The Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) has given us this accolade as we are leading the way in improving NHS care for members of the armed forces community.
NWAS will deliver care in line with the NHS commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant, ensuring that the armed forces community does not face disadvantage.
Chief Executive, Daren Mochrie, said: “This is a real honour for NWAS. Ambulance trusts have only just become eligible to apply, and NWAS’ close working partnership with our armed forces has stood us in good stead. The recognition means that we have demonstrated that NWAS supports the armed forces community as an employer, and we also ensure that veterans, reservists and cadet force adult volunteers plus any other members of the armed forces community amongst our workforce are looked after, and that we have good links with other local services and service charities.”
The VCHA was inspired by the heroism of Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse VC, a doctor who gave his life rescuing men on the battlefields of the First World War.
In 2014, orthopaedic surgeon Professor Tim Briggs CBE wrote The Chavasse Report on improving armed forces and veteran care while raising NHS standards and establishing a support network of hospitals was one of its recommendations. The resulting VCHA works closely with the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and Improvement, the Ministry of Defence, the Office for Veterans Affairs and service charities.
NWAS is one of four trusts that have achieved the Veteran Aware accreditation in the last couple of weeks and brings the total number of Veteran Aware providers across the UK to 58.
Professor Briggs, Chair of GIRFT, NHS National Director for Clinical Improvement and Chair of the VCHA, said: “I’m very proud to welcome four more NHS trusts to the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance. They have all made a clear and important commitment to the servicemen and women of this country and their families, and it’s great to be able to recognise their hard work through this accreditation.”
“I am particularly delighted to announce the accreditation of our first Veteran Aware ambulance service, which is setting an excellent example to other ambulance services to follow. Several other ambulance services are already well underway to becoming accredited as Veteran Aware.”