Where your money goes: Hospital's Royal Navy veteran thanks charity's help towards unique support hub

Date: 31 October 2023

Military flags web image

A Royal Navy veteran and Portsmouth Hospital employee is benefitting from £3,500 of funding secured from our charity, by investing the cash in the very first-of-its-kind Veteran Service Hub he created from scratch supporting our Trust’s military community.

Keith Malcolm, whose 15-year service included deployment on a medical facility afloat off the Iraqi coast, says he’s thankful for donations from Portsmouth Hospitals Charity, enabling him to purchase various military flags for veterans’ engagement events and funeral services.

Creating the UK’s first Veteran Service Hub at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, in 2020 - which has since inspired 30 further hubs across Britain - Keith offers help to military personnel and their families, including end of life support and organising military-specific funerals.

Working with Portsmouth Hospital University NHS Trust (PHU)’s Chaplaincy team, Keith’s role includes attending veterans’ funerals and offering to dress coffins with military flags before the coffin is taken to church.

Keith, PHU’s Armed Forces Covenant Lead Nurse and Former Military Recruitment Lead, said: “I’m really grateful to Portsmouth Hospitals Charity for their support.

“When designing the service, I felt military personnel and loved ones requiring support didn’t know how this looked or how to access it, meaning I now engage with patients and families to highlight what’s available.

“So, the charity funding really helps what I do, as I can support our Trust’s armed forces community, or families at funerals and events.

“Veterans often think someone’s a greater priority than them for care, so I’m always there to ensure their service and sacrifices are not forgotten at our hospital.”

Kate Sandys, Head of Portsmouth Hospitals Charity, said: “We’re honoured Keith, military service personnel and those connected to them, can benefit from such a tailored local service.  

“As a Trust, we strive to enhance patient care and we know the veteran community’s a huge part of Portsmouth’s heritage, so we’re delighted to provide funding to support Keith in helping local people connect with the Veteran Service Hub.”

If you need Keith’s support, find him next to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service team at Queen Alexandra Hospital (by the main entrance), or find out more on PHU’s Veteran Aware page.

If you’re a PHU employee seeking charitable funding or if you want to find out more, email fundraising@porthosp.nhs.uk

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