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Veterans

As a Trust, we are committed to supporting serving personnel, reservists, veterans and their families, whether they are patients, or members of staff. We signed the Armed Forces Covenant in September 2017 to pledge our support as an employer and health organisation to the armed forces and in 2018 we were awarded a Silver Award as part of the Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, recognising our support of the Defence and Armed Forces Community.

We have recently achieved 'Veteran Aware' status accreditation from the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance. This means we are focusing on several key areas, including:

  • Ensuring that the armed forces community is never disadvantaged compared to other patients.
  • Training relevant staff on veteran specific needs.
  • Signposting veterans, reservists and service families to support services both within the NHS and externally available to them.
  • Supporting members of staff who are current or past members of the armed forces, or who have family members who are, as an employer. 

Supporting patient care

If you or a family member has ever served in the UK armed forces, please let staff who are caring for you know, or get in contact with our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team, so we can ensure that staff are aware how best we can support your care.

To contact our PALS team, please phone 0118 322 8338, or email on PALS@royalberkshire.nhs.uk.

All veterans are entitled to priority access to NHS care for service-related conditions. However, this is subject to clinical need. It does not mean that you will automatically be treated ahead of others who have a more urgent clinical need.

Supporting recruitment and employees

The Trust is signed up to Step into Health which supports the Armed Forces community to access career opportunities in the NHS.

We offer a number of ways in which we support those, and the families of those, in the Armed Forces including support around flexible and hybrid working, annual leave, health and wellbeing. 

If you are interested in working for us, please contact our Recruitment team directly on 0118 322 5353 / Jobs@royalberkshire.nhs.uk.

Access to services offering support

If you or a family member is a current or past member of the Armed Forces you might be interested in some of these sources of support:

The Veterans’ Gateway is a hub of information for veterans and their families, offering support in lots of areas from healthcare to housing to employability. They will be able to connect you with other organisations offering the right support.

Our colleagues in the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust offer a Mental Health and Wellbeing Service for Veterans called Op Courage. They are open to anyone who has served in the armed forces community regardless of length of time served, rank or reason for leaving.

It has 3 levels of support:

  • Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS) - the first point of contact for veterans having difficulties with their mental health or emotional wellbeing.
  • Complex Treatment Service (CTS) - for more complex mental health difficulties related to your military experiences such as PTSD, anger or depression.
  • High Intensity Service (HIS) - working alongside other mental health services e.g. inpatient wards to offer joint support for veterans who are in, or at risk of, a mental health crisis.

You can refer yourself to this service or get referred by your GP. To find out more please look at their website: Veterans' Mental Health and Wellbeing Service (Op COURAGE)

Other useful sources of support

Other websites:

Help for partners and carers:

Help for service leavers:

 

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