The Royal Hospital Chelsea (RHC) is a historic institution which provides sheltered accommodation and full nursing care for some 300 old soldiers who are known as In-Pensioners (IPs). To date these have been exclusively male, but in 2009 the RHC had started to take its first female IPs and there are now three. Captains of Invalids are responsible to the Adjutant for the day to day management, welfare and administration of approximately 80 of these IPs, and for such other tasks as may be allocated to them.
The Royal Hospital Chelsea is a unique community with a military-based culture which puts a premium on comradeship. Applicants will be expected to have served as officers in the British Army. They must by nature be tolerant, have considerable experience at regimental duty and possess excellent leadership skills, and must be able easily to relate to members of an older generation. They will be expected to undertake their share of routine duties, and to play a role in the wider life of the community, including the social life outside normal working hours. The post has a ceremonial component for which uniform is worn.
The position will attract a salary in the region of £34K and will benefit from civil service pension arrangements. Accommodation will be provided at the RHC, for which there will be a charge.
The Captain of Invalids appointment is becoming available in April we hope that the successful applicant will take the post after Easter. A more detailed job description is attached, and applications with accompanying CV ’s should be submitted by 31 January 2011.Shortlisted candidates will be invited to the Royal Hospital for an informal visit. Formal interviews will take place at the Royal Hospital in February/March.
- As a Captain of Invalids (CoI) you will be responsible for the welfare and administration of a defined contingent of In-Pensioners (IPs) who live at the Royal Hospital Chelsea (RHC). This responsibility may extend at times to include other IPs. This is your core task.
- To discharge this responsibility you will need to know them well as individuals; understand the issues and needs associated with old age; monitor them closely so that any reasonable concerns they may have are handled efficiently and sensitively within the context of the wider Royal Hospital community; and act as their first point of contact for advice and assistance.
- You will be expected to contribute to the wider life of the RHC community outside normal working hours, and may be given additional tasks outside your core brief.
- The CoIs report to the Adjutant.
- To ensure the welfare and administrative needs of your IPs are effectively managed in accordance with best practice.
- To ensure IPs are aware of, and conform with, the regulations set out in the IPs’ Handbook and IPs’ Agreement.
- To ensure new IPs are made welcome on arrival, and to help them settle-in.
- To maintain regular contact with your IPs, providing advice and assistance as necessary.
- To liaise with other relevant parties in the RHC or external welfare agencies to resolve any difficulties IPs experience with their benefits, allowances and legal problems.
- To establish and maintain links with IPs’ Next of Kin.
- To record, maintain and update records of each IP in your charge using the RHC’s Personnel Director software system. This should include appropriate comment on any notable activities in which they are engaged, any contribution they make while at the RHC, any complaints they or their NOK might have made, and how these were resolved.
- To visit IPs when they are in a local hospital, or have been temporarily admitted to the Infirmary for acute care.
- To help with the organisation of activities and visits for the IPs and, as directed by the Adjutant, accompany them.
- To work closely with the Chaplain to ensure the pastoral needs of IPs are met.
- To ensure IPs remain presentable in public, in order both to preserve their personal dignity and avoid damage to the RHC’s reputation.
- To act as the focus for immediate action after the death of an IP. This includes establishing contact with NOK, securing and listing the deceased’s personal belongings, and being prepared to deliver an oration at funerals as requested by the Chaplain.
- To conduct a formal interview with each of your IPs twice yearly, including checking details of NOK/Executor, etc.
- To prepare comments and “ settling in” notes for the Adjutant/ Governor one week prior to IPs’ initial Governor’s interview ( usual 3 months after arrival).
- To participate and lead ceremonial parades and other duties as requested.
- To represent the RHC at official functions as required.
- To maintain links with other military and ex-service organisations where doing so is in the interests of the RHC and the IPs.
- To contribute to the wider life of the RHC community outside normal working hours.
- To carry out such other tasks as you may be given in the wider interests of the RHC.
- To attend Infirmary palliative care sessions and the monthly IP Healthcare meeting.
- To carry out the task of RHC Duty Officer – a weekly duty that occurs every two months.
Skills Required. The following is a list of the skills required by a Captain of Invalids. Some may be acquired following appointment or once in post.
- Previous military experience commensurate with the duties of a C o I.
- A sound understanding of the issues relating to old age, and the needs of the elderly.
- Acceptance of the requirement to learn new skills relating to the care and support of older people.
- Qualified First Aider.
- A basic understanding of the benefits system, power of attorney and end-of-life administration.
- Reasonable proficiency in IT skills.
- Good interpersonal skills and an even temperament.
- Some experience of care for the elderly beyond the confines of the RHC. The successful candidate will be asked to complete an attachment to a care home (possibly RH Infirmary), attend workshops/seminars relating to care and support as well as a programme of visits to age related organisations/council social services prior to assuming the appointment.