Veterans Aid CEO responds to Peter Heaton-Jones MP
We need a national debate on this if we are to provide effective veteran services based on actual rather than perceived need, says Dr Hugh Milroy, CEO Veterans Aid.
“I applaud Mr Heaton-Jones MP for his wholehearted support for the veteran community but from the frontline delivery perspective of Veterans Aid I don’t believe this goes far enough.
"I say that because I know from hard won experience that there is a massive gulf between signing the “Covenant” and actually delivering something to the individual veteran.
"I am absolutely clear that the current system is a postcode lottery. The inconsistency is shocking! This is because no one “owns” the system…no one is responsible. If this issue isn’t addressed the system will become a sort of “self-licking ice-cream” where only good reports will be highlighted so insufficiency of support is ignored with the corollary that nothing will improve.
"Veterans need someone to speak truth to power about this lottery system…the dark shadows of empty rhetoric or cosmetic support must be exposed just as effective post-modern support must also be highlighted. And while there has been proper focus on mental health issues it still begs the question, what do the vast majority of veterans want or need…
"I’m a veteran and no one has ever asked me. I keep getting told what I need! We need a national debate on this if we are to provide effective veteran services based on actual rather than perceived need.”