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Veterans Covenant Hospital Alliance

CUH is part of a group of NHS acute hospitals that have volunteered to be exemplars of the best care for veterans.

This group aims to drive improvements in NHS care for people who serve or have served in the UK armed forces and their families, in line with the Armed Forces Covenant.

The Veterans Covenant Hospital Alliance (VCHA) has been formed to reduce disadvantages to members of the armed forces past and present, by giving appropriate priority for any service related condition.  This access is subject to clinical need and veterans are not given priority of referral or treatment ahead of individuals who are in greater clinical need.

To be accredited as a ‘Veteran Aware hospital’, NHS hospitals will complete a short annual report, demonstrating their commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant and showcasing examples of good practice in care for veterans.

Veteran Aware Hospitals will:

  • provide information to veterans and their families explaining what to expect

  • train staff to be aware of veterans’ needs and the commitments of the NHS under the Armed Forces Covenant

  • inform staff if a veteran or their GP has told the hospital they have served in the armed forces

  • ensure that the armed forces community do not face disadvantage compared to other citizens when accessing NHS services 

  • signpost to extra services that might be provided to the armed forces community by a charity or service organisation in the hospital

  • look into what services are available in their locality, which patients would benefit from being referred to after a hospital stay. These could include:

  • NHS England’s Transition, Intervention and Liaison (TILs) mental health service for Armed Forces personnel approaching discharge and Armed Forces veterans

  • recovery and welfare services for veterans provided by service charities and organisations either in local centres or through staff embedded in NHS providers

  • rehabilitation services provided by service charities and organisations

  • prosthetics through services at the enhanced ‘Murrison’ Disablement Support Centres

  • support from Veterans UK on service-related financial and/or benefit claims.

CUH is working towards accreditation by the VCHA through a stepped approach to identification, training, service provision and a general awareness-raising of veteran care.