East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust has been named a ‘Veteran Aware’ Trust in recognition of its commitment to improving NHS care for veterans, reservists, members of the armed forces and their families.
The accreditation, from the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA), 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 community as an employer.
The Trust, which includes Hertford County Hospital, Lister Hospital in Stevenage, Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in Northwood, and the New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City, is now one of 74 members of the VCHA and is part of a growing number of NHS trusts gaining this accolade.
Speaking at the start of Armed Forces Week, Martin Armstrong, Deputy Chief Executive of the Trust, said:
“We strive to provide the best care for all of our patients – and the Veteran Aware accreditation demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that we meet the specific needs of our armed forces veterans.
“We are proud to hold a Gold Award as a defence employer, providing support to our staff who are reservists, veterans, and forces families. The Veteran Aware award is recognition that we also extend that support to our patients and community.”
Trusts recognised as ‘Veteran Aware’ will display posters in their clinics and public waiting areas urging anyone who has served in the Armed Forces to make themselves known to staff.