As the nation marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (BSUH) has been accredited as ‘Veteran Aware’ today (9 Nov) – one of only 24 NHS organisations across the UK to receive this mark of distinction.
Veteran Aware means that patients who have served in the UK armed forces will be cared for by staff who have received training and education on their specific needs and who can signpost them to local support services.
BSUH has set up a number of programmes to support armed forces communities health care including:
- The Chavasse Clinic – a specialist musculoskeletal clinic for service personnel (regular or reserve) and veterans at the Royal Sussex County Hospital (RSCH)
- The eye clinic liaison officer at RSCH
- The Veterans Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Services which is based at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath
Trust Chief Executive Marianne Griffiths said:
“There are more than 2 million veterans in England and at BSUH we are committed to ensuring that these people, as well as those in active service and their families receive the best support available through our Trust wide initiatives and links with our local armed forces communities and charities.”
“I am absolutely delighted that we have been awarded Veteran Aware status which is a wonderful reward for a great deal of hard work by many staff.
Patients and visitors to the Trusts hospitals will be encouraged to tell staff that they have served in the armed forces. This is to ensure that the armed forces community is never disadvantaged compared to other patients.
Professor Tim Briggs, National Director for Clinical Quality and Efficiency at NHS Improvement and Co-Chair of the Veterans Covenant Hospitals Alliance, said:
“I applaud Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust for becoming one of the first in the country to be accredited as ‘Veteran Aware’.
“People who have served in the armed forces can often have specific and varied needs and so, we must do everything we can to ensure the NHS continues to support those who have given so much for our country.”
The accreditation was awarded by the Veterans Covenant Hospital Alliance. The Alliance is made up of national bodies, including NHS Improvement, NHS England, the Department of Health and Social Care, the Ministry of Defence, and the Confederation of Service Charities.