Sussex Partnership has been reaccredited ‘Veterans Aware’ status

The Veteran Aware logoSussex Partnership is one of 104 NHS trusts to have been awarded Veteran Aware status, which is granted by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance to recognise the Trust's continuous improvement as an exemplar of the best standards of care for the Armed Forces community.

The Trust has established Op Courage: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service which includes the Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service, Complex Treatment Service and High Intensity Service, to offer free NHS mental health services to all ex-serving members of the UK Armed Forces and service personnel.

Armed Forces Day logoThe Op Courage team will be at Worthing Armed Forces Day in Steyne Gardens, between 10am - 4pm on Saturday 25 June. There will also be military vehicles, a Battle of Britain Fly past, stalls and music. Op Courage will also be joining 254 Medical Regiment at Great Lines Heritage Park in Gillingham, Kent, where there will be military medical displays and the Military Wives Choir. Both events are a great opportunity to meet people involved in the armed forces community. Members of the public are invited to come along and talk to the team to find out more about what they do. 

The Veteran Aware mark highlights NHS trusts that have made a series of pledges, such as ensuring members of the armed forces community are never disadvantaged when receiving care, training staff on veteran-specific needs, and supporting the armed forces as an employer. 

Andy Stubbs, Armed Forces Covenant Lead Manager at the Trust and a reservist serving as a Major in the Queen Alexandra Royal Army Nursing Corps 245, Medical Regiment, said: "Veterans Aware is a great initiative and one that we are delighted to be a part of. Achieving this accreditation is fantastic. 

"Meeting the health and care needs of our local veterans community is one of our top priorities, and this reaccreditation ensures we keep their particular needs at the heart of the care we provide."

Andy's role at Sussex Partnership aims to identify and support veterans, reservists and armed forces family members working at the Trust and also to helps to promote the trust as an employer to ex-service personnel.

Dr Jane Padmore, Chief Executive at Sussex Partnership, said: “Being reaccredited as a veteran Aware NHS trusts makes me feel so proud. It demonstrates the continuous hard work and dedication of our staff to understand how we can better support armed forces veterans.  

“Being Veteran Aware is all about improving the healthcare that veterans receive. At Sussex Partnership we have a range of support available through Op Courage: The Veterans Mental Health Service. We’re also part of ‘Step into Health’, an initiative that helps ex-service personnel gain employment or work experience in the Trust, bringing a huge range of experience and transferrable skills to the NHS.

“We hope this reaccreditation gives veterans living in our local community confidence that our staff understand their needs and are committed to giving them the right support when they need it.”

The Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance was 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.

In 2014, leading orthopaedic surgeon Professor Tim Briggs CBE wrote The Chavasse Report on improving armed forces and veteran care while raising NHS standards, which recommended establishing a support network of hospitals. The resulting VCHA works closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement, service charities and the Ministry of Defence.

For more about Veterans Aware visit veteranaware.nhs.uk.

For more information about Op Courage: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service, visit sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/veterans.