North East Ambulance Service accredited as a Veteran Aware NHS organisation
One of 64 trusts to receive the accolade
The Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) has granted the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) status as a Veteran Aware NHS organisation for its commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant.
Being formally recognised as a Veteran Aware Trust, the accreditation recognises the work of the organisation in identifying and sharing best practice across the NHS as an exemplar of the best standards of care for the Armed Forces community.
After signing the Armed Forces Covenant in late 2020, NEAS has demonstrated its commitment by striving to deliver the best possible care to veterans and has become one of 64 trusts to have gained this well-deserved accolade.
The Trust pledge to support those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, by signing the Armed Forces Covenant.
The Covenant focusses on helping members of the Armed Forces to have the same access to government, commercial services and products as any other citizen including education, family well-being, having a home, starting a new career, access to healthcare, financial assistance and discounted services.
As an employer, NEAS has been granted bronze status which means it is open to employing reservists, armed forces veterans (including the wounded, injured and sick), cadet instructors and military spouses or partners.
The skills and experience an Armed Forces medical personnel can often be transferable to an ambulance service, having faced similar incidents involving trauma and casualties.
Receiving the Veteran Aware NHS organisation award has become a highlight during the current testing time across the NHS.
Head of workforce development Karen Gardner, who signed the covenant alongside director of people development, Karen O’Brien at the time, said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been able to support NEAS in gaining accreditation in both the covenant and becoming a Veterans Aware organisation. NEAS is committed to supporting all of our staff who have served, and continue to serve our country.”
Middlesbrough-based paramedic Gareth Alderson, aged 49, who undertook operational tours in Afghanistan and Africa whilst serving with Royal Army Medical Corps for 23 years and is now an Army Reservist spoke about what it means to work for a Veteran-Aware organisation.
“Life can be difficult for those that have served for many reasons,” he said. “The Armed Forces Covenant is important as it recognises the unique skillsets and experiences that veterans have. I firmly believe that addressing any difficulties that may be faced by service personnel in their working life is a huge step forward in providing us with a balanced future and will improve health and wellbeing throughout a veteran's civilian career."