and thanked all those involved including Defence Medical Welfare Service.

MSP Maurice Corry, chair of the cross-party Veterans Committee in Scottish Parliament, has been working closely with Defence Medical Welfare Service highlighting the strong connection to the military in the area surrounding NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Vale of Leven Hospital in order to deliver the funding needed for a new mental health service to open.

Mr Corry, who has campaigned for the centre since his election in 2016, says: “He is delighted that the centre is now open and has been officially launched today (22 December). He says that this will show that services are being enhanced at the Vale of Leven Hospital and local people can access them on their own doorstep.

Video: MSP Maurice Corry announces launch of the new new mental health service at NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Vale of Leven Hospital. Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon calls it ‘A Shining Example’ and thanks all those involved including Defence Medical Welfare Service.

DMWS received funding from organisations including the Scottish government, The Armed Forces Covenant Fund and the Robertson’s Trust to embed a DMWS welfare officer in NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (GG&C), Vale of Leven Hospital, to support the military community (serving and veteran).

DMWS work as part of a collaborative team with the hospital staff under Margaret O’Rourke, the clinical services manager and lead nurse. DMWS have established lasting partnerships with the social care and clinical staff; nurses, doctors, OTs, social workers and personnel involved in the geriatric wards caring for the frail and elderly and the wider third sector organisations operating in the area to support the military community when in hospital (inpatient and outpatient) or in community care.

“We are absolutely delighted to have been part of this process. Our welfare officer embedded at the Mental Health unit will be able to provide vital support and make a significant difference to people reaching further into the armed forces community than ever before and improving lives.” Robert Reid, Regional Manager Scotland, Defence Medical Welfare Service

DMWS is an international charity that has been providing medical welfare support to the armed forces community for over 76 years and are a member of the Unforgotten Forces consortium of charities led by Age Scotland. DMWS provide a person centred, confidential, and independent service to the military community (serving, reservist, ex-forces, who have served at least one day, their family, dependents, and/or carers), when admitted to hospital (emergency or planned care) or on a physical or mental health care pathway. We also give support to those receiving treatment in other community facilities or at home. DMWS welfare staff take the time to listen, identify and address the wider determinants of health, such as social isolation, financial issues, challenges with housing and mental health issues which have a negative effect on well-being and often causing unnecessary readmissions and delay to a person returning home when medically well enough to do so.

DMWS welfare officer at the Vale of Leven hospital is Elaine McArdle, who is also a serving member of the British Army Reserves, serving with 205 Field Hospital, Glasgow as a Combat HR Specialist. As part of her military service she has deployed to Afghanistan on four occasions. Elaine has also worked in NHS GG&C, as a Healthcare Support Worker.

— Ends —

Notes to Editors:

For clinical referrals please contact Elaine McArdle, welfare officer – Vale of Leven, Tel: 01264 774000  Email:              

For further information regarding DMWS in Scotland contact Robert Reid, Regional Manager Scotland Tel: 01738 472143 Email:

About Defence Medical Welfare Service

The Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) is an independent charity providing medical welfare to the armed forces, veterans, NHS staff, emergency services, The Merchant Navy & their immediate family when they are receiving medical treatment in hospital. DMWS’ practical and emotional support ensures that no family goes through the worry of illness or injury alone.

Since 1943 DMWS has also deployed to areas of conflict with the Armed Forces working alongside medical staff in the Field Hospitals.

The Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) is an external provider of expert Welfare, Resilience and Mental Health First Aid Training for preventative and intervention strategies for people working in the welfare arena and anyone who wants to improve their knowledge and confidence in supporting others.

The St John and Red Cross Defence Medical Welfare Service (known as DMWS) is a registered charity in England and Wales (1087210) and in Scotland (SC045460) 

Keep up to date with DMWS news and announcements via Social Media

Twitter @theDMWS 

Facebook @DefenceMedicalWelfareService

Instagram @thedmws


Published: 11th January, 2021
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