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A champion initiative! UHNM Charity helps to improve care of veterans at UHNM

Did you know that over 10,000 former members of the armed forces have received care at UHNM?

UHNM Charity has supported our Armed Forces Network through the funding of the ‘Veteran Aware’ initiative, so future patients receive the necessary care.

David Smith, transformation project manager and member of the armed forces champion team at UHNM explains:  “UHNM is a Veteran Aware accredited healthcare provider, and has gone through the stringent processes to be accredited. One of the requirements is to have trained staff that understand the needs of patients from the armed forces community.”

“We’ve put a programme together providing dedicated training sessions and created the role of ‘Veteran Aware Champions’ to encompass everything around veteran awareness at our Trust.”

“After completing training, our Veteran Aware Champions go back to their respective wards and departments and train others to support members of the armed forces community.”

 UHNM Charity has provided funding for Veterans Aware badges and labels.

David added: “Veteran Aware Champion badges clearly identify staff in areas that are Champions, so members of the armed forces community can engage with them based on that visual. Funding has also been provided for

Veteran Aware in patient labels, which can be added to patient notes to indicate they’re a member of the armed forces community.”

“We’re required under the Armed Forces Covenant to fulfil various duties around the provision of healthcare, so having this awareness of out veterans allows us to treat our veteran patients with the additional support they require."

"We also need to be aware of something called the Veteran’s Priority Healthcare, where veteran has been identified as having a services attributed condition they’re entitled to veteran’s priority healthcare. We can also refer veterans to  additional charities that are veteran specific providing additional care and support.”

David served in the army for 23 years. He joined up as private and left as captain, and came to NHS over 10 years ago as healthcare support worker.

He said: “It’s something I really enjoyed and progressed in various roles and am currently a transformation project manager and thoroughly love what I do. One of the projects I have dedicated time to support is Veteran’s Awareness, along with a team of two other members of staff who volunteered for the role. Our Armed Forces Network at UHNM has over 230 members.”

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