Lieutenant Colonel Carl Meyer, of 16 Medical Regiment, set up the facility at Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital near Oswestry in Shropshire, where he is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon.
Thought to be the first of its kind, the centre is open to anyone who has served in the UK Forces and is suffering from arthritic lower limb problems, especially those who need hip and knee replacements.
Having welcomed his first clients in September 2014, Meyer is now keen to spread the word.
“We aim to provide the best the NHS has to offer,” he explained. “Veterans are seen as NHS patients and treated as per national guidelines; however, by bridging the gap between the military and the NHS we hope to give them a unique service. “Being a military surgeon helps me to understand the expectations and experiences of this group of patients.”
Among those to benefit from the clinic is Second World War veteran Donald Mason, who visited Meyer after fracturing his pelvis in a cycling accident. “It made a world of difference
being treated by a military man,” commented the 88-year-old. “He’s so thorough and a delightful person to talk to – he didn’t act superior as some hospital consultants tend to do.”
The clinic also sees serving soldiers with early onset arthritis or injuries that may lead to joint replacement surgery and there are plans to expand the service further afield.
Those wishing to see Lt Col Meyer should ask their GP for a referral.
Soldier (2015) Officer’s Arthritis Advice. Soldier: Magazine of the British Army. August 2015, pp.15.