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About ARC

Recovery is defined as the activities, courses and mentoring that enable a wounded, injured or sick soldier to be able to return to duty or transition into civilian life. It is distinct from rehabilitation, which primarily relates to clinical medical treatment, but may involve some elements of it as the two often work together.
The Army Recovery Capability is the Army’s branch of the wider Defence Recovery Capability – a Ministry of Defence led initiative in partnership with Help for Heroes and The Royal British Legion alongside other Service charities and agencies to provide wounded, injured and sick personnel with the recovery services and resources they need to help them either return to duty or make a smooth transition into an appropriately skilled civilian life.

For the Army Recovery Capability (ARC) this is achieved by a team of dedicated professionals, including medical and welfare specialists, Personnel Recovery Officers working from eleven Personnel Recovery Units in regions across the UK and Germany, together with the use of five purpose built Personnel Recovery Centres and the Battle Back Centre at Lilleshall to offer a full range of courses, mentoring, medical support, adaptive sports and adventurous training within a conducive military environment.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Army Recovery Capability

The Army Recovery Capability (ARC) ensures that wounded, injured or sick soldiers have access to the key services and resources they need to help them either return to duty or make a smooth transition into civilian life. It has been developed in partnership with Help for Heroes, The Royal British Legion and other Service charities.

What are the Benefits of the ARC?

  • A tailored individual recovery plan owned and driven by you with support as necessary
  • A single point of contact - an appointed Personnel Recovery Officer (PRO) to provide direction and support
  • Access to a whole range of supporting Service charities who can offer further opportunities and financial support to assist recovery
  • Personnel Recovery Centres offering a conducive military environment within which to conduct rehabilitation and recovery activity
  • Additional employment support from the Recovery Career Services

What is the Recovery Process?

  • After seven days absence from duty, through sickness or injury, a soldier will be entered on to the wounded, injured and sick management information system (WISMIS)
  • The soldier and their patient group will receive a brief on rehabilitation and recovery (the ARC) 
  • An appointed Personnel Recovery Officer (PRO) will undertake an estimate of the likely recovery outcome, based on known information, and produce an outline Individual Recovery Plan (IRP)
  • Attendance at an induction visit at a nominated Personnel Recovery Centre (PRC)
  • Development of an IRP
  • Earliest possible attendance on Multi-Activity Centre (MAC) at Battle Back Centre, Lilleshall
  • Attendance on Core Recovery Events (CRE)

What are Personnel Recovery Centres?

At some point during his recovery a soldier will attend a PRC for an induction visit, to attend a core recovery event or one of many activities available in support of their recovery – such as Battle Back, Graduated Return to Work programmes and work placements.

In addition to facilitating recovery activities the Centres offer a secure base and home address for individuals throughout the duration of their recovery who may not have a family home to go to or who require additional welfare support. They also provide key facilities for day attendees.

There are five PRCs in Catterick, Colchester, Edinburgh, Tidworth and Sennelager (Germany) and these are open to provide crucial support for those wounded, injured and sick from across the Armed Forces undergoing recovery.

More information on the Centres and events being held at them can be found by clicking on the Personnel Recovery Centre tab to the left of the page.

What is a Personnel Recovery Unit?

The Personnel Recovery Units (PRU) provide a focused command and care for soldiers who are wounded, injured and sick and provide guidance to deliver an Individual Recovery Plan to the point where soldiers are able to return to duty or transition to civilian life.

Eleven PRUs have been established with a capacity for 1,000 wounded, injured and sick soldiers. Part of the PRU's role is also to identify occasions when it would be beneficial for an individual to spend time in a Personnel Recovery Centre or at the Battle Back Centre, Lilleshall, in order to help accelerate recovery.

Learn more by following the links on the left.

What is a Personnel Recovery Officer?

All soldiers will have an appointed Personnel Recovery Officer (PRO) whether this is from their unit or through the PRU. The PRO, who could be military or a civilian, is the single point of contact for the soldier and their family. They will provide the day-to-day command and care during recovery.

Their key function is to co-ordinate the numerous agencies (eg, MOD, APHCS, SPVA, Charity, NHS etc) engaged in a soldier's IRP and will provide this until the soldier either returns to work or transitions to civilian life. For soldiers who are transition to civilian life this will continue for three months post discharge.

All PRO's have undergone specific training for the role to offer the best recovery support.

What is an Individual Recovery Plan?

All soldiers who are on a recovery pathway will have a tailored recovery plan. The Individual Recovery Plan (IRP), informed by an Induction visit and the Core Recovery Events, integrates all aspects of recovery - medical, welfare, housing, education, re-skilling, work placements and employment opportunities (the HARDFACTS list).

The PRU ensures individuals have the access to the particular support needed at each stage of recovery, whether that support comes from inside the Army or the MOD, the NHS, the charitable sector or other key delivery partners.

What is Battle Back?

Battle Back ‘programmes’ and activities are designed to promote confidence and independence in direct support of an IRP. Regular participation in inclusive sport, outdoor and other activities can help individuals focus on what they can do rather than what they cannot.

The Battle Back programmes and activities can be delivered from the Battle Back Centre Lilleshall (Defence Adaptive Sport and Adventurous Training Centre), the Defence Medical and Rehabilitation Centre (Headley Court) and from the PRCs at Colchester, Tidworth and Catterick.

For more information on Battle Back Centre (Lilleshall) the programme and activities follow the link to the Personnel Recovery Centres on the left.

What do the Core Recovery Events deliver?

Core Recovery Events (CRE) are key developmental activities that soldiers must undertake during their recovery. They have been designed to engage individuals in recovery and through a holistic approach encourage them to focus positively on the potential outcome.

There are four core recovery events which are delivered at the PRCs and the Multi Activity Course (MAC) which is run from the Battle Back Centre (Lilleshall). Soldiers should aim you to undertake a MAC and the first CRE at the earliest opportunity in their recovery.

More information on the mandatory course can be found by following the link on the left.

What does the Recovery Career Services do?

The Recovery Career Service is focused on delivering a careers service that assists an injured soldier in achieving a sustainable and fulfilling civilian career through opportunities made by various external partners.

Partners have offered a wide array of opportunities to support the soldier and this enhanced service will make sure that these are used in the best and most appropriate way. A web-based portal will be used by individuals and those supporting them to identify opportunities and the partners offering them. To gain access to the web portal of opportunities you will need a login and user name.

Follow the link  in the left-hand panel for more information on RCS.

What happens at a medical board?

It is important to understand that at a suitable stage during an individual's recovery they will have a medical board which will discuss their progress and the future. Where this is a Full Medical Board (FMB) a decision will be made as to whether a soldier is likely to return to duty or whether discharge from service is recommended.

The soldier will have been fully consulted with their future aspirations noted and passed to the board. If the recommendation is medical discharge, the soldier will receive full assistance to take them through the process. They will also receive support post-discharge for a period of 12 months.

What happens at Queen Elizabeth Hospital?

Operation casualties with injuries that require further treatment are evacuated back to the UK with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) being the primary reception hospital for military patients from overseas.

Operating in partnership with the NHS the state of the art facilities offer injured soldiers the best care in a Military Ward subject to clinical need. On arrival a soldier will either be met by a Military Liaison Officer (MLO) if admitted with a battle injury or they will be seen by an MLO within 24 hours of admission if admitted with a non-battle injury.

What happens at Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court?

Patients requiring further rehabilitation care can be referred to DMRC. DMRC is the principal medical rehabilitation centre for the UK Armed Forces and delivers all aspects of rehabilitation across a wide range of injuries – complex trauma casualties to sports and exercise injuries.

What allowances are available?

The majority of the rules and regulations affecting the payment of charges and allowances for wounded, injured and sick personnel are exactly the same as for any other serving military personnel, including mobilised TA. Specific entitlements can be clarified through your Personnel Recovery Officer at the Personnel Recovery Units. Regulations relating to various entitlements can be found in:
JSP 534 - Tri-Service Resettlement Manual
JSP 751 - Joint Casualty and Compassionate Policy
JSP 752 - Tri-Service Regulations for Allowances
JSP 770 - Tri-Service Operational and non-Operational Welfare Policy
AGAI 99 - Command and Care of Wounded Injured and Sick Personnel

How does the MOD look after children and young people affected by injury or illness of a parent or close family member?

The MOD has established the Directorate Children and Young People (DCYP) to provide direction, co-ordination and cohesion to the support provided to Service children and young people by the MOD and partner organisations.
DCYP’s remit covers young military personnel aged under 19; spouses aged under 19 and children and young people aged 0-19 who belong to the Service community. It also extends to those aged up to 25 from all groups who have been looked after (in care) at any time during their lives.

The MOD Children and Young People’s Plan reflects the need to better understand, through commissioning research, the effect on Service Children and Young People of a sick or injured parent or sibling.

What are the HARDFACTS?

HARDFACTS is a simple model that the ARC uses to manage each of the lines of activity in the recovery pathway.

It is recognised as a helpful planning tool and should be viewed as a positive experience and process where soldiers are encouraged to see each aspect of the HARDFACTS as challenges and not barriers to their future life. It can be applied to whatever point an individual makes the transition to civilian life.

More detail can be found in the Recovery section of this site on the left of this page.

What assistance is available to adapt someone's home?

One of the most important requirements of seriously injured Service personnel is accommodation adapted to meet the specific personal circumstances of individuals both to enable home visits whilst under medical treatment in Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) Birmingham or the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC), Headley Court and also to support future requirements.

Home visits and any adaptations which may be required would be requested by Occupational Therapists. This is unlikely to be done from QEH but more likely after rehabilitation at DMRC.

If I have been injured or wounded am I entitled to compensation?

If your injury or illness occurred whilst you were serving, you may wish to consider making a claim for compensation from SPVA. The SPVA administers two schemes that provide compensation for injury and illness which was caused or made worse by service.

The War Pension Scheme (WPS) compensates for any injury, illness or death which was caused or made worse by service and occurred before 6 April 2005. Claims can only be considered under this Scheme after your service has ended and any payment you are entitled to can only be made after service has ended.

The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) provides compensation for any injury, illness or death which is predominantly caused or made worse by service on or after 6 April 2005. Claims can be considered, and a lump sum payment paid, under this Scheme whilst you are still serving, subject to time limits. You may also be entitled to a Guaranteed Income Payment, which is only payable after your service has ended.

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