NNUH recognised as ‘Veteran Aware’ ahead of Armistice Centenary
As the nation marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NNUH) has been accredited as ‘Veteran Aware’ today (Friday 9 November).
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.
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital 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.
Patients and visitors at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital can expect to see posters that its services are ‘Veteran Aware’, such as in their clinics and public waiting areas, encouraging them to notify staff that they have served in the armed forces. This is to ensure that the armed forces community is never disadvantaged compared to other patients.
NNUH Chief Executive Mark Davies said: “This is a very important scheme which helps support veterans and one which we are delighted to support. As a leading employer in Norfolk, we must do all we can to help and support our former military staff especially as this area has such a long and distinguished military history.”
Professor Erika Denton added: “As Medical Director I can see how skills can transfer well across from the armed forces to the NHS. At NNUH we are always trying to recruit and retain the right calibre of staff.”
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 Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital 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% of the population. In the wide area served by the NNUH there are veterans with service in conflicts over many years. More recent servicemen presence has been particularly in the Royal Air Force bases in Norfolk and the army facilities in the county but service men and women from all services have chosen to live in Norfolk.