Saturday 28 March 2020

Dear Shipmates

In these uncertain times I just thought I would write to you all as Secretary of The Loch Class Frigates Association. Also, on behalf of the Committee to wish you and your families all the very best during this difficult period that we are all facing, not only as individuals but as a country.

For those members that had booked to attend this year’s AGM/Reunion in Cardiff over the weekend of 17-20 April it would have been obvious to you all the reasons why the Committee took the sensible decision to cancel the weekend in a timely manner prior to any Government restrictions.

Whilst Ann and I were away in Abu Dhabi in the U.A.E. visiting our daughter during February and March it became clear to me around the 7 March watching the reports from the UK that it would be the right thing to do. After several emails between our President Brian Armstrong and our Chairman Dennis Cracknell the decision was made. Fortunately letters to the Reunion attendees that Ann had already arranged with a neighbour to be posted out around 15 March, containing the trips and weekends itinerary, were stopped from being posted. We were not scheduled to be back in UK till March 23.

I would like to thank our President Brian for sorting out emails and phone calls to all attendees informing you all of the cancellation. It would have been very difficult for us to do from such a distance. I was able to email the hotel and the coach company informing them that we were cancelling and they were very understanding.

We are all really still in the dark as to the eventual outcome of this pandemic and there are obviously going to be many difficult weeks and months ahead. The majority of you will have seen and been through very difficult times before during your lives and have successfully come through to fight another day and will do so yet again. I would like to wish you all the very best on behalf of all the members of the committee during these next few months and trust that you and your families stay safe and well.

Hopefully later in the year I will be able to confirm that the AGM/Reunion for 2021 is to be held at the same hotel in Cardiff. Until such time please do your very best to keep your spirits up and pray that the NHS and all the emergency services and carers can get us through these very difficult days.

Very best regards to you all.


Hon/Sec LCFA

The Association accepts members who served on any of the Loch Class Frigates or their derivatives i.e. the Bay Class, Havens, Survey vessels or Admirals' Yachts. 

New Zealand contact: Mick Richards - Mobile Tel: 0064 27 479 2126

Members SLOPS are available as listed in 'The Lochie' or by emailing the Membership Secretary at or sending us a message from the 'Contact Us' page.

If you have digital photos you would like to see on the website of Reunions or of Loch Class Frigates, please use the Contact Us page. 


Our Chairman S/M Dennis Cracknell sent the following information regarding veterans’ priority NHS treatment:

A veteran is someone who has served in the armed forces for at least 1 day. There are around 2.4 million veterans in Great Britain. 

When servicemen and women leave the armed forces, their healthcare is the responsibility of the NHS. It's very important for continuing healthcare that you register with an NHS GP and remember to tell them that you have served. This will help your GP to better understand any service-related health conditions that you may have and ensure that you are referred, where appropriate, to dedicated services for ex-forces. 

If you've recently left the armed forces, it's important to give your GP the paperwork that your military medical centre gave you, including any medical records. This will help to ensure your military health record transfers to your NHS health record. It will also give your GP information on your health and ensure that any ongoing care and treatment is continued.

Being flagged as a veteran in your NHS medical notes will help to ensure that you are able to access dedicated services for those who have served in the UK armed forces. These include services for mental health and physical health conditions. Find out more about the range of dedicated health services for ex-forces

'No disadvantage'

You should not be disadvantaged from accessing appropriate health services, so it's important that you notify your current GP if you're moving, particularly if you're on a waiting list for medical treatment, so this information can be transferred across.

Details of GP surgeries and other health services within your area can be found by using find GP services. 

All veterans are entitled to priority access to NHS care (including hospital, primary or community care) for conditions associated with their time within the armed forces (service-related).

But this is always subject to clinical need and doesn't entitle you to jump the queue ahead of someone with a higher clinical need. 

If the NHS service you're dealing with is unaware of priority treatment, you're actively encouraged to tell them about it and ensure you have told them you have served. Failing that, you can enlist local health care commissioners, your local authority community covenant lead or one of the national service organisations, such as the Royal British Legion, to support you. 

For more information on the duty of care owed to service personnel, read the Armed Forces Covenant for Veterans and Armed Forces NHS help for Veterans

Personalised care programme

If you have served in the UK armed forces and have a complex and lifelong health condition, you may be eligible for the veterans personalised care programme. This is to ensure you have more choice and control over how your care is planned and delivered. It is based on what matters to you, meaning that you can choose how best to live your life and get the right support to do so. 

If eligible, you will have a single personalised care plan for all your health and wellbeing needs that is developed with you and a range of organisations, including health and social care and military charities.

As part of this, you may get a personal budget to pay for some of the care and support you need. You should also get more support in the community and be able to access a range of help, such as emotional and practical support from people who have similar health conditions or disabilities.

For more information, read Personalised care for veterans in England  To apply, you should contact your local clinical commissioning group (CCG) Armed forces healthcare 

Armed forces healthcare: how it works

Serving personnel: NHS hospital care

Serving personnel: mental health services

Serving personnel: rehabilitation services

Service families: welfare and support

Veterans: priority NHS treatment

Veterans: NHS mental health services

Veterans: NHS services for those with physical injuries

Go to the following website for a 25 page document or click the link above. 


Fair compensation for veterans with cancer caused by asbestos Veterans with mesothelioma caused by service can choose to receive lump sum compensation of £140,000, as eligibility is extended.

On 16 December 2015, the MOD changed the rules to allow veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma on or after that date to have the choice between a one-off, tax- free lump sum or regular, smaller payments. The department has now extended the eligibility for the lump sums to those diagnosed before that date. 

The War Pensions Scheme is open to veterans diagnosed with diffuse mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos during their military service prior to 6 April 2005. Currently, it provides a War Disablement Pension and supplementary allowances, and a War Widow(er)’s Pension for an eligible partner, which is paid for life. 

Mesothelioma is a cancer mainly caused by exposure to asbestos some 40 years or more before diagnosis and there is a short life expectancy afterwards. As such, the MOD places great importance on offering the right support to those affected by this disease.

The changes to the scheme give it similar features to one for civilians, which provides lump sums, underlining the government’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant. The Covenant is a promise from the nation ensuring that those who serve and have served are treated fairly. caused-by-asbestos 


Call free on 0800 861 1102 or see details of their services on the website.