The Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) yesterday celebrated accrediting 101 NHS Trusts in England at an event at The Household Cavalry Museum in London.
On 9 November 2021, Professor Tim Briggs, CBE, the VCHA’s National Lead, welcomed Kate Davies CBE,national director for Health and Justice, Armed Forces and Sexual Assault Services Commissioning; Dr Dan Barnard, Consultant Clinical Psychologist in Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust and Clinical Lead for OpCourage in Midlands area; and Gary Sell, an army veteran with an incredible personal story, who now works for Op Courage. Former Lieutenant Colonel Guy Benson, who is Team Lead for the VCHA, acted as Master of Ceremonies, and introduced the speakers to the assembled audience drawn from the armed forces, the NHS, and a number of military-related organisations.
Speaking at the event, Guy said: “The event was to recognise the VCHA’s achievement in accrediting 101 NHS Trusts in England as ‘Veteran Aware’. Our aim is to accredit all such healthcare providers by November 2022 at the latest. There are eight standards Trusts have to meet to be formally acknowledged as Veteran Aware. These are rigorous and range from compliance with the Armed Forces Covenant, to Trusts identifying and recognising veterans, to signing posting them to appropriate care.
Guy concluded: “We were lucky enough to be hosted in an incredible and historic setting (Household Cavalry Museum) and by London District of the armed forces. We witnessed the Changing of the Guard in bright sunshine, and reflected on the service personnel who’ve given so much for us. I’d like to thank the speakers for coming today and in particular, Gary Sell, whose story makes me want to get Trusts accredited as soon as we can. I am determined that the VCHA team will leave no stone unturned to improve and to provide the best possible healthcare and patient journey for our veterans, reservists, and their families.”