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Defence Recovery Capability

Volume 564: debated on Tuesday 11 June 2013

Today marks the defence recovery capability reaching full operating capability following initial operating capability in 2010. Today also formally launches the recovery career services programme which delivers an individualised career service that assists our wounded, injured and sick personnel to achieve a sustainable and fulfilling second career.

The defence recovery capability ensures that wounded, injured and sick personnel have access to all the key services and resources needed to help them either return to duty or make an effective transition to an appropriately skilled civilian life. This care is delivered across the defence community by the combined efforts of the services and the service charities responding to carefully tailored individual recovery plans setting out a recovery pathway.

The defence recovery capability is a Ministry of Defence (MOD) led initiative designed to deliver co-ordinated support to wounded, injured and sick service personnel. This is delivered in partnership with Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion and is supported by other service charities and organisations. This capability is underpinned by substantial financial investment by both the MOD and its partners, Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion; this represents the largest single charitable contribution to the armed forces community in British history.

Each person who is supported by the defence recovery capability will get an individual tailored recovery plan, which integrates all aspects of recovery including medical care, welfare, housing, education, re-skilling, work placements, employment issues and opportunities to either return to duty or transition to civilian life.

The personnel recovery centres have been designed to create a military style environment where our personnel can recover. They are located at Catterick, Colchester, Edinburgh, Plymouth, Sennelager in Germany, Tidworth and the Battle Back Centre in Lilleshall. These centres facilitate and conduct recovery activities in support of individual recovery plans. The Battle Back Centre uses adaptive sport and adventurous training as a vehicle to help wounded, injured and sick personnel focus on what they can do through the multi-activity courses that are run there.

Complex or lengthy cases are transferred to personnel recovery units which are in key locations around the country and deliver high-quality command and care in order to gain the right outcome for the individual and the MOD. Personnel are allocated a personnel recovery officer as their military point of contact who will provide support throughout the period of recovery while in service.

The new recovery career services programme is a vocational, needs-based service, offering the greatest levels of support to those who face the most significant barriers to employment given their medical condition. It provides nationwide specialist employment consultants, a relationship team, a service requirements team and specialist web-portal access. The recovery career services programme is a collaborative venture between the service charities, Oxfordshire county council and the MOD which is closely aligned with the career transition partnership. It will ensure wounded, injured and sick personnel are given tailor made support to assist them in competing effectively in the civilian employment market. Further information is available via the website

The MOD wishes to express its thanks to its charitable partners for their continued support to the defence recovery capability, which has helped to make the achievement of full operating capability a reality.