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10 May 2023

Veterans Aware Plaque Unveiled at ELFT's Headquarters

Staff and veteran representatives came together to see our Veteran Aware plaque unveiled by Chief Executive Paul Calaminus and Chris Tyson, Functional Skills Coordinator at ELFT and an ex-serviceman.
Unveiling Veteran Aware Plaque

Top Photograph: The core group behind ELFT's Veterans Alliance forum work to provide employment opportunities, care and treatment, and equality initiatives for veterans and their families in our communities.

Group of 25 people attending plaque eventThe unveiling of the Veteran Aware plaque symbolises the Trust's commitment to military families. ELFT is one of 147 NHS Veteran Aware NHS provider trusts that have been accredited as exemplars of the best care for veterans, helping to drive improvements in NHS care for people who serve or have served in the UK armed forces and their families. Veteran Aware trusts aim to improve the care of veterans within the NHS, as part of the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA).

At the event, reservists and ex-servicemen and women spoke about how valued the initiative is as people adjust to life outside of the forces. Knowing they have specialist support that recognises the issues that they might face is important. The event was followed by afternoon team and a lot of talking. For many, it was the first time they had met face-to-face since the start of the COVID pandemic.

Jane Kelly is ELFT's Armed Forces Community Clinical Lead. She said,

"There are so many people who have supported the work of ELFT's Armed Forces Alliance. From the very beginning, we have coproduced all the workstreams ensuring that the voice of those who have served and their families has been central to our success. I want to say a massive thank you to all involved in the Alliance and the Triple Aim Project especially Sharon, Glynis, John, JJ, Chris Nicola, Kemarr and Carlos." (Featured in the main photograph.)

Unveiling the plaqueThe Armed Forces Triple Aim Project
The Armed Forces Triple Aim project is a coproduced quality improvement project with the overall aim of improving the quality of life for our armed forces community. This includes looking at both care and treatment pathways but also training, employment and getting-involved initiatives.

The Triple Aim approach aims to simultaneously (i) enhance outcomes (ii) improve the experience of care and (iii) increase value for money for Armed Forces members and their families in the communities served by the Trust.

Applying Quality Improving Principles
Veteran Champions Sharon, Glynis and John have all completed their QI Improvement Leaders Programme alongside Kieran from The Poppy Factory. This ensures that their lived experience is central in looking at change ideas and measuring success. The team want to improve staff awareness through face-to-face training and an online course found on the Trust's online Learning Academy so these leadership skills will be invaluable in helping them to achieve this.

Carlos Santos is the Improvement Advisor and QI Coach for the project. he explains: "The project has been organised around the purpose of “working together in partnership, to build health and social opportunities for veterans and their families”. The project primarily focuses on (i) building family support, (ii) creating employment opportunities for armed forces members and their families within the Trust."

The project has achieved several significant milestones, including:

1. Increased staff awareness of the Armed Forces community unique needs, as evidenced by the growing number of recorded assessments of Armed Forces status on RiO.

2. Recognition as a Veteran Aware Trust by the Veterans Health Care Alliance (VHCA).

3. Facilitation of a regular co-produced forum for the local Armed Forces community, ELFT staff, and partners to share information, good practice, and resources, as well as identify gaps in resources that require addressing.

4. Support for the employment of veterans, with recognition of military skills and qualifications in our recruitment and selection process.

5. Provision of both employment and training opportunities for our Veterans Champions.

Next Steps
The team aim to increase the number of veterans working in the Trust and establish an Armed Forces Staff Network to provide further support. Find out more about support for armed forces communities here