The Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) has been shortlisted for a Health Service Journal (HSJ) award for its work in improving NHS care for members of the armed forces community.
Led by a steering group of healthcare and military representatives, and delivered by the Getting It Right First Time programme (GIRFT), the VCHA supports NHS providers to meet a series of pledges aimed at reducing unwarranted variation in the care provided to servicemen and women, veterans, reservists and their families. Trusts that meet these standards are accredited as Veteran Aware, with 37 providers across the country already carrying the mark.
The alliance has been shortlisted for an HSJ Award in the Military and Civilian Health Partnership category, which celebrates collaborative projects that deliver excellence in healthcare and health improvement for the armed forces community.
The VCHA was set up by GIRFT chair Professor Tim Briggs, following his work on The Chavasse Report, which was published in 2015 and identified unwarranted variation in the care of veterans with musculoskeletal injuries. Inspired by the heroism of Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse VC and Bar, a doctor who gave his life rescuing men on the battlefields of the First World War, the report recommended establishing a support network of hospitals.
Initially focusing on acute NHS trusts, the VCHA is now working with community, ambulance and mental health providers, having accredited its first two Veteran Aware mental health trusts earlier this year.
Professor Briggs said: “Being shortlisted for an HSJ Award is fantastic recognition for the important work of the VCHA. It truly reflects the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in the programme, including all 37 Veteran Aware trusts and those working towards accreditation.
“It is vital that the NHS is able to meet the unique healthcare needs of the armed forces community and we aim to work with every trust in the country to make this a reality.”
Delivered alongside the GIRFT programme, the VCHA encourages peer-to-peer learning, showcasing the best exemplars of veteran care and providing practical advice to trusts.
Winners of the HSJ Awards will be announced at a ceremony in London on Wednesday 6 November. For more information on the VCHA, visit our Veteran Aware page.