Veterans’ Liaison Officer
What is the Veterans’ Liaison Officer?
The Veterans’ Liaison Officer (VLO) is a specialist clinical nurse dedicated to assisting current or ex-defence force personnel, war widows and dependents of defence personnel who are patients of the Townsville Hospital and Health Service (HHS) with the transition from hospital to home. During your stay in hospital, the VLO will provide a single point of contact to advocate for you and your family. The VLO fosters close working relationships with a number of External Service Organisations (ESO) and community providers, and can help patients navigate and access defence support services available outside of hospital care. The VLO will also work closely with your family and carers, involving them in discharge planning. The ultimate goal of the VLO is to ease the transition from hospital to home, and to ensure adequate supports are in place upon discharge.
Your stay in hospital
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) and the Department of Health have an agreement with public hospitals that eligible veterans or war widows can be seen under the Repatriation Private Patient Scheme.This scheme provides hospital services for entitled beneficiaries as private patients. In addition, all DVA Gold and eligible White Card holders will receive a free parking voucher which is available from the Revenue and Central Admissions desk in the main foyer.
Soon after your presentation to Townsville University Hospital, you will be visited by the VLO who will look at your clinical history. This is necessary to ensure the VLO can properly advocate on your behalf. During this initial assessment, you will also be asked to consent that your medical information be exchanged with ESO and community providers. This helps the VLO to coordinate discharge planning for the most appropriate transfer of care into the community. The VLO will also need to understand your background with defence. This ensures the VLO can properly recommend which ESOs are best placed to help you. The VLO will continue to regularly monitor your progress during your hospital stay and modify your discharge plan as necessary in consultation with you and your family/carers.
Townsville University Hospital has a garden with a memorial donated by the RSL Women’s Auxiliary. Remembrance Day commemorations and Anzac Day dawn services are held each year in honour of past and present serving members. All inpatients and their families, hospital staff and the broader Townsville community are welcome to attend.
Any time you wish to see the VLO please call 0428 717 825 or ask the hospital staff to do so on your behalf.
Dedicated volunteers help support the VLO to provide a range of expert knowledge and skills to support veterans and their families during their hospital stay. Volunteers from organisations such as the Vietnam Veteran Federation, Totally and Permanently Disabled Ex Servicepersons Association Inc and RSL Women’s Auxiliary visit Townsville University Hospital on a regular basis. If you are contacted by a volunteer organisation and wish to have the VLO in attendance for support, please call 0428 717 825 or ask the hospital staff to do so on your behalf.
- Gold Card – entitles the holder to access health care and associated services for all conditions.
- White Card – enables holders to access health care and associated services for specific service-related conditions recognised by DVA.
- Orange Card – pharmaceuticals only for eligible British or Commonwealth or other allied veterans.
- Eligible veterans, war widows and dependants have been issued with a Repatriation Health Card.
- Enquiries about Repatriation Cards or DVA Pensions should be made to the local DVA on (07) 4722 3333 or the Veterans’ Access Network (VAN) on 1800 555 254
- Open Arms - Veterans and Family Counselling 24hr support - Call 1800 011 046
- Mates4Mates - Call 1300 462 837
- Department of Veterans’ Affairs Townsville office - Call (07) 4722 3333
- Department of Veterans’ Affairs - Call 1800 555 254
- Townsville RSL Women’s Auxiliary - Call 0419 761 662
- Townsville Legacy - Call (07) 4772 7533
- The North Queensland Totally and Permanently Disabled Ex Servicepersons Association Townsville Branch - Call (07) 4772 6608
- Vietnam Veterans’ Federation of Australia - Call (02) 9682 1788
- Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association Queensland Division - Call (07) 4773 1757