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07 Apr 22. Veterans PQS
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Question for Ministry of Defence
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the commitment in the Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan 2022-24 to revamp the Career Transition Partnership in 2023, what changes to the existing system that will involve.
4 April 2022
The Career Transition Partnership (CTP) is a contracted service between the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Right Management Ltd which manages the Armed Forces resettlement support to all Regular Service leavers and runs until October 2023. A new contract will be required to provide resettlement services from that date. MOD officials have now commenced the programme to relet the CTP from October 2023. A full programme of stakeholder engagement events has been scheduled with key external and internal stakeholders to shape the Statement of Requirement for the new contract.
The contract notice for formal market engagement will be issued no later than 30 June 2022 and it is from this point that the commercial tendering process will begin. MOD officials cannot confirm changes to the existing provision until the tendering process has been completed and the contract has been awarded.
Armed Forces: Injuries
Question for Ministry of Defence
Lord Browne of Belmont
Democratic Unionist Party
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the current provisions for injured (1) veterans, and (2) armed service personnel.
Answered on 6 April 2022
The Defence Medical Services provides healthcare to serving Armed Forces personnel, to ensure that they are medically fit, mentally and physically, to undertake their duties. To overcome injuries, comprehensive rehabilitation services are provided to Service personnel, through a network of Primary Care Rehabilitation Facilities, Regional Rehabilitation Units and the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre. This includes rehabilitation for complex musculoskeletal injuries and neurological injury. NHS England and NHS Improvement have several services in place to meet the needs of veterans and their families. The Veteran Friendly GP Practice accreditation scheme supports practices to deliver the best possible care and treatment for patients who have served in the Armed Forces. It helps GP practices to identify and support their veteran patients with signposting to specialist support services. Over 1,200 GP practices are now accredited through the programme.
A package of veterans’ mental health support, called Op COURAGE, provides a complete mental health care pathway for veterans. Individuals benefit from personalised care plans, ensuring they can always access the support and treatment they need. This includes supporting veterans with complex mental health issues, who need more intensive support and therapies.
Question for Department for Education
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to plans outlined in the Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan 2022-24 to promote opportunities for service leavers to get into teaching, how his Department plans to measure and evaluate the success of those plans.
Mr Robin Walker
Answered on 6 April 2022
The department is committed to further promoting opportunities for service leavers to get into teaching. Many veterans already use our services to support service leavers into Initial Teacher Training (ITT) each year. Through collaboration with the science, technology, engineering and maths communities and the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, and in partnership with the Careers Transition Partnership in the Ministry of Defence, we are working to further develop this offer. This will include increased signposting, tailored communications, hosting webinars, careers fairs, and information sessions for service leavers.
The department plans to track several data points through all these activities to determine the success of, and engagement with, the offer, and over the longer term track the wider journey through to ITT. All of this will help us develop and evolve our offer to ensure it meets the needs of service leavers wishing to enter the profession.
01 Apr 22. New housing services for thousands of UK military families comes into force. New contracts have gone live on 1 April 2022 that will provide crucial accommodation services to 39,000 Armed Forces families across the UK.Service family homes at Beacon Barracks in Stafford. Five contracts, which provide a new national call centre and enhanced maintenance and repair services to military homes, were awarded last June by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO). The contracts are worth £640-m in total and make up part of the MOD’s £3bn Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) programme, which has replaced the previous National Housing Prime contract. The new accommodation contracts will directly benefit the many families who live in military homes across the UK, providing a step-change in how services are delivered to them. In developing the new contracts, DIO collaborated closely with military personnel, their families and the Service Families Federations to ensure that their needs were fully considered. From today, Pinnacle Group Ltd will operate the National Service Centre, which will be the single point of contact for Service families.
The £141m contract is expected to create or sustain 350 jobs and will deliver more responsive and accessible accommodation services through greater use of modern communications technology. Families will be able to make service requests and track their progress in real time and will also have more choice when arranging appointments.
Four Regional Accommodation Maintenance Services (RAMS) contracts have also started today. Jointly worth £499-m, they will provide repair and maintenance services to military homes. They are being delivered by Amey in the Northern Region, which includes Scotland, Northern Ireland and North Wales, and in the Central Region, which includes Mid and South Wales; and by VIVO in the South East and South West of England.
The contracts require suppliers to adopt recognised industry standards and incentives will be introduced for suppliers to ensure that the interests of customers come first. These will be supported by robust mechanisms to address poor performance. This includes specific targets for ‘first time fixes’ for repairs, and quicker response times for most repairs, both of which should reduce disruption for Service families.
It also includes targets for customer satisfaction that, for the first time, will directly impact on the profit suppliers make. As well as setting minimum standards, the contracts will reward suppliers for exceeding the minimum.
Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin said: “These contracts are critical to the delivery of key services to our Armed Forces and Service Personnel. They also support hundreds of jobs and community prosperity and will provide a crucial step towards modernising our Defence estates.”
Air Commodore James Savage, DIO Head of Accommodation, said: “Our Armed Forces and their families have no real choice where they serve, no matter how remote, and when and how frequently they move, so it’s vital we ensure their homes are of the right quality and available for them wherever and whenever they are assigned. Their needs must be at the heart of what we do. These contracts are designed to be very different. They have been developed with Service Personnel and families firmly in mind to better meet their needs. Enhancing customer service will be their focus, with clear customer satisfaction targets for suppliers to meet, financial consequences for falling short and incentives to exceed the minimum standards.”
Each contract is for seven year’s duration with an option to extend for up to three years, and to terminate after three years, depending on contractor performance.
In addition to the core services, the RAMS contracts will deliver further improvement projects and refurbishment work with an estimated value of up to £855m.
Over the last two financial years, DIO has spent £350m on improvement works to its housing stock and plans to deliver a further £171m worth of upgrades this financial year. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, has been providing lifelong support to our Forces and their families since 1885. In 2020, our teams of volunteers and employees helped more than 79,000 people in need, the currently serving (both regulars and reserves), veterans from the Second World War and those who have served in more recent conflicts, as well as their families. SSAFA understands that behind every uniform is a person. And we are here for that person – any time they need us, in any way they need us, for as long as they need us.