Northampton General Hospital to improve care for the armed forces community

Ruth Smith from Veteran Aware pictured with Major Paul Shipley MBE RA, and Professor Tim Briggs, NHS National Director of Clinical Improvement and Co-Chair of the Veterans Covenant Hospital Alliance.
Ruth Smith from Veteran Aware pictured with Major Paul Shipley MBE RA, and Professor Tim Briggs, NHS National Director of Clinical Improvement and Co-Chair of the Veterans Covenant Hospital Alliance.

Northampton General Hospital has been named a Veteran Aware hospital in recognition of its commitment to improving NHS care for veterans, reservists, members of the armed forces and their families.

The accreditation, from the Veterans Covenant Hospital Alliance (VCHA), acknowledges the hospital’s pledge to train specific staff on veteran needs - as well as making veterans, reservists and service families aware of charities beneficial to them such as mental health services.

Northampton General Hospital (NGH) is now one of 33 members of the VCHA and is part of only the second wave of hospitals to be accredited.

Ruth Smith, NGH’s armed forces project lead said, “I am extremely proud to have accepted this accreditation on behalf of the hospital.

"This achievement could only be made possible by the support of the whole of team NGH. We look forward to continuing our commitment to keep raising awareness and offering support, guidance and signposting however we can for all of our valued veterans, their families and carers.”

Hospitals recognised as Veteran Aware will display posters in their clinics and public waiting areas urging anyone who has served in the armed forces to make themselves known to staff.

The VCHA 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.

General Lord Richard Dannatt, patron of the VCHA and former head of the British Army, said: “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 well-being battles for many veterans continue.

"The VCHA is playing a major part in helping our brave veterans win their personal battles.”