Armed forces and veterans
Supporting the Armed Forces
Wye Valley NHS Trust are proud to support our Armed Forces.
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.
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.
Local services providing help and support
- SSAFA - The Armed Forces Charity exists to relieve need, suffering and distress amongst the Armed Forces , veterans and their families in order to support their independence and dignity. The Herefordshire Branch can be contacted on 01432 273932 (24 hours).
- 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.
- Herefordshire's Veteran Support Centre (VSC), offers a friendly and safe one-stop shop for anyone in the armed forces community. The VSC aims to quickly refer you to the right organisation to ensure you get the best support, and can also support individuals seeking support with training, employment and volunteering opportunities. 19 West Street, Hereford HR4 0BX.Opening times: Mon/Wed/Fri 9.30am to 4.30pm. Call: 07792881354 email Mike.email@example.com
- 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.
- NHS Transition, Intervention and Liaison Mental Health Service is for armed forces personnel approaching discharge and veterans. The service provides a range of treatment, from access to early support to therapeutic treatment for complex mental health difficulties and psychological trauma. It also provides help, where appropriate, with other problems, for example money, employment or housing. Please contact 0300 323 0137
- 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 at www.vfds.co.uk
- Other helpful services
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org For more information, email Blesma at email@example.com 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 webpage at www.rbl.org.uk/vmf.
- 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.To find out more, visit www.rbl.org.uk/vmf.
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’.