How a Veteran Advocate helps in raising awareness among staff

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) has shared some of the materials it uses to make sure staff are Veteran Aware.

Its Armed Forces Veteran Advocate Support Officer Shafiq Sadiq (Sid) says it has integrated Veteran Awareness and its referral information into the Trust’s Corporate Induction Package.  All new staff including temporary staff, bank staff and medical students and nursing students have to undertake this mandatory induction.

It has also added modules into its own ELHT Learning Hub, which all staff are advised to undertake. This is via this link: NHS Healthcare for the Armed Forces – elearning for healthcare (

The Trust is moving to a new Electronic Patient Record system, which goes live 16 Jun 2023 and Sid has worked with the Cerner team to make sure that Veteran Services has a clear and simple referral pathway once a patient is identified as being part of the Armed Forces Community. 

Currently the Trust uses EPTS Bed Board and has a pathway written into that system that currently works well, with more than 1,000 referrals so far. 

Sid adds there are poster displays at each of the Trust’s five sites.

He adds: “I jump on regular meetings with all matrons and department heads to update and remind them to remind all staff from clinicians to porters and everyone in between to ask the question.  We also have veteran displays at each of our sites – see pictures.

“I have several slide decks that we use to try and educate staff.  We do have over 9,000 staff in ELHT spread across five different sites so as you can imagine this makes the task all the more difficult.  Each site is saturated with Veteran Aware posters, each department has crib sheets to help remind them of the referral process.  Fiona [Lamb – Armed Forces Lead] and I constantly walk around wards and departments reminding staff.  Wearing our white shirts sticks us out from the crowd and make us instantly recognisable.  I appreciate that some of the Trusts have staff who are undertaking this role as a side line to their full time role, but it is important to get the word out as much as possible to what veteran support services offers.”

Attached also are the ETPS referral information and pictures of information packs given to every patient who is part of the Armed Forces community.

Sid is happy to be contacted for more information about these materials or how he undertakes his work on

Veteran Services Presentation >

Veteran Aware materials >

Veteran Aware noticeboards >

Veteran Aware noticeboard 1 >

Veteran Aware noticeboard 2 >

Identifying Armed Forces Veterans – referral process >

Armed Forces Veteran information pack – wallet front cover >

Document wallet contents >

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