Published on: 20 June 2023

George Eliot Hospital NHS trust has been formally accredited as a Veteran Aware organisation by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA).

The accreditation recognises the quality of the service that the Trust provides to the armed forces community, ensuring that those who serve, or who have served, in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

The Trust has been accredited after meeting the standards laid down by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA), a national NHS team.

Dr Catherine Free, Managing Director of George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust said: “We are very proud to receive this accreditation.

“It is recognition of our continued commitment to the veterans who served for the country and highlights our continued high standards of care.

“Our Trust has a very close relationship with the veterans in our community, this includes around 1,110 serving personnel, 48,000 veterans and 115,200 families representing about eight per cent of the region’s population. With many veterans and their families being proudly employed at George Eliot.”

The Trust’s joins more than 150 NHS providers across England are now Veteran Aware accredited, with the alliance aiming to have all Trusts accredited by the end of the first quarter of 2024.

VCHA is a group of NHS healthcare providers in England committed to providing the best standards of care for the armed forces community, based on the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant.

It does this by developing, sharing and driving the implementation of best practice, while at the same time raising standards for everyone in NHS Trusts in England. The NHS Long Term Plan has since expanded the programme to include Integrated Care Boards, hospices and the Independent Care Sector.

VCHA Regional Lead David Wood said: “I am delighted with the excellence of the work carried out by George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust. The Trust has demonstrated its commitment to being Veteran Aware for both patients and staff and in building this into its wider Trust business to make sure that staff understand the needs of the Armed Forces Community.”

VCHA Chairman, Prof Tim Briggs CBE, said: “More and more Trusts are seeing the value of Veteran Aware accreditations as seen through the numbers of Trusts that are now accredited. We now stand at 73% of NHS Trusts across England, which is a testament both to the dedication of my team and to the wider NHS family who work tirelessly on behalf of the military community despite the many pressures they will be under. Well done all.”

Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance – Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (