The health and wellbeing of military veterans and their families will be explored at a conference at the University of Chester.

Hosted by the university’s Westminster Centre for Research and Innovation in Veterans’ Wellbeing, the event will take place on Thursday, October 5 in Churchill House at the university’s Queen’s Park campus.

The keynote presenter will be Sir Simon Wessely, a Regius Professor of psychiatry and co-director of the King’s Centre for Military Health Research and Academic Department of Military Health in the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College, London.

Sir Simon is the civilian consultant advisor in psychiatry to the British Army and a trustee of Combat Stress, the veterans’ mental health charity.

Other presenters include: Dr Jonathan Leach, chair of the NHS England Armed Forces and their Families Clinical Reference Group; Hilary Meredith, chair of Hilary Meredith Solicitors, chair of the Royal British Legion Legal Group and a visiting professor at the University of Chester; and MP for Chester Chris Matheson.

The event will also feature a question time session chaired by Dr Peter Carter OBE who was the chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing from January 2007 to August 2015.

The panel will include Brigadier Robin Simpson OStJ, the Dean of the Defence Medical Services; Colonel Phil Harrison, Regional Commander, North West England; and Major Bev Sharpe, general adult consultant psychiatrist within the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The university’s Westminster Centre for Research and Innovation in Veterans’ Wellbeing aims to support the military community through innovative and high quality research, educational provision and community profile.

Colonel (Retd) Alan Finnegan FRCN said: “The day offers the chance for key players in the armed forces community and in veteran wellbeing to network, share best practice and learn of important innovations happening across the region and beyond. We hope as many as possible can join us.”

Tickets for the event are £50. To book a place at the symposium visit