The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre has accolade renewed as first cancer hospital accredited for improving care for the armed forces community

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust has successfully completed its three-year re-accreditation, following a formal review by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA).

It had been named as the UK’s first specialist cancer Veteran Aware Trust, in recognition of its commitment in improving NHS care for veterans, reservists, members of the armed forces and their families.

The VCHA oversees the accreditation process. Accreditation acknowledges the Trust’s commitment to a number of key pledges including equal care for the armed forces community, training staff on veteran-specific culture or needs, supporting veterans and service families and providing advice and signposting them to other organisations for financial or mental health support.

The VCHA acknowledged that there had been significant work undertaken in the past year and in particular its active role in mentoring other trusts in the locality and wider, supporting them along their ‘Veteran Aware’ accreditation journey to achieve the very best outcomes for the Armed Forces Community.

The Trust is one of 121 NHS trusts to have this accolade.

Julie Gray is Chief Nurse at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and was in attendance to accept the accreditation on behalf of the clinical staff at the Trust. She said: “We’re dedicated to providing veterans and their families with care from frontline staff who have received training and education on their specific needs and can signpost them to other support that might benefit them.

“I’m delighted that we’re now part of this cohort of NHS trusts across the country who are standing in solidarity with veterans and showing our appreciation and understanding for all that they’ve sacrificed.”

The Trust was presented with its accreditation by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside, Mr Mark FW Blundell. He said: “It is with great pleasure that I’m here today to award The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre for their continued work to deliver the highest standard of care and services for veterans. It is so important that we raise awareness of veterans and ensure they receive appropriate support; it’s wonderful to see Clatterbridge demonstrating this and educating others.”

Professor Tim Briggs CBE, NHS National Director for Clinical Improvement in NHS England, VCHA National Lead and Honorary Colonel of 202 Midlands Field Hospital, said: “These trusts should be very proud of the commitment they have made to the service men and women of this country. Welcoming them into the Veterans Covenant Hospital Alliance is a major step towards our aim of ensuring every NHS trust in the country is Veteran Aware.”