Last week I attended the funeral of one our long standing activists in Bradford on Avon. This fine man was a Military Veteran and someone to whom we owe a great deal. We should never forget the extent that these fine individuals have and continue to go to for us. Wiltshire has and should remain a military hub and we need to celebrate and recognise these fine human beings.
I am proud that the Conservatives have enshrined the Military Covenant in law and remain fully committed to upholding it and ensuring that those who have bravely served their country are not disadvantaged by their service. We continue to work with all our partners, including the NHS, to uphold the principles of the Covenant.
As part of this work we have got all local councils signed up to the Community Covenant and more than 300 companies to sign the Corporate Covenant. We have also invested over £22 million in mental health and prosthetic services, specifically for those most in need, including 10 regional veteran mental health teams and nine veterans focussed prosthetic centres providing tailored support and care.
I am immensely proud of our brave ex-servicemen and women and the sacrifice they have made and we will continue to do all we can to make sure that we honour the Military Covenant.
We are doing this by:
Giving veterans priority in accessing medical care. When a veteran has the same medical needs as another patient the veteran gets priority. In addition, by 2017, there will be a specialist GP in each area who has specific knowledge of the needs of veterans so that they can access the support they need.
Improving facilities for severely injured personnel. £17.5 million is being invested in new, state-of-the-art facilities so that severely injured soldiers can always access the finest prosthetics and rehabilitation services.
Helping communities and businesses to do more to support local Armed Forces. In order for local authorities and businesses and the Armed Forces in the areas to form closer partnerships we created Community and Corporate Covenants with all local authorities and over 300 companies already signed up.