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Armed forces and veterans

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Supporting the Armed Forces

Wye Valley NHS Trust is proud to support our Armed Forces and to have received the prestigious Employer Recognition Silver Award from the Ministry of Defence in 2021. More information about this Award is detailed on this page. 

Our colleagues who have previously served in the Armed Forces are an asset to the Trust. They bring a wealth of experience and knowledge which is invaluable.

As part of the Armed Forces Covenant, we are committed to supporting our employees and future employees from the Armed Forces, and reservists.

Supporting our staff

We support current employees who are from service families or are part of the reservists, and potential employees who are currently serving or have just completed their service and are looking forward to their next career. 

Through the Armed Forces Covenant the Trust has made pledges to all military personnel (including veterans) regarding access to its services and employment.

Wye Valley NHS Trust receives prestigious Silver Award from Ministry of Defence

Wye Valley NHS Trust has been recognised by the Ministry of Defence Awards for its support to the Armed Forces community. The Trust is one of the organisations across the West Midlands that has achieved the prestigious Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Silver Award for 2021.

This Ministry of Defence award given by the West Midland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association (RFCA) recognises companies and organisations for their support to the Armed Forces community, including Reservists, veterans, spouses, Cadet Forces Adult Volunteers and cadets.

Silver award holders must demonstrate a number of positive measures and policies in their organisations, which actively support members of the Armed Forces community. The silver status requires employers to ensure:
· That members of the forces community are not disadvantaged in their recruitment and selection process
· That all positive policies relating to defence personnel are internally publicised
· That they employ at least one individual from the armed forces category that their nomination emphasises
· If required, that they have demonstrated support to Reservist mobilisations · That they align their values with their Armed Forces Covenant.

Supporting patients

Please let a member of staff know if you, or your spouse/partner, have ever served in the UK Armed Forces so that we can best support your care needs.

Being flagged as a veteran in your NHS medical notes will help ensure you are able to access specific veterans’ health services, such as those for mental health, hearing loss, limb amputation and wheelchairs.

All veterans are entitled to priority access to NHS care (including hospital, primary or community care) for conditions associated with their time in the armed forces (service-related).  But this is always subject to clinical need and doesn't entitle you to jump the queue ahead of someone with a higher clinical need.

Improving care for veterans across the NHS

We are seeking to gain accreditation as a member of the Veterans Covenant Hospital Alliance, sharing and driving best practice in NHS care for people who serve or have served in the UK armed forces and their families, in line with the Armed Forces Covenant.

What you can expect in this hospital

  • We support the health commitments of the Armed Forces Covenant.
  • We are committed to ensuring no disadvantage and giving special consideration where appropriate.
  • We will have educated and trained all relevant staff to identify and respond to veterans’ needs, signposting them to local support services, some of which are listed below.
  • We also support the UK armed forces community as an employer.

Defence Medical Welfare Service

The Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) provides independent and confidential medical welfare services (psychosocial support) to the Armed Forces Community receiving treatment within the Wye Valley NHS Trust. We understand that any hospital treatment or healthcare intervention whether planned or unplanned can be stressful and can bring with it feelings of isolation, stress and worry, all of which influence recovery. We support the Armed Forces Community hospital patient with solutions that can optimise recovery and assist with timely discharge from hospital once medically stable. This support can be anything from a chat / social visit whilst in hospital from the DMWS Welfare Officer, through to making sure that the right connections are made to other services, including other Charities for when the patient is discharged.

Welfare officer - Mr Ashley Winter – awinter@dmws.org.uk 07785614832

Families Welfare officer - Mrs Lee Bayley – lbayley@dmws.org.uk 07384826929

 

Local services providing help and support 

  • Herefordshire's Veteran Support Centre (HVSC), offer a friendly drop-in for anyone in the armed forces community needing support and guidance.  It was set up to provide a one-stop-shop of support and a friendly listening ear for anyone in the Armed Forces community in Herefordshire that may be experiencing issues or requiring support in other areas of life or work.  No matter the issue large or small the HVSC can quickly access a hub of support.  The Centre is located at 19 West Street, Hereford, HR4 0BX and is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 0900 hrs to 1700 hrs.  Contact the Centre Manager at Sean.Gane@herefordshire.gov.uk or call 07792 881354
  • There are a number of other military charities and bespoke services for the armed forces in Herefordshire including SSAFA Herefordshire, The Royal British Legion and The First Light Trust Hereford
  • The Military Charities Helpdesk is available in the Herefordshire Council Customer Service Centre in Blueschool House, Blueschool Street, Hereford, each Tuesday (SSAFA) and Thursday (Royal British Legion) between 10 am and 2 pm. No appointment necessary. (Currently closed) 
  • For a full list of local services and support visit Herefordshire Armed Forces Covenant

National Helplines 

  • The Veterans’ Gateway is a first point of contact for veterans and their families and can put them in touch with the organisations best placed to help with the information, advice and support they need. The Veterans’ Gateway can be contacted by phone (0808 802 1212), text (81212) or online at www.veteransgateway.org.uk by live chat or email.
  • Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service – an NHS Service for veterans and their families needing support with mental health issues. The NHS military mental health helpline is: 0800 323 4444
  • The Royal British Legion helpline: 0808 802 8080.
  • SSAFA Forcesline: 0800 260 6767
  • Veterans’ Trauma Network provides specialist care to veterans with service-specific injuries. Veterans benefit from a personalised care plan implemented by top military and civilian trauma experts in health centres across England. Referrals can be made via your GP at england.veteranstraumanetwork@nhs.net For more information, email Blesma at bsoprosthetics@blesma.org or call 0208 548 7080.
  • Hearing Loss and Tinnitus Services. If you have acquired hearing loss and/or tinnitus relating to your time in service, additional support can be funded through the Royal British Legion Veterans’ Hearing Fund. To access the service, ask your GP to refer you to your local NHS audiology department or download an application form via the Veterans’ Medical Funds 
  • Mobility Equipment Support The Royal British Legion has a Veterans’ Mobility Fund, which provides specialist wheelchairs, orthotic equipment and other mobility-related items for veterans who have a service-related serious physical injury and whose needs cannot be met through statutory services. Eligibility for the fund requires the condition to be attributable to service and typically applicants will be in receipt of a War Pension or relevant award under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.
  • The Veterans and Families’ Directory of Services is an online and searchable map of services for the Armed Forces Community. All NHS staff can access the app

 

How could you get involved in the NHS?

The NHS can benefit significantly from the skills and experience you bring from your military training and service. Find out more about careers for veterans and reservists in the NHS at www.militarystepintohealth.nhs.uk

Armed Forces Covenant

The NHS is committed to the Armed Forces Covenant, which is a promise by the nation that those who serve or who have served in the UK armed forces, and their families, will be treated fairly. It has two key principles:

  • The armed forces community should not face disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services.
  • Special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most such as the injured and the bereaved.

 You and your families should not be at a disadvantage in accessing appropriate health services; for example, if you are on a waiting list and are moving.

The NHS always prioritises people with the most urgent clinical need. At the same time, we must recognise your health and social needs and act on them. We are working to make sure this happens.

To learn more about the Veterans Covenant Hospital Alliance and what it means for NHS hospitals to be Veteran Aware, please visit: https://improvement.nhs.uk/resources/veteran-aware-hospitals/

For more information on NHS healthcare for veterans, visit the NHS Choices website at www.nhs.uk and search for ‘veteran’.

 

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© Wye valley NHS Trust 2021