VCHA Regional Lead Mandy Stokes said: "I am delighted with the
excellence of the work carried out by County Durham and Darlington
NHS Foundation Trust. The Trust has demonstrated its commitment to
being Veteran Aware for both patients and staff and in building
this into its wider Trust business to make sure that staff
understand the needs of the armed forces community."
Sue Jacques Chief Executive of County Durham and Darlington NHS
Foundation Trust said: "We are delighted to have achieved Veteran
Aware gold status. CDDFT is committed to supporting our veterans
and the wider Armed Forces Community and ensuring they are treated
fairly and do not face disadvantages.
"Our armed forces play a vital role and often make immense
sacrifices to keep us all safe and we have an obligation to look
after them - whether that is as a care provider or as an
"A number of our staff have been members of the Armed Forces, or
are reservists, combining their role with us and serving their
country. It's humbling that some of our medical and nursing
colleagues have used their amazing skills serving in Iraq and
Afghanistan and were also deployed to Sierra Leone during the Ebola
crisis, caring for members of our forces and civilians. We're proud
of the dedication they show their patients, wherever they're caring
for them whether it's here or in a field hospital somewhere else in
"Over the last twelve months, we have undertaken a wide variety
of work to ensure patients who are members of the Armed Forces
Community are aware of the importance of letting us know their
status so we can provide the appropriate care for them. We are
establishing an Armed Forces Network to support our staff who have
served with more plans for the future.
"In 2019 we signed the Armed Forces Covenant so achieving
Veteran Award status further represents our commitment to being an
armed forces-friendly organisation."
The Trust's accreditation means that 147 NHS providers across
England are now Veteran Aware accredited and the alliance aims to
have all Trusts accredited by the end of the first quarter of
The area is good recruiting ground for the Armed Forces. With a
general population in County Durham of around 918,800, it is
estimated that 137,017 (15 per cent) are from the Armed Forces
VCHA Chairman, Prof Tim Briggs CBE, said: "More and more Trusts
are seeing the value of Veteran Aware accreditations as seen
through the numbers of Trusts that are now accredited. We now stand
at 70% of NHS Trusts across England, which is a testament both to
the dedication of my team and to the wider NHS family who work
tirelessly on behalf of the military community despite the many
pressures they will be under. Well done all."
The VCHA will be holding a national best practice conference at
the Barbican in London on September 20, 2023 from 10am to 4pm. For
more details, please visit the Eventbrite page.
'Care received was fantastic and I was very well looked after
and very impressed.'
Patient, Day Surgery, Darlington Memorial Hospital