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.

Decency We must act at all times with decency and respect towards others, whether they be Chelsea Pensioners, staff or visitors, treating them as we would ourselves wish to be treated. There is no place at the Royal Hospital for bullying, harassment or ill manners in any form, but rather for courtesy, tolerance and restraint.

Integrity In any community trust is essential for harmony, and trust depends on integrity. We must have the moral courage to do what is right, not what is expedient; and to speak up when there is something wrong.

Commitment The Royal Hospital will only prosper if all who live and work here understand its vision and purpose, and are committed to its success. Each member of the community should make a contribution according to their ability. It is not enough to do the minimum. Rather, all should seek to add value.

Comradeship The Royal Hospital is a community built on comradeship. All who live and work here have an obligation to foster that spirit, to engage with others, prevent loneliness or isolation, and help those who are unable to help themselves.

StandardsTo retain its status as a valued and historic National institution, and to justify the investment made in it by others, the Royal Hospital must be recognised for the standards to which it aspires and which it exhibits. All of us have an obligation to uphold those standards. This applies as much to the manner in which we conduct ourselves in public as in the workplace.

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.

We are the inheritors of a rich tradition, and must ensure we sustain its reputation and foster its excellence for future generations.

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)
Assistant Chief of the General Staff

The Governor
General Sir Adrian Bradshaw KCB OBE

Specially Appointed Commissioners
Dr Roger Bowdler
Richard Clarke Esq
Ms Jo Cleary
Dominic Fisher Esq OBE
Colonel Paul Foster FRICS
Mark Gallagher Esq
Mrs Angela Gillibrand
Charles Lewington Esq OBE
Professor Charles Mackworth-Young FRCP
Dame Barbara Monroe DBE

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 Fundraising & Communication: 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 

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 Tara Jay, and can be contacted by mail at The Royal Hospital Chelsea, Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4SR or email

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 2017 and relates to 238 full pay relevant employees 35.29% Male, 64.71% Female.

This is the first time that the RHC has reported on the gender pay gap.  Our median gender pay gap is 5.82% and our mean gender pay gap is 16.2% but we are confident that this does not stem from paying men and women differently for the same equivalent work.  Rather it is 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 D of the pay quartiles that have traditionally attracted male applicants.  There is little opportunity for progression but we encourage it wherever possible and will continue to do so and explore further opportunities through learning and development.

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.

Download the full report here.

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Rotary watches and Chelsea FC captain, Gary Cahill presents the Royal Hospital with 10 watches in support of our charity

Chelsea Pensioners were delighted to accept 10 Rotary watches on behalf of the Royal Hospital Chelsea and to meet Gary Cahill.

Brompton Cemetery Willow Garden
Remembrance Round-up 2018

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, this year marked 100 years since the end of the First World War. Today we look back at how the Chelsea Pensioners supported the Centenary commemorations.


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