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Published on: 23rd June 2020
As the UK prepares to mark Armed Forces Day on Saturday 27 June, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) has announced its formal accreditation as a Veteran Aware NHS trust.
LPFT is the latest in a wave of NHS providers named as Veteran Aware for their commitment to improving care for veterans, reservists and members of the armed forces community.
The accreditation, from the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA), acknowledges the trust’s commitment to a number of key pledges, such as ensuring members of the armed forces community are never disadvantaged when receiving care, training staff on veteran-specific needs, and supporting the armed forces as an employer.
Trusts recognised as Veteran Aware are also expected to display posters in their clinics and waiting rooms, highlighting their status and encouraging members of the armed forces community to identify themselves to staff.
LPFT is one of four organisations to be accredited as Veteran Aware this week, in the lead-up to Armed Forces Day 2020. The day commemorates and supports the men and women who make up the armed forces community, from serving troops to families, veterans and cadets.
LPFT joins a total of 53 acute and mental health services across the country that have achieved Veteran Aware status.
Paula Jelly, Regional Lead for LPFT Veteran Services, Veterans Mental Health Transition, Intervention & Liaison Service (TILs) and Veterans High Intensity Service (HIS) said:
“This accreditation recognises the on-going commitment the Trust has consistently shown to improving access to healthcare for our veterans and Armed Forces community.
“We are proud to have been recognised as a Veteran Aware Trust and have been working hard to continue to be involved in new initiatives which will enhance the experience of our veterans who access mental health care and support across Lincolnshire.
“I am extremely proud to be part of a Trust that strives for the best possible outcomes for our veteran and Armed Forces community. LPFT’s vision is to continue to lead the way in improving veterans care and experiences within the NHS.”
The VCHA was inspired by the heroism of Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse VC and Bar, a doctor who gave his life rescuing men on the battlefields of the First World War.
In 2014, leading orthopaedic surgeon Professor Tim Briggs CBE wrote The Chavasse Report on improving armed forces and veteran care while raising NHS standards, which recommended establishing a support network of hospitals. The resulting VCHA works closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement, service charities and the Ministry of Defence, and is managed by the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme.
Professor Briggs, Chair of GIRFT, NHS National Director for Clinical Improvement and Chair of the VCHA, commented: “I’m very proud to welcome four more NHS trusts to the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance. LPFT has made a clear and important commitment to the servicemen and women of this country, and it’s great to be able to recognise their hard work through this accreditation.”
The VCHA is working with NHS trusts across the country to improve standards of care for the armed forces community. In time, the alliance hopes to see every NHS provider meeting the Veteran Aware standards.