30 June 2024

Celebrating Armed Forces day

Over the last year, the trust has had strengthened it’s focus on supporting armed forces veterans, reservists and their families.

Earlier this year we got our Veteran Aware accreditation, a national award granted by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance to NHS organisations that strengthen their support of and commitment to the armed forces community. As well as this we achieved first Bronze and then, just four months later, Silver Award in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme for our support for reservists, veterans and their families who work for the trust.

These improvements have been driven by our staff; many of whom have personal links to the Armed Forces, but also many who just want to support our serving and former service personnel. We talk to Garry East, the trust’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer and armed forces veteran, about his contribution to this important work and how the trust’s Armed Forces workstream is making a difference to members of the Armed Forces family.

“I’m ex-army and having served in the Royal Engineers where I saw service in the first Gulf war, I felt that I have the experience and understanding that could be put to good use to help support others as part of the Veteran Awareness programme” says Garry.

Garry is also the Non-clinical Champion Dyad the trust. This role oversees the accreditation and organisational commitment to improving the quality, access, and experience of care that the trust provides for members of the armed forces community.

All staff are welcome to become Veteran Aware Service Champions and when they become a VASC, they are provided with training to:

  • better understand how to engage with the Armed Forces Community
  • understand how they can support their organisation to help this group
  • understand how they can gain support from other services/charities
  • reinforcing the integration between communities

The trust are proud to support Armed Forces Week and all members of the armed forces family.