Veteran Aware re-accreditation for Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust
The Trust, which serves East Riding of Yorkshire, Scarborough, Whitby, Ryedale and elsewhere, was originally accredited in May 2020, met standards laid down by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA), a national NHS team,
The VCHA’s aim is to make sure that patients from the Armed Forces Community, including families and dependents, are paid due regard and are not disadvantaged in terms of access to and outcomes of healthcare, as a result of their military life in line with the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant.
It does this by developing, sharing and driving the implementation of best practice, while at the same time raising standards for everyone in NHS Trusts in England.
Chief Executive Michele Moran said: “Our Trust is delighted to have once more received the Veteran Aware accreditation. I would like to thank and recognise the whole team for their exceptional work in gaining this honour. Ensuring our services are accessible and understanding the experiences of veterans is paramount to our inclusive approach to services.”
The Veterans Strategy action plan 2022 has since expanded the programme to include hospices and the Independent Care Sector.
The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve, or who have served, in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.
This means it takes active note of the needs of the Armed Forces Community.
The Trust’s re-accreditation means that 160 NHS providers across England are now Veteran Aware accredited and the alliance aims to have all Trusts accredited by the end of the first quarter of 2024.
With a general population in Yorkshire & Humber of 5,480,800 it is estimated that 596,546 (11%) are from the armed forces community.
During work on its re-accreditation, the VCHA could see that the Trust had built upon its original accreditation, through the development of a “Why Ask” booklet, which encourages staff to ask more qualitative questions about an individual’s protected characteristics and/or health inequalities.
They also saw staff built on the original accreditation through the development of a Champion role called Armed Forces Community Navigator, all of whom become members of the Trust’s Veterans forum where speakers attend the forums to share knowledge, skills and experienc.
As well as this, there was the sharing of patient/carer stories at Trust Board and Council of Governors and through global communications within the Trust.
VCHA Regional Lead Mandy Stokes said: “Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust has clearly imbued the ethos of Veteran Aware accreditation. Some of the work it has developed has been hugely encouraging and I commend them for this. It has been a pleasure working with the Trust Leads for this work and I look forward to continuing to work with them as their agenda moves forward.”