Another Great for Swindon’s Great Western Hospitals

The Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Swindon has been recognised by Mrs Sarah Troughton, the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, for achieving Veteran Covenant healthcare Alliance (VCHA) accreditation. 

Mrs Troughton presented the award on 29 September 2021 at the Great Western Hospital. The Swindon healthcare provider is one of 15 Trusts in the Region to be awarded the accolade, and takes the total number of NHS healthcare providers in England to 99. 

Bernadette Knight, VCHA Regional Lead for the South West, was responsible for guiding the Trust through the process.  Speaking about the award, she said: “From the moment I approached the Trust, the level of enthusiasm and engagement to achieve accreditation – and to embed VCHA values – was remarkable. Due to its location, and its proximity to the large military population in surrounding Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Somerset, it’s probably not surprising. But it is immensely impressive.” 

Recognition that the first step has been achieved, and that there is more to be done to ensure the best possible care is given to veterans, reservists and their families, is echoed by the Trust. 

Lisa Cheek, Chief Nurse and Executive Lead for Armed Forces at the Great Western Hospital, said: “I am really proud that the organisation has achieved this important accreditation, and it’s thanks to the good work that has been going on that we have been recognised in this way. 

“We have recently signed the Armed Forces Covenant, which is a promise to ensure that those who serve, or have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly. This is both in terms of receiving care by the NHS, or applying to work for the NHS. 

“We held an event to give our staff the opportunity to come together to celebrate this success, and I was really delighted to welcome the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire. Now I’m looking forward to seeing further developments from the Trust as we work towards embedding the pledges we have made to the armed forces.” 

The VCHA is committed to improving Armed Forces and Veteran care whilst raising standards for all.  99 NHS providers in England are now Veteran Aware accredited, and the Veteran Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) aims to have all Trusts in England accredited by November 2022 at the latest. Find out more about our work here

15 October 2021


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