Veteran Covenant Healthcare Alliance

The Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) is a group of over 30 hospitals which aim to improve the healthcare that veterans receive from the NHS.

Veteran Aware hospitals will help provide integrated care and a single source of advice to veterans on the support available to them and I want to see this initiative rolled out across the country.

Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

The strong partnership between the MoD and the NHS highlights our commitment to the through-life care of our service personnel and veterans. The Veteran Aware scheme is a fantastic initiative that will ensure the particular needs of the Armed Forces community are at the heart of their care.

Lieutenant General Martin Bricknell, Surgeon General

I am delighted that a second wave of our top hospitals has joined the Veterans Covenant Hospital Alliance. Although the British Armed Forces are not currently engaged in high profile campaigns such as in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years, the health and wellbeing battles for many veterans continue. The VCHA is playing a major part in helping our brave veterans win their personal battles.

General Lord Richard Dannatt, Patron of the VCHA and former head of the British Army

In 2014, Professor Tim Briggs CBE, Co-chair of the VCHA and Chair of the GIRFT programme, wrote The Chavasse Report on improving armed forces and veteran care while raising NHS standards. His report, based on findings from his original orthopaedic GIRFT visits, recommended establishing a support network of hospitals. The resulting VCHA works closely with NHS Improvement, NHS England, service charities and the Ministry of Defence.

The Alliance seeks to showcase high quality veterans’ healthcare and support NHS hospitals to learn from each other by sharing what works. This includes committing to the Armed Forces Covenant, raising awareness among staff of veterans’ healthcare needs, and establishing clear links with service charities and local support providers. 37 hospitals have already demonstrated they are delivering these standards and have been accredited as ‘Veteran Aware.’

This is a fantastic achievement for these hospitals, which will exemplar the best standards of care for veterans. It is just the beginning, every NHS hospital will be invited to join the Veterans Covenant Hospital Alliance and become Veteran Aware. We hope to have tripled the total number of accredited hospitals by the end of 2019, bringing to fruition the ambitions set out in my Chavasse report in 2014.”

Professor Tim Briggs, Co-Chair of the Veterans Covenant Hospital Alliance and Chair of the GIRFT Programme

Further information and resources for trusts interested in becoming Veteran Aware is available online or from the project manager, Edward Nickell (e.nickell@nhs.net)