East Suffolk and North East Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) has been accredited as ‘Veteran Aware’ as the nation prepares to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
The trust, which runs Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, is one of 24 NHS bodies from across the UK to receive the accreditation from the Veterans Covenant Hospital Alliance.
A mark of distinction, it means that staff have received specific training and education to help meet the needs of patients who have served in the UK armed forces and can also signpost them to local support services for further help.
Over the coming weeks, posters will be displayed around both hospitals to show that services are ‘Veteran Aware’. Their aim is to raise awareness of the initiative while encouraging former and current servicemen and women to tell staff they have served in the armed forces so that they are not disadvantaged compared to other patients.
Barbara Buckley, chief medical officer at ESNEFT, said: “We are proud that Ipswich and Colchester are among the first hospitals in the UK to be awarded this important accreditation, especially as the country prepares to mark the centenary of Armistice day.
“Becoming Veteran Aware shows our commitment to ensuring that all of our patients – including those who are currently serving in the armed forces or have done in the past – receive the best possible care to meet their needs.
“This can be especially important for servicemen and women, who can often have specific needs as a result of their experiences, for example around mental health. Any additional support we can provide while they are accessing NHS care, or signpost them to following their discharge, should be welcomed.”
Professor Tim Briggs, national director for clinical quality and efficiency at NHS Improvement and co-chair of the Veterans Covenant Hospitals Alliance, said: “I applaud ESNEFT for becoming one of the first in the country to be accredited as ‘Veteran Aware’.
“People who have served in the armed forces can often have specific and varied needs and so, we must do everything we can to ensure the NHS continues to support those who have given so much for our country.
“As we mark the Armistice centenary, we are calling on other trusts to lead by this example and apply for their accreditation so that they can guarantee they are doing the exactly same.”
For more information on Veteran Aware hospitals, please visit NHS ImprovementBack to top