Trust awarded Veteran Aware reaccreditation

June 18, 2024

Veteran AwareWe are delighted to announce that Gloucestershire Health and Care NHSFT has been reaccredited as a Veteran Aware Trust.

This is in recognition of our continued work in demonstrating the NHS’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant in identifying and sharing best practice across the NHS as an exemplar of the high-quality standards of care for the Armed Forces community.

Veteran Aware Trusts are leading the way in improving veterans’ care within the NHS, as part of the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA).

The reaccreditation acknowledges the Trust’s commitment to a number of key pledges, including:

  • Ensuring that the armed forces community is never disadvantaged compared to other patients, in line with the NHS’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant
  • Training relevant staff on veteran-specific culture or needs
  • Making veterans, reservists and service families aware of appropriate charities or NHS services beneficial to them, such as mental health services or support with financial and/or benefit claims
  • Supporting the armed forces as an employer.

GHC is included in a growing list of VHCA members and NHS Trusts gaining this accolade. Chief Executive Douglas Blair said: “Here at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, we strive to provide the best possible care for veterans and their families. We actively encourage all patients and colleagues to let us know if they currently serve, or have ever served in the UK armed forces, so that we can best support their needs.

“A number of our colleagues are veterans or currently serve in the reserve forces. This helps give us a real insight into how we can tailor our care to best suit the needs of our veterans, armed forces personnel and their families.”

Trust Chair Graham Russell continued: “This reaccreditation demonstrates a commitment that Gloucestershire Health and Care will train and support its colleagues to understand veterans’ needs and ensure members of the armed forces community do not face disadvantage when seeking help from our services.

“It builds on the Trust signing the Armed Forces Covenant in 2019 and receiving gold accreditation from the Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) in November last year.”

Neil Savage, Director of HR and Organisational Development, added: “The Trust has been granted reaccreditation in recognition of its commitment to improving NHS care for veterans, reservists and members of the armed forces, and that means we aim to ensure members of the armed forces community are not disadvantaged when receiving care, that our colleagues will be briefed and/or trained on veteran-specific needs, and that we will continue to support the armed forces as an employer through our health care provision.

“I’d like to thank operational colleagues for making this happen, particularly Jonathan Thomas, who has led on the reaccreditation process, with the support of Andrew Mills.”

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