Hywel Dda University Health Board (Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Hywel Dda) has become one of the latest NHS Health Boards to “bench-mark” accredited as Veteran Aware, formally recognising their commitment to the Armed Forces community.
Its accreditation means that 153 NHS England providers across England and four NHS Wales Health Boards are now accredited as Veteran Aware. The alliance aim is to accredit all Trusts and Welsh Health Boards by March 2024. Accreditation was carried out by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA).
The VCHA’s 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 based on the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant.
The Armed Forces Covenant 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.
VCHA National Lead, Lt Col Retd Guy Benson said: “Hywel Dda University Health Board (Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Hywel Dda) has most strongly demonstrated its commitment to being Veteran Aware for both patients and staff and in building this into its wider board business to make sure that staff understand the needs of the armed forces community.”
VCHA Chairman, Prof Tim Briggs CBE, said: “More and more Trusts and Health Boards are seeing the value of Veteran Aware accreditations as seen through the numbers of Trusts that are now accredited. I wanted to thank the wider NHS family within Wales who work tirelessly on behalf of the military community despite the many pressures they will be under. Well done all.”
Anna Bird of Hywel Dda University Health Board (Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Hywel Dda) said:
“Hywel Health Board is proud to achieve the Veteran Aware award through the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance. The Health Board has a long-standing commitment to the armed forces community. Having originally signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2013, Hywel Dda University Health Board re-affirmed its commitment and gained the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold award in 2021. Last year we adopted the Pride in Veterans Standard (PiVS) and are working with Fighting with Pride to ensure we are able to visibly demonstrate our commitment to providing an inclusive and welcoming service to LGBT+ Veterans.
As a health board, we are committed to improving the wellbeing outcomes for all Veterans and members of the armed forces community who use our health and care services.”
The VCHA will be holding a National Best Practice Conference at the Barbican in London on 20 September 2023 from 10am to 4pm. For more details please go to our Eventbrite page on https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/veterans-covenant-healthcare-alliance-national-best-practice-conference-tickets-574481980067.