Supporting Armed Forces and Veteran Communities
We are proud to support our Armed Forces and have received two prestigious accreditations, both recognising our organisation as an employer who actively demonstrates its support to current and former members of the Armed Forces community and aligns its values with the Armed Forces Covenant.
Achieving both the VCHA Veteran Aware accreditation and silver level in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS), means we have been formally recognised as a NHS healthcare provider committed to providing the best standards of care for the armed forces community. This commitment is based on the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant and demonstrates the Trust’s support of Reservists, Service Leavers, Spouses, Veterans, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers and Cadets in the workplace.
As part of the Armed Forces Covenant, we have pledged to support the armed forces both as an employer and health and social care provider and champion best practice in NHS care for people who serve or have served in the UK armed forces and their families.
Working with, and learning from staff, patients and their families who serve or have served will support us to raise further awareness and embed improvements and staff training that will help strengthen Wirral Community NHS Health and Care Trust as Veteran and Armed Forces friendly healthcare provider.
Our commitment is not only to our patients, families, carers and staff, but also to support the armed forces communities as an employer; recognising the experiences and skills ex-military personnel have gained through their service.
What you can expect from our NHS Trust:-
- Equal care for the armed forces community, ensuring that the armed forces community is never disadvantaged compared to other patients, in line with the NHS’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant
- Staff who are trained on veteran-specific culture so we can respond to the needs of our Armed Forced Community.
- Special consideration when appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most such as the injured and the bereaved.
- Reasonable adjustments for those who need them
- Information and signposting to ensure that veterans, reservist and service families are aware of appropriate charities or NHS services beneficial to them. For example mental health services or support with financial and/or benefit claims
Veterans and military personnel 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). Please note this is always subject to clinical need and will not entitle them to be prioritised ahead of someone with a greater clinical need.
For more information on NHS healthcare for veterans, visit the NHS Choices website at www.nhs.uk and search for ‘veteran’.
Attending our services for care
We understand the many and complex challenges that the armed forces community and their relatives can face, and we strive to deliver our services with understanding, sensitivity, and support.
To align to our pledge and make sure we know when military personal or veterans are using our services, we invite you to let us know if you or our spouse/partner has ever served in the UK armed forces so that we can best support your heath and social care needs.
You may see this poster in our waiting rooms and public areas, or our reception staff may ask this question when you attend. Please tell us.
Recording that a person is serving or a veteran in their NHS medical notes will help ensure we are able to support you access to specific veterans’ health services if required , such as mental health, hearing loss, limb amputation and wheelchairs.
Supporting and recognising existing staff and potential career opportunities
We support current employees who are from service families or are part of the reservists or cadets, and potential employees who are currently serving or have just completed their service and are looking forward to their next career.
Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust has been recognised by the Ministry of Defence Awards for its support to the Armed Forces community. The Trust has achieved the prestigious Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Bronze Award for 2023 and as an employer, we welcome the unique talents and experience that our Armed Forces colleagues can bring to our organisation, including teamwork, communication, and leadership.
We are proud to collaborate with the Step Into Health scheme that helps connect members of the Armed Forces community to NHS organisations to receive application support and set up training opportunities, insight days and work placements.
Step into Health is open to all Service Leavers and Veterans and their spouse/partners , and brings a platform for employers to work closely with the Armed Forces Community to provide career and development opportunities within the NHS.
The programme has been created because the NHS recognises the transferable skills and cultural values that Armed Forces personnel develop when serving, and how they are compatible with those required within NHS roles.
We are proud to be a part of this initiative
Services providing help and support to Armed Forces Communities and Veterans
The Veterans’ Gateway is a first point of contact for veterans and your families, and can put you in touch with both national and local organisations best placed to help with the information, advice and support you may need.
The Veterans’ Gateway can be contacted 24/7 by telephone (0808 802 1212), by text (81212) or online.
Armed Forces Covenant is the nation’s commitment to support those who are currently serving or have served in the armed forces and their families. This website provides useful links to support and advice including financial, housing, education, training and employment plus lots more. Read the covenant here
SSAFA Merseyside is the Armed forces charity that provides lifelong support to those who are serving or have served in any of the UK Armed Forces.
Contact by telephone on 0800 260 6767, email [email protected]
Breakfast clubs are free to attend and exist to help veterans and often currently serving Armed forces personnel by meeting face to face in a relaxed, safe social environment. They are free to attend, details of local clubs can be found by clicking on the link.
If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, expert help is available from Op COURAGE: the Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service.
It doesn’t matter if you’re due to leave the Armed Forces, just left the Armed Forces or left many years ago, we are here to help and we understand the courage it takes to speak to someone.
When you contact us, you will speak to people who:
- Understand the Armed Forces and military life
- Are either from the Armed Forces community or highly experienced in working with serving personnel, reservists, veterans and their families
- Will work with you to make sure you get the right type of specialist care, support and treatment