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Pictured: Armed Forces 'Breakfast' gathering outside Peacock Hall at the RVI

Newcastle Hospitals recognised as ‘Veteran Aware’ ahead of Armistice Centenary


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 the Newcastle Hospitals 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 Newcastle upon Tyne there are an estimated 10,000 veterans according to a research study conducted by the Royal British Legion (RBL) in 2014.

The Trust signed the Armed Forces covenant back in 2013, and in 2018 it was awarded both the Gold Defence Employer Recognition Scheme award, and the CIPD North East ‘Excellence in Supporting Armed Forces Talent’ award.

Supporting patients and staff who are members of the Armed Forces community, whether they be serving, a reservist or a veteran is a key commitment at the Newcastle Hospitals.

Every patient’s veteran status is recorded when they notify the Trust, and the organisation supports veterans of the armed forces, whose condition relates directly to their military service, to be prioritised over other patients with the same level of clinical need. Veterans are also supported as employees of the Trust.

The Newcastle Hospitals’ Executive Directors recently signed the ‘Step into Health’ pledge which offers service leavers and veterans a route into the NHS with support around job applications, interviews and bespoke work placements.

It has also established an Armed Forces Staff Network, which aims to give the Armed Forces community a voice within the organisation to help to mould the future of our ‘Forces Friendly’ organisation.

Alongside of the network, the Trust has strong links with various veteran charities and the Career Transition Partnership.

Awareness of the cause is raised across the Trust in line with poignant dates throughout the year.

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