National Centre for Veterans' Healthcare (NCVH) opens at Concord Hospital

24 September 2019

 

Australia’s first comprehensive care centre offering specialist physical and mental healthcare services for veterans has opened at Concord Hospital.

National Centre for Veterans’ Health (NCVH) is an innovative national-first outpatient service, designed to meet the physical and mental health care needs of Australia’s veteran community. The NCVH is commenced a pilot service in two locations across Concord Repatriation General Hospital (CRGH) campus from August.

The vision of the service is “to be the leaders in the provision of comprehensive care to achieve optimal physical and mental wellbeing and quality of life for our veterans.”

NCVH will offer comprehensive, holistic and integrated services underpinned by Patient and Family Centred Care (PFCC) principles.

The NCVH will provide a range of specialist services for veterans requiring ambulatory, physical, mental and drug health related care. Veterans referred to the NCVH will be assessed and treated by members of the integrated multidisciplinary service on-site, guided by their clinical needs under the direction of a case manager. This will include Pain Medicine, Rehabilitation, Mental Health, Drug Health, and a broad range of allied health disciplines.

The NCVH will be caring for veterans from a range of Defence backgrounds with varied levels of skills and training, including combat. It is expected that the initial cohort of patients will present with a range of issues including, but not limited to, PTSD (multiple potential triggers), anger issues, anxiety and drug and/or alcohol dependence.

The two NCVH clinics operate their pilot from two locations within Concord. Both buildings have undergone renovations in the past few months in preparation for the launch.

Behind any successful service is a team of hardworking individuals and case managers for NCVH. The three new arrivals to Concord are Eileen van Dijk, Rebecca Fortini and Johanna Castle.

The diverse group of professionals will ensure that representation has come from medical, nursing, allied health and support services and will undergo an intensive and specialist induction program involving workshops, sessions and webinars. The multidisciplinary workforce is required to achieve the complex service goals of the NCVH healthcare model.

Whilst operating as an outpatient model, an exciting component of the service will be the future development of Fussell House – a unique architecturally designed co-located accommodation space and recreational area for families of veterans.

The National Centre for Veterans’ Healthcare provides world-class integrated care from a range of medical and allied health specialities to former Australian Defence Force personnel.

There are about 60,000 Australian servicemen and women who have served over the last two decades, including as peacekeepers, in Rwanda, East Timor, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Solomon Islands.

The Centre will fill an identified gap in the provision of healthcare services for veterans, who can struggle when transitioning back to civilian life. Many veterans leave military life with physical injuries and a range of mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Chair of the Centre, Colonel Professor Robert “Bob” Lusby AM, says transitioning to civilian life will be made a little easier for veterans with a dedicated “one-stop-shop” model of care.

“Veterans have seen things and done things which are extraordinary and often they keep it in and sooner or later some of these people will need our help, and it is our duty to help them,” Professor Lusby said.

The Centre aims to reduce the barriers veterans may face in seeking help from health professionals and families and carers are encouraged to participate in setting goals and developing treatment plans.

Minister for Veterans John Sidoti visited the Centre during its first month of operation. He met staff including Operations Manager Kirsty Chapman, Medical Director Cameron Korb-Wells and Professor Lusby.

Mr Sidoti said he was impressed to hear the Centre had received referrals in its first few weeks.

“Our military personnel put their life on the line in service to this country, so it is incumbent on all of us to support them as best we can when they need our help,” Mr Sidoti said.

Sydney Local Health District Chief Executive Dr Teresa Anderson AM said Concord Hospital has provided support and care for Australia’s military and veteran community since it opened as a military hospital in 1941.

“The $341 million stage 1 redevelopment of Concord Hospital provides an opportunity for Concord to once again lead the way in veterans’ healthcare,” Dr Anderson said.

The Centre will be housed in a purpose-built facility within the new Clinical Services Building due for completion at the end of 2021. A pilot service will operate out of an existing building at Concord Hospital in the interim.

Ex-serving members of the Australian Defence Force, regardless of their type of service, are eligible for referral to the Centre. The service is free of charge, in line with the Centre’s mission to ensure treatment is accessible for all veterans.

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Australia’s first comprehensive care centre offering specialist physical and mental healthcare services for veterans has opened at Concord Hospital.
National Centre for Veterans’ Health (NCVH) is an innovative national-first outpatient service, designed to meet the physical and mental health care needs of Australia’s veteran community. The NCVH is commenced a pilot service in two locations across Concord Repatriation General Hospital (CRGH) campus from August.
The vision of the service is “to be the leaders in the provision of comprehensive care to achieve optimal physical and mental wellbeing and quality of life for our veterans.”
NCVH will offer comprehensive, holistic and integrated services underpinned by Patient and Family Centred Care (PFCC) principles.
The NCVH will provide a range of specialist services for veterans requiring ambulatory, physical, mental and drug health related care. Veterans referred to the NCVH will be assessed and treated by members of the integrated multidisciplinary service on-site, guided by their clinical needs under the direction of a case manager. This will include Pain Medicine, Rehabilitation, Mental Health, Drug Health, and a broad range of allied health disciplines.
The NCVH will be caring for veterans from a range of Defence backgrounds with varied levels of skills and training, including combat. It is expected that the initial cohort of patients will present with a range of issues including, but not limited to, PTSD (multiple potential triggers), anger issues, anxiety and drug and/or alcohol dependence.
The two NCVH clinics operate their pilot from two locations within Concord. Both buildings have undergone renovations in the past few months in preparation for the launch.
Behind any successful service is a team of hardworking individuals and case managers for NCVH. The three new arrivals to Concord are Eileen van Dijk, Rebecca Fortini and Johanna Castle.
The diverse group of professionals will ensure that representation has come from medical, nursing, allied health and support services and will undergo an intensive and specialist induction program involving workshops, sessions and webinars. The multidisciplinary workforce is required to achieve the complex service goals of the NCVH healthcare model.
Whilst operating as an outpatient model, an exciting component of the service will be the future development of Fussell House – a unique architecturally designed co-located accommodation space and recreational area for families of veterans.
The National Centre for Veterans’ Healthcare provides world-class integrated care from a range of medical and allied health specialities to former Australian Defence Force personnel.
There are about 60,000 Australian servicemen and women who have served over the last two decades, including as peacekeepers, in Rwanda, East Timor, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Solomon Islands.
The Centre will fill an identified gap in the provision of healthcare services for veterans, who can struggle when transitioning back to civilian life. Many veterans leave military life with physical injuries and a range of mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Chair of the Centre, Colonel Professor Robert “Bob” Lusby AM, says transitioning to civilian life will be made a little easier for veterans with a dedicated “one-stop-shop” model of care.
“Veterans have seen things and done things which are extraordinary and often they keep it in and sooner or later some of these people will need our help, and it is our duty to help them,” Professor Lusby said.
The Centre aims to reduce the barriers veterans may face in seeking help from health professionals and families and carers are encouraged to participate in setting goals and developing treatment plans.
Minister for Veterans John Sidoti visited the Centre during its first month of operation. He met staff including Operations Manager Kirsty Chapman, Medical Director Cameron Korb-Wells and Professor Lusby.
Mr Sidoti said he was impressed to hear the Centre had received referrals in its first few weeks.
“Our military personnel put their life on the line in service to this country, so it is incumbent on all of us to support them as best we can when they need our help,” Mr Sidoti said.

Sydney Local Health District Chief Executive Dr Teresa Anderson AM said Concord Hospital has provided support and care for Australia’s military and veteran community since it opened as a military hospital in 1941.
“The $341 million stage 1 redevelopment of Concord Hospital provides an opportunity for Concord to once again lead the way in veterans’ healthcare,” Dr Anderson said.
The Centre will be housed in a purpose-built facility within the new Clinical Services Building due for completion at the end of 2021. A pilot service will operate out of an existing building at Concord Hospital in the interim.
Ex-serving members of the Australian Defence Force, regardless of their type of service, are eligible for referral to the Centre. The service is free of charge, in line with the Centre’s mission to ensure treatment is accessible for all veterans.