RUH Bath now Veteran Aware

The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust (RUH) recently celebrated joining 99 Trusts across England who have achieved Veteran Aware accreditation. 

The VCHA accreditation certificate was presented on 4 October 2021 to RUH Chief Executive, Cara Charles-Barks, by the Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, Annie Maw, at a ceremony attended by a number of RUH armed forces staff members.   

The Chief Executive wore uniform in her role as Honorary Colonel for 243 (Wessex) Field Hospital, part of the Army Reserve Medical Services. 

Cara said: “We are really proud to have received this honour that recognises how importantly we take our responsibility towards the armed forces personnel and community. 

 “The RUH has always had strong links with our armed forces across the South West and has a long track record in the care and employment opportunities we can provide members of the services. This covenant is our pledge to further improve the support from all our staff that we can offer them.” 

VCHA Regional Lead for the South West, Bernadette Knight, added: “Professor Richard Graham, the Deputy Medical Director, leads this work for the Trust.  He is spearheading the two-to-three-year improvement programme RUH has put in place, with a steering group of staff champions who are also veterans, reservists or members of the wider military family. He is one such staff veteran at RUH and currently continues his service as a reservist. I am very grateful for his continued involvement and support.” 

Seated: RUH CEO Cara Charles-Barks (l) and Lord Lt of Somerset, Annie Maw.
Standing: Professor Richard Graham, Deputy Medical Director and Consultant Radiologist; Alison Ryan, Chair, RUH;
Mr Kai Fletcher; Victoria Gilmartin, Critical Care Outreach/ITU Charge Nurse, RUH; Arthur Henderson, Surgeon Commander RN, Consultant ENT Surgeon, RUH. Image copyright and courtesy of RUH

RUH is celebrating becoming one of 99 Trusts in England awarded Veteran Aware accreditation for its commitment to leading the way in improving NHS care for veterans, Reservists and members of the armed forces community. 

Veteran Aware status is granted by the VCHA and to achieve it, Trusts make a series of commitments to ensure members of the armed forces community are never disadvantaged when receiving care.  These VCHA manifesto commitments include training staff in veteran-specific needs, supporting the armed forces as an employer, and appointing a Veterans’ Champion Dyad. 

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.   

18 October 2021


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