This week, in the lead up to Remembrance Day, we have been awarded accreditation as a Veteran Aware Trust.
This is a significant achievement, recognising our commitment to providing high-quality care to serving personnel, veterans and their families. The award shows we recognise that employees and service users and their carers who are part of the Armed Forces Community may need specific support.
To gain accreditation, we were required to demonstrate:
- Compliance with and an understanding of the Armed Forces Covenant.
- That we are identifying service users who are part of the Armed Forces Community to ensure they receive appropriate care and are referred to other services where appropriate.
- We support the UK Armed Forces as an employer.
- Our staff are trained and educated in the needs of Veterans and the Armed Forces Community.
- Established links to appropriate local Veteran and Armed Forces Community Services.
- We have a Veterans and Armed Forces ‘Champion Team’.
- We are dedicated to raising awareness of Veterans and the Armed Forces Community.
Over the last 12 months, we have proactively encouraged staff to declare if they or their families have served or are serving in the Armed Forces, and if so, to register their Armed Forces Community status on internal systems and to seek support if they need it. Frontline staff have been encouraged to have conversations with service users to determine whether they or their family are serving or have served in the Armed Forces.
We are dedicated to supporting those who serve or have served and their families, and signposting people to appropriate support.
Chief Executive David Bradley said:
We recognise the huge dedication and personal sacrifice members of the Armed Forces have made to the nation. The mental impact of service in the Armed Forces can be enormous and, as a Trust, we are dedicated to helping people in our communities that have given so much.
We encourage our service users and/or their carers to tell their clinician if they are a part of the Armed Forces Community. This can then be noted on their records to ensure they receive appropriate care.
Speaking about the achievement, Chair of the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance Professor Tim Briggs CBE, said:
I am extremely proud to announce South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust has demonstrated the highest possible standards in how they care for the Armed Forces community. It is only right that people who have given so much, receive the same treatment as everyone else. It is particularly poignant that the Trust has achieved this accreditation in the week the nation stands still for Remembrance.
Veteran Aware Regional Lead Anna-Marie Tipping said:
Having worked closely with the Trust over the past months, I have been struck by the unwavering dedication to ensure that no disadvantage comes to their patients, staff or community. The Trust has worked diligently to ensure that the services they provide meet the needs of the Armed Forces community. I offer my unwavering gratitude to the staff of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.
If you are part of the Armed Forces community, which includes serving personnel, their families and dependents, reservists and veterans, please see a list of support services.
For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.