I have just had a great visit to the Chelsea Pensioner Hospital. What a brilliant place supporting about 300 former soldiers (including 6 women).
It has been around for 321 years and is probably the best of its kind anywhere in the world. It’s going through an enormous modernisation, phasing out the communal ‘long wards’ and giving residents their own study and en-suite. They have also modernised their medical wards and have one of the most effective dementia set ups in the country.
It’s a success of mixed funding, with about £11 million of Government funds going into it through the MOD. But most of the costs are covered by donations and fund raising.
Until going on this visit with the Shadow Defence Team, I was like everyone else and just simply in admiration of the former soldiers in their pristine uniforms. After the visit, I’m also proud of the facilities and people who support them.