Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) has been formally recognised as ‘Veteran Aware’ by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA), a group of NHS healthcare providers in England committed to providing the best standards of care for the Armed Forces community, based on the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant.
The Armed Forces 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. The aim is to develop, share and drive the implementation of best practice that will improve armed forces veterans’ care, while at the same time raising standards for everyone across the NHS.
Dr Carolyn Harbert, KMPT Principal Clinical Psychologist and Lead for Veterans Work SE Region HIS & Veterans Aware, commented: “I am delighted that KMPT has been awarded Veteran Aware Accreditation. This demonstrates our commitment to supporting veterans that come to the Trust, either working across Kent and Medway as a member of our amazing team or as a service user requiring support for their mental health needs.
“This strengthens further our commitment to the Armed Services Covenant and I am grateful to those colleagues across the Trust who have committed to being Armed Forces Service Champions to help identify those that need our support”.
Speaking about the achievement, VCHA Chair and National Lead, Professor Tim Briggs, CBE, said: “I am extremely proud to announce Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust has demonstrated continuous improvement in how they care for the Armed Forces community. It is only right that people who have given so much, receive the same treatment as everyone else. By recognising the unique situation and issues faced by the Armed Forces community, we can continue in the right direction to ensuring this group does not face unwarranted variation in the care they receive.”
VCHA Regional Lead Anna-Marie Tipping said: “Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust provides services to approximately 1.8 million people across Kent and Medway. With approximately 55,376 individuals identifying as members of the Armed Forces community within this population, their work on Veteran Aware work streams recognises the unique issues they may face. I encourage all patients who are members of the Armed Forces community, to identify themselves when accessing services so that the Trust can ensure that no disadvantage occurs.”
The Veteran Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) is committed to improving Armed Forces and Veteran care whilst raising standards for all. 130 NHS providers in England are now Veteran Aware accredited, and the VCHA aims to have all Trusts in England accredited by next year at the latest.