Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust has become a ‘Veteran Aware’ organisation in recognition of its continued support for veterans and reservists ahead of Armed Forces Day this Saturday.
They become one of only four NHS Trusts that provide mental health services to receive the accreditation for their commitment to improving care for veterans, reservists and members of the armed forces community.
The accreditation was awarded after Mersey Care delivered on several key pledges, including ensuring members of the armed forces community are never disadvantaged when receiving care, training staff on veteran-specific needs, and supporting the armed forces as an employer.
Sheila Hamilton, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Mersey Care’s Veterans Lead, said: “Mersey Care has well established links with veterans groups and reservists, including having a former military hospital from the First and Second World Wars on our Whalley site, and this award recognises a real commitment from our organisation towards veterans’ causes.
“As a Trust we have worked alongside veterans, reservists and their families for some time, welcoming their input and experiences, so we can provide the highest quality care to our veterans’ service users.”
Initiatives introduced by Mersey Care to receive this accreditation include:
Anthony Muldowney, who served 14 years in the army as a chef and now works as Vocational Skills Lead at Life Rooms Walton, said: “Mersey Care is extremely veteran friendly and I’ve enjoyed helping to establish a number of services that ensure ex-Forces are looked after and remain involved.
“We put a conscious effort into offering support and guidance and veterans within the Trust have helped ensure they are able to approach Mersey Care knowing there is a system already in place to help them. Their knowledge and experience is also valued so care is doctored to suit their individual needs.”
Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) awarded the accreditation today and chair, Professor Tim Briggs CBE, said: “Mersey Care has made a clear and important commitment to the servicemen and women of this country, and it’s great to be able to recognise their hard work through this accreditation.”