Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has received a formal accreditation as a Veteran Aware NHS trust.
One of 47 trusts across the country to be named Veteran Aware, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals was granted the status in recognition of its commitment to improving NHS care for veterans, reservists and members of the armed forces.
Awarded by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA), the Veteran Aware highlights NHS trusts which have made a series of pledges, such as ensuring members of the armed forces community are never disadvantaged when receiving care and supporting employees who have previously served.
Karen Partington, Chief Executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said: “We are extremely proud to have been officially accredited as a Veteran Aware Trust. This is testament to the brilliant work our staff does to ensure members of the armed forces and their loved ones are cared for and supported. The accreditation is a wonderful way to mark Armistice Day, and we will continue to do all we can for the servicemen and women we meet.”
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, who were also awarded the Silver Status in the Employer Recognition Scheme this year, offers an additional 10 days unpaid leave for training in its Reservist Policy, and when returning from tours of duty, the reservist returns to their substantive post.
Debbie Tickle, Recruitment Manager and Trust Military Lead at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said: “We actively encourage employees to inform us of their service, or that of their loved ones, so that we can provide them with the best possible care. We are delighted to have been recognised for our work to make this happen.”
Alongside the running of a Reservist Group, led by staff member and reservist Gary Fields, the Trust is a member of the North West NHS Employers Armed Forces Network, and has recently launched a support group for the Trust’s employees who have family members in the Armed Forces.
The Trust regularly attends recruitment events for serve personnel, and as of this month, a work placement programme is in place with Fulwood Barracks, where members of the armed forces can train in both clinical and non-clinical roles.
In December, the Trust’s Trac recruitment system will mark applications of those who identify themselves as either currently a member of the armed forces or a family member. This means those candidates can be offered a guaranteed interview, provided they meet the essential criteria.
The VCHA is working with NHS trusts across the country to improve standards of care for the armed forces community. In time, the alliance hopes to see every NHS provider meeting the Veteran Aware standards.