THE NHS has launched two new hubs in Somerset to support serving and former members of the Armed Forces.

The hubs were officially opened by deputy lieutenant brigadier Toomey, representing HM’s Lord Lieutenant of Somerset and Shelagh Meldrum, chief nursing officer at NHS Somerset.

Also in attendance were serving personnel from RNAS Yeovilton, 40 Commando, a number of veterans, charities and other agencies who work with the Armed Forces. 

It is estimated that almost 1 in 10 residents of Somerset are part of the Armed Forces Community and that the county has a higher than average number of veterans compared to the rest of the country.

CEO Chief executive of NHS Somerset, Jonathan Higman, said: “The armed forces play a vital role in Somerset. I was delighted to sign the Armed Forces Covenant on behalf of NHS Somerset last year as we continue to support people across our communities. 

“We are delighted now to be able to work in partnership with Ark@Egwood to provide dedicated Armed Forces link workers who will both support the needs of the Armed Forces community and provide a valuable resource as armed forces hubs in Somerset”. 

Nigel Bell, CEO of Ark@Egwood, said “We had a lovely afternoon launching the two new Armed Forces Hubs in Somerset together with Arc (formerly Taunton Association for the Homeless).

“A big thank you to NHS Somerset and Deputy Lieutenant Brigadier Toomey representing HM's Lord Lieutenant of Somerset and cutting the symbolic ribbon. Also thank you to everyone who attended. We look forward to working with you all to improve the services for our Armed Forces community”.