Royal Star & Garter Solihull Home awarded Veteran Aware status

Royal Star & Garter Chief Executive Andy Cole OBE and Solihull Home Manager Jamie Stubbs receive Veteran Aware accreditation from Prof Tim Briggs CBE

Royal Star & Garter Solihull Home has been formally recognised (14 September 2022) as ‘Veteran Aware’ by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) – the first care home to receive this accreditation.

The VCHA is 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.

Andy Cole OBE, Chief Executive, Royal Star & Garter said: “We are immensely proud that Royal Star & Garter – Solihull is the first care home to receive the Veterans Aware accreditation. We are pleased that our work to share best practice and demonstrate excellence in caring for the ex-Armed Forces community is recognised by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance in this way. This will support us to continue in our mission to raise standards for all veterans.”

VCHA Projects Lead Tony Armstrong said: “Royal Star & Garter Solihull is the first care home to be awarded Veteran Aware accreditation. It has been a pleasure to work with Andy Cole (CEO at Royal Star & Garter) and his team, to support them to submit a high quality application to the National VCHA Steering Group Panel before the steering group for accreditation.”

The Veteran Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) is committed to improving Armed Forces and Veteran care whilst raising standards for all. 121 NHS providers in England are now Veteran Aware accredited, two have been re-accredited, and the VCHA aims to have all Trusts in England accredited by March 2023 at the latest.

The VCHA programme has now received clear direction, by Central Government, in the Veterans Strategy Action Plan 2022 – 2024, to widen scope and to pilot the accreditation of both the Independent Sector and Hospices. Find out more about our work and about Rehabilitation by clicking here.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

The Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) is a group of NHS providers in England – including acute, mental health, community, and ambulance Trusts – committed to becoming exemplars of the best care for, and support to, the armed forces community (be they Regular, Reserves, Veterans, spouses or dependants).  It is funded by the Armed Forces Commissioning Directorate within NHS England.

The VCHA is committed to improving Armed Forces and Veteran care whilst raising standards for all.

The VCHA signposts Trusts to Armed Forces charities, who provide resources for veterans.  When utilised,​ these services enhance the recovery pathways for veterans in NHS Trusts. The VCHA will help deliver NHS England and NHS Improvement’s objectives to highlight inefficiencies and reduce unwarranted clinical variation in quality of care.

The NHS is committed to the Armed Forces Covenant, which is a promise to those who serve, or who have served in the UK Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

The Armed Forces Covenant has two key principles:

1.      No member of the Armed Forces community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to any other citizen.

2.      In some circumstances special consideration may be appropriate, especially for the injured or the bereaved.

The Armed Forces Bill received Royal Assent in December 2021, and the Armed Forces Covenant is now law.

The VCHA is hosted by the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and is partnered with NHS England and Improvement’s Armed Forces Commissioning.

The National Lead for the VCHA, Professor Tim Briggs, CBE, is also National Director for Clinical Improvements for the NHS. He is the author of The Chavasse Report that led to the formation of the VCHA.

The devolved nations/assemblies are responsible for their own Trusts.

There were an estimated 2.4 million military veterans in Great Britain in 2017, between 3 – 9% of the population (depending on the area).  Details may be found here 

Just over 40% of veterans report at least one long term health condition, with the most prevalent of which are musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory and mental health conditions.

Veteran Aware Trusts also work with existing initiatives Step into Health (SiH) and the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) to make NHS organisations ‘Forces Friendly’ employers.