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Veterans Aware

The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust accredited as Veteran Aware

The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust has been formally recognised as Veteran Aware by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA), a group of NHS healthcare providers in England working to providing the best standards of care for the armed forces community, based on the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant.

The Armed Forces Covenant, which recently passed into law, is a promise by the nation to make sure that those who serve, or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly. The aim is to develop, share and drive the implementation of best practice that will improve armed forces community care, while at the same time raising standards for everyone across the NHS.

Michael Holland, Chief Executive of the Tavistock and Portman said: “We are proud to be amongst the 158 other Trusts that have been recognised as Veteran Aware. We’ve worked hard to make this happen and we’re thankful for the VCHA for supporting us through this. Now, we’re focused on building on this work and growing our relationships with the local armed forces community so we can continue to improve services for them.”

Dr Rachel James, Clinical Director at the Tavistock and Portman said: “We’ve heard from our local armed forces community that asking for help isn’t always easy to do. We want to remind those who have served or are currently reservists, and their families, that our clinical services are here to help, and that we are committed to working together to ensure the best NHS care for veterans and their families and in supporting the armed forces as an employer. In addition, the Trust has a unique potential to additionally support the armed forces community in training and development opportunities through our Directorate of Education and Training, thereby supporting the future training of members of the armed forces community.”

Read more: ‘We’re all part of a jigsaw’ – Army Veterans at Tavistock and Portman NHS FT signs Armed Forces Covenant

Professor Tim Briggs, CBE, Chair and National Lead of the VCHA said: “I am extremely proud to announce The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust has demonstrated continuous improvement in how they care for the armed forces community. By recognising the unique situation and issues faced by the Armed Forces community, we can continue in the right direction to ensuring this group does not face unwarranted variation in the care they receive.

This is a poignant time for The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust to have received their accreditation; 75 percent of Trusts in England are now Veteran Aware as the NHS celebrates its 75th birthday.”

Veteran Aware Regional Lead, Anna-Marie Tipping, said: “Having worked closely with the Trust over the past 18-months, I have been struck by the unwavering dedication to ensure that no disadvantage comes to their patients, staff or community. I am particularly impressed by the commitment to this group by the Trust. They care deeply about this cohort of patients and staff, and they have been creative in their approaches to engage with the local community.”

The VCHA hopes all Trusts in England will be accredited by March 2024. Find out more about this work and rehabilitation on their website.

Photo taken at our Armed forces community launch event in June

Photo taken at our Armed forces community launch event in June

Pictured L to R: Peter McCafferty, Armed Forces Veterans Breakfast Clubs Administrator, Dr Rachel James, Clinical Director Tavistock and Portman NHS FT, and veterans Bob and Mike, after the Trust’s Armed Forces Day Community event.