Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) has become the latest to achieve Veteran Aware accreditation, formally recognising its commitment to the Armed Forces community.
The accreditation means that 153 NHS England providers across England and four NHS Wales Health Boards are now accredited as Veteran Aware.
The Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) aims to accredit all trusts and health boards by March 2024.
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 to ensure 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 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 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, Assistant Director Strategic Partnerships, Diversity, and Inclusion at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “Hywel Dda UHB 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, the 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.”
L-R: Beverly Davies, Strategic Partnership and Inclusion Manager at Hywel Dda UHB, Anna Bird, Assistant Director Strategic Partnerships, Diversity, and Inclusion at Hywel Dda UHB, Delyth Raynsford, Independent Member at Hywel Dda UHB and Lisa Gostling, Director of Workforce and OD at Hywel Dda UHB.