Saint Catherine’s celebrates being named the country’s first ‘Veteran Aware’ hospice

Group photo of staff, volunteers and invited guests

Saint Catherine’s Hospice in Scarborough has hosted a special event to celebrate being awarded Veteran Aware status – making it the first hospice in the country to receive this accreditation.

The hospice 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 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.

Saint Catherine’s identifies veterans as soon as they are referred or admitted as a patient to ensure they receive the right care and support. The hospice has appointed Veteran Aware champions and has been reaching out to work with local armed forces organisations. The charity has also shared information and useful links with its staff to share with veterans who may need signposting towards additional support.

Michelle Muir, clinical director at Saint Catherine’s, said: “It has been a real honour today to formally sign the Armed Forces Covenant and show our commitment to the Armed Forces community. It has been an important project at the hospice for some time now and today marks a real achievement in our work to offer veterans and their loved ones the best possible care and support, while in addition supporting our staff, and volunteers, who have served. Having been awarded bronze accreditation, we are now working towards silver.”

Tony Armstrong, VCHA projects lead, said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the team at Saint Catherine’s in achieving this accreditation and it will be a pleasure to further support the hospice in their pursuit of the Defence Employer Recognition Silver award and as a ‘Forces Friendly Hospice’. Meeting the staff, volunteers, trustees and partner organisations has been great and it’s wonderful to see how many people associated with Saint Catherine’s are veterans themselves or have a connection to the Armed Forces.”

Wing Commander Thom Colledge, station commander at RAF Fylingdales, said: “This is a great achievement and we really appreciate the work being done to help veterans and their families. The hospice is a fabulous place and all those associated with it should be very proud of how it has been built on charitable contributions. We look forward to continuing our links with the organisation through fundraising and awareness.”

Michelle Muir and Wing Commander Thom Colledge with the covenant and Veteran Aware certificate
Michelle Muir and Wing Commander Thom Colledge with the covenant and Veteran Aware certificate