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Scar Free Event at The Ministry of Defence

In February we were privileged to be invited to the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall, London, to showcase the dynamic research that is underway at our Centre for Conflict Wound Research in Birmingham.

The event was hosted by Helen Helliwell, Director of Armed Forces People Policy at the Ministry of Defence. We are indebted to Helen for her engagement in our cause and inviting us to hold our event within such an iconic venue.

The evening’s programme included updates on our research, along with personal testimony on the impact of conflict wounds from serving Armed Forces personnel and Veterans.

We were honoured to be joined by two ministers: the Rt Hon Dr Andrew Murrison MP, Minister for Defence People and Veterans and the Rt Hon Johnny Mercer MP, Minister for Veterans Affairs. They spoke highlighting the relevance of our work and the need to provide appropriate cutting-edge acute and long-term care for Armed Forces Personal and veterans who sustain conflict wounds. Major General Timothy Hodgetts, the Surgeon General spoke movingly about his personal and professional experience of scarring.

Professor Janet Lord and Professor Liam Grover from The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Conflict Wound Research provided an overview on the projects underway at the Centre; a clinical trial of a drapable dressing impregnated with a pro-healing molecule suitable for use in austere environments; an investigation into the use of laser therapy on historic scarring and a project on the ‘biological aging’ of veterans.

The CASEVAC Club, a community of wounded veterans of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are research partners of the Centre for Conflict Wound Research. Karl Hinett, Scar Free Ambassador and CASEVAC Club member, shared his story of sustaining an injury while on operations in Iraq, his recovery and recent participation in the laser therapy project at the Centre for Conflict Wound Research. Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, Chairman of the Foundation and Trustee, Lieutenant General Richard Nugee closed our event explaining our research has the potential to help the eight-billion people on the planet.

Our ambition is huge. But our mission is possible. For the Armed Forces, our research will mean better life-saving care, further forward, for serving personnel. For civilians it will be mean better treatments embedded directly into patient care.

Lt Gen Richard Nugee

Scar free healing is achievable within a generation and, the UK, with The Scar Free Foundation at the helm – is uniquely placed to pursue this ambition.

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh