I don't know all the facts but the Fisher Foundation is fairly hard headed, I doubt they would be investing a couple of million if there wasn't a 'market'.
Although it doesn't have the emotional appeal it's a pity that there has not been investment in accomodation and facilities for the military staff at RCDM. The current situation is a disgrace that is costing the tax payer a small fortune and ill serving the staff.
I saw this BBC puff - which I suspect was written by a US stringer for their extensive North American coverage given the emphasis on Fisher House. And there is no facility to add a Comment to the story to set them straight.
As Dingerr says, and to be fair , as the splendid Caroline Wyatt points out, there is not one but TWO such houses, funded by one of the oldest UK military charities SSAFA( 1885) already in use.
SSAFA's Norton House was built within a gnats crotchet of Headley Court to provide accommodation for family members visiting wounded personnel under treatment there - and Arrsers had a significant hand in making it happen.
SSAFA have also funded a second house in Edgbaston, within visual range of the huge modern Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where the majority of our wounded lads and lasses now go on arrival back in UK. Selly Oak is the Edwardian hospital down the road - and I understand no mil patients are now treated there.
We provide housing facilities such St Vincent's Care Home on the Isle of Wight, SSAFA Norton House for families of injured service personnel, our Stepping Stone Homes (temporary supported accommodation for separated women and children) and Royal Homes in London. More information...
Stepping Stone Homes
SSAFA Norton Homes
Royal Homes (External Website)
The London Homeless Division works with ex-Service rough sleepers. Priority action is taken in the areas of primary needs such as food, clothing and shelter. Any other issues that arise, and are relevant to improving the welfare of the client, are also looked at and appropriate referrals made. The Homeless Division can be contacted on Homeless.Div@ssafa.org.uk or Tel: 020 7828 2468. More information...
As well as the facilities pointed out in Goatman's informative post, there is additional accommodation for the families of military patients in a number of flats and houses around QE Hospital, with hotels used for short term visits. All of this is usually paid for by MOD through the DILFOR scheme, and RCDM's welfare staff ensure that allocation of accom runs smoothly. The Norton Houses are excellent (I have visited the one in Birmingham), and operate on similar lines to Fisher Houses.
The Fisher House charity funds the purchase of land and building of the houses; it then gifts the property to the military. The local unit then sets the eligibility criteria, and any fees for using the accommodation. The charity then pays the fees so that users don't have to find any money.
The UK NOTICAS and DILFOR scheme works very well, and food and accommodation at public expense for NOK/EC is an entitlement under JSP751. I understand that this is not the same with the US forces.
In a recent case in which I was involved, 8 members of a VSIL soldiers family were accommodated in a London hotel near the hospital in which the soldier was being treated for three weeks, at a cost of circa £3k per week. The family were assigned a CVO, available to them 24/7, and were also supported by the unit and welfare staff. When the patient was transferred to an MDHU, free accommodation continued to be provided together with ongoing support.
The way this is being reported makes it seem that H4H and Fisher House have suddenly identified an unmet need; this is simply untrue. The Fisher House will be a useful addition to the existing facilities.
I wonder if H4H/Fisher are interested in providing similar accommodation for the relatives of military patients admitted to MDHUs, away from the cachet of publicity attracted by RCDM and DMRC?
OK Dingerr, I'll accept that we didn't go cap in hand to Fisher House and therefore withdraw the remark since you are much more in the know than I. It is good news that we do have these facilities at each of our hospitals now.