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Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care Trust awarded Veteran Aware status

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust has been formally recognised as ‘Veteran Aware’ by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA).

The accreditation has been awarded by the VCHA following an evidence-based assessment of standards relating to the care, and improvement of care for veterans, reservists, members of the armed forces and their families.

VCHA is a group of NHS providers – including acute, mental health, community, and ambulance Trusts – who have agreed to be exemplars of the best care for, and support to, the armed forces community (be they Regular, Reserves, Veterans, spouses or dependants).

The Trust, which provides a wide range of physical and mental health services across Herefordshire and Worcestershire have evidenced their commitment to supporting the armed forces community through their work with local veteran services, staff training and understanding of the Armed Forces Covenant.

The Covenant, which recently passed into law, 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 and face no disadvantage. The aim is to develop, share and drive the implementation of best practice that will improve Armed Forces and veterans' care, while at the same time raising standards for everyone across the NHS.

Susan Harris, Director of Strategy and Partnerships at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust said, “We are delighted to be formally recognised as a ‘Veteran Aware’ organisation by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA).

"One of our core strategic priorities is to improve health outcomes and to reduce health inequalities, which means ensuring that everyone across Herefordshire and Worcestershire has access to high standards of physical and mental health services regardless of their background or individual circumstances.This image shows Susan Harris signing the Armed Forces Covenant in 2021

“Both Herefordshire and Worcestershire have strong connections to the armed forces and a large veteran community, so it is really important that we recognise the specific needs they have and that our services are responsive and able to provide the help and support which they may require.”

Samantha Boatema-Cook, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust said, “I’m really proud that the Trust has been recognised for their Veteran Aware status. As a member of the armed forces community, I personally know how important it is to have local services that understand the unique circumstances of armed forces personnel and their families.”

VCHA Regional Lead David Wood said: "Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care Trust, have demonstrated clearly their achievement of each of the eight manifesto standards and that has been recognised and approved by the National Steering Group and Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care Trust now join 112 other Trusts in the region and nationally already accredited Veteran Aware.”

The announcement comes ahead of Armed Forces Day, which takes place this year on Saturday 25th June and provides an opportunity to show recognition to the Armed Forces community as well as allowing people to show their support and get involved.

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