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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

BSMHFT secures Veteran Aware accreditation for armed forces support

Published: 04/10/2019

Our Trust has become one of the latest NHS providers to be named as Veteran Aware, for our commitment to improving care for veterans, reservists and members of the armed forces community.

The accreditation, from the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA), acknowledges BSMHFT’s commitment to a number of key pledges, such as ensuring members of the armed forces community are never disadvantaged when receiving care, training staff on veteran-specific needs, and supporting the armed forces as an employer.

In highlighting their status, Trusts recognised as Veteran Aware encourage members of the armed forces community to identify themselves to staff.

We are now one of four organisations to be accredited as Veteran Aware this week and join a total of 41 acute and mental health services across the country that have achieved the status:

Derek Tobin, Associate Director, Specialities said:  

“This is fantastic news for our Trust and reflects the hard work we have been doing to support veterans across both our clinical and corporate teams. We are totally committed to continuing with this work alongside our partners and look forward to moving forward with this programme. I’d like to congratulate all of my colleagues who have helped us to achieve this accreditation.”

Veterans aware accreditation
Derek Tobin, Associate Director, Specialities, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Helen Brown, Consultant Clinical and Forensic Psychologist and Clinical Lead - Complex Treatment Service for Military Veterans and Ian Donnelly, Veterans Director, Getting It Right First Time.

The VCHA was inspired by the heroism of Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse VC and Bar, a doctor who gave his life rescuing men on the battlefields of the First World War.

In 2014, leading orthopaedic surgeon Professor Tim Briggs CBE wrote The Chavasse Report on improving armed forces and veteran care while raising NHS standards, which recommended establishing a support network of hospitals. The resulting VCHA works closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement, service charities and the Ministry of Defence, and is managed by the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme.

Professor Briggs, Chair of GIRFT, NHS National Director for Clinical Improvement and Chair of the VCHA, commented:

“I’m very proud to welcome four more NHS trusts to the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance. BSMHFT has made a clear and important commitment to the servicemen and women of this country, and it’s great to be able to recognise their hard work through this accreditation.”

The VCHA is working with NHS trusts across the country to improve standards of care for the armed forces community. In time, the alliance hopes to see every NHS provider meeting the Veteran Aware standards.