RJAH recognised as ‘Veteran Aware’ ahead of Armistice Centenary

Release Date: 09/11/2018

RJAH recognised as ‘Veteran Aware’ ahead of Armistice Centenary

The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) has been accredited as a ‘Veteran Aware’ NHS Trust.

This mark of distinction means that patients who have served in the UK Armed Forces will be cared for by frontline staff who have received training and education on their specific needs, such as around mental health, and who can signpost them to local support services.

The recognition comes ahead of the nation marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

RJAH is one of 24 NHS bodies across the UK that have received accreditation from the Veterans Covenant Hospital Alliance. The Alliance is made up of national bodies, including NHS Improvement, NHS England, the Department of Health and Social Care, the Ministry of Defence, and the Confederation of Service Charities.

Mark Brandreth, Chief Executive of the Oswestry-based hospital, said: “We are thrilled to be named as just one of 24 NHS organisations to be accredited as Veteran Aware.

“This comes ahead of the Trust being presented on Monday with the prestigious Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award from the Ministry of Defence, recognising our support for our Armed Forces staff.

“Our staff members, particularly those who have served or are reservists, have been trained and educated to ensure they understand the complex physical and psychological needs of our patients who have served in the Armed Forces.

Professor Tim Briggs, National Director for Clinical Quality and Efficiency at NHS Improvement and Co-Chair of the Veterans Covenant Hospitals Alliance, said: “I applaud RJAH for becoming one of the first in the country to be accredited as ‘Veteran Aware’.

“People who have served in the Armed Forces can often have specific and varied needs and so, we must do everything we can to ensure the NHS continues to support those who have given so much for our country.

“As we mark the Armistice centenary, we are calling on other trusts to lead by this example and apply for their accreditation so that they can guarantee they are doing the exactly same.”

There are around 2.16 million veterans in England, making up between 3 and 9 per cent of the population. Data gathered by the Ministry of Defence in October 2016, states that there are 207,000 veterans residing in the West Midlands region.

Mark added: “RJAH is an organisation that strongly values its Armed Forces staff and patients. We already run a thriving veterans’ service and have done so for more than four years, and just last month, we officially launched our £1.5 million fundraising campaign to build the UK’s first dedicated Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre.”

On Monday (12 November), the Trust will be attending Lancaster House in London, alongside HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Defence, to receive the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award from the Ministry of Defence.

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