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Great Britain DMRC Headley Court - Epson – August 2019

TrevBish.co.uk

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History:

Formerly known as RAF Headley Court, The Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre Headley Court, (DMRC Headley Court) is an 85-acre United Kingdom Ministry of Defence facility in Headley, near Epsom, Surrey, England.

It was used as a rehabilitation centre for injured members of the British Armed Forces between 1985 and 2018.

Headley Court was an Elizabethan farm house bought by the Cunliffe family, from Tyrrell's Wood, Leatherhead. They later sold this farm house and built in 1899 the imposing mansion at the centre of Headley Court to the north, namely under Lord Cunliffe, who was Chairman of the Bank of England. Its architect was Edward Warren.

During World War II, it was used as the Headquarters for the VII Corps and then for the Canadian Corps. Since the war, it has been used as a Royal Air Force and Joint Services medical rehabilitation centre. During the war, nearby Headley Heath was used as a training ground for engineers building airstrips and trench systems then demolishing them again.

Purchased after that war with money from the Royal Air Force Pilots and Crews Fund, a public collection as a tribute to the deeds, including the Battle of Britain efforts of the RAF, Headley Court lost its social club focus to expand its medical and rehabilitation credentials and become the Defence Services Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC), which aims to return all those service personnel injured or seriously ill to full fitness.

Rehabilitation staff averaged around 200 per year from all three services' medical and nursing branches, the longest established being Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service. These comprised of specialist medical officers, nurses, remedial instructors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, a cognitive therapist, social workers, engineers, and administration support staff. Not only did the centre deal with patients with new physical disabilities but it also dealt with patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The rehabilitation areas of the unit consisted of hydrotherapy pools, gymnasiums, and workshops. The high, wooded countryside setting and grounds of the unit welcomed both staff and those recovering.

During the 2002 UK Firefighter strike, two Green Goddess fire engines were based at RAF Headley Court. If called upon, the crews would have had to wait for Surrey Police to escort them to a fire.

In November 2005, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visited the centre. They met Major David Bradley of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment who had been given a five per cent chance of survival, after coming under fire from a Rocket Propelled Grenade launcher (RPG) in Basra, southern Iraq in 2004. Other notable patients in 2006/2007 include Sgt Mark Sutcliffe, The Royal Anglian Regiment, Sgt Stuart Pearson, 3 PARA and many others.

Headley Court was in need of further facilities, particularly a full size swimming pool, as patients had to share a leisure centre in Leatherhead. The charity Help for Heroes was set up in late 2007, with a first objective of raising money to build these facilities. A new gym, swimming pool and lower limbs treatment area opened within two years.

The 28 bed Peter Long Ward had single showers and nursing staff on call 24 hours a day, internet access and a kitchen area with washing and drying facilities for clothing. A further large ward opened in September 2010 of 30 beds, rest areas and equipment.

In July 2014, the Minister of Defence, Philip Hammond, announced that the services provided by Headley Court would be transferred to a new centre to be developed at Stanford Hall. The opening of the new Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre by the Duke of Cambridge took place in June 2018. The centre at Headley Court ceased operations in September 2018. The future of the buildings at Headley Court is in the hands of the Headley Court Trust.

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MediCinema to help rehabilitation at Headley Court

The Royal British Legion, the nation’s leading Armed Forces charity, is partnering with MediCinema to open the facility, with plans to adapt part of the Grade 2 listed building for the purpose.

The proposals were given the green light this week and will create the first ever fully digital, 3D system dedicated to Service personnel undergoing rehabilitation.

The new cinema complex will show Hollywood blockbusters and films on current release up to three times a week. It is hoped that it will be up and running in time to screen the London 2012 Olympic Games this summer.

The 50-seat cinema will have full wheelchair access, with some seats accessible by steps to help those redeveloping their mobility. It will make a significant contribution to the recuperation of Service personnel by providing them with some much needed entertainment during their rehabilitation.

The Royal British Legion has provided £420,000 towards the capital and operating costs of the cinema which MediCinema will build and manage.



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hamtagger

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Sad to see place empty as it has done so much good over the years for wounded servicemen. Great report :)
 

AndyK!

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hamtagger

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The service itself hasn't stopped though, they have moved to Stanford Hall in Leicestershire. I visited Stanford Hall just before they started work on it: https://www.oblivionstate.com/community/threads/stanford-hall-nottinghamshire-february-2015.9070/
Yeah mate, i was aware of that - we went over to have a look at Stanford around about the same time when they were just starting to redevelop it but some form of security was straight onto us. Always meant to revisit to try agin back then but never got around to it as usual lol. Drove past a few months ago and the place looks pretty well now its finished
 
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