The Royal Hospital was founded by King Charles II in 1682 'as a place of refuge and shelter for such Land Soldiers as are or shall be old, lame or infirm in the service of the Crown'. 

Sir Christopher Wren was entrusted with the design of the building and it was ten years later, in the spring of 1692 that the first Chelsea Pensioner took up residence. It provides the same care today and plans to continue to do so.

The principal tasks of the Royal Hospital Chelsea are the care of the Chelsea Pensioners and the conservation of its historic buildings and grounds. 

The Royal Hospital Chelsea is recognised as a Charity by HMRC. The registered charity number for the Royal Hospital Chelsea Appeal Ltd is 1076414.

Mission & Vision

The Royal Hospital Chelsea's Mission Statement
To provide Army veterans with the support and comradeship they need in recognition of their service to the Nation, and to safeguard their historic home for the veterans of tomorrow.

The Royal Hospital Chelsea's Vision
To remain a much valued and loved national institution, providing the highest standard of support to the Army veteran community.

Values of the Royal Hospital Chelsea

The Royal Hospital Chelsea is a unique and important national institution with a military-based culture.

It was founded by Charles II in 1682 for "the succour and relief of veterans broken by age and war", and over 3 centuries later its significance remains as great as ever. It stands today as a symbol of the esteem in which those who fight for our freedom are held, and a demonstration of the nations' obligation, and its wish, to look after them in their old age and infirmity. This tradition of caring for the nation's veteran soldiers has been handed down through successive generations, and been inherited by us.

At the heart of the Royal Hospital's vision lie two core ambitions. First, to ensure it remains recognised as being relevant to the Nation. Second, for it to be acknowledged as a beacon of excellence in the care of the elderly. These ambitions can only be achieved if Chelsea Pensioners and staff alike recognise they have obligations as well as privileges. The ethos of the Royal Hospital is thus one that puts a premium on selflessness and companionship: and the values laid out in this note underpin that ethos. They apply equally to all members of our community.

Nurture belonging – unite through comradeship United in a shared purpose, we live and work together as a community. Everyone has a place in our diverse social, military, and historical traditions. We build strong relationships through trust and loyalty.

Respect individuals – listen and act We believe in the dignity and experiences of everyone. Each of us listens with humility and speaks with courage. Always acting with integrity, we treat each other with decency and care.

Encourage pride – commit to high standards We show appreciation and give people reason to take pride in what they do. We each welcome challenge and support others to improve. Together, we honour the mission of the Royal Hospital.

Enjoy life – make people smile We each enable people to lead happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. The well-being of others is what motivates us. We delight in the difference we make within our communities and Nation.

Those who live and work at the Royal Hospital Chelsea are privileged to do so, and all have an obligation to contribute to its success to the best of their ability.

Senior Management

The Royal Hospital was established by Letters Patent by King Charles II.

Since 1702 it has been governed by a Board of Commissioners whose composition and powers are set out in the Letters Patent .The purpose of the Board is to guide the development of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, ensuring the care and well-being of the Chelsea Pensioners who live here and safeguarding the historic buildings and grounds, which it owns in trust.

Currently the Board has eighteen members, some of whom are appointed ex-officio (such as the Paymaster General and the Governor). Up to ten of the Commissioners are specially appointed, for a three year term, by the Crown. The Letters Patent require Commissioners to be distinguished in their field. They are selected because of their management experience and the skills gained in senior positions in the professions, business or commerce that they are able to contribute to the Board.

From time to time vacancies arise for new specially appointed Commissioners. Commissioners will have demonstrated a career of high achievement in the public and/or private sectors in fields relevant to the management of the Royal Hospital. Anyone interested in being considered for appointment as a Commissioner should write to the HR Director of the Royal Hospital with a brief explanation of their relevant qualifications and CV.

Ex-officio Commissioners 
Minister for the Cabinet Office HM Paymaster General
Minister of State for the Armed Forces
Minister for Defence People and Veterans
Director Resources & Command Secretary (Army)
Senior Health Advisor (Army)
Director of Engagement and Communication (Army)

The Governor
General Sir Adrian Bradshaw KCB OBE

Specially Appointed Commissioners
Dr Roger Bowdler
Richard Clark Esq
Ms Jo Cleary
Dominic Fisher Esq OBE
Colonel Paul Foster FRICS
Mark Gallagher Esq
Charles Lewington Esq OBE
Professor Charles Mackworth-Young FRCP
Dame Barbara Monroe DBE
Miss Caroline Trewhitt

Senior Staff and Departmental Heads
Chief Executive Officer: Gary Lashko
Director of Health and Wellbeing: Professor Deborah Sturdy OBE
Director of Facilities, Estates & Quartermaster: Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Mott MBE
Director of Public Engagement: Martin Field
Human Resources Director: Mark Taylor
Finance Director: Nick Cattermole

The Reverend Steven Brookes

Managers of Registered Services
Physician and Surgeon and CQC Registered Manager Medical Services, Dr Fergus Keating BSc (Hons), MBBS, MRCGP
Matron and CQC Registered Manager Margaret Thatcher Infirmary, Susan Williams

MOD Funding Framework

The Royal Hospital Chelsea is funded, in part, by Grant in Aid (GiA) made by the MOD. The current Framework agreement running from 1st July 2018 - June 2021 can be found here.

Caldicott Guardian

A Caldicott Guardian is a senior person responsible for protecting the confidentiality of people’s health and care information and making sure it is used properly.

The Royal Hospital's appointed Caldicott Guardian is Physician & Surgeon, Dr Fergus Keating BSc (Hons), MBBS, MRCGP 

Safeguarding Policy

The Royal Hospital Chelsea has robust safeguarding policies and procedures for both adults and children. These are overseen by the Commissioners through their Health and Wellbeing Committee, and managed by a cross departmental Safeguarding Board. Safeguarding training is mandatory for all staff and volunteers.

Director of Health and Wellbeing: Professor Deborah Sturdy OBE, is Adult Safeguarding lead and Director of Public Engagement: Martin Field, is Child Safeguarding lead.

Data Protection Officer

The Data Protection Officer (DPO) assists us to monitor internal compliance, inform and advise on our data protection obligations, provide advice regarding Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) and act as a contact point for data subjects and the supervisory authority. The DPO must be independent, an expert in data protection, adequately resourced, and report to the highest management level.

The Royal Hospital's appointed DPO is Simon Buchanan, and can be contacted by mail at The Royal Hospital Chelsea, Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4SR or email

Annual Reports

The Royal Hospital Chelsea's Annual Reports are made available on the website for convenient reference.

The latest Annual Report available for the Royal Hospital Chelsea was published in December 2019.

Royal Hospital Chelsea Annual Report 2019

You can also download older versions of the Annual Report below.

Royal Hospital Chelsea Annual Report 31 March 2018

Royal Hospital Chelsea Annual Report 31 March 2017

Royal Hospital Chelsea Annual Report 31 March 2016

Royal Hospital Chelsea Annual Report 31 March 2015

Royal Hospital Chelsea Annual Report 31 March 2014


Gender Pay Report

The Royal Hospital Chelsea is required under public sector equality duty to publish a gender pay gap report.  This report is based on snapshot date 31 March 2018 and relates to 244 full pay relevant employees 34.84% Male, 65.16% Female.

The RHC median gender pay gap is 5.7% and our mean gender pay gap is 17.1% however we feel confident that this does not stem from paying men and women differently for the same equivalent work. We believe it is still as a result of the roles in which men and women work within the organisation and the salaries that these roles attract; as well as the low staff turnover rate in roles that fall into Band C & D of the pay quartiles that have traditionally attracted and retain more male applicants. We encourage progression through internal vacancy advertisement and continue to explore further opportunities through learning and development to retain staff.

All our roles are benchmarked against similar organisations by an independent pay consultant (looking only at the roles and not the gender of those fulfilling them) and our pay policy is based on these findings.

We are committed to doing everything we can to reduce the gap.

This report will be placed on our website for a period of four years and the process will be repeated annually.

Download the Latest (2018) report here.

Download the 2017 report here.

Royal Hospital Chelsea Newsletter

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View the archive

Deborah Sturdy - Director of Health & Wellbeing
Director of Health & Wellbeing appointed advisor to Chief Nursing Officer

England’s most senior nurse has appointed the lead on health and wellbeing for Chelsea Pensioners as her advisor on improving support for care home nurses.

Lt. General Tyrone Urch CBE
Lieutenant General Urch and his team on how the British Army is changing for the better

On 16th January Lieutenant General Tyrone Urch and some of his team delivered a fascinating talk to a group of Chelsea Pensioners and staff members, including our Governor, General Sir Adrian Bradshaw.


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