Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH) has re-pledged its commitment to the armed forces community by officially signing the Armed Forces Covenant at an event on Friday 19 May 2023.

The Covenant, which is part of a national promise to help improve and drive forward care and best practice for current and former members of the armed forces, was signed by Chief Executive Angela Stevenson alongside SASH Armed Forces executive lead, Anouska Adamson-Parks.

On Friday the Trust also received its Veteran Aware accreditation from the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA), in recognition of its commitment to improving NHS care for veterans, reservists, and members of the armed forces and their families.

The event hosted by SASH also celebrated the achievements of serving members of the armed forces and veterans, with members of staff sharing their armed forces stories and why the trust’s commitment to support the armed forces community it looks after is so important.

Staff were joined by members of the local armed forces community, including the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey Michael More-Molyneux, Crawley and Horsham Armed Forces Breakfast Club, Surrey Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment army cadet force and representatives of the Royal British Legion. Local councillors James Baker and Samantha Marshall also attended.

Professor Tim Briggs CBE, NHS National Director for Clinical Improvement in NHS England, VCHA National Lead and Honorary Colonel of 202 Midlands Field Hospital, said:

“Veteran Aware accreditation means that Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has made a huge commitment to those who currently serve, be they regular or reserve, those who have served (our veterans) and all their family members.  They should be very proud of the efforts they’ve made; I know I am.

“Thank you for the work you’ve all put in, despite the undoubted pressures I know every NHS trust is under at the moment. Welcoming them into the Veterans Covenant Hospital Alliance is a major step towards our aim of ensuring every NHS trust in the country is Veteran Aware.”

Anouska Adamson-Parks, director of strategy and armed forces executive lead, said:

“SASH prides itself on putting the people from our communities first in delivering excellent, accessible healthcare. We are proud to have successfully delivered the first stage of our commitment to the armed forces community and look forward to continuing this work and delivering on the pledges detailed within The Armed Forces Covenant - better supporting our armed forces colleagues, patients and their families - whilst also raising standards across the NHS.”