Leeds NHS hospital trust recognised among first in country as 'Veteran Aware' for supporting Armed Forces

Hospitals in Leeds have today (Friday) been named among the first in the country to be recognised for their commitment to Armed Forces veterans.

Leeds Consultant Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon Martin Taylor, who served in the Royal Army Medical Corps, and retired Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy Bleasdale, who served with the Royal Artillery, have both praised the mark of approval.

Ahead of the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War on Sunday, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has been officially accredited as ‘Veteran Aware’.

The quality mark recognises that the trust’s hospitals have frontline medics who have been specially-trained when it comes to caring for veterans, including in mental health and referring to support services.

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It comes just months after the trust became the first in the region to win an Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award, given out by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), in honour of its support of the Armed Forces.

Armistice 100: Famous pilot who began career in Yorkshire was first to loop-the-loopThe Leeds NHS trust is among 24 health service bodies to receive the latest mark of approval, organised by the Veterans Covenant Hospital Alliance, a partnership between the NHS, Department of Health and Social Care, MoD and the Confederation of Service Charities.

Julian Hartley, Chief Executive at LTHT said: “I am incredibly proud that the trust has achieved such an accreditation, which is testament to the dedication and hard work of colleagues across the organisation.

“As a trust we are passionate about ensuring that both staff and patients who have served in the Armed Forces, or are serving at the moment, are given the support and care that they need and this latest achievement really does demonstrate our commitment to this.”

As part of the accreditation, the hospitals will now display Veterans Aware posters across its clinic and waiting areas.

Patients and visitors at hospitals in Leeds will now also be encouraged to tell staff if they are ex-servicemen or women, to ensure they are treated equally and fairly.

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Among the ex-servicemen working at the trust is Consultant Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon Martin Taylor, who started his career as a medical student in Leeds.

Mr Taylor went on to serve in the Royal Army Medical Corps for 18 years and is now based at Leeds General Infirmary’s Major Trauma Centre.