Resources for Organisations

Welcome to the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) resource library.
Here you will find everything you need to know about becoming ‘Veteran Aware’. Please note we regularly update this page.


The guide to accreditation (containing relevant forms) and the supporting resource pack, are available below. The guide and pack are applicable to all types of Trusts.

Background information and reports

The following may be used to assist your understanding of the various Standards and the requirements to achieve ‘Veteran Aware’ accreditation. 


1. What is the benefit to the Trust?

By identifying members of the armed forces community and their families, a Trust/provider will be able to treat, and/or signpost patients to other appropriate services and to access social care packages.  Becoming ‘Veteran Aware’ means you will be continuing to raise standards for all patients.

2. Why should we become Accredited?

The Armed Forces community should enjoy the same standard of, and access to, healthcare as that received by any other UK citizen in the area they live.  Family members should retain their place on any NHS waiting list if they are moved around the UK due to the service person being posted. Veterans should receive priority treatment for a condition which relates to their service, subject to clinical need. Those injured in service will be cared for in a way that reflects the nation’s moral obligation to them, by healthcare professionals who have an understanding of the Armed Forces culture.

3. What's the time frame to complete Accreditation?

It should take no longer than six months, and can be achieved more quickly with the appropriate documentation.  Your VCHA Regional Lead works with you throughout the entire process.   

4. What is the cost to the Trust?

There is no additional cost to the Trust.  The VCHA ‘Veteran Aware” accreditation is fully funded by NHSE & I.  There are further opportunities for Accredited Trusts to access Armed Forces Covenant and NHS E&I funding for projects to support veterans’ care (see Helpful Links).

5. Is there any training available?

Yes, training is available.  A useful tool is the NHS Healthcare for the Armed Forces e-Learning. This programme is available to all NHS healthcare staff via the Electronic Staff Record (ESR). Accessing this e-Learning via ESR means that your completed work will transfer throughout your NHS career.  Details may be found here (scroll down to How to Access). It is also in our Helpful Links section under Staff Training.

6. Are F&C and Merchant Navy veterans included in the Armed Forces Covenant?

Yes, Foreign and Commonwealth veterans who ordinarily reside in the UK, and their families, as well as Merchant Navy veterans who served on Named Operations, are covered by the Covenant.

7. How can I be Veteran Aware?

Any NHS Trust in England can be accredited as Veteran Aware, please contact us and a member of the team will be in touch. If you are an independent provider and you meet the criteria to be accredited as Veteran Aware, please contact us. Although we do not accredit all organisations who provide healthcare to the Armed Forces community, we would still like to hear from you!  

Helpful links

The Armed Forces Bill summary 2021>

The Armed Forces Covenant>

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust>

Armed Forces pensions and compensation recipients>

Armed Forces Community Demographics guide>

Armed Forces Community Rehabilitation Pack (For Patients)>


The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme>

Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS)>

Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC)>

Directory of Social Change

NHS Disablement Services Centre (DSC) and Murrison Centres>

NHS Electronic Staff Record pdf>

NHS Employers> resource for NHS staff

Fighting With Pride>

Forces Employment Charity>

Gurkha leaflet>

Helpful Apps
Forces connect iOS>
Forces connect Android>

Improving health and wellbeing support for Armed Forces families in England>


Op COURAGE: the Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service>



Op RESTORE: The Veterans Physical Health and Wellbeing Service>

10 Things to Know about a Veteran – Office for Veterans’ Affairs awareness raising desktop guide>

10 Things to Know about a Veteran – Office for Veterans’ Affairs awareness raising poster>

SARCs Tool Kit>

Step into Health>for those interested in working in the NHS

Staff Training > > >

QR Codes resource for discharge>

Veterans’ Gateway>

VCHA email>

VCHA FutureNHS Workspace>

Your Rights to Confidentiality poster suite>

For children and young people (PNG file)>  

For staff (PNG file)>

For veterans and families (PNG file)> 

PDF print ready version>

PDF version with bleed marks>

Zero Suicide Alliance>